Archive for ADL

The United States of America Defence League: “The Crusade Begins”

Posted in Feature, Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

usadl-edl

United States of America Defence League

Shouldn’t the United States of America Defence League (USADL for short) spell “defence” with an “s” as in “defense”? Just saying, it doesn’t seem very, as George W. Bush would say, ‘Merican to spell it with a “c.”

bill-turner-usadl

Bill Turner

If you thought Captain America was leading this “defence league,” you’d be wrong, it’s a chap by the name of Bill Turner, who used to moonlight in the anti-Islam Twitterverse as “Jihadihunter.” Turner is the “national director” of this offshoot of the UK-based EDL. Turner titled his first press release introducing the organization, “The Crusade Begins.”

Phew, and here I was thinking it was going to be some sort of bigoted, Anders-Breivik-esque, Christian-identity hate group! Glad that’s cleared up!

Bill Turner and the USADL, like all the other extremist anti-Muslim leaders and organizations in the so-called “counter-jihad” claim to be acting in defense of “human rights”:

[USADL is] a human rights organization that was founded in the defense of our nation and to stand in unison with the EDL and other such organizations, to halt the spread of Sharia law.

Defenders of the nation, fighters for freedom, where else have we heard such claims? Oh right, the KKK.

The USADL’s goal is essentially missionary. They seek to “inform” the public about the “true” nature of Islam, to provide a,

“more realistic and less sanitized view of Islam…”

While the USADL’s mission statement gives the necessary caveat, much like the EDL claims to that it is not against “Muslims” and warns against assuming that all Muslims are guilty of committing acts of terrorism (aren’t they merciful!?), it goes on to say that,

“the Islamic book of worship calls for all Muslims to participate in Jihad, in one form or another.”

The ADL (not to be confused with the USADL) notes that Turner is “well known” on right-wing websites already for his conspiratorial rantings about the government,

USADL’s National Director is Bill Turner, who is known for his anti-government and conspiratorial writings, which have been published on a number of right-wing websites and disseminated through his Twitter handle, “JihadiHunter.”

While anti-Muslim bias has been a primary theme in his writings as well, Turner’s role in launching the USADL suggests that he is gearing up to advance a more conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda.

USADL’s website indicates that membership is open to all who “recognize the threat that Sharia Law poses to free people everywhere.” Although it is still too early to confirm the size and viability of the new organization, it already claims to have approximately 60 members.

I expect the USADL’s membership will increase as the usual suspects join its cause.

Already the nut jobs at the hate site BareNakedIslam are celebrating with all caps in the title, you can feel their adulation, FINALLY! USA DEFENCE LEAGUE. You will recall that BareNakedIslam is the same site that called for the murder of Muslim worshippers at mosques, so they will fit in nicely as “Crusader” drones in the USADL.

The USADL is just one more group for the SPLC to document and add to their list of the ever-growing anti-Muslim hate organizations proliferating around the country.

Some of the organizations that we have exposed in the past are on the SPLC’s list. They include AFDI, SIOA, ACT! for America and Veterans Defenders of America, amongst others.

ADL Urges Chief Rabbis to Denounce Spitting at Christians

Posted in Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2011 by loonwatch

If Muslims were committing this disgusting practice you can be sure that the hatemongers would be up in arms declaring Islam a “vile and intolerant” religion. They would also claim that this is the “pure Islam, etc.”

ADL urges chief rabbis to denounce spitting at Christians

The Anti-Defamation league (ADL) called on the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to publicly denounce “the repulsive decades-old practice by ultra-Orthodox Jews of spitting at Christian clergymen they encounter in the street.”

“This repulsive practice is a hateful act of persecution against another faith group and a desecration of God’s name according to Jewish law,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This display of hate and bigotry has no place in Israel and is inimical to Jewish values of treating all people with respect and kindness.”

The ADL sent Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger a letter, urging them to meet with Haredi leaders to put a stop to this practice and to cooperate to educate their community about respect for other faiths and coexistence.

Spitting Jews Ultraorthodox

Protests Against the Bigotry of Purdue Professor Maurice Moshe Eisenstein

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2011 by loonwatch

Professor Maurice Moshe Eisenstein is a tenured associate professor of Political Science at Purdue University Calumet. He is under fire from student protesters for past and present remarks targeting various groups but particularly Muslims.

This is how a local paper described the events:

Nearly two dozen students demonstrated Wednesday outside Purdue University Calumet in protest of a political science professor who they say made racially prejudiced remarks verbally and on his Facebook page, particularly targeting Muslim students.

The student who organized the protests is one Christopher Ramirez. Ramirez believes that prof. Eisenstein purposefully posted inflammatory remarks aimed at Muslims on his Facebook page on the Muslim festival of Eid-Al Adha:

Christopher Ramirez, who organized the protest, pointed to associate professor of political science Maurice Eisenstein’s Facebook page, where he posted a picture and comment Sunday about 100 black Christians who were killed by radical Muslims. Ramirez said the picture and comment were posted on the first day of Eid, a traditional Muslim holiday.

Eisentstein for his part believes he is the victim of a conspiracy by Jew-haters:

They say I teach religion in class. I believe the person who started this is a faculty member, and I believe that many of these are her students. I am the only one who comes in every day with a kippah (a cap) on. I don’t know the answers to your questions. I made myself available. No one spoke to me. They are saying all of these bad things about me, but they wouldn’t talk to me.”

Maurice Eisenstein, who believes he is being targeted because he is an Orthodox Jew.

Actually, it would seem professor that the students are quite right to take umbrage at your Facebook postings. Viewing it today, we captured this screen shot of what we assume is the offending post that has riled up the student protesters:

It is quite condescending for a political science professor to coach his view of the sectarian violence in Nigeria in such black and white terms as “decide if you are with the radical or civilized people,” clearly he is generalizing about Islam and Muslims, and casting them in the “radical” and hence “uncivilized” camp. Students who saw this posting and read it in the context of the professor’s past statements can be excused for thinking he meant to tar all Muslims.

Yet, what we found even more egregious and definitely inexcusable is the link the professor posted just a few scrolls down on his Facebook page. It is a link to the hate site run by the fanatical queen bee of Islamophobia, Pamela Geller’s AtlasShrugs:

This is inexcusable. Pamela Geller is not only a radical anti-Muslim but a racist to boot, if you don’t believe us (there’s ample evidence to believe us), then maybe you will take the word of the ADL and the SPLC. Such a link cannot be a mere faux pas, it’s akin to linking to the neo-Nazi Stormfront website, and the administration at Purdue University Calumet should take a stronger stand than it has:

“Purdue Calumet by its nature as a public university welcomes and encourages the exchange of thoughtful and diverse views and opinions. Likewise, the university does not condone expressions that are considered offensive, intolerant or disrespectful.

“That stated, certain, recent unpleasant comments exchanged between Associate Professor of Political Science Maurice Eisenstein and others have been communicated on the Professor’s personal Facebook page. In no way do these comments reflect the university’s position and commitment to tolerance and respect with regard to the right of free expression by all individuals.

“Nonetheless, though Professor Eisenstein is a tenured faculty member, tenure has no bearing on the nature of free expression, as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, that Purdue Calumet faculty members choose to exercise on their personal Facebook page. Neither are there Purdue Calumet policies and regulations that extend to personal Facebook pages.”

Such mealy mouthed pronouncements from the administration do nothing to help. Loonwatchers should let them know that they should review the professor’s treatment of his students, not only due to the protests but also the troubling links the professor maintains. Ask them if they would be okay with a professor linking to neo-Nazi websites? And then inform them of the disgusting, bigoted, racist, genocidal comments Geller has made, as well as her associations.

Here is the contact page for the University:

Contact

Purdue University Calumet
Office of University Relations
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323-2094

Phone:
219/989-2400
1-800 HI-PURDUE, x.2400
Locally within Indiana & Illinois

E-mail:
univrel@calumet.purdue.edu

Contact the professor as well:

219) 989-2688
Office: CLO 294
email: m_eisens@purduecal.edu

B.Sc. Purdue University,
M.A. Purdue University,
Ph.D. (1993) Purdue University

Video of the Student protest:
http://media.nbcchicago.com/designvideo/embeddedPlayer.swf

Islamophobia, Zionism and the Norway Massacre

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

A very well written piece from Ali Abunimah. The connection between Zionism and the rise in Islamophobia was explored by LW when we wrote an exclusive piece exposing the funding apparatus of Islamophobia, The Connection between Zionism and Organized Islamophobia–The Facts.

In the piece we elaborated on how Aubrey Chernick, a premiere funder of Islamophobes has also donated to, amongst other groups, the ADL which is quite literally taken apart in the article below.

Ali Abunimah writes,

The continued lurch towards extremism in Israel, and among many of its supporters, underscores the truth that anyone who wants to dissociate from ultranationalism, racism and Islamophobia, also has to repudiate Israel’s state ideology, Zionism.

It may not be true that Zionism needs to be absolutely repudiated for one to “dissociate from ultra-nationalism, racism and Islamophobia,” however criticism of Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism or seen as a desire to destroy Israel.

Islamophobia, Zionism and the Norway massacre

by Ali Abunimah (AlJazeeraEnglish)

In a Washington Post op-ed last week, Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti Defamation League, likened the hateful ideology that inspired Anders Behring Breivik to massacre 77 innocent people in Norway to the “deadly” anti-Semitism that infected Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This is a parallel that I, and many others who have been observing with alarm the rise of anti-Muslim incitement in the US and Europe, have made frequently.

Does this mean that Foxman – head of one of the most hardline and influential pro-Israel lobby groups – has found common ground with the Palestine solidarity movement?

That would be a good thing if it helped to fight the growing scourge of racist incitement. But by criticising the ideology that inspired Breivik, and pointing the finger at a few of its purveyors, Foxman appears to be trying to obscure the key role that he and some other pro-Israel advocates have played in mainstreaming the poisonous Islamophobic rhetoric that has now – Foxman himself argues – led to bloodshed in Norway.

Pointing the finger

Foxman describes, in his Washington Post article, “a relatively new, specifically anti-Islamic ideology” which Breivik used to justify his attack. “Growing numbers of people in Europe and the United States subscribe to this belief system”, Foxman writes, “In some instances it borders on hysteria. Adherents of this ideological Islamophobia view Islam as an existential threat to the world, especially to the ‘West.’”

“Moreover”, Foxman explains, “they believe that leaders and governments in the Western world are consciously or unconsciously collaborating to allow Islam to ‘infiltrate’ and eventually conquer democratic societies.”

Just such irrational beliefs underpin the hysteria about “Creeping Sharia” – the utterly baseless claim that Muslims are engaged in a secret conspiracy to impose Islamic law on the United States. So prevalent has this delusional belief become, that legislative efforts have been mounted in about two dozen American states, and have been passed by three, to outlaw Sharia law.

Foxman points the finger – as others have rightly done – at extreme Islamophobic agitators such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, co-founders of “Stop Islamisation of America” – whose hate-filled writings Breivik cited in his manifesto.

So far, Foxman has it right. But then he drops a clue about what really frightens him:

“One bizarre twist to Breivik’s warped worldview was his pro-Zionism – his strongly expressed support for the state of Israel. It is a reminder that we must always be wary of those whose love for the Jewish people is born out of hatred of Muslims or Arabs.”

Who does Foxman think he is kidding? There is nothing “bizarre” about this at all. Indeed Foxman himself has done much to bestow credibility on extremists who have helped popularise the Islamophobic views he now condemns. And he did it all to shore up support for Israel.

After Norway, Foxman may fear that the Islamophobic genie he helped unleash is out of control, and is a dangerous liability for him and for Israel.

Zionists embrace Islamophobia after 9/11

Many American Zionists embraced Islamophobic demagoguery after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Their logic was encapsulated in then-Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s notorious assessment that the attacks – which killed almost 3,000 people – would be beneficial for Israel.

Asked what the 9/11 atrocities would mean for US-Israeli relations, Netanyahu told The New York Times, “It’s very good”, before quickly adding, “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy” and would “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror”.

In order for Israel and the United States to have the same enemy, the enemy could not just be the Palestinians, who never threatened the United States in any way. It had to be something bigger and even more menacing – and Islam fit the bill. The hyped-up narrative of an all-encompassing Islamic threat allowed Israel to be presented as the bastion of “western” and “Judeo-Christian” civilisation facing down encroaching Muslim barbarity. No audience was more receptive than politically influential, white, right-wing Christian evangelical pastors and their flocks.

Sermons of hate

“Since the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon, on September the 11th, American politicians have tripped over themselves to state that the vast majority of Muslims living in the United States are just ordinary people who love America and are loyal to America. Is that true? Is that really true?”

That is the question Pastor John Hagee, leader of an evangelical megachurch and founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), posed to his followers whom, he said, were becoming more concerned as “mosques appear across the nation”.

In a series of sermons soon after the 9/11 attacks which he titled “Allah and America,” Hagee began a relentless campaign of inciting his followers to fear and hate Muslims and Islam (videos of Hagee’s sermons can be found on YouTube.

Hagee has emerged over the past decade as one of the most prominent Christian Zionist supporters of Israel. His sermons are broadcast on dozens of TV channels and he influences millions of Americans.

As his “Allah and America” sermons progressed, Hagee’s answers became clear: “In the Qur’an, those who do not submit to Islam should be killed. That means death to Christians and death to Jews. Now I ask you, is that tolerant? Is that peaceful? Is that a sister faith to Christianity?”

After reading and distorting “selected verses from the Qur’an, which is the Islamic bible, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to increase our understanding of the basis of their faith,” Hagee claimed, “the Qur’an insists that no matter how mighty a nation is, it must be fought until it embraces Islam.”

And, apparently knowing that his congregation may hate and fear only taxes as much as Muslims, Hagee told them that the Qur’an’s message to Muslims is “when you get into the government, tax Christians and Jews into poverty until they submit willingly to Islam. Sounds like the IRS [Internal Revenue Service], but not faith.”

Then he offered this warning: “Politicians who are telling America that Islam and Christianity are sister faiths are lying to the people of this country. There is no relationship of any kind between Islam and Christianity. None whatever.”

At every step, Hagee exhorted the faithful that Islam and Muslims were not only a danger to the United States, but specifically to Israel – a country to which they should offer unconditional support.

This sounds a lot like the ideology of generalised fear and loathing of Muslims that Foxman condemned in the Washington Post.

Islamophobic fearmongering, demonisation and dehumanisation, from the likes of Hagee, and bellowed continuously on cable channels and radio stations across America, enabled the US government to legitimise invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and expand wars from Pakistan to Yemen to Somalia. These took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, under the guise of a “war on terror” – all the while as presidents hosted White House iftars.

What makes Breivik’s attack so shocking and new is that he turned the Islamophobic rhetoric against the white citizens of the Euro-American “homeland”, those whom the officially-sanctioned military slaughter of Muslims abroad was ostensibly meant to protect.

Foxman welcomes Hagee in from the fringes

While Hagee offered his zealous support to Israel (he founded CUFI in 2006), not all of Israel’s supporters returned the love. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, warned in 2007 that the pro-Israel Jewish community’s embrace of far-right ideologues would drive away young, socially-liberal Jews from supporting Israel. He feared it could endanger the bipartisan support Israel always enjoyed in the United States by identifying it with what Yoffie saw as extremist elements.

Yoffie focused his criticism on Hagee, “who is contemptuous of Muslims, dismissive of gays, possesses a truimphalist theology and opposes a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.” He worried about the warm reception Hagee was receiving at conferences of Jewish Federations all over America.

One influential figure who didn’t share Yoffie’s fears about Hagee was Foxman, who told a reporter from the Religion News Service in March 2008, “I don’t have to agree with anybody 100 per cent in order to welcome their support, as long as their support is not conditioned on my agreeing with them on everything or accepting them 100 per cent.”

When it came to light during the 2008 US presidential campaign that Hagee had said in a 1999 sermon that Hitler had been sent by God to drive the Jews to Israel, Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain repudiated Hagee’s endorsement. But Foxman was quick to offer Hagee absolution, issuing a statement accepting the pastor’s “apology”.

Enabling Islamophobia

Foxman’s embrace of Hagee does not even mark the lowest point of his dalliance with Islamophobic extremists. Recall last summer – in the run up to the US midterm elections – the hate campaign targeting a proposal for an Islamic community centre planned for lower Manhattan in New York City.

Dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque” by its critics, it became a cause celebre for the Republican Party – and some gutless Democrats – who claimed that building the institution close to the former site of the World Trade Centre would be an insult to the memory of victims.

The hate campaign was notable for unprecedented anti-Muslim rhetoric that exceeded anything heard in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 attacks. While New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg earned plaudits for defending the right of American Muslims to build the Islamic centre where they wanted, Foxman and his Anti-Defamation League caused consternation when they backed the bigots and came out against the project.

And who was it who helped take a little-noticed plan for a community centre and turn it into “a national political spectacle?” None other than Pam Geller and Robert Spencer – as the Washington Post reported at the time- the same Islamophobic extremists whom Foxman now blames for fueling the kind of hatred that inspired Breivik to kill.

Rescuing Zionism from Islamophobia

Foxman’s claim that Breivik’s support for Israel is “bizarre” is a brazen attempt to deflect attention from the alliance that Foxman and leading Israeli politicians have made with the most racist Islamophobes – ones Foxman accurately likens to anti-Semites.

To be clear, Israel and Zionism have always been racist toward Palestinians and other non-Jews, otherwise how else could they justify the expulsion and exclusion of millions of Palestinians solely on the grounds that they are not Jews? It is the virulent, specifically anti-Muslim trend that has been particularly pronounced since 2001.

But the rot has already gone too far. As a recent article in Der Spiegel underscores, Europe’s far-right anti-Muslim demagogues have found many allies and admirers in Israel, particularly within the upper echelons of the ruling Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties.

And the feeling is mutual: European ultra-nationalists, such as Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders, have put support for Israel’s right-wing government at the centre of their politics.

Islamophobia welcome in Israel

While the world was united in horror at Breivik’s massacre, several commentators in Israel’s mainstream media were much more understanding of his motives, if not for his actions. An oped on Ynet, the website of Israel’s mass circulation Yediot Aharonot, stated that “the youth movement of the ruling Labour Party” – of which many of the youths murdered on Utoya island were members – “is an organisation of anti-Israeli hate mongers”.

An editorial in The Jerusalem Post offered sympathy for Breivik’s anti-Muslim ideology and called on Norway to act on the concerns expressed in his manifesto, while an op-ed published by the same papersaid that the youth camp Breivik attacked had been engaged in “a pro-terrorist program”.

Meanwhile, an article in the American Jewish newspaper The Forward noted that on many mainstream internet forums, Israelis expressed satisfaction with Breivik’s massacre and thought that Norway got what it deserved.

Clear warning signs

Foxman cannot claim he didn’t see any of this coming. Back in 2003, I interviewed him for an article about the inclusion of Yisrael Beitenu and other parties in Israel’s governing coalition, parties that openly advocated the expulsion of Palestinians. Foxman’s attitude was as indulgent toward those racists and would-be ethnic cleansers as he was to Hagee’s hate-mongering a few years later, and it is those same Israeli parties that have forged the closest ties with European and American anti-Muslim extremists.

The continued lurch towards extremism in Israel, and among many of its supporters, underscores the truth that anyone who wants to dissociate from ultranationalism, racism and Islamophobia, also has to repudiate Israel’s state ideology, Zionism. Universal rights and equality for all human beings are concepts that are anathema to both.

With his panicked and belated jump onto the anti-Islamophobia bandwagon, Foxman hopes we won’t notice, and that organisations like his can continue defending Israel’s racism free from the stain of the deadly anti-Muslim extremism they have done so much to promote.

Ali Abunimah is author of “One Country, A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse”, and is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Another anti-Islam protest comes to Dearborn

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by loonwatch

Another anti-Islam protest comes to Dearborn

Another protest over what organizers call “radical strains” of Islam is planned on Saturday in front of Dearborn City Hall.

The Order of the Dragon, a pro-Israeli group, is planning the 3 p.m. demonstration to call attention to the “implementation of Sharia” or Islamic law in some court rulings, said Frank Fiorello, the head of the group’s Michigan chapter.

“We have a lot of people worried about Sharia creeping into family court,” said Fiorello, a Marlette resident. “There are 23 different jurisdictions where Sharia is being implemented in family court.” Fiorello did not provide specifics, but said there are recent cases in Ann Arbor District Court.

Other groups participating in the rally include the American Defense League, ACT! For America and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center’s Palestinian Wall of Lies, Fiorello said.

Fiorello, a Detroit native, was scheduled to host controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones’ protest in Dearborn on April 22 but Fiorello backed off his protest after meeting with Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly and a member of an interfaith group.

Jones ended up protesting a week later after being ordered by a Dearborn district judge that he would have to post a peace bond if he wanted to protest outside the Islamic Center of America on Good Friday.

Fiorello also said he backed away from Jones after a difference of option about how the protest should be handled. ”We’re not wanting to be involved in shock tactics,” said Fiorello. “That is not our route.”

Jones, meanwhile, has planned to protest against “radical Islam” at the Arab American International Festival in Dearborn next month.

Detroit News, 25 May 2011

Richard Silverstein: David Yerushalmi Threatens Defamation Lawsuit

Posted in Loon People, Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by loonwatch

Richard Silverstein takes David Yerushalmi to task. Yerushalmi threatened him with a lawsuit, it didn’t work out for old Yeru.

David Yerushalmi Threatens Defamation Lawsuit

by Richard Silverstein (TikkunOlam)

NOTE: I originally published this post in reply to a threat of a defamation lawsuit from David Yerushalmi.  I temporarily withdrew it in order to consult with counsel.  I post this now.

But before I do, since I wrote this, the Anti Defamation League, a group with whom I often disagree, has published a strong denunciation of Yerushalmi’s views under the headline “Extremism,” which is worth noting:

One of the driving forces behind Shari’a-related conspiracy theories and growing efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’a law in American courts is David Yerushalmi, an Arizona attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry.

…Yerushalmi has not only actively promoted his conspiratorial vision of Shari’a law, but has also sought to portray all Muslims as a threat. In one March 2006 article, for example, Yerushalmi even went so far as to claim that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”

That same year, Yerushalmi founded the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), a “think tank” that has published anti-Muslim, anti-immigration and anti-black materials, as well as New World Order-style conspiracy theories.

…Yerushalmi’s main instrument, SANE, is also openly hostile to undocumented migrants in the United States. It advocates somehow sealing all American borders and building “special criminal camps” to house undocumented migrants…

…Yerushalmi [has] defend[ed] people accused of anti-Semitism such as Mel Gibson and Pat Buchanan because they “have the potential to save the West from itself and from Islam.”

The statement doesn’t at all deal with Yerushalmi’s Kahane-like pro-settler views about Israel, which is understandable since the ADL’s difference with him on this subject might be more nuanced.  But such as it is, the statement should gain broad visibility and further reinforce Yerushalmi’s reputation as a far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim bigot.

My original post follows:

A short time ago I published a post about David Yerushalmi’s leadership of various state campaigns to ban Sharia law.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a few years you’ll remember back to 2007 when I wrote several posts about Yerushalmi’s leadership role in the campaign against New York’s Khalil Gibran Academy and the accompanying demonization and forced removal of principal Debbie Almontaser (which was later found wrongful by an EEOC ruling).  I reviewed his then publicly-accessible website, Saneworks, for the overtly racist rhetoric it contained.  I called him then a “Jewish white supremacist.”

Mother Jones recently published its own profile of Yerushalmi’s efforts to ban Sharia law and called him simply a “white supremacist.”  Apparently, he didn’t like that.  Didn’t like it one bit.  As a result he sent Mother Jones a message saying that he was compiling a record of the magazine’s coverage of him as part of a legal brief.  Not exactly a threat of a lawsuit, but not far from one.

To me he was far more explicit.  He sent this to a lawyer representing me in my current libel suit which will be heard in Los Angeles in the coming days:

I am reluctantly forced to revisit the statements your client, Richard Silverstein, has made about me on his blog. When he first attacked me personally and stated that I was a fascist, racist, and Kahanist, I ignored them, even as others of his ilk provided these baseless statements “legs” allowing countless more “eyes” the opportunity to read what your client understood and represented to be carefully calculated factual statements about me.  These statements are demonstrably false and your client made them knowing they were false or acting recklessly in this regard.  This recklessness I believe was established in his deposition testimony in the Neuwirth case.

I ignored these publications because your client uses this kind of ad hominem invective on a regular basis and I was just one of many people he attacked personally without any real factual basis.

Unfortunately, your client has republished the original articles via links in a most recent piece stating that I am a white supremacist. I might still have ignored this except for the fact that it has now concretely and specifically injured me in my legal profession in Arizona. I have now lost an African American client who was prepared to retain my firm but for your clients defamatory publications, because he could not afford to be associated with someone accused of such beliefs even though he knows I do not hold these beliefs. Much of his business is in public relations and this charge by your client was for him too much to sustain.

My staff and family have prevailed upon me to sue your client for defamation. Again, I am reluctant given the First Amendment issues, but I believe there is a strong basis to assert that his wholly unfounded, false, and defamatory statements, which have now led to concrete damages that I can measure minimally in excess of $100,000 suggests to me that my staff and family have the better argument.

The suit will be brought in Arizona.  An interesting and related case is Yetman v. English, 168 Ariz. 71, 811 P.2d 323 (1991).

I certainly understand your client will raise the standard First Amendment defenses: opinion, hyperbole, no actual malice.  If we get past these, your client will have the opportunity to test “truth” as a defense. It is to that end and to that purpose I am now drafting my complaint.

Your client may avoid the suit by deleting all articles published on his blog or other forum that refer to me in the defamatory ways described.

I am providing this to you confidentially.  If you client chooses to make this public, and he certainly may, this settlement offer is rescinded.

Thank you.

David Yerushalmi

Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C.:

Washington, D.C., New York, California & Arizona

I’ve debated how to address this threat and of course I’ve engaged pro bono legal case in the event he follows through on it.  But I will not be cowed by a bully.  I stand by the posts I’ve written by him.  I will not remove them.  I will gladly meet him in court or anywhere in defense of both my right to speak and publish, and the truth of the statements I’ve written about him.

David Yerushalmi is a fraud.  His claims about Islam are false, as anyone with any real knowledge of the religion will tell you.  His game is political opportunism to advance a strident right-wing anti-Muslim agenda.  An earlier iteration of his anti-jihad campaign involved a colleague, Dave Gaubatz, who did a “James O’Keefe” and infiltrated Virginia mosques posing as a new member.  They published their supposedly shocking accounts of radical jihadist activity which turned out to be “sky is falling” nonsense.  Gaubatz, for those of you who may not remember, was recently successfully sued for arranging for his son to pose as a CAIR intern, whereupon he stole internal organization documents for the purposes of discrediting CAIR.  The court ordered Gaubatz to return the documents.

Even Yerushalmi’s name is fake.  His family birth name is Beychok, born of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to America.  To be clear, I’m not saying that Yerushalmi’s legal name isn’t that.  I’m talking about the underlying motivations regarding Jewish nationalist identity that are involved in such a name change.  Yerushalmi means “from Jerusalem.”  Yerushalmi is as much a resident of Jerusalem as I am.  He doesn’t live in Jerusalem nor do I.  Let me make clear that I have no problem with Jewisholim changing their name once they move to Israel, taking Hebrew names such as Yerushalmi.  But to do so when you live in America is pure preciousness.  He wants to tell you that he supports the settler concept of the eternal inviolability of Jerusalem as a Jewish city and capital.  He wants to tell you he believes in the whole nine yards of ultra-Orthodox extremism regarding God’s sacred gift of all of the Land of Israel to the entire Jewish people in perpetuity.

Yerushalmi denies he is a white Jewish supermacist, yet writes in his website and other online venues nonsense like this:

…Our constitutional republic was specifically designed to insulate our national leaders from the masses,democracy has seeped up through the cracks and corroded everything we once deemed sacred about our political order. Prior to the Civil War, the electorate, essentially white Christian men, had access to local government. It was here, where men shared an intimacy born of family ties, shared religious beliefs, and common cultural signposts, that representative government was meant to touch our daily lives. With the social and cultural revolution which followed the emancipation, man’s relationship to political order was radically nationalized and democratized.

And believe me, Yerushalmi doesn’t use the term “democratized” in a flattering way.  Here he clarifies that he isn’t opposed to the paternalistic democracy of the Founding Fathers in which selection of senators and even the president was not given directly to the people (or as he calls them, “the masses”):

The founding fathers themselves of course opposed “democracy” in its simple formand created a wonderfully elaborate system to shield government from mass democracy

Here he expounds on the perniciousness of:

Raw or radical democracy where all men and all ideas and all cultures are deemed equal and given equal voice. That is of course the agenda of the Left…

Yerushalmi of course opposes Israeli democracy as well, or at least the current version which accords rights to Israeli Palestinian citizens.  Larry Cohler Esses, in a series he wrote for Jewish Week on the Stop the Madrassa campaign led by Yerushalmi, noted that the latter called for Israel to “cast off the yoke of liberal democracy.”

It should be noted that Meir Kahane maintained precisely the same dismissive attitude toward Israeli democracy, saying that if given a choice between the latter and a Jewish state he would choose the latter.  In fact, Kahane was perfectly comfortable with a Jewish state that was not democratic.  It should come as no surprise that during a session in which he deposed me for the libel lawsuit I mentioned above, he revealingly referred to Kahane with the honorific, “the Rov” (or “Rabbi”), a traditional Jewish way by which yeshiva students refer to an honored teacher.

Cohler Esses also notes that Yerushalmi believes that left-wing Jews:

…Destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite…One must admit readily that the radical liberal Jew is a fact of the West and a destructive one. Indeed, Jews in the main have turned their backs on the belief in G-d and His commandments as a book of laws for a particular and chosen people.

Most Israelis are raging Leftists, and this includes the so-called nationalists who found a home in the ‘right-wing’ Likud political bloc or one of the other smaller and more marginal right wing parties.

What’s extraordinary here is that even the far-right secular nationalists of Likud come under withering condemnation.  The only true Jews and true Zionists can be the ultra-Orthodox like himself.

In a recent NPR interview, he either dissembles regarding his true views or he has radically reversed himself since he published earlier statements I’ve quoted previously in this blog.  Here are some of his earlier legislative proposals regarding Islam in American life:

…Islam requires all Muslims to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic with a political system based upon Shari’a.

…Adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People.

HEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED THAT: It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Shari’a.

The Congress of the United States of America shall declare the US at war with the Muslim Nation.

He has clearly soft-pedaled such extremist views in order to win acceptance for them in the context of this current anti-Muslim national legislative campaign.  But compare the following claim about his legislation (from the NPR interview) with the above views and judge for yourself whether this leopard has changed its spots:

The law does not even criminalize the absolute practice of Shariah. In fact, you could go to Times Square and you could print out: I advocate Shariah, I even advocate, in theory, jihad against America and my statute does not touch you. The statute says the attorney general simply designates someone who practices a Shariah with terrorism component.

Given what I quoted above, you tell me whether or not the following statement from the interview is a lie:

Q:…Is your view of the measure [the anti-Sharia law bill] motivated in part by a view that Islam is inherently violent and that its adherents are inherently predisposed to violence because of their commitment to religious Islam?

Mr. YERUSHALMI: No.

And in this statement, he doesn’t exactly lie, but he deliberately deceives the listener into believing in his pro-Muslim altruism, which is in truth anything but:

I have represented pro bono Muslim-Americans.

He is indeed representing, as far as I know, three Muslim-Americans who were allegedly legal clients of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  They are suing CAIR.  David Yerushalmi is on a political jihad against CAIR, which he views inaccurately as a pro-jihadi Muslim extremist organizations.  So yes, he’s representing a grand total of three Muslim-Americans in a single case, but only because he believes it will advance his own anti-Muslim political agenda.

Let’s examine this statement too in light of what I quoted above:

I have stated on the record, the pietistic worship of the divine through Islamic worship, Jewish worship, Christian worship, atheistic worship or humanistic, is protected and absolutely sacrosanct in our system.

How can you claim the above, when you’ve also called for the U.S. Congress to declare war “on the Muslim nation?”  There may be a poorly drawn distinction he is trying to make here between Islam as a religion and what he considers radical Islam which professes, again according to him, Islam as a political system.  But you’d have to forgive most lay people for missing that distinction and believing he’s at war with all Islam.

In the interview he also makes the statement:

I…certainly can’t be a white supremacist, only because I’m an orthodox Jew…

That’s why I called him a “Jewish white supremacist” since that conveys that he isn’t the same as Richard Butler or the Aryan Nation.  Nevertheless, his views, especially those regarding Islam, are not that dissimilar.  Yes, he’s dressed up his ideology (or should I say, theology) with a certain level of intellectual rigor lacking in most white supremacists.  But the fact that he is a racist cannot be denied without doing violence to the truth.

Of course a Jew can be a white supremacist if he denounces “liberal democracy,” disdains minorities, and believes in waging “war against Islam,” as he has said.

Let me also make absolutely clear, my quarrel with David Yerushalmi is purely political.  It is a quarrel among Jews about the meaning of Jewish identity and the role of Israel in Jewish life.  It is a battle over ideas.  If he wants to have such a battle in a courtroom or any other venue, I’m prepared.  Of course, Yerushalmi prefers to hold the battle in the courtroom because he doesn’t trust the rude democracy of the blogs and internet.  He knows his ideas will lose in a free and fair debate as our founding fathers envisioned.  So he resorts to legal threats.  It’s really a reverse form of the term beloved by far-right pro-Israel advocates like Alan Dershowitz, lawfare.  That is, it’s a form of political harrassment through abuse of the legal system to bring purely political arguments which should be resolved in the traditional American way such things are resolved; and instead attempting to bankrupt or otherwise intimidate the victim into silence.

Some people also call these legal actions SLAPP (Strategic Limitation Against Public Participation) suits which are often used by companies and other well-heeled individuals to limit discussion of issues sensitive to them.

The anti-jihadi lawyer’s claim of damage or losing business is a twisted version of what he attempts to do to his enemies.  He knows how difficult it is for an individual blogger to retain pro bono legal counsel and take the years that such cases can involve.  So he holds this over one’s head as a cudgel to stifle free speech and debate.  Well, not this blogger.  Not now.  Not ever.

Finally, I have no personal malice whatsoever against Yerushalmi.  I don’t know him personally.  I don’t want to know him personally.

NOTE: Yerushalmi has withdrawn his lawsuit threat in a note he sent to my counsel.

ADL: Hate-monger David Yerushalmi a Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2011 by loonwatch

The ADL calls out David Yerushalmi, a pretty good expose:

David Yerushalmi: A Driving Force Behind Anti-Sharia Efforts in the U.S.

(ADL 3/25/11)

One of the driving forces behind Shari’a-related conspiracy theories and growing efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’a law in American courts is David Yerushalmi, an Arizona attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry.

In recent years, Yerushalmi has created a characterization of Shari’a law (i.e., Islamic law) that declares there are “hundreds of millions” of Muslims who are either “fully committed mujahideen” or “still dangerous but lesser committed jihad sympathizers” who, because of Shari’a law, would be willing to murder all non-believers unwilling to convert, in order to “impose a worldwide political hegemony.”  Meanwhile, Yerushalmi asserts, the U.S. government itself has consciously chosen to turn a blind eye to this threat.

To combat this alleged threat, Yerushalmi has vigorously opposed all perceived “inroads” of Shari’a law in the United States, even entirely innocuous measures such as American financial institutions creating financing packages designed to be compatible with Islamic restrictions against loaning money at interest.

“American Laws for American Courts”

Yerushalmi’s latest weapon is model anti-Shari’a legislation he has titled “American Laws for American Courts,” developed for a group called the American Public Policy Alliance (APPA). The group claims that “one of the greatest threats to American values and liberties today” comes from “foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines,” including “Islamic Shari’ah law,” that have been “infiltrating our court system.”

Yerushalmi’s proposed legislation, which claims to “protect American citizens’ constitutional rights against the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, especially Islamic Shari’ah Law,” has been the basis for anti-Shari’a measures introduced by state lawmakers in several states in recent years.

For example, a bill introduced by Sen. Alan Hays and Rep. Larry Metz in Florida to outlaw Shari’a (and other non-secular or foreign laws) in March 2011 is strikingly similar to Yerushalmi’s model legislation. Both Tennessee and Louisiana actually passed variations of Yerushalmi’s legislation in 2010.

On its Web site, the APPA cites 17 cases where it claims that Shari’a has been introduced in state courts; this is its evidence of “creeping” Shari’a law within the United States.

Yerushalmi has testified in support of the anti-Shari’a legislative efforts based on his proposal. For example, in a hearing before the Alaska House State Affairs Committee in March 2011, Yerushalmi claimed that “today, we are far more likely than ever before to have foreign laws in American courts…There are plenty of occasions in which foreign law informs what Alaskan law could be.”

Demonizing Islam

Yerushalmi has not only actively promoted his conspiratorial vision of Shari’a law, but has also sought to portray all Muslims as a threat. In one March 2006 article, for example, Yerushalmi even went so far as to claim that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”

That same year, Yerushalmi founded the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), a “think tank” that has published anti-Muslim, anti-immigration and anti-black materials, as well as New World Order-style conspiracy theories. In 2007, SANE, declaring itself “dedicated to the rejection of democracy and party rule and a return to a constitutional republic [of the original founders of the US],” launched a campaign fueled by suspicion of all Muslims.

That campaign, “Mapping Shari’a in America: Knowing the Enemy,” sought to determine exactly what type of Shari’a every single mosque and Muslim religious institution in the U.S. was advocating. A June 2007 press release announcing the campaign indicated that SANE would work to “test the proposition that Shari’a amounts to a criminal conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government” by investigating and ranking the adherence to Islamic law of mosques and their associated day-schools throughout the U.S. The statement also promised to “advocate for the criminalization of Shari’a” if it felt its targeted investigation into mosques and Islamic day schools proved such a measure necessary.

SANE also proposed legislation that furthering or supporting adherence to Shari’a “shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison.” It called on Congress to declare war on the “Muslim nation,” which it defined as “Shari’a-adherent Muslims,” and further asked Congress to define Muslim illegal immigrants as alien enemies “subject to immediate deportation.”

Yerushalmi’s Allies and Associates

Since founding SANE, Yerushalmi, who received his law degree from Arizona State University College of Law, has been involved with several notable anti-Muslim groups and campaigns, often providing legal services for them:

  • Yerushalmi works closely with Pamela Geller, head of the anti-Muslim Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). For example, in September 2010 Yerushalmi represented Geller and Florida attorney John Stemberger when Omar Tarazi, a Columbus, Ohio, attorney sued them for allegedly saying he had contacts with terrorists. Tarazi had represented the parents of Rifqa Bary, a Christian teenager who fled to Florida, saying she feared harm from her Muslim mother and father. In his lawsuit, Tarazi said Geller wrongly linked him to Hamas. Yerushalmi reportedly incorporated the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), the non-profit organization through which Geller and Robert Spencer publish their blogs. He also defended AFDI ads on New York City buses opposing a planned mosque near Ground Zero that juxtaposed an image of an airplane headed toward the burning World Trade Center with another building labeled “WTC Mega Mosque” and the words “Why There?” Yerushalmi and Geller were also involved in a bus ad campaign in Miami that read: “Fatwa on your head? Is your community or family threatening you?”
  • Yerushalmi was the attorney for the Stop the Madrassa Community Coalition in New York City, which lobbied for the Bloomberg administration to shut down the Khalil Gibran International Academy, an Islamic school, and requested the firing of its founding principal, Debbie Almontaser.
  • In December 2008, the Thomas More Law Center filed suit against the federal government, claiming the government’s loan to American International Group (AIG) was illegal because the insurance company had financial products that the group claimed promote Islam and are anti-Christian. Yerushalmi handled the case for the Center.  In an article written around the same time, Yerushalmi even went so far as to suggest that U.S. companies that offer Shari’a-compliant finance measures might violate the Sedition Act.
  • Yerushalmi is General Counsel to the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy, founded by Frank J. Gaffney. Gaffney has been active in opposing mosque construction and has made several statements about Islam that raise concerns. For example, in a 2009 article in the Washington Times, Gaffney claimed that “there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself.” In 2010, the Center for Security Policy published the book Shari’ah: The Threat To America, An Exercise in Competitive Analysis, Report of Team ‘B’ II, co-authored by Yerushalmi. The book repeated Yerushalmi’s theories about a vast Shari’a threat to America.
  • Yerushalmi has for many years been associated with the Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies (IASPS), a right-wing think tank based in Israel and the United States, even serving as its chairman for five years, as well as writing a number of articles for it.  IASPS now primarily supports the projects of SANE.

Other Hostile Views

Yerushalmi’s main instrument, SANE, is also openly hostile to undocumented migrants in the United States. It advocates somehow sealing all American borders and building “special criminal camps” to house undocumented migrants, where they would serve a three-year detention sentence, then be deported.  SANE also argues that the “immigration debate” should take into account that America was “founded and made strong by immigrants from western European countries with Judeo-Christian roots.”

Yerushalmi has also claimed, as he wrote in a 2006 article, that the United States is in trouble because it “rejected its Christian roots, the Constitution and federalism,” and because it “embraced democracy” and multi-culturalism. This has rendered it “incapable” of “overcoming the World State ideology of the Liberal Elites.”  These beliefs have caused Yerushalmi to defend people accused of anti-Semitism such as Mel Gibson and Pat Buchanan because they “have the potential to save the West from itself and from Islam.”  Liberal Jews, on the other hand, according to Yerushalmi are “the leading proponents of all forms of anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Christian movements, campaigns, and ideologies,” and to argue otherwise one would have to be “literally divorced from reality.” Liberal Jews, according to Yerushalmi, have also destroyed “their host nations like a fatal parasite.”

Nor has Yerushalmi neglected the subject of race. Articles Yerushalmi has written for the SANE Web site argue that the “most of the fundamental differences between the races is genetic.” In a 2006 essay for SANE entitled, “On Race: A Tentative Discussion,” Yerushalmi claimed that “some races perform better in sports, some better in mathematical problem solving, some better in language, some better in Western societies and some better in tribal ones.” He also contended that African-Americans are a “relatively murderous race killing itself.”  For Yerushalmi it was obvious: “If evolution and the biologists who espouse the theory are correct, then the idea that racial differences included innate differences in character and intelligence would[,] it seem[,] be more likely than not.”