Greta K. Berlin (born April 6, 1941) is in media communications and is a volunteer pro-Palestinian activist. She has gained international attention as a spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), which she co-founded.
Berlin was born April 6, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan and received higher education in Illinois where she obtained a BA in speech and English from MacMurray College and an MA in theatre and mass communications from the University of Illinois. She also took several engineering courses when she began teaching engineers.
Upon entering graduate school at the University of Illinois in 1963, Greta met her first husband, who was a Palestinian refugee from Safed. They have a daughter and a son. Her second husband was A. J. Berlin. She founded GKB Associates in 1977, a training and media coaching firm for scientists and engineers wanting to make presentations to media.
Berlin has been an "advocate for justice for the Palestinians since the early 60s." She was motivated to activism in 1967 by the Six-Day War. She believed that "Israel was driving the Palestinians off their land for the second time in 19 years" and she vowed to increase American awareness of the issue. Berlin and her husband started a non-profit charitable organization, Pal Aid International to send medicine and aid to the Palestinians. Berlin told an interviewer that the Internal Revenue Service began auditing her husband's company and that the FBI began questioning them. She alleged that the Jewish Defense League phoned her and she described the caller as saying that "if any passengers were murdered in the airline hijackings that were going on at the time, my children would be killed.” She withdrew from her activism for the sake of her children.
In 2003, after the death of Rachel Corrie who had been working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Berlin joined ISM and went to Palestine, working in Bil’in, Jenin, Ramallah, including in the ISM media office.
In 2006 she co-founded the Free Gaza Movement. and was the major spokesperson for the flotilla involved in the Gaza flotilla raid on May 31, 2010. She continues to criticize Israel's blockade of Gaza, and claims it is unlawful, that it has persisted for 20 years and "was about stealing the natural gas of Gaza."
Greta Berlin calls Israel an "illegal entity" and "a country founded on terrorism" and she believes that Congress is "occupied" by "the Israeli lobby." Berlin belongs to the "Los Angeles Chapter" of Women in Black that according to her own account "essentially believes in a one state solution, the right of return and the fact that there will be no peace in the Middle East until the Palestinians are granted their human rights and their civil rights."[verification needed]
She is the co-author and co-editor of the 2012 book, Freedom Sailors, How We Succeeded in Breaking Israel's Illegal Siege on Gaza in Spite of Ourselves.
Berlin has been accused of being antisemitic following a controversial tweet, originating from her Facebook account, and published under the account of the Free Gaza Movement. The tweet read “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews" and contained a link to a video of that name, a speech by conspiracy theorist Eustace Mullins asserting that Zionists are responsible for the Holocaust and are admirers of Hitler. The Free Gaza Movement later deleted the tweet. Berlin apologized once the post became known to a wider audience. She declared that she had "shared it without watching it," and said that she had implied no endorsement of Mullins' antisemitic views. She said she merely intended to post the video and comment in a private Facebook group where she had been participating in a discussion of similar propaganda. Larry Derfner published a statement by sixteen people stating that "ours is a small and secret Facebook group, 37 members strong" and that the group had been discussing "the role of the Zionist movement during the Holocaust" when Berlin posted her remarks. The statement explained that in this context Greta's post was aimed at highlighting that "anti-Semitic remarks have exaggerated and distorted" the arguments of historians on this topic.
- U.S. Public Records Index, Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Pat McDonnel Twair, Media Pro Greta Berlin Will Show Her Power Point Presentation Anywhere in U.S., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 2004, accessd November 11, 2012. (Also at Questia.com here.
- Jenkins, Logan (June 3, 2010). "Pro-Gaza spokeswoman is familiar to S.D. media". U-T San Diego. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
- Elias F. Harb, Exclusive Intifada Interview with Greta Berlin -Free Gaza Movement, Salem-News, July 13, 2010.
- Book Presentation: Freedom Sailors - Greta Berlin
- Hadjicostis, Menelaos (June 4, 2010). "Californian-born Free Gaza group to continue aid missions despite deadly Israeli raid". Fox News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
- "Interview: 'We Are Not Terrorists,' Gaza Activist Says". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- Kershner, Isabel (May 31, 2010). "Deadly Israeli Raid Draws Condemnation". The New York Times.
- Gaza aid fleet undeterred as Israel steps up warnings, Agence France-Presse, May 27, 2010.
- "ICRC says Israel's Gaza blockade breaks law". BBC News. June 14, 2010.
- Freedom Sailors. 2012. p. 18. ISBN 9780615654898.
- "Interview: Hesham Tillawi interview with Derek Graham and Greta Berlin". Current Issues TV. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
- Benjamin Weinthal (October 4, 2012). "Free Gaza Group: Zionists Ran Concentration Camps". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- "Flotilla Sponsor Tweets that Zionists Helped Perpetrate the Holocaust". JTA. October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- Apology Regarding Tweet, Free Gaza Movement website.
- Tristin Hopper (October 4, 2012). "Free Gaza Group: Zionists Ran Concentration Camps". National Post. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- Larry Derfner (October 6, 2012). "Head of Free Gaza Movement: Anti-Semitic Video In Question is 'Disgusting'". 972. Retrieved October 7, 2012.