Greta Berlin – clarifying the clarification. (Sigh).

To clarify my position on Greta Berlin & developments that indicate that the “private FB group” wasn’t benign: http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/greta-berlins-statement-not-correct 

In my second post on the matter, I wrote that she’d made clear that her “intent in sharing that deeply disturbing video was not to support its content” and that for me that was “enough” – because “I now understand that my reading of her earlier comments was absolutely inaccurate.” I never suggested there’d been an apology, nor that she’d proven the existence of a “private group” – indeed, I said proof was needed. As a writer, though, I know that if she’d made her statement 24 hrs earlier, I would’ve written my piece very differently. I stand by that. There is already too much guessing at hints and shadows in my line of work, and I try very hard to write about what is verifiable. Bottom line, she disavowed the very thing that was the thesis of my entire post. That changes, at the very least, my post.

(I do wish I hadn’t used the word “absolutely,” though. So it goes).

UPDATE: Please note this follow up from Larry Derfner at +972, in which he says: “I saw part of the Facebook discussion that [Ali] Abunimah [to whom I linked above] evidently referred to, and from what I saw, his description was right – but it’s not the group Berlin says she meant. She said the smaller group has been together for nearly a year,” which is referred to later in a Free Gaza statement as “a small and secret Facebook group, 37 members strong, consisting of a very diverse set of people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and opinions.”

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6 Comments

  1. chingona

     /  October 6, 2012

    I had a gut feeling this was going to turn out this way, that you were going to be forced to walk things back but that your initial take would be closer to the truth. And by saying that, I don’t mean that you should have done anything differently. At each moment, you are working with the best information you have. I mean only that you are in a difficult position in a difficult business. My sympathies. And this too shall pass.

    Reply
    • My real issue lies in the fact that SO MANY people in the commentary and/or Middle East biz write from their guts about what they guess to be true, without verifiable facts to hand. If she had issued that statement 24 hours earlier, I would have written something calling on her to recognize why people were angry, and concluding that even if it’s only an impression, the impression that Palestinian activists are anti-Semites doesn’t help anyone, least of all Palestinians — and that would have been enough. I don’t need a smoking gun to make the larger point somewhat indirectly.

      But given that the statement came out literally as I was writing what amounted to a defense of my original post, I just couldn’t ignore it. A very, very basic fact had changed, and I felt I needed to address that fact. So far, I’ve been accused of “drinking the Kool Aid,” and “defending anti-Semitism,” neither of which I did. I just said “I thought ABC what a fact. This tells me that ABC is not a fact.”

      I, too, am not surprised to hear indications that this FB group is not some innocent gathering – but at the same time, right now we’re going on someone else’s word: “I’ve seen the evidence. Trust me, it’s bad.”

      Now, I don’t think Abunimah is likely to lie about that, but again, here we are going on someone’s assurances, rather than, you know: Verifiable facts. I like to verify as much as I can.

      Reply
    • PS See this, written by Larry Derfner on +972 about Abunimah’s report re: the Facebook group: “I saw part of the Facebook discussion that Abunimah evidently referred to, and from what I saw, his description was right – but it’s not the group Berlin says she meant. She said the smaller group has been together for nearly a year”

      http://972mag.com/head-of-free-gaza-movement-anti-semitic-video-in-question-is-disgusting/57188/

      So, yeah. All I know that I know is that she said thing A, which could only be interpreted one way in the absence of additional information, and then she said thing B, which provided that additional information.

      Reply
  2. What is verifiable is that the Free Gaza Movement, on its site, openly boasts of support it receives from Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamed. A man who has publicly stated his regret that the Holocaust failed to kill all Jews. Berlin’s postings are entirely in keeping with this clear record of antisemitism. Yet to you, this org deserves every benefit of the doubt. Astonishing.

    Reply
  3. Greta Berlin non-Grata now says, the video is ”disgusting” ….
    The video is really disgusting. And that’s why Greta Berlin wanted it shared with her anti-Jewish groupies ….—–Wow! Wow, wow! She said she didn’t watch it before sharing it. I don’t think she would have done it after sharing it: she was (she claims …) heading for the airport and had for hours no chance to do so. And we know that the shitstorm was already waiting for her to land… Therefore she was too busy to wipe out not only the download link, but also all other communication that took place based on her video offering in the group(s) she was feeding with Katyn and “Zionist-Jewish managed concentration and extermination camps” ….Thus the question is: How did she discover that Mullin’s video was DISGUSTING? And if it was disgusting, why did she disseminate it among a small (she says: 39) group of loyal anti-Diaspora Jewish and Jewish-Israeli followers? The answer? She already knew prior to downloading and sharing it why it was worht doing it: because it backed her own views on Jews and Zionism …

    Reply
  4. Emily, please let me thank you for your honesty, openness and clarity. You are a real journalist prof, unfortunately Greta (on-Grata) is a propaganda and media marketing professional, too, who best knows how to manipulate journalists, especially those with fundamental positions not so far away of her officially promoted ones.
    Chapeau, lady, I’m impressed
    Kind regards,
    Robert

    Reply

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