- Anti-Israel activist
- Campus coordinator and spokesperson for Palestine Media Watch
- Member of the Media Task Force for the anti-Israel U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation
- Lectures and leads workshops on college campuses
- "Hamas was born as an organization to resist Israeli occupation. It was Israel's violent policies that gave rise to Hamas."
Rima Mutreja is an anti-Israel activist. Her public presentations consist of polished, no-holds-barred attacks against Israel dating back to Israel’s founding. Mutreja honed these skills as the campus coordinator and spokesperson for Palestine Media Watch, an online publication that “fights anti-Palestine bias in the media.”
Though Mutreja has made her opinions known largely through letter-writing, since 2004 she has become more visible, as has her PMW co-worker Rania Awwad. A member of the Media Task Force for the anti-Israel U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, she has begun lecturing on campuses and leading workshops with Alison Weir about media bias against Palestinians. She also helped organize the March 2004 Washington, D.C. event commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of the International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed in 2003 while interfering with Israeli counterterrorism measures in Gaza and who has become the anti-Israel movement’s poster child. A few months later she was an active participant in the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, which tried to raise sympathy and money for Palestinian children wounded in the Intifada.
Mutreja was born and raised in Bombay and later moved to the U.S., where she became a human rights worker and took up the Palestinian cause, in part perhaps because, having grown up as a Muslim in Hindu-dominated India, she felt acute sympathy for the Arab Muslims. In a 2004 article, she lamented the media’s silence about the Gujarat massacre of 2002, when Hindus murdered 2,500 Muslims. Though Mutreja expressed hope that someday “we can overcome our religious prejudices for the sake of humanity,” she nonetheless placed blame for the hostilities squarely on India for treating Muslims as “second-class citizens.”
Mutreja brings the same simple, one-sided analysis to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Among the public statements she has made are the following:
- “Rachel [Corrie] was defending fundamental human values such as freedom, dignity, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
- “Hamas was born as an organization to resist Israeli occupation. It was Israel’s violent policies that gave rise to Hamas.”
- “Why should the Palestinians be collectively punished for the Holocaust? The Palestinians have a right to “resist” the Israeli occupation and fight for their nation and sovereignty. Unfortunately, Israel’s brutal policies against the Palestinians have given birth to a radical form of resistance.”
- “We need more groups, organizations and states around the world to divest from Israel so that all the money and the arms that are the life support of this brutal occupation — is pulled out and the Occupation comes to an end.”
- “American media is biased toward Israel because of “over-reliance on official sources, . . . fear of controversy,” and “commitment to such sterile pardigms as ‘Israel’s self-defence,’ and the famous ‘generous offer’ of Ehud Barak.”
- “I grew up in India, and when I came to the United States, all I saw was the media sympathizing with Israel or reporting without context to the occupation. . . . Palestinians who die are rarely humanized. Israel continues to have better and biased press coverage, so it should quit complaining.”
- “The Israelis share some blame here, as do extremists on both sides. But if you end the Israeli occupation, good things can happen. Free people can negotiate. Free people can run around and organize democratic parties. Free people can guarantee each others’ security.”
This profile is adapted, with permission, from Stand4Facts.org.