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Wael M. Ahmed

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By Charley Reese of the Sentinel Staff [From the Sunday, May 25, 1997 edition of the Orlando Sentinel]

Charles Fischbein, now a writer, spent 11 years working for Zionist organizations.

"It took 11 years of work on behalf of Israel and the international Zionist movement before I finally realized that I was supporting a government and movement that was, at the very least, overtly racist and, at its worst, genocidal," he has written.

Strong words from an American whom the Anti-Defamation League dubbed "one of the highest-level defectors from the Zionist executive ranks."

So how did it happen? What caused Fischbein to "see the light?"

He was executive director of the Washington regional office of the Jewish National Fund. He was preparing for a year-long sabbatical in Israel on a MOSHAV, a cooperative farm. He and his wife traveled to the MOSHAV and were received with great hospitality and assured that they would be accepted.

At a party, one of the Israelis asked to see a picture of his children. The picture of David, a half-black, half- Vietnamese boy the Fischbeins had adopted, was the key. The Israeli woman immediately went to the MOSHAV officials, and the Fischbeins were told that David would not be welcomed, despite the fact that he had converted to Judaism. Fischbein said he was told that Israel had enough problems with Arabs and did not wish to deal with blacks. He was told by JNF officials to >forget the sabbatical and to take his leave in the United States.

But he stayed at work, hoping to see some change. In 1982, when Israel invaded Lebanon, the Jewish National Fund, upset by American Jewish criticism of the invasion, ordered its executives to go to Israel and Lebanon. Fischbein said they were met by Menachem > Begin, then prime minister, and told that Israel was upset with Jewish criticism in America and that it was their job to go back and change public opinion and gain support for Israel and its actions in Lebanon.

Fischbein said the executive vice president of the Jewish National Fund of America told them on a tour bus headed to Lebanon that, upon return to the United States, they would be expected to support the Israeli invasion of Lebanon or resign.

Fischbein, after seeing the devastation Israel was wreaking on Lebanon and the people there, came home and bravely resigned.

Then he writes, "I dedicated my life to helping millions of Jews throughout the world learn the truth about the racist and un-Jewish movement that has deceived and manipulated them, while exposing them to the horror and hatred I saw reflected in the eyes of its [Zionism's] Lebanese and Palestinian victims."

This is one of more than two dozen personal stories by people who finally pierced the veil of Zionist propaganda and Israeli mythology. You'll find it in a new book, SEEING THE LIGHT: PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS WITH THE MIDDLE EAST AND ISLAM. It is edited by Richard H. Curtiss and Janet McMahon and published by the American Educational Trust (P.O. Box 53062, Washington, D.C. 20009). >

Many of these stories are of people who accidentally became exposed to the truth.

An American, Eleni Katsoulakis, on her way to church while visiting the Holy Land happened on Israeli soldiers and saw one of them shoot a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in the face and then savagely kick and beat his body. His crime? He had spray-painted the word "Palestine" on a wall. So shocked by this savagery, she began sobbing and was spotted by the Israeli who pointed his gun at her face and screamed at her in Hebrew.

She was barely able to say, "I am an American. I speak English." Screamed the Israeli, "You're a whore! Only American prostitutes sympathize with Palestinians."

She fled, expecting a bullet in the back. Read the book.

See what your taxes subsidize.

* "If you want peace, work for justice." -- Pope Paul VI/Reinhold Niebuhr

* "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke