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Lee Kaplan? Who is that???

Lee Kaplan, Dafka Exposed -- Updated Edition
www.indybay.org/news/2005/01/1718409.php

By Will Wallace
Jan. 31, 2005

Santa Cruz Community Television has something unexpected airing on one of its stations. Recently, Club Cruz, a locally produced television show, has been used as a platform for virtual infomercials for an extremist group with a record of harassing peace advocates.

The show, produced by Santa Cruz resident Becky Johnson, has featured on several occasions a man named Lee Kaplan, self-proclaimed founder and director of the extreme Zionist group, Dafka. During the episodes, Kaplan dominated the half-hour shows with inaccuracies about the Palestinian peace movement, negative stereotypes about Arabs and Islam, and potentially slanderous statements about widely respected groups such as Santa Cruz’s Resource Center for Nonviolence and Berkely’s MidEast Children’s Alliance and individuals involved with them. Intermittently throughout the show, addresses of Kaplan’s websites appeared across the screen and Kaplan invited viewers to visit the websites; he also promoted a book that was for sale on one of the websites. Each episode also featured a disgruntled Arab guest who shared negative opinions about Palestinians and Arabs from a presumed “insider’s? perspective. (One questions the authenticity of such guests, however, since Kaplan brags on his website about disguising himself and passing himself off as an Arab at various peaceful gatherings.)

Ron Holman, Programming Director at Community Television, said that even though some people may disagree with statements Kaplan makes, he is able to appear on their channels via their rules which set up the community stations as resource centers for the public as opposed to a television network model. Holman noted that an individual’s speech could be limited if he was inciting violence.

Though Kaplan didn’t directly call for violence in the episodes, a little fact checking showed that groups he is associated with have been busy hijacking and illegally intruding on peaceful meetings and harassing peace activists.

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There is much more to it....

Lee Kaplan, Dafka Exposed -- Updated Edition
www.indybay.org/news/2005/01/1718409.php
 


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