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October 24, 2012 7:12 pm

Free Gaza Movement Founder’s Tweet Prompts Response From Supporters

avatar by Gil Lavie / Tazpit News Agency

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Huwaida Arraf and Mairead Maguire on the Free Gaza Movement's ship Spirit of Humanity on 28 June 2009. Photo: wiki commons.

Greta Berlin, the founder of the Free Gaza Movement, published a tweet at the beginning of the month that directly blamed Zionists for the Holocaust. “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews”, Berlin tweeted through the official Twitter feed of the group. A link was posted with the tweet to an anti-Semitic video featuring Eustace Mullins, a conspiracy theorist and anti-Semite who claims the Jews are at war with the Western World. In the video he says that the word “Nazi” is translated to mean “National Socialist” and “Zionist.”

The tweet was later retracted. Berlin stated: “I shared it without watching it. I am sorry that I just sent it forward without looking at it. It won’t happen again,” said the group’s founder in a statement.

One supporter, Larry Derfner, quoting Greta Berlin, believes the post was simply a discussion over the horrors of propaganda: “[the post] came from Greta’s private Facebook page and was shared with a group of people who were discussing propaganda and racism, and this link was an example of the terrible propaganda that could be spewed on websites” he quoted on his blog.

The tweet appears to have led to the resignation of at least one Free Gaza board member, Naomi Klein, a Canadian author and social justice activist. In her own tweet on the matter, she cites leadership challenges as the reason for her resignation.

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  • Neal Hurwitz

    Great is just very very sad and angry… she married a man from Israel and wound up in Saudi Arabia… seems that her personal life got really messed up with the overall situation and she has a daughter… Her hatred of Israel is palpable and overall unacceptable… I feel for her but she needs a life.

    Best, Neal H. Hurwitz, Jewish Zionist in NY NY

    • Neal Hurwitz

      I mean Greta… not Great!… sorry! Neal

  • Annette Hughes

    On the contrary Gene. Ms. Berlin stated she took the video OUT of the larger group of 1000 people to put in her smaller group of 30 people. I’ve checked her explanation as have many others. The screenshot you and so many of the apologists for Israeli behavior have posted, came from the larger group of 1000 people… the group where Ms Berlin accurately stated the video was posted.

    She did not post that video in the 1000 member group. Someone else did whose name is Roger Salisbury. If you had a neuron in your brain you could easily see that, but you apparently want to go along with the people defaming Ms. Berlin

    I’d suggest you read her explanation again and stop counting on people with agendas who are interested in demonizing a woman who has worked for 45 years for justice in Palestine and put her feet on the ground in the occupied territories. Those of us who know her (you obviously do not) find comments like yours above ignorant of the facts. I’d suggest you go check out that screen shot again

    What was the last thing you did for peace? Oh, right, you wrote the comments above.

  • Gene

    Awfully defensive there, Annette. What is your agenda?

    If you believe that Ms. Berlin was unaware of the contents of the video then I have a bridge to sell you. Screenshots of the facebook group she posted it to indicate that it had nothing to do with discussion regarding propaganda. Moreover, if she hadn’t watched the video (as was part of her excuse) then how would she have known that it was disgusting propaganda worth discussing within the group?

    Berlin’s excuse shifted several times and none of them ever made sense to those with a functioning neuron or two.

    The mask is now off. Berlin is a disgusting little bigot whose opinions belong in the rubbish heap. And now even many of her former allies know it.

  • Annette Hughes

    Do any of you every check your facts? Naomi Klein is NOT a board member of Free Gaza. She was on the board of advisers. Greta Berlin did NOT TWEET anything. The comment you ascribe to her above was the title to the video. She did not say anything about the video at all, just wanted to put it in a small group but parked it on the front page of her Facebook profile. She was not aware that the video went to the Free Gaza TWITTER account.

    Nothing was ever said by Greta. She never made any comment. She was interested in talking about the video in a smaller group on Facebook. That is her right to do, unless all of you are on another McCarthy witch hunt.

    Her explanation is clear. What is your agenda?

    • Stephen Ackerman

      This is what Greta Berlin’s own step-daughter has to say about her:

      “Having read about the incident at UCLA I must admit that I was appalled by Ms. Berlin’s behavior, but not at all surprised. I should know, she is after all my ex-stepmother …

      After reading your article, I went on to research some of the links that your site provided and found it rather difficult to comprehend some of the titles that are now associated with Ms. Berlin’s name. The title of “peace activist” is the one I find particularly hypocritical.

      On numerous occasions I heard Greta launch the insults “the god damned Israelis and those f****** Jews” at the dinner table in front of my father (a Jew) and the few Israeli friends and relatives who ventured to visit. Additionally, any rational debate attempted by anyone with an opposing view to Greta’s, was immediately terminated with the responses: “Shut up” or “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” The rebuttal usually presented in screaming form.

      These comments in juxtaposition to her role as “Peace Activist” I find hard to rectify. It prompts me to ask what should be an obvious question; “At what point did terms of hate and bigotry become synonymous with Peace?”

      I was always under the strange impression that the road to peace laid in the arms of those who were tolerant, compassionate, and vehement in their will to understand and to promote understanding. God help us all if this is the role model that we hold up as an embodiment of those ideals!

      Ava E. Berlin”