Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mondoweiss Author Rebecca Armstrong Pierce shows her Bias

You might remember Rebecca Armstrong Pierce from her witch hunt  against beloved  UC Santa Cruz teacher (and tireless fighter against anti-Semitism on campus) Tammi Benjamin . You might remember her role in the failed divestment initiative at UC Santa Cruz.  Rebecca, an anti-Israel activist and graduate from UC Santa Cruz.recently published an article at the extremist Mondoweiss site, distorting the experiences of  young participants on a Bluestar trip to Israel.  She's not exactly objective, and she's no journalist.

According to Bluestar, Rebecca Armstrong Pierce:

"was NOT on our trip, did NOT interview anyone on our trip, took participant blog quotes out of context, made broad, unsupported generalizations, and even made up "facts" about funders, program philosophy and trip activities to support her biased allegations against BlueStar's program."

Israel haters lie? Mondoweiss publishes the lies?   Does this still surprise you?

From Bluestar:

Anti-Israel Sites Threatened by BlueStar College Fellows Program. 
 The BlueStar College Fellows leadership program has caught the attention of the Israel haters. Their aggressive, abusive and assertion-laden coverage shows the kind of diatribes our students are facing on campuses and beyond.  BlueStar created our college program to help train student leaders to counter exactly this kind of bullying and bias from here and here.
The other side is clearly threatened by what we are accomplishing in our program.  Now, it is up to you to help us continue our efforts to educate the next generation of Israel leaders and advocates.  New student leaders are waiting for us to secure the funding to admit them to our leadership program...

Students and board agree: Our student participants, who are puzzled by the inaccurate accounts of their trip, agree with BlueStar's board of directors: official responses to close-minded sites like these are a waste of time.  Time and energy are better spent telling the true story of Israel to the far more numerous people who can become our friends.  So, while we will use these articles as educational lessons to strengthen our students' skills and knowledge on how to respond to bullying and media bias both on campus and beyond, BlueStar does NOT encourage you to respond to these sites.

What you should know about BlueStar College Fellows:
During the trip, participants see evidence of Israel's diversity and values, the Jewish people's right to self-determination and historical attachment to the land and just dealings with its neighbors despite legitimate security concerns.  Our goal is to use the frame of journalism to help students develop the knowledge they need to have a more nuanced understanding of Israel, at a minimum.

Participants examine Israel's affirmative case in its conflict with its neighbors.  We reject black-and-white points of view, especially on difficult issues on land and security about which Israelis continue to debate.  Our program goal is not to dehumanize Palestinians, but rather to let participants examine the evidence against specious Palestinian claims that "Israel is an apartheid, illegal state built on land stolen from indigenous Palestinians and given to European Jews as a payoff for the Holocaust."

 Learn more about the Write on for Israel program at Bluestar, and see why Rebecca and her handlers at Mondoweiss feel so threatened by it.

From their website:

Each year, millions of Jewish high school graduates enter college mostly unprepared to deal with potential anti-Israel challenges from peers and faculty.  Our goal is to change that.

Write On For Israel/San Francisco is a unique, challenging, and exciting 1-year Israel education program, open to ALL high school students. Starting in December 2013, you can attend 7 monthly Sunday-seminars in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area, where you will learn from professional journalists, communication experts, Israel educators, political leaders and people with fascinating stories.
Applications for Bluestar's program are currently being accepted  here

Journalism involving nuance. Rejecting black and white analysis. Journalism that actual examines evidence.  One might only imagine if  Rebecca Armstrong Pierce had attended a program like Bluestar, she'd understand why the drivel at Mondoweiss is not journalism.

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