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ANNA BALTZER Printer Friendly Page

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  • Frequent speaker at events sponsored by the Muslim Students Association, the Muslim Student Union, and other "pro-Palestinian" groups
  • Author of Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories
  • Apologist for Palestinian terrorism
  • Member of the Women’s Peace Service
  • Has worked with the International Solidarity Movement

Born in 1979, Anna Baltzer is a Jewish American whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors. A graduate of Columbia University, she characterizes the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza as victims of Israeli oppression, brutality, and human rights abuses. She disseminates this message via her website, Anna Baltzer: Witness in Palestine. Moreover, she speaks frequently to “pro-Palestinian” organizations all over the United States (and occasionally abroad), and is especially popular with the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Student Union.

Baltzer has worked with both the International Solidarity Movement and the International Women's Peace Service (IWPS). The West Bank-based IWPS, which supports “acts of nonviolent resistance to end [Israel’s] brutal and illegal military Occupation,” is a communist organization that grew out of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

On her speaking tours, Baltzer promotes her book, Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories, which is a compilation of pictures from Gaza that purportedly give evidence of Israelis mistreating Palestinians. She often likens the current Palestinian "struggle" to that of American blacks during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Adamantly opposed to Israel’s existence as an independent “Jewish state,” Baltzer favors a “one state solution” where Jews would be a minority surrounded by Arabs sympathetic to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In an article she penned in March 2007, Baltzer condemned “the so-called ‘Land of Israel’” for practicing “ethnic discrimination” in many forms. She added:

“I know what Israel will say: this is only self-defense. On some level this is correct: if Israel desires control the territory that it has for more than two-thirds of its history, and to remain the state exclusively of the Jewish people, and to be democratic as well, it must find a way to create a Jewish majority on a strip of land in which the majority of inhabitants are not Jewish. There are only so many possible solutions: there's forced mass transfer ... there's mass imprisonment (10,000 plus Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails as I write), there's genocide ... or there is apartheid.”

“Apartheid and segregation,” Baltzer concluded, “failed in South Africa and the United States and they will fail in Israel and Palestine. Ethnocentric nationalism failed in Nazi Germany and it will fail in Zionist Israel. But … [w]e cannot wait for things to get worse. The ethnic cleansing and apartheid have gone on long enough.”

In August 2007, Baltzer was the featured speaker at a Sabeel-sponsored conference in Berkeley, California. Claiming that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was rooted in a dispute over land rather than religion, she explained that Muslim Arabs do not hate Jews per se, but only resent that the latter have stolen their real estate. She also denounced the security fence (which she dubs the “Apartheid Wall”) that Israel had erected in the West Bank to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from murdering Israeli civilians. She made no mention of the persistent terrorism that had convinced the Israeli government that a fence was necessary.

In a January 2008 blog post, Baltzer said that the Palestinians’ use of terror tactics was necessary because Israel had denied them the right to exercise any political power within the framework of legitmate government. She wrote:

“… In fact, just about any action taken unilaterally for Palestinian liberation is portrayed as [extreme]. Martin Luther King was also called an ‘extremist,’ and eventually [he] embraced the word, calling on others to join him in creative extremism. Criticism of the status quo will always be dismissed as ideological or extreme, and that's what makes challenging power structures so uncomfortable.… But inconvenience and discomfort are a small price to pay for justice. Remember that prophets have always been scorned in their own time.”

In May 2008 Baltzer spoke to the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine, where she again denounced the “Apartheid Wall” but never once mentioned the epidemic of suicide bombings that had necessitated its creation. When a student attendee asked Baltzer to comment on those suicide bombings, she replied that while such acts were certainly abominable, they needed to be understood in context; that is, one could hardly expect the Palestinians to act non-violently in the face of their suffering. Baltzer also called for divestment from Israel (and, to some extent, from the U.S.) as a means of showing support for the Palestinian cause.

Baltzer maintains a close working relationship with Amnesty International, Global Exchange, the American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, Wheels of Justice, and Activist San Diego. She has written articles for the websites Uruknet and Electronic Intifada.



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