Setting the Record Straight

Jimmy Carter revealed his anti-Israel bias in his mendacious book “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid”, while others do the same by promoting Israel Apartheid Week on college campuses nationwide. In a recent letter (“Simply Amazing!” March 28), Barry Hashem cast his lot with this sordid crowd. Not content to relate his anti-Israel views in his own words, he instead resorts to a serial recitation of deliberately false and misleading quotations, inapt comparisons and gross distortions of remarks I made in my recent letter (“Two States Not Best Option,” March 21).

To set the record straight, my letter focused on the concepts of “secure, recognized and defensible borders” for Israel and “autonomy” for the Palestinians. These concepts did not originate with me or ZOA. Rather, they are practical negotiation parameters specifically set forth in landmark U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and the 1979 Camp David Peace Accord, respectively. Barry Hashem avoids all of these key points in his scurrilous attempt to redraft my letter (apparently in order to malign the Zionist Organization of America — one of the oldest and most respected Jewish organizations in America today).

I am astounded that the JT would choose to print a letter which has no place in the realm of civil discourse.

Marc Caroff
President, Louis D. Brandeis Chapter
Zionist Organization of America
Silver Spring


  1. Saul Edelman says

    Second verse, same as the first.
    Initially, it was Ada Grodzinsky (Your Say, March 27); now it is Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) official Marc Caroff :

    Once and for all, people, cease and desist from setting up straw men and distorting what others say and putting words into their mouths. An epithet is not an argument. Stop the playground name-calling and character assassination.

    I read Barry Hashem’s letter (Your Say, March 28). Talk about “inapt comparisons”: contrary to Caroff, Hashem has about as much in common with Jimmy Carter as Ben Cardin has in common with Ben Carson. Hashem’s stance is not “anti-Israel,” but, like most American Jews, he is opposed to those Jabotinsky-type hardline elements in Israel and the ZOA, who- in the words (“Back to the Drawing Board,” April 10) of none other than Itamar Rabinovich, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States and president of the Israel Institute -“would like to see a collapse of the negotiations and a perpetuation of the status quo.”

    Secondly, as to the reputation and credibility of the ZOA which Washingtonian Caroff touts, we Baltimoreans know better, from bitter first-hand experience at the receiving end of underhanded tactics- just ask Jim Schiller and the founders of the Baltimore Zionist District! Along these lines, readers of the JT should consult the November 9, 2012 JT editorial “Million-dollar Question,” along with the follow-up letters thereto of November 23.

  2. B. Hashem says

    The above smear-job by the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Marc Caroff is a prime illustration, in the words of Charles Krauthammer (“Thought Police on Patrol,” Washington POST, April 11), of “ideological agitation- no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition… (in which) opponents are to be…marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally.”

    Judge (!) Caroff defames me by branding me as being ‘anti-Israel” because- like the U.S. State Department, Israeli President Peres, and, belatedly, even current Israeli PM Netanyahu- I support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio. But that, unfortunately, is what happens when you define “pro-Israel” as identical to knee-jerk support of hardline, pro-settler, uber-Likud “Greater Israel” policies.

    Actually, for the ZOA, I think my real ‘sin’ was in invoking the name of Nelson Mandela- a strong, black leader for whom the ZOA (and especially its mediatropic, cisgender national president, Morton Klein) has always had nothing but hostility and disdain, even in death. For while the world- from Hollywood to Harlem, from Beijing to Barcelona, including Netanyahu and Peres as well as South African Jewry- may have eulogized Madiba as a champion of freedom, and the visionary personification of magnanimity and reconciliation, the ZOA has not. Quite the contrary. Indeed, it long targeted Mandela for special opprobrium, usually in support and defense of right-wing Israeli government close ties with the apartheid regime of South Africa.

    Caroff is “astounded that the JT would print such a letter (mine!) which has no place in civil discourse.” Of course. Because the ZOA’s bullying mindset is, in Krauthammer’s succinct language,“Closed to debate. Open only to intimidated acquiescence.”

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