On Feb. 15, over 20 UR students participated in a New York City anti-war rally. The Campus Times later reported that the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism coalition is calling for an “emergency convergence on the White House” on March 15. As UR students board buses to Washington, they can look forward to marching shoulder-to-shoulder with Stalinists, anti-Semites and those that ardently support global terrorism.
An historical examination of ANSWER exposes the backbone of the current anti-war movement. In an especially poignant news story in “LA Weekly,” David Corn describes ANSWER as a sect of the Soviet World Workers Party. ANSWER was formed specifically to support the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, in which 20,000 marchers for democracy were murdered. Today, international ANSWER is effectively a front for the WWP, run out of Washington by WWP officials.
Supporting tyrannical dictatorships was not a passing Cold War fad for the WWP. Stephen Schwartz of Front Page Magazine.com has documented a history of dubious endorsements by monitoring the WWP and its political rag, “Worker’s World.” In 1989, the WWP issued a statement approving the horrific massacre of Chinese protestors by armed forces in Tiananmen Square.
International ANSWER indiscriminately approves of any leader that brutally curbs civil rights and seizes private property. While the civilized world denounces Kim Jong Il’s oppressive North Korean dictatorship, ANSWER gushes in adoration. Deidre Griswold of “Worker’s World” writes, “Koreans today are celebrating the continuity of leadership represented by unity around Kim Jong Il, who is [sic] pledged to follow the course of national independence and socialist construction charted by Kim Il Sung.” It is doubtful that any North Koreans would be able to muster the strength to celebrate the authoritarian rule of Kim Jong Il, as their stomachs atrophy from chronic emptiness.
ANSWER also supports Saddam Hussein and his thugs. In a statement of moronic denial, a recent Workers World editorial declared, “Iraq has done absolutely nothing wrong.” Regardless of one’s opinions vis–vis military action to halt Hussein’s belligerence and development of weapons of mass destruction, undoubtedly International ANSWER lives in an anti-American fantasyland of conscious oblivion. Schwartz sardonically notes, “these Stalinist rodents see no inconsistency in acclaiming Saddam, who claims the title ‘sword of Islam,’ and Milosevic, whose terror took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Balkan Muslims.”
It is especially disturbing that UR students would participate in protests organized by a virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organization like the ANSWER coalition. Following the Feb. 15 march, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement of concern over ANSWER’s consistent inflammatory rhetoric. International ANSWER organized last year’s largest anti-Israel rally in Washington on April 20, 2002. This rally served as a forum to support violence and praise terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Fanning the flames of hatred, ANSWER printed and distributed thousands of anti-Israel posters and placards accusing Israel of “war crimes” and comparing Ariel Sharon to Hitler. These same hate materials were distributed again when UR students marched in ANSWER’s rally.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of “Tikkun Magazine,” the self-described “largest-circulation liberal Jewish magazine in the world,” described in the “Wall Street Journal” how he was forbidden from speaking at the Feb. 16 San Francisco anti-war rally. Naively, Lerner recounted, “My sin was publicly criticizing the way that ANSWER, one of the four groups sponsoring the San Francisco demonstration, has used the anti-war demonstrations to put forward anti-Israel propaganda. An ANSWER spokesperson said that they didn’t want a ‘pro-Israel’ speaker at their rally.” ANSWER’s anti-Semitism is clear.
Amir Taheri, editor of the Paris-based “Politique Internationale,” perceptively notes that most protestors marching across the globe in the recent anti-war effort are, “citizens who, prompted by idealism or boredom, are always prepared to play the role of ‘useful idiots,’ as Lenin used to call them.”
America has a long and proud history of civil disobedience, however it is the responsibility of any protester to know the vanguard under which they march. This information can be found at www.inter- nationalanswer.org/endorsers. Hopefully, UR’s brightest students participate in these marches out of ignorance rather than malign affirmation for ANSWER and its repugnant associations.
Katz is a senior and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.