Monday, June 21, 2010

Who is Richard Becker? Thought you should know!


Richard Becker is a member of the national steering committee for the International ANSWER Coalition, and is the Western Region Co-Director of Ramsey Clark's International Action Center (IAC). Becker detests America and has written, "No one in the world … has a worse human rights record than the United States." He has close ties to the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist organization whose founder, Sam Marcy, Becker eulogized upon Marcy's death in 1998. Becker praised Marcy for possessing "the greatest grasp of revolutionary Marxism," and for being "the very embodiment of Leninism."
Becker was a leading Bay Area activist in the protest rallies against the first Gulf War, and he helped organize a January 19, 1991 San Francisco demonstration that reportedly drew 200,000 participants. Following the war, he helped coordinate the International War Crimes Tribunal, which investigated allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the United States before, during, and after the Gulf War.

In 1992 Becker helped initiate the international Peace for Cuba Appeal (IPCA), whose purpose was to end the American embargo of Fidel Castro's Cuba. Since that time, he has been active in the U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravans organized by Pastors for Peace.

In February 1994 Becker traveled to Iraq with an IAC "fact-finding delegation" headed by Ramsey Clark, and he represented the IAC at an international meeting (held in Baghdad) to oppose the United Nations sanctions on Iraq. Soon thereafter, Becker co-produced the video, Blockade: The Silent War Against Iraq, which condemned "the catastrophic effects of the UN sanctions on Iraq."

On that same topic, Becker co-authored the 1996 book The Children Are Dying; he co-produced the 1998 video Genocide by Sanctions; and he was a contributing author to the 1999 book Challenge to Genocide: Let Iraq Live. In January 2000, Becker was co-leader of the third Iraq Sanctions Challenge, a delegation of 51 people from five countries who delivered medicines to Iraq in violation not only of the UN sanctions regime, but also of several U.S. laws and Presidential executive orders.

Becker co-authored the 1998 IAC book NATO in the Balkans and spoke at many teach-ins and forums against the 1999 U.S./NATO war in Yugoslavia.

In February 1998, Becker penned an article titled “U.S. Not Neutral in Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” where he wrote:

[T]he U.S. government provides billions of dollars a year in critical military and economic aid to Israel. Washington has provided Israel with the most deadly high-tech weapons, including nuclear bombs. The United States has blocked innumerable United Nations resolutions condemning Israeli seizures of Arab land, and allowed Israel to ignore the resolutions that have been passed. Contrast this with U.S. threats of all-out war against Iraq for placing any restrictions on UN weapons inspectors. Toward the Palestinians, Washington has displayed the most virulent hostility. U.S. administrations -- Democrat and Republican alike -- have historically opposed the Palestinian people's right to their homeland, from which most Palestinians were expelled to make way for the Israeli state.

Claiming that the U.S. and Israel were "working together to undermine the emergence of a Palestinian state," Becker blamed both countries for "[t]he strangulation of the Palestinian economy," the "huge rise in [Palestinian] unemployment," and "a corresponding decline in [Palestinian] living standards."

In October-November 2000, Becker, who had served on the National Board of the Palestine Solidarity Committee from 1984-1990, led an IAC "fact-finding delegation" to Israel -- to deliver medicine to Palestinian hospitals and to condemn the Israeli "occupation." He accused Israel of conducting unprovoked military assaults against Arab civilians.

During the Israel-Hamas war of July 2006 -- a conflict initiated by Gaza militants’ rocket barrages against Israeli towns and cities, most notably Sderot -- Becker wrote the following:

The intensifying U.S.-backed Israeli assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank is aimed at dismantling the recently elected [Hamas-led] Palestinian National Authority (PNA) government and forcing the Palestinians to accept an Israeli-dictated "peace settlement." The Israeli government is utilizing the capture of one of their occupation troops as the pretext to carry out a multi-faceted attack on both Palestinian governmental institutions and the population as a whole. At least one-third of the PNA cabinet and many members of parliament, mayors and other officials have been imprisoned by Israel. Altogether, more than 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners, all abducted from their homeland, remain behind the walls of Israeli jails.

The operation currently underway has been preceded by several years of economic strangulation, which was turned into a near-complete blockade imposed on Gaza after the January 2006 Palestinian elections.

The victory of the Hamas party in that election was followed immediately by a cut-off in most trade as well as international assistance from the European Union, U.S., Canada and other countries. International assistance became critical due to the deliberate destruction of the Palestinian economy by Israel....

A key element in the U.S.-Israeli strategy inside Palestine is to seek to demoralize the Palestinian people.... Both Tel Aviv and Washington hope that the new Israeli offensive will crush the Palestinian resistance, a key goal of the U.S. and Israel for nearly four decades.

Becker has made numerous national and international media appearances, and has represented the IAC as a speaker at hundreds of campus and community forums in the United States and abroad.

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