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Leftists Speak Out

(Ed  DAFKA coordinator Becky Johnson sends us some letters recently printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel about Scott Kennedy and his Resoource Center For Non-violence. The center is practuically the Voice Of Palestine. Santa Cruz has become worse than Berkeley in recent years. These letters show however the community has had enough of Kennedy's one-sided support of faciscts and terrorists.)


Read on:



RCNV’s hypocrisy
Dick Vittitow’s letter (July 27) is not the first time that supporters of Scott Kennedy and the Resource Center for Non-Violence have questioned the Sentinel’s policy of printing letters critical of Kennedy. Thankfully, the Sentinel has not been moved by this attempt at censorship. Kennedy’s allies in the Palestinian Authority are not so subtle in their censorship approach: they kill or maim their critics and threaten to do the same to journalists who might be critical. The RCNV would never do this, but they haven’t been particularly outspoken opponents of Palestinian violence either.

Mr. Vittitow and his ilk can continue to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the hypocrisy of the Resource Center. The RCNV has many noble goals and surely does some good work and is supported by many good and caring people. However, their opposition to Israel as a strong, democratic and Jewish state, and their support of one of the most violent and corrupt regimes around should cause one to question their motives and judgment.

Anti-Semitism comes to mind, but of course Kennedy will deny it. Does the RCNV have programs on the occupation of Lebanon by Syria, or the persecution of homosexuals in Arab countries? Do they mention that Israeli Arabs have more freedom and rights than Arabs in any Arab country? Probably not. When the RCNV stops being a propaganda tool against Israel and truly becomes a resource for non-violence, then maybe these types of letters will stop.

Gil Stein


Thanks for the story
Thumbs up to the Sentinel for Christina Teller’s excellent story on the Beach Flats soccer program ("Liga of Their Own," July 19). The story and photos provided a fine morale boost to the players and their parents. Your account of Marciano Cruz’s leadership and the sponsorship of the Resource Center for Nonviolence is also appreciated. There are scores of others — parents, coaches and players in the 22 teams in the adult league — who also deserve credit for making this program a happy and free experience for youngsters from Beach Flats.

One other person who deserves special appreciation is George Ow, whose annual contributions to the Resource Center for Nonviolence help underwrite a significant portion of the soccer program. Thanks also to Zeb Nevins and Brink’s Trophies, who made a significant donation to help cover the cost of the trophies for the championships so that every child received a token of this achievement.

These positive steps help make our community a more peaceful, creative and humane place for all of us. Thanks to the Sentinel for its mention and deepest gratitude to Marciano Cruz, all of the Liga Communidad supporters for their outstanding efforts.



Distortions promoted
I am writing as one of the organizers of the demonstration outside the Nickelodeon Theatre on June 29. We were not protesting the content of the film. Nor were we discouraging its showing. We used the venue as an opportunity to highlight a real concern.

Scott Kennedy and the Resource Center for Nonviolence have promoted a distorted understanding of the history of Israel and Palestine, and have denigrated and offended hundreds of your friends and neighbors in the process. I’ll give you two examples. Last spring, an article came out in the Good Times about a trip Scott led to Israel/Palestine. This article focused on the town of Jenin in the West Bank and implied Israel had massacred 500 Palestinian civilians, a complete fabrication. Also last spring, the RCNV sponsored a talk by Imam Abdul Malik at UCSC, where students were informed that Jews attacked the World Trade Center to discredit Muslims.

There are those who offend because they tell the truth and others won’t hear it. But that’ not what’s happening here. Scott Kennedy and the RCNV have offended because they tell half the truth and present it as the whole. They have offended because they have hidden behind the rubric of nonviolence to champion people who glorify and celebrate violence.

Our efforts to promote a more honest dialogue and a more comprehensive understanding of events in the Middle East are working. Many of the letters I’ve read and the conversations I’ve had of late attest to a real soul searching happening among people who care about liberty, justice and peace. For all.



Check original story
In a story published on June 30 which was focused on allegations of bias on the part of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, the Sentinel printed "When asked if he and the center are being one-sided, Kennedy said, ‘Yes.’ ‘We are pro non-violence,’ he said ..."

I understood that comment, which I immediately recognized was worded poorly, to mean "Yes, we take a position against violence." In other words, Kennedy was trying to reframe the discussion to one about the means of resolving the Israeli-Palestine dispute, rather than take a side between the adversaries. That interpretation is consistent with the criticism I have often heard him direct at officials of both communities.

The paragraph break, however, confuses the matter considerably, and several partisans are using the quotation, truncated after the "yes," to imply something quite different. Given the seriousness of the issue, it is unfortunate that an off-the-cuff response should have been left open to misinterpretation by what looks like careless editing. Would the Sentinel please check the original story and avoid publishing misleading selective quotations, even in the letters column.

Pete Shanks

Santa Cruz