Tell Us What You Really Think, Vincent Browne

By Elke Weiss, November 9, 2012

If you haven’t heard Vincent Browne’s inflammatory comments, check them out here.

Dear Vincent Browne,

As a young journalist, I look to people like you to be my models of proper behavior.  It is the job of a journalist to speak truth to power, to scrutinize every word they say, and to hold them accountable.

When you called Israel a cancer, we held you accountable for it. Cancer is not a neutral term: it’s a horrifying and painful disease whose treatment cannot be halted until the disease is utterly destroyed.  You claimed your words were “infelicitous” and that though Israel may be a cancer that “didn’t mean it should be eliminated.”  You wouldn’t tolerate backtracking like that from any other authority figure, so why should we tolerate it? We can only judge you on what you say or do, and you do very little but talk.

You add insult to injury by claiming you refuse to bow to “blackmail” of criticism to retract your views.  It’s cowardly to claim being bullied when facing criticism for your own words.  The accusation of being anti-Semitic is worse than being called a cancer? Who is blackmailing you?  Who is silencing you? When you call Israel a cancer those are fighting words.  You earned your condemnation. What other sovereign country can be called a deadly disease on television without the speaker being censured for hate-speech?

Isn’t it a bit rich to decry being criticized when you yourself say you were only criticizing Israel? This is an opportunity to actually engage in the issue.  You should be relishing the opportunity to present your criticism directly to the Israeli government and have an open debate about your words.

I cannot say whether you are an anti-Semite or not: I do not know your heart. I would like to believe that you are a good person.  I would like to believe that you are someone who wants to see an end to the conflict. We have that in common.

Contact me here at Act for Israel. I am willing to set up an interview with you to discuss your views in depth, and give you a chance to explain yourself, without any threat of blackmail. In fact, I’m even willing to help you prep for it.

If you have questions about Israel, I’m willing to answer them with sources to the best of my abilities or find you people who can answer them.  Your constructive criticism would be a valuable resource and welcome in the discussion to make a better future for the region.

I don’t think Israel is a cancer. I don’t think you are a bigot. I want what we all want, a peaceful solution.

Elke Weiss

Elke Weiss

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