Colorado College Republican leader mischaracterizes EI

I am writing with reference to the April 13 letter to the editor from Chuck Fogland, chairman of the CSU College Republicans. Mr. Fogland made a number of factually incorrect references to The Electronic Intifada, a Web site I co-founded. I would appreciate you printing this letter to set the record straight.

First, if Mr. Fogland had actually visited our Web site, he would know that the correct URL is He would also know that he is incorrect when he claims that we are “boycotting ‘McHebrew’ (anti-Semitically McDonald’s).”

In fact, we are not boycotting McDonald’s, nor have we called for anyone else to boycott McDonald’s. What we have done is publish a number of articles that expose the fact that McDonald’s subsidiary in Israel has an explicit policy banning its Arab employees from speaking to each other or to customers in Arabic, even though Arabic is — along with Hebrew — an official and native language of Israel. This sort of racist discrimination may be routine and permissible in Israel, but we do not think an American firm espousing American values ought to have any part of it. CSU students who visit our site will be able to read our articles for themselves and see copies of the statements from McDonald’s Corporation in Oakbrook, Ill., and McDonald’s Israel that acknowledge and defend the existence of this outrageous policy.

On one of our graphics, we replaced the word McDonald’s with “McHebrew.” This is a reference to McDonald’s outrageous ban on Arabic. Mr. Fogland’s assertion that this is “anti-Semitic” is unfortunately characteristic of many who want to silence debate about Israel’s policies and U.S. support for them by labeling all criticism and discussion as being racist.

Ali Abunimah

Co-founder, The Electronic Intifada

This letter was published in The Rocky Mountain Collegian on 14 april 2004