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Posted Sunday, April 13, 2003

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shuttle helmetIrish best-selling author Gordon Thomas discovers the ADL is preventing his books from being sold at bookstores


By Gordon Thomas


THE paragraph was short and based on information from NASA and the Israeli's Space Agency. It dealt with the role of Israeli astronaut, Ilon Ramon, one of the crew of the ill-fated Columbia shuttle.

This is what I wrote in that paragraph:

"Astronaut Ilon Ramon was conducting secret experiments on the Columbia to discover new ways to beat Saddam's threat to use biological and chemical weapons against Israel. For most of his 16 days on board the Columbia, he had been using cameras linked directly to the Israeli Space Agency to study desert dust and wind-drifts emanating from the deserts of Iraq."

In a splurge of rage, the New York based Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, through its "Anti-Semitism-International" -- a newsletter rant on the Internet -- accused me of being an "anti-Israel author", and one of those who used "the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster for their own purposes, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and Israel bashers promoting warped conspiracy theories".

Abraham H Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League's National Director even managed to include me in his all-sweeping diatribe that "even in times of tragedy for the American people, the anti-Semites and hatemongers never let up".

There is much, much more, of this demented hysteria in Anti-Semitism-International.


IN OVER 50 years of being a published writer, I have never met such a vicious smear. It's all the more incredible for when I first reported from Israel, since the Suez Crisis of 1956, I have been repeatedly praised for my balanced reporting about that country.

I co-authored the Academy Award multi-nominated "Voyage of the Damned", a saga of Jewish courage. I arranged for the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC to receive all the research material on this saga. I have lectured widely to Israeli congregations about the pernicious anti-Semitism now rife. I write for a UK newspaper, the Sunday Express, owned by a powerful Jew. I have a huge network of Jewish correspondents and contacts, many of them highly placed in Israel. Would all these good people continue to help me if they thought I was "anti-Israel" or anti-Semitic?

That is what makes outlandish, vicious and dangerous labelling by the League so serious, because if they can label me an anti-Semite, then who else can they damage at the whim of the likes of Mr Foxman? People who cannot reply to their ridiculous accusations.

Website note: Abraham Foxman, wealthy and controversial chief of the Anti Defamation League, likes to refer to himself as a "Holocaust survivor." As a biography on this website shows, he was not even born when Hitler invaded his native Poland, and he was looked after by Polish Catholics throughout the war; his parents also "survived".

The reality is that, what it espouses to defend -- free speech -- the League sets out to stifle it. I had asked them to print a simple apology. My request was ignored. Hence this article. It will, as usual, be widely circulated.

It is time that somebody stood up to the bully-boy tactics of the Anti-Defamation League. It is rich and powerful and operates from its exclusive address at 823 United Nations Plaza [New York, NY 10017, USA]. It has been around a long time, since 1913. Its stated aim is "fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudices and bigotry".

Noble aims. No one can criticise them. But even so much as dare to ask for the right of reply in their "Anti-Semitism International" -- as I did over its offensive linking of my name with anti-Semitism -- and you are brushed aside.

When I protested, I received a somewhat bizarre email from the League's "Corporate Counsel", Jill Kahn Meltzer.

She is, of course, a lawyer. And the truth does not always sit easy with attorneys -- whoever they are. She writes:

"ADL has not accused you of anti-Semitism. As the press release and the story notes, the conspiracy theories about the shuttle have been circulated by anti-Semites."

I wrote the story, and it has been clearly linked as part of the League's attack on anti-Semites. The truth is that in doing so the League has defamed me -- because there's nothing in my story that can be remotely called anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli.

But there is more from Ms Meltzer.

"While you are within your rights to criticise Israel and theorise about nefarious missions and practices it engages in, it is ADL's right to comment on those writings."

Hold it right there, Ms Meltzer. Where is there any criticism about "nefarious missions and practices" in the paragraphs used in Anti-Semitism-International to brand me as an "anti-Semite" and "anti-Israel"?

GoebbelsComment is fair. But to use the language your organisation chose is -- dare I say it -- more in keeping with the smear tactics we all abhorred: those of Joseph Goebbels (left) and his fellow Nazis.

I suppose saying that makes me pro-Nazi in the eyes of the League!

For some time now I have been aware of the ways the League pounced on those less rich and powerful. It has its followers in all levels of the media: in publishing, in radio and in television.

Others who work in those areas have told me of their fear of the League. How it can black-list a book, mobilise an onslaught against a columnist, use its powerful connections in Washington to crush opposition.

But until recently, I had no idea just how powerful it could be. The first hint came when I published "Seeds of Fire" (Dandelion Books), a non-fiction book which dealt with the relationship between Israel and China and the role of Mossad in the United States. The book drew favourable reviews from distinguished critics. Carol Adler, my feisty publisher based in Phoenix Arizona, felt optimistic that the book would continue to sell in big numbers.

But suddenly, though she could not prove it, she felt the heat. Barnes & Noble, America's largest bookseller, withdrew its support for the book. Why? Because it had just announced it was going to collaborate with the stated aims of the League.

Seeds of Fire became among the first victims of what I regard as a pogrom against the truth. Carol Adler had lined up a major promotion to build upon the reviews. Suddenly she found that radio and TV appearances were cancelled on national shows.

Now what makes this doubly disturbing is that Seeds of Fire was preceded by another book of mine, "Gideon's Spies". Published by St Martin's Press (New York), it is a detailed account of Mossad [the Israeli secret service] It became a successful documentary for Britain's Channel-4. It has been published, so far, in 55 countries. It is a book that carries the imprimatur of Meir Amit, the former director-general of Mossad. He states: "Thomas tells it like it was -- like it is". The book's jacket is peppered with similar accolades.

I do not know at what stage the League became aware of it, but aware they did become. And, despite Mr Amit's unstinted praise, League hatchetmen in the media set to work. The normal standards of reviewing were shunted aside; the charge was that I was an anti-Semite for daring to have shown that Mossad was less than infallible!

So the way was paved for the assault on Seeds of Fire. It is still selling on the Internet -- though Carol Adler has indicated she is still having difficulties in collecting my royalties!

But still the League was not satisfied. Last year, I co-published (with Martin Dillon) "Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy" (Carroll & Graf, New York).

Maxwell, a media tycoon and crook on a grand scale, as well as being a Mossad "asset" was a staunch supporter of the League.

The result was that the League mounted a disgraceful attempt to bury the book.

Newspapers that support the League -- The New York Times among them -- either refused to review the book or used it, yes, you've got it, to accuse Dillon and myself of anti-Semitism. When we protested about one such scabrous attack in The Washington Post, it refused to publish our letter. When we challenged Alan Dershowitz -- the lawyer who helped to defend O J Simpson -- on misreporting the facts in his "review", we were again refused the right of reply.

That said, I must also add that The Times of London, Britain's Daily Mail and Daily Mirror showed they will stand up to the League by devoting considerable space to the book. So far, the book is in its sixth UK printing and doing well in the US.

But what I complain of about the League is this. No matter how favourably I have handled Israel in the past, the slightest criticism brings down a garbage-can of attacks in its newsletter.

In these dangerous times, their Anti-Semitism-International commits what Jews call a blood libel by linking my name and writings with the foul words of Abu Hamza al-Masri, an Islamic Fundamentalist.

If it is to continue to make such irresponsible links, then it will demean its aims even further.

There is only one way to make the League know how my hundreds of thousands of readers feel about their baseless accusations.

It is to make your view known. Why not spare a moment and sent an email to and tell us if she responds. If you feel like calling her, here is the number in the USA: (212) 885 7734. Of if you care to fax her, the number is (212) 953 9691. But try and spare the time to express your feelings.

It will be another step in stopping the smears and misrepresentations that are not needed in these troubled times.


on this website...

How the ADL stopped St Martins Press from publishing David Irving's "Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich" (which was also listed as Doubleday's "book of the month")
Muslim group files move to disbar Alan Dershowitz for advocating Mossad torture

Dossier on the Anti-Defamation League

Dossier on the origins of global anti-Semitism

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