What Are Jews?

 

Hitler would love it.

Decades after he tried to convince the world that Jews are a separate ‘race’, many people still fall for this lie. Jews are defined as a ‘race’ in fiction, by some theologians of other faiths, and by many otherwise intelligent, rational people across the globe. Log into any online forum where religion is the topic, and you’ll find endless posts passionately insisting that there exists a ‘jewish race’.

 

You’ll also see people referring to ‘being jewish via blood’ or of someone being ‘of jewish blood’.

I mean really – do they think we Jews have kosher chicken soup running through our veins…?!

There is no such thing as ‘jewish blood’!

Let’s clarify the issue. Jews never were and are not now a ‘race’.

Can you alter your race? No.

Can you convert to Judaism? Yes.

Are you then considered as Jewish as those born into the faith? Again – yes.

Clearly, then, neo Nazi protestations to the contrary, Jews are not a ‘race’.

 

Nor are we an ‘ethnic’ group, though again, we are often defined as such.

But think about it: there is no one ethnicity which unites all Jews. How can there be? There are Japanese Jews. Indian Jews. Black Ethiopian Jews. White Jews. We come in all shades and colours. We represent all ethnicities.

So we’re not a race, and we’re not an ethnic group. Yet we’re not a religion in the same way that Christians or Muslims are, either.  After all, as perplexed non Jews often note, there do exist Jewish Atheists. How can this be, though, if Jews are members of a faith?

So what are we, exactly…?

Well, we’re a Tribe. We started out as a collection of smaller tribes, bound by tribal law. Today we are still tribal in nature.

You’re born into the Jewish Tribe, if your mother is Jewish.

You remain a member of the Tribe – unless you leave to join another faith.

And you can return any time you wish, so long as you renounce the religion you left the Tribe for.

People convert to Judaism and are then adopted by the Tribe.

You remain a Tribe member even if you don’t actively practise Judaism, which is how we can state that there do exist Jewish Atheists. Atheism is not a religion, thus it does not represent a violation of Tribal law.

Originally, even the Jewish G-d was a tribal deity – nothing remotely like the universal G-d that we worship today. Rather, the Jewish tribal deity was unique to Abraham and his descendants. It was only after Moses received the Torah at Mount Sinai that we find Jews being transformed from a Tribe with a localised deity, into a Nation with a Universal G-d.

So there you have it. That’s what we are.  A faith, a family, and a nation. But above all, a Tribe. Personally, I prefer ‘tribe’ and think it’s more accurate, as it conveys better the clannish, and intense nature of Jews as a group.

So, next time you encounter someone calling us a ‘race’, remind them that only neo Nazis actually believe this, and that anyone who does use this term to define Jews, is sadly continuing Hitler’s legacy, something no decent person would ever desire to do.

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Jerusalem Is Jewish – It’s Non Negotiable

 

As many Arabs and Muslims try to obscure the link between Jerusalem and the Jews, the EU seems only too happy to support their revision of history.

 

And crucially, nobody ever seems to refer to Jordan’s illegal occupation of the city.

 

 

So just to remind people, and via David Hornik at Front Page Magazine:

 

Jerusalem was unified under Israeli sovereignty in 1967, after nineteen years in which Jordan illegally occupied the city and finally used it to attack Israel despite being implored by Israel to keep out of the fighting.

Under Israeli rule, Muslims and all other groups (except Jews—on the Temple Mount itself) have enjoyed full freedom of worship—a stark contrast to the nineteen years of Jordanian rule when Jews and Christians were denied access to Jerusalem’s holy places and Jewish synagogues and gravestones were destroyed and desecrated.

Muslims already have full control over Mecca, Medina, and countless sacred locales and shrines throughout the vast Muslim world, and their demand for Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem and the redivision of Israel’s capital can reasonably be regarded as excessive – especially when, as noted, Israel gives Muslims full access to their Jerusalem shrines and full rights in the city.

Indeed, Jerusalem is full of minarets, and any visitor to its Old City or its Arab neighborhoods can attest to the vibrancy of Muslim religious life there. The EU should be more concerned with Islamization on the continent than with taking harsh stances against Israel as it struggles to survive and to find the right mix of accommodation and steadfastness in an Arab/Muslim environment hostile its very existence.

But for the EU, after decades of forsaking its Judeo-Christian roots for pro-Arabism, that may be too much to expect. Even if European populations are starting to grasp the consequences of this civilizational self-abnegation, Europe’s Brussels-based bureaucracy remains willfully ignorant of the stakes.

Breaking News! Barack Obama To Receive Psychiatric Help

 

 

White House sources have this morning confirmed that Barack Obama is receiving psychiatric care. The problems apparently started a week ago, after the President’s closest aides observed his behaviour becoming increasingly erratic. 

 

But it was after Obama became delusional that alarm grew among his staff. Specifically, one aide has confirmed: ‘It’s all rather embarrassing, actually. The President clearly believed himself to be in charge of, well, planning permission –  in Jerusalem.’

 

It was then that White House staff had to face the fact that Obama was seriously ill.

 

‘At first I thought he was just stressed,’ states one source who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, ‘But then he got on to the phone to the Israeli Ambassador to America and began issuing bizarre instructions’.

Specifically, confirms the aide, Obama ordered the Israeli government to halt work on an apartment building near Sheikh Jarrah.

 

‘It was embarrassing, to say the least’, confides another aide, ‘There we are with people being killed on the streets of Iran, and there’s Obama marching around the Oval office, screaming down the phone to Tel Aviv about this new block of flats and demanding that it not go ahead!

 

And the aide continues: ‘It was apparent to everyone there that Obama was delusional. We had no choice but to organise the appropriate help for him.’

 

Rumours suggest that Obama has been assessed by a consultant psychiatrist, at the White House, and that a medication regime is being set up. Although details of the diagnosis remain under wraps, it’s rumoured that Obama is experiencing some form of  obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

Specifically, his staff are hoping that the treatment will help to reduce the American President’s apparent fixation on Israel. 

 

 ‘His behaviour is troubling, no doubt about it, ‘ stated a member of the secret service, ‘Sometimes,  in the early hours of the morning, our boys will come across the President wandering around, muttering and mumbling about ‘that bloody Bibi’. We sure hope he gets better soon.’

 

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has conveyed his ‘heartfelt wishes for Obama’s speedy recovery’ during a phone call with the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.

He is reported to have said: ‘I am truly sorry to hear of Obama’s difficulties. We will of course disregard his irrational demands over what Israelis can and can’t do in the Israeli capital, Jerusalem. As far as I am concerned, it never happened and I won’t mention it ever again.  Our thoughts are with Obama and his family at this time.’

 

We will update this news story as soon as we get more details – watch this space!

 

 ***********************************************************************************************************************

 Jeff Jacoby, writing in the Boston Globe, offers some historical context:

 

Late last week, the Obama Administration demanded that the Israeli government pull the plug on a planned housing development near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.

 

The project, a 20-unit apartment complex, is indisputably legal. The property to be developed – a defunct hotel – was purchased in 1985 and the developer has obtained all the necessary municipal permits.

 

Why, then, does the administration want the development killed? Because Sheikh Jarrah is in a largely Arab section of Jerusalem and the developers of the planned apartments are Jews. Think about that for a moment. Six months after Barack Obama became the first Black man to move into the previously all-White residential facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, he is fighting to prevent integration in Jerusalem.

 

It is impossible to imagine the opposite scenario. The administration would never demand that Israel prevent Arabs from moving into a Jewish neighborhood. And the Obama Justice Department would unleash seven kinds of hell on anyone who tried to impose racial, ethnic or religious redlining in an American city. In the 21st century, segregation is unthinkable – except, it seems, when it comes to housing Jews in Jerusalem.

 

It is not easy for Israel’s government to refuse any demand from the United States, which is the Jewish State’s foremost ally. To their credit, Israeli leaders spoke truth to power, and said “no”.

 

“Jerusalem residents can purchase apartments anywhere in the city,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. “This has been the policy of all Israeli governments. There is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the west of the city, and there is no ban on Jews building or buying in the city’s east. This is the policy of an open city.”

 

There was a time not so long ago when Jerusalem was anything but an open city. During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion invaded eastern Jerusalem, occupied the Old City, and expelled all its Jews – many from families that had lived in the city for centuries.

 

“As they left,” the acclaimed historian Sir Martin Gilbert later wrote in his 1998 book, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, “they could see columns of smoke rising from the quarter behind them. The Hadassah welfare station had been set on fire and… the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing.”

 

For the next 19 years, eastern Jerusalem was barred to Jews, brutally divided from the western part of the city with barbed wire and military fortifications. Dozens of Jewish holy places, including synagogues hundreds of years old, were desecrated or destroyed. Gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery were uprooted by the Jordanian army and used to pave latrines. Jerusalem’s most sacred Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum.

 

It wasn’t until 1967, after Jordan was routed in the Six-Day War, that Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty and religious freedom restored to all. Israelis have vowed ever since that Jerusalem would never again be divided.

 

And not only Israelis. US policy, laid out in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, recognizes Jerusalem as “a united city administered by Israel” and formally declares that “Jerusalem must remain an undivided city.” 
 
US presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, have agreed.
In former President Bill Clinton’s words, “Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all.”

 

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said much the same thing. To a 2008 candidate questionnaire that asked about “the likely final status Jerusalem,” Obama replied: “The United States cannot dictate the terms of a final status agreement…. Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided.”

 

In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Council, he repeated the point: “Let me be clear… Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

 

Palestinian irredentists claim that eastern Jerusalem is historically Arab territory and should be the capital of a future Palestinian state. In reality, Jews have always lived in eastern Jerusalem – it is the location of the Old City and its famous Jewish Quarter, after all, not to mention Hebrew University, which was founded in 1918.

 

The apartment complex that Obama opposes is going up in what was once Shimon Hatzadik, a Jewish neighborhood established in 1891. Only from 1948 to 1967 – during the Jordanian occupation – was the eastern part of Israel’s capital “Arab territory”. Palestinians have no more claim to sovereignty there than Russia does in formerly occupied eastern Berlin.

 

The great obstacle to Middle East peace is not that Jews insist on living among Arabs. It is that Arabs insist that Jews not live among them. If Obama doesn’t yet grasp that, then he has a lot to learn.

This article first appeared in the Boston Globe on July 22, 2009.

A Message For ‘Reader X’ aka It’s My Blog And I’ll Ban Who I Want To!

.

 

Is freedom of speech absolute?


Here’s a candid answer: not for readers of my blog.


I make no apologies for this stance. Only one person has total free speech in this particular arena – and that’s me!

 

I’ve been pondering  ‘freedom of speech’ because I stand accused of ‘blocking opinions differing from your own’. My accuser? A regular poster on Jew With A View that I’ve now had to, reluctantly, bar from posting full stop.

 
Of course, most bloggers ban those who submit abusive or racist comments. 
 
 
It’s just common sense. But what about banning someone who is usually polite..?
  
 
Is it ‘wrong’?  Does it ‘prove’ that I ban dissent, especially when it comes to the topic of Israel…?   I can’t respond privately to this person, hence this post.
 
  
Truth is, I welcome dissenting opinions. Genuinely. Blogging would be mighty dull if everyone who posted here was just echoing my views!


Nor do I claim to be ‘right’ in all I say. Indeed, if I make factual errors, I hope someone will correct me and I am most grateful when they do! Hell, I’m appreciative when anyone takes the time to post a comment, and I hope regulars especially, know this


Let’s call the person I’ve banned Reader X. He knows who he is. He’s posted many long comments on this blog and that was fine, though I passionately disagree with him. But as he seems a reasonably decent soul, and as he’s taken the trouble to express his views, I’ve welcomed his thoughts.

 

But here’s the thing. Everyone has the right to their own opinions.  But nobody has the right to their own facts. That’s where a line exists, and it can’t be crossed if one still wants any form of rational discourse.


The discrepancy between these two was illustrated vividly back in 2007 when Oxford University decided to allow known Holocaust Denier David Irving, and his fellow weasel BNP head Nick Griffin, to speak at the Union debate.

 

The move was publicly condemned by Jewish and Muslim students alike, along with anti facism activists and numerous politicians – several of whom cancelled membership of the Oxford Union as a result.

 

But Oxford Union was unrepentant. These two racist twits had, it declared, the right to ‘freedom of speech’.

 

Wrong.
 
  
What they had was  freedom of opinion. But that doesn’t mean any institution, let alone Oxford, should offer them a platform to spread their malice.
 

If Irving and Griffin wish to go around peddling their mad and subjective belief that six million Jews did not perish, that is their right to do so – within the confines of their homes and in hushed conversations with their fellow neo Nazis.

 

But once they start publicly twisting and misrepresenting objective facts in their bid to deny history, then no. A thousand times, no.  They don’t have any unconditional, inalienable ‘right’ to do that.  Nor did Oxford Union have any ‘duty’ to help them.

 

I have the right to declare a disbelief in gravity. Does Oxford Union have any obligation to provide a platform for me to unveil my copious notes and ideas in ‘support’ of this idea…?

 

No, of course not – and nor would  Oxford dream of doing so!  Yet when it suits, countless individuals and institutions play the ‘freedom of speech’ card in order to promote all manner of absurd, irrational and sometimes dangerous beliefs.


Which brings us to Reader X. He has repeatedly stated: ‘I insist that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation’.

 
Well, dear Reader X, you may continue to insist this, and deny reality, as much as you like. Go on – knock yourself out!
  
But not on my blog.
  
 
Any group which attacks and kills unarmed, innocent civilians, is a terrorist group. Yep – it’s as black and white as that. Thus when Hamas sent suicide bombers onto two Israeli buses, killing sixteen people, including a 3 year old child,  that was terrorism. End of.
 
I’m not remotely interested in Reader X’s apologetics for Hamas. Nor will I feel bad for denying his ‘right’ to publicly condone them. He can seek to justify and rationalise and apologise for Hamas terrorism all he likes.
  
But not on my blog.

 

Nor do I accept that Reader X has any ‘right’ to use my blog to condone bigotry.

Last week I posted a story about how a top Obama aide cheerfully shared a platform with a man who then claimed that Hurricane Katrina was G-d’s ‘punishment’ towards Gay people, and that Jews are seeking to ‘control the world’.

 

Most sane people recognise this bigotry towards Gays and Jews for what it is: appalling. Likewise, they understand that it is not OK for a top Obama aide to share a platform with and thus legitimise someone expressing such spite.

But what did Reader X think? ‘It’s good that Obama is prepared to talk to lots of people.’

Er, right…

 Again, if Reader X wants to support anti Gay and Anti Jewish bigotry, he’s free to do so.
  
 But not on my blog.

 

In particular, Reader X has condemned my apparent unwillingness to allow dissenting opinions on Israel. So let’s clarify.

 

If someone wants to criticise Israeli policies, they are free to do so. If someone wants to post condemnation of specific decisions made by Israel or particular Israeli politicians, they are free to do this too.  If their posts are based on facts and – this is key – an accurate understanding of the situation.

 

But when someone makes it clear that they don’t even know the term ‘palestinian’ always referred to Palestinian Jews, and when they then try and ‘prove’ their case by anecdotal evidence, and when all they do is regurgitate weary old Arab propaganda that has been disproven time and again – then no, I don’t have any obligation to publish this person’s misconceptions.

  
There are countless sites out there where Reader X can share his inaccurate ideas on Israel.
My blog is not one of them.

 

And finally, Reader X,  I reserve the right to reject your blatant hypocrisy. For example, you have often stated that you trust the UN. Thus if the UN condemns Israel for something, it is  ‘good enough‘ for you – note, I’m using your own words here.

Yet at the same time, you ignore that the UN also stated in a resolution that Hezbollah should have disarmed.   But you don’t care what the UN says about this. Indeed,  only recently you tried to submit a post claiming that Hezbollah has nothing to do with terrorism!

This is rank  hypocrisy. When the UN condemns Israel, it’s acceptable. But when the UN condemns Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, it gets ignored. Again Reader X, you’re free to practise this hypocrisy.
  
But not on my blog.


 

Finally, and most egregiously, Reader X, you showed how little value you attache to Jewish life, any Jewish life, by your response to the recent update on murdered and tortured French Jew Ilan Halimi.

Responding to this post, what did you say?  You spoke of Palestinians in prison in Israel – and did not say a single word about the way that this young French man was abducted, tortured, set alight and killed by French Muslims. Muslims who admitted to being obsessed with killing Jews and who actually phoned the victim’s parents and quoted to them from the Quran.

Now of course, you’re not obliged to respond to the Ilan Halimi post at all. But to submit a response to it  that totally ignores his death? That is in poor taste and again, just reveals your hypocrisy. You care so much for Palestinian Arabs – yet don’t give a damn when Jewish blood is spilled.

 
And so, Reader X, if you are indeed looking at this post: don’t tell me that you’re ‘objective‘ and ‘fair‘ when it comes to any topic connected to either Israel or anti Jewish sentiment. You’re not. At least have the integrity to acknowledge your own bias and blatant double standards.

 

And if at any time you decide to adopt a fairer approach, then you are most welcome to post here again.

But, until and unless that time arrives, you’ll have to take your right to condone terrorism and bigotry and exercise it on other blogs –  ’cause you ‘aint doing it on this one!

The Terrible Case Of Ilan Halimi: Update

.Some of you will recall my earlier posts on the terrible murder of French Jew Ilan Halimi.  Back in 2006, he was lured to an empty basement in Paris and then tortured for several weeks. His killers were members of a Muslim mob who have recently stood trial in France.

The latest news on this tragic case is that fourteen of the twenty-five gang members will be retried. This is because of  protests about their having received absurdly lenient sentences.  The French Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie intervened just three days after the gang members – or evil, racist bastards as I prefer to call them – were sentenced for the 2006 killing of Halimi.

The gang leader and chief bastard, one Youssouf Fofana,  was sentenced to life in prison. He was the only gang member convicted of murder. The other mob members were given prison terms shorter than recommended by the prosecuting attorney. This sparked a massive protest by French Jewish groups and Halimi’s family.

Among the fourteen who will be re-tried, are  two of Fofana’s main accomplices, as well as the woman who acted as the ‘honeytrap’ and lured Ilan Halimi to that isolated basement in the first place.

One key thing to remember about the murder of Ilan Halimi is that he was not a random victim. Fofana and his mob had been, by their own admission, fixated on finding and killing Jewish men for a considerable length of time. Anti semitism was not incidental to this murder – it was a fundamental cause.

Ilan Halimi was 23 and had everything in the world to look forward to. Yet he ended up being tortured and beaten for three weeks nonstop, before finally being set alight by his abusers and then left, naked, by a railway line. By the time someone found him, it was too late.

 

Harry Potter: The Closet Jew

 As the star of the Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe plays a boy who above all else, has integrity. A boy who loathes the bigotry of his enemies and  is proud of his ‘mudblood’ friends.

 

What a pity that in real life, Radcliffe doesn’t embody those traits. For this week, in an interview with the Guardian  Radcliffe shocked many by producing the type of anti semitic ‘joke’ that anyone with a functioning brain recognises as  vile. He claimed, absurdly, that because his own mother is Jewish, he ‘is allowed’ to make ‘jewish jokes’.

 

His remarks are disingenuous  in the extreme.   Firstly, the ‘joke’ that Radcliffe offered does nothing but repeat the weary old stereotype of Jews being mean and caring only about money. Did it never occur to Radcliffe that the millions of youngsters who hang on his every word would be taking this, too, as gospel…? 

 

Can he really be so naive as to think that what he says in a national newspaper won’t be read, remembered, and absorbed by his legions of young fans…?

 

Secondly, Radcliffe then tried to convince us, in this same article, that he is ‘proud’ of his Jewish heritage. Er, no, Daniel. You’re not, actually. If you were,  you would be incapable of maligning Jews in this manner. Those of us who are truly proud of our heritage do everything we possibly can to counter the spiteful lies historically told about Jews – not promote them to the masses.

 

Radcliffe’s ‘jewish identity’ is interesting, in fact. He clearly feels it is something he can switch on and off when it suits him. Thus, for the most part, his heritage doesn’t get a mention – and that’s just fine.  But when he does suddenly decide that ‘being jewish’ might make him more interesting, how does he reference his religion? With an anti semitic jibe. At the same time, another British newspaper has revealed that Radcliffe secretly writes poetry which he submits to an ‘underground’ publication under the name of – wait for it – Jacob Gershon.

 

Thus in private, Radcliffe cheerfully uses a Jewish name for his poetic scribblings yet in public, where it counts, the only thing he offers is bigotry.

 

There’s a word for behaviour like that. It’s hypocrisy.

 

So here’s the thing, Daniel. Please feel free not to identify as Jewish, either in public or private. I promise – the rest of us  don’t mind and won’t miss you.

 

Because frankly, with ‘jews’ like you, who needs enemies…?

Top Obama Aide Shares Platform With Rabid Anti Semite

I recently read an excellent article over at the    Investigative Project On Terrorism   and the good folk there have kindly said I can re-post some of it here. It’s an important story – do read and then share this information. And do visit the IPT’s superb site!

The article details how one of Obama’s top aides cheerfully shared a platform with people promoting Jihad, Anti semitism, homophobia, and Islamic terrorism. This is an abbreviated version of the original piece; the extra emphasis in italics and colour are mine:

 

A top aide to President Barack Obama provided a keynote address at last weekend’s 46th Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) national convention, a gathering that attracted thousands of people and also featured anti-Semitic, homophobic rhetoric and defense of the terrorist group Hezbollah.

In her remarks, Senior Advisor for Public Engagement and International Affairs Valerie Jarrett noted she was the first White House official to address ISNA. She spoke in general terms about interfaith dialogue and cooperation. She praised her hosts for “the diversity of American organizations, and ideas that are represented and will be debated” at the convention.

And she openly invited ISNA President Ingrid Mattson to work on the White House Council on Women and Girls that Jarrett leads.

The ISNA is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-support conspiracy and maintains significant leadership ties to its foundation 28 years ago by members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. A more pointed statement also would have stood as a powerful retort to extremist sentiments offered in other segments of the conference.

While many panels featured criticism of U.S. policy and law enforcement, one stood out for its hate-filled rhetoric, and ISNA officials should have seen it coming a mile away. During a “meet the authors” session, Imam Warith Deen Umar, former head of the New York state prison chaplain program managed to:

Argue that key Obama aides are “Israeli,” proving Jews “have control of the world.”

Malign the motives of Jews active in the Civil Rights movement.

Portray the Holocaust as punishment of Jews for being “serially disobedient to Allah.”Insinuate that Hurricane Katrina was a result of tolerance for homosexuality.

 

Umar’s radicalism is no secret. He previously hailed the 9/11 hijackers as martyrs who were secretly admired by Muslims. He has called for violent jihad. In a January 2004 speech, he urged people:

“Rise up and fight. And fight them until turmoil is no more and strike terror into their hearts. You think there is no terror in Quran? It’s called [word unclear] read it in the 56th Surah of the Quran. There’s no lack of translation, there’s no mistranslation There’s not one Sheikh says one thing, no, it’s very clear. When you fight, you strike terror into the heart of the disbeliever.'”

 

He has a website promoting a past book, Judaiology, which features an excerpt describing “the inordinacy of Jewish power.” Jews, he wrote, are “an amazing people who can steal you blind as you watch. If you discover the theft, they can put you to sleep. If you wake up to them, they can put you back to sleep with mind games, tricks of fancy, smoke screens, and magic. Henry Ford almost uncovered them.”

 

Other choice comments of his included:

“It’s against the laws of Allah and against the laws of the Bible for homosexuality. And if you think the Quran talks about harsh punishment from Allah, you should read what the Bible says. I don’t have the time to go into it, but it’s in my book. The Bible is very hard on, he says, Allah says that the land itself is doomed. You wonder why things are happening in America are going to happen? You think that Katrina was just a blow of wind?”

And also:

“My conclusion is that there should be more jihad,” he said. “But people don’t want to hear that. They’re scared.”

 

This is the man responsible for the Muslim chaplain program in New York prisons for 20 years. He was forced out of that job after his praise for the 9/11 hijackers became known. This is who ISNA chose to showcase in a “meet the authors” panel and provide an unchallenged platform for.

 

Umar shared the microphone with another author who did not spew out bigotry, but who did cast Hezbollah as an innocent player.  Cathy Sultan described her book, Tragedy in South Lebanon: The Israeli/Hezbollah War of 2006, as a history of “the tragedy of the repeated incursions and wars in South Lebanon, the complexities of the Lebanese politics.”

She made no mention of Iranian funding for Hezbollah or Syrian meddling in Lebanese politics or its suspected involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Nor did Sultan describe indiscriminate Hezbollah rocket fire toward Israeli civilian communities, or the cross-border attack on an Israeli army base by Hezbollah that left three soldiers dead and two others kidnapped.

In response to a question, Sultan said: “Hezbollah still serves a role. I think that Lebanon is still under constant threat from its southern neighbor. And I see nothing wrong, as long as Hezbollah abides by certain rules and regulations; I see no reason why Hezbollah should not remained armed.”

The United States considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist group, and some experts consider it a bigger potential threat to the United States than Al-Qaeda.

The panel did not feature anyone with contrasting viewpoints to challenge Sultan or Umar. The program drew about 50 people, who sat passively during most of the remarks.

Umar’s books were available for purchase at the convention. Government agencies were represented with booths of their own, including the departments of Justice, State, Homeland Security, Commerce, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

 

In Cairo, Barack Obama said:

“Threatening Israel with destruction — or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews — is deeply wrong and a hindrance to peace.”

But somehow, partnering with a group that invites the same thing is okay?

 

 

With thanks to the Investigative Project On Terrorism for allowing me to re-post this material.

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