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Anatomy of an Extremist

In the Berkeley Daily Planet’s now infamous June 4, 2009 condemnation of DPWatchDog I am called “one of the East Bay’s most militant Zionists.”   No particular evidence is provided, or at least none that is not easily and effectively refuted.    

In fact, I have never in my life attended a pro-Israel street protest, counter-protest, or rally, and I have never even gotten around to joining the 50,000 or so people who annually attend “Israel in the Park” in San Francisco. 

I have attended several East Bay AIPAC dinners, but then I am in the company of about 1000 other people, including a lot of local politicians like Tom Bates and Barbara Lee.  I have no idea why I would be considered the most militant person there.  As stated in other places, I am a life long liberal Democrat, an avowed secularist, and, although an admitted Zionist, I identify with left wing Israeli parties (Labor or Kadima).

So allow me to make O’Malley’s case for her.  Here now is the sum total of what has earned me the label, “one of the East Bay’s most militant Zionists.”   Berkeley is more or less the American center of anti-Israel activity and of hard left anti-Semitism.  There is a bit in other parts of the Bay Area, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Michigan (with its large Arab population), and wherever there are pockets of white supremacists there is of course hard right anti-Semitism.  That is about the extent of the American concentrations of this poison.   There is much more anti-Semitism of both the hard left and hard right varieties in parts of Europe.  Though in the United States, the phenomenon is still small, at some point, quite bluntly, I got fed up with having to deal with its persistence in my face locally.  So, I have taken action.  I have written two articles in the Open Forum section of the SF Chronicle; and quite a few articles and letters and Commentaries in the Berkeley Daily Planet until I was banned from further publishing after I announced plans for this website.  My targets have been Berkeley’s foreign policy making body, the Peace and Justice Commission (perhaps, partially as a result of my writing, the P&J today is not as crazy as it once was), gullible politicians who should know better than to pass one-sided anti-Israel resolutions (chiefly, Worthington and Maio), and the Berkeley Daily Planet.

Look as you might, this is the only evidence for my militancy that you will find, and it is all in the public record.   In sum, I am called “one of the East Bay’s most militant Zionists” mainly because I have stood up to the Berkeley Daily Planet’s journalistic malfeasance and to its bullying editor, Becky O’Malley.

John Gertz--Editor

Note: Links to my two SF Chronicle pieces:

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