Friday, January 30, 2015

Antisemitism at ALA Midwinter

Antisemitism at ALA Midwinter (link)?  Yes.  Not all of the American Library Association [ALA], just a few like University of Illinois professor emeritus Al Kagan (link).

To make a long story short, ALA Council (link) member Al Kagan is leading an effort to convince ALA to pass a resolution to divest ALA from certain American corporations such as Caterpillar (link).  Why?  Because Caterpillar products are used by the Israeli Defense Forces (link) [IDF] to defend Israel from terrorists and Al Kagan is a member of the BDS movement (link) that commits economic jihad against Israel and the United States.

As Al Kagan put it, "Caterpillar Inc. sells heavy equipment used by the Israeli government to demolish Palestinian homes and agricultural lands, as well as to build illegal Israeli settlements...."  Never mind the terror tunnels (link) and the beheadings (link) that Israel and the rest of the world including parts of the Muslim world are defending against, right?

Librarians are not happy with the way Al Kagan seeks to use ALA for his own promotion of antisemitism.  For example:

Al Kagan is known to be way out there, like when he called ALA's top icon Judith Krug a racist (link).

He even has a history of using ALA Council to perpetuate his antisemitism (link).  "Rory Litwin allowed Library Juice to be used by Al Kagan, a Library Administration professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana, where he is active in the anti-Israel divestment campaign (link)."

For ALA's history of antisemitism generally, see Librarians for Fairness (link) and "Librarians for Terror (link)," by Lee Kaplan,, 24 August 2004.

Anti-Semite Al Kagan (link)
But Al Kagan's latest move is to attack a Jewish librarian who dared to speak up against his antisemitism.  Free speech only goes so far for certain free speech ALA Councilors/professors.  And his attack was done with flat out deception.  Indeed that blatant deception is what motivated me to write about his use of ALA Midwinter to promote his antisemitism again, as he used ALA in the past.  And notice he could care less that she feels his resolution is antisemitic.

He mocks the Jewish librarian for mentioning the IDF.  He says is was "not even remotely included" in his antisemitic resolution.  True he didn't mention the word IDF.  Yet he wants ALA to dump Caterpillar stock—because its products are used by the IDF, the "Israeli government" as he put it.  So the IDF is a direct target of Al Kagan, yet he hides this by saying the IDF is "not even remotely included," just so he can fool others into using ALA to promote his Jew hatred.  If you have to hide your antisemitism by attacking a Jewish librarian with flat out false claims, you obviously know there's no legitimate basis for whatever it is you're promoting so you need to turn to ad hominem argument.  And being Jewish is no defense to being an anti-semite.

Okay.  That's my opinion.  Here are relevant excerpts of the emails that support my assertions that there's antisemitism at ALA Midwinter, bold emphasis mine, and other librarians are saying it as well, as shown below.  See if you agree:

Al Kagan
Jan 28, 2015


The SRRT International Responsibilities Task Force sent the following 2 resolutions to the Resolutions Committee yesterday.  We look forward to discussing them in Chicago.

Al Kagan
SRRT Councilor

African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration Emeritus
University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign

Resolution on ALA Divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions

Whereas in its “Core Values of Librarianship” the American Library Association (ALA) “recognizes its broad social responsibilities,” defined “in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society; support for efforts to help inform and educate the people of the United States on these problems and to encourage them to examine the many views on and the facts regarding each problem; and the willingness of ALA to take a position on current critical issues with the relationship to libraries and library service set forth in the position statement” (ALA Policy Manual A1.1);

Whereas the  International Court of Justice; the European Union; the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the UN Security Council, the UN Economic and Social Council, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Council; Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch; and the International Committee of the Red Cross have condemned the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the destruction of Palestinian homes and property, and the construction of a separation barrier in Palestinian territory as violations of international law and as obstacles to economic and social development and the attainment of peace and justice in the Middle East;

Whereas Caterpillar Inc. sells heavy equipment used by the Israeli government to demolish Palestinian homes and agricultural lands, as well as to build illegal Israeli settlements on that land and roads solely used by illegal Israeli settlers; and Caterpillar Inc. helps to construct the Separation Barrier extending across the 1967 "Green Line" into the East Jerusalem and the West Bank;

Whereas Hewlett-Packard (HP) provides hardware and serves as a contractor to the Israeli Navy to manage all Information Technology (IT) including its operational communications, logistics, and planning such as the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip; HP, through its ownership of Electronic Data Systems, sells Israel the electronic biometric identification scanning equipment to monitor the movement of all 2.4 million Palestinians, including equipment for the mandatory biometric scanning required for getting through checkpoints to jobs, hospitals, food and other daily needs; and HP also provides communications technology to the Israeli army;

Whereas Motorola Solutions Inc. has been involved with selling wide-area surveillance systems for installation in the illegal Israeli settlements and a communications system known as "Mountain Rose" to the Israeli government, which uses it for military communications, as well as rugged cell phones used by the Occupation forces in the Palestinian Territories;

Whereas for these reasons the United Nations Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has called for a boycott of Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions Inc.;

Whereas in June 2014 the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), motivated by these concerns, voted to divest its holdings in Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions Inc.;

Whereas in the 1980s the American Library Association joined in the international divestment campaign against South African apartheid as a tool for non-violent political change;

Whereas in 1994 the ALA Council voted to endorse the 10-point South African Council of Churches Code of Conduct for Businesses Operating in South Africa, as guidance on investment decisions for the ALA Endowment Trustees concerning corporate policies on equal opportunity, training and education, workers’ rights, working and living conditions, job creation and security, community relations, consumer protection, environmental protection, and empowerment of black businesses; and

Whereas the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) call for the incorporation of environmental, social, and corporate governance issues into investment ownership policies and practices; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Council of the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of the members of ALA,

(1) directs ALA to divest itself of any holdings in Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions Inc.; and

(2) declares that it will not invest in these companies until ALA Council is fully satisfied that product sales and services by these companies are no longer complicit in:
  a. constructing and providing security for illegal Israeli settlements;
  b. constructing and maintaining walls and fences that illegally encroach upon Palestinian lands;
  c. managing checkpoints that dehumanize Palestinians and cut off innocent civilians from their property and natural resources; and
  d. contributing to and profiting from the military occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975

Seconder: Jane Glasby, Councilor-at-Large, 510-206-8614

Audrey Barbakoff
Jan 28, 2015
to ALA

I am a new Councilor and this is my first post to this listserv, so please forgive me if I’m misunderstanding anything here.  I appreciate learning from all of you!
Such resolutions would have broad, far-reaching meaning with impacts well beyond the nuances of this particular conflict and region.  By focusing only on the destruction of Palestinian libraries, rather than the many cultural institutions threatened around the world; by singling out one country for divestment while we continue to financially support atrocities in other places; and by calling out Israel specifically when our usual policy is to avoid focusing on individual cases; we miss many important and powerful opportunities to be socially conscious.  We deny ourselves future access to a resolution which could be applied to protest social ills in many situations.  We make the conversation about whether or not ALA is an anti-Semitic organization, instead of about ALA and SRRT’s ability to be a force for social justice.
Audrey Barbakoff

Al Kagan
Jan 29, 2015


As you know by now, there is a national campaign going on against the 2 SRRT resolutions with the help of media consultants.  As I stated in my previous message, we expected a sophisticated national campaign against the resolutions.  I am getting messages from people who are very not likely not librarians or members of ALA.

What surprises me is that this campaign is much less sophisticated than we expected.  Many of the messages show that the senders have not even read the resolutions.  Many of the messages refer to language that is not remotely included, and one recent message referred to 4 separate resolutions on various topics.  The one below really takes the cake.  For those who don't know, the IDF is the Israeli Defense Force, that is the Israeli military.

I look forward to debating the resolutions on their merits as informed by ALA core values.

Al Kagan
SRRT Councilor

African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration Emeritus
University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign

Begin forwarded message:

[Name elided]
Jan 29, 2015
to Al Kagan

Subject: ALA initiative

This initiative against the IDF is unconscionable.  It is antisemitic in the extreme.  It must not go forward.

[Name elided], member of AJL [Association of Jewish Libraries (link)]


Apparently, having the opinion someone is an antisemite based statements by others and his own statements made for over a decade is known as an "attack."  I "attacked" no one.  I reported, there's a big difference there, on the sustained antisemitism and use of ALA resources by one ALA Council member, and provided evidence both past and present.

That said, Daniel Cornwall is clearly worried that my accurately reporting what he said may have an effect on his career similar to how Chrissie Hynde reportedly (but not in reality) felt about Rush Limbaugh using the Pretenders song "Our City Was Gone" as his radio show's theme song.

The only thing I said to which Daniel Cornwall objects is, "Librarians are not happy with the way Al Kagan seeks to use ALA for his own promotion of antisemitism."  Tell, am I wrong, are they happy?  As Mr. Cornwall said himself in response to me, and I agree completely:
Instead we're potentially giving a lot of time to discussing divisive issues overseas at a time when I don't personally feel we're giving enough attention to what is going on in our back yard. That's all my tweets were meant to convey.
So basically, legitimate business of the American Library Association is being ignored while Al Kagan persists in his "divisive issues overseas" and his using ALA as his own hammer.  Well ALA should not be Al Kagan's hammer.  And all I said was "Librarians are not happy with the way Al Kagan seeks to use ALA for his own promotion of antisemitism," just another side of the same coin of what Daniel said.

And ALA Councilors are still discussing the obvious efforts of Al Kagan.  One just said, "These are tough issues, and unlike Councilor Kagen, I welcome perspectives from the broader world, don't see them as part of an organized conspiracy, and will consider, embrace, dismiss them on the merits that I see in each one."

I am 100% certain I reported accurately, and this latest evidence only confirms it further.

Daniel Cornwall is likely well aware that I am watching and reporting because, in true self-arrogated free speech advocate fashion, he wrote, "I would also like to ask that we refrain from calling each other conspiracy theorists or other names on list.  Please take that offline."

He misses that is was the antisemite himself who made the conspiracy theory claim: "As you know by now, there is a national campaign going on against the 2 SRRT resolutions with the help of media consultants."  Those Jews controlling the media again, I suppose.

You be the judge on what Daniel Cornwall wrote about me:


Apparently, antisemitism is par for the course for ALA:

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