Tag: Antisemitism

Hope for Humanity

A crowdfunding campaign formed by two Muslim groups has raised more than $60,000 for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, which killed 11, the Independent reported.

Muslim-American non-profits Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change were behind the campaign, “Muslims Unite For Pittsburgh Synagogue.” It is also in partnership with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.

The campaign reached its initial goal of $25,000 goal in six hours. As of press time, it raised $62,500 of its new $75,000 goal. The proceeds will help with funeral expenses and medical bills.


A group of Jewish leaders told President Trump that he is no longer welcome in Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism following the shooting at a synagogue there over the weekend.

Eleven members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice penned a letter to Trump following the Saturday shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the group wrote. “You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”

Hopefully the rest of the community in Pittsburgh take a similar position.

Blaming Trump for This One

Trump has made bigotry fashionable in large segments of society, and he has demonized immigrants and refugees, and now we have a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh:

Eleven people are dead and six more are wounded — including four police officers — after a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning.

The shooter, who officials said had an assault-style rifle and three handguns, is in custody, Pittsburgh police report. Officials have confirmed he is Robert Bowers, 46, of Baldwin Borough. He is in Allegheny General Hospital in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds, officials said.


Gunfire erupted shortly before 10 a.m. as a baby-naming ceremony was getting underway, officials confirmed.


The Anti-Defamation League said it believed it was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the U.S. history.

There was an initial confrontation in which two officers were injured, Mr. Hissrich said. Two more who are members of SWAT were injured in a later confrontation, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said at the news conference. Officials said they believe the suspect was acting alone.

It appears that his actions were a juxtaposition of antisemitism and anti-immigrant bias, making hime the very modern model of the modern Trump Republican:

Someone posting under the name Robert Bowers on the social media site Gab.com, wrote on or around Oct. 10: “Why hello there HIAS! You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us? We appreciate the list of friends you have provided,” and included a link to the website for HIAS National Refugee Shabbat, formerly the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society.

HIAS was founded in 1881 to help Jews fleeing Eastern Europe. In the 2000s, it expanded its work to include non-Jewish refugees, including those fleeing Afghanistan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Tunisia and Vietnam.

HIAS led events held last weekend and billed online as “a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals around the country to create a Shabbat experience dedicated to refugees.” Jewish Family and Community Services is listed on the HIAS website as a partner of the organization. The website indicates that JFCS and three Pittsburgh congregations were participating in the group’s awareness campaign last weekend: Beth Shalom, Dor Hadash and Makom HaLev.

Robert Bowers on Gab.com indicated a week ago that he “noticed a change in people saying ‘illegals’ that now say ‘invaders’ I like this.” He also called one other poster on Gab.com a “deceptive little oven dodger” in response to a post debunking a rumor that trucks marked with the Star of David were bringing Central American migrants to the U.S.

This is a direct result of Donald Trump and his rhetoric.

The right wing has been weaponizing bigots and the mentally ill to intimidate the rest of us since at least the Reagan administration.

We’ve seen it with mass shootings, the assassination of Alan Berg, violence against abortion clinics, etc.

There is an entire domestic terrorist infrastructure that the right wing has built, and it needs to be taken down.

The Ukraine is Being the Ukraine Again

It turns out a prominent Ukrainian politician is celebrating Cossack pogroms against Jews, because ……… the Ukraine:

A regional leader of the Svoboda far-right party in Ukraine posted on Facebook a picture of a Cossack beating a Jew with a bloody flail, along with a poem celebrating the “threshing.”

Yuri Gorbinko, head of the party in Fastiv, a municipality near Kiev, posted the picture earlier this month, Eduard Dolinsky, the head of Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote on the same social network.

It shows a man dressed in traditional garb of the Cossacks, a Slavic group that lived in Eastern Ukraine and some parts of Russia that was responsible for countless pogroms against Jews and other minority groups well into the 20th century.

The picture came with a short poem extolling agricultural work, including “threshing.”

The Jewish figure, dressed in Hasidic style, is on his knees looking up in horror at the Cossack. A second figure, a disfigured blond-haired man, possibly representing Polish people, is seen lying in a pool of blood. A third individual, possibly Russian, is holding up his arms defensibly.

For some reason, these are our allies.

You Know, Rightwing Bombers Targeting Jews Sounds Awfully Familiar

Looks like some right-winger put a bomb in George Soros’ mailbox:

Federal authorities believe that an explosive device found Monday in a mailbox at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has been a focus of right-wing critics and conspiracy theorists, was left there by someone and was not delivered by the Postal Service, several law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Soros’s home is in a suburb of New York City. The device was constructed from a length of pipe about six inches long filled with explosive powder, and it was “proactively detonated” by bomb squad technicians, according to one of the officials, all of whom were briefed on the investigation.

The motive of the would-be bomber or bombers remained unclear, one of the officials said, adding that there had not yet been any claim of responsibility.

Mr. Soros, who made his fortune in finance and is now a full-time philanthropist and political activist, is often a subject of the ire of right-wing groups. In recent days, some have falsely speculated that he funded a caravan of migrants moving north in Mexico.

Mr. Soros was not home when the device was discovered by a caretaker, another one of the officials said. It was rigged with a detonator, and it could have maimed or possibly killed someone had it exploded near them.

A senior law enforcement official described the pipe bomb as “smaller than what we typically see.”

The investigation is being conducted by the New York offices of the F.B.I. and the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, according to several of the officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

I’m thinking that these members of the “Party of God” (in Arabic, “Hezbollah”) need to be addressed sooner, rather than later.

South Carolina: Slavery, Sedition, and Now State Sanctioned Anti-Semitism

The Trump administration is considering whether to grant a South Carolina request that would effectively allow faith-based foster care agencies in the state the ability to deny Jewish parents from fostering children in its network. The argument, from the state and from the agency, is that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act should not force a Protestant group to work with Jewish people if it violates a tenet of their faith.

The case being made by South Carolina is an extension of the debate around RFRA, which is more commonly associated with discrimination against LGBTQ people, but by no means applies exclusively to that group.

If granted, the exemption would allow Miracle Hill Ministries, a Protestant social service agency working in the state’s northwest region, to continue receiving federal dollars while “recruiting Christian foster families,” which it has been doing since 1988, according to its website. That discrimination would apply not just to Jewish parents, but also to parents who are Muslim, Catholic, Unitarian, atheist, agnostic or other some other non-Protestant Christian denomination.

I’ve really had enough with how the local, state, and federal government coddle these Talibaptist whack-a-doodles.

Why I’m Generally Inclined to Support Russia in Confrontations with Other FSU Nations

Because the other former Soviet Republics, when not glorifying genocidal Nazi collaborates, are hosting marches honoring Nazi SS veterans.

Apart from that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Each year on March 16, a macabre event unfolds on the square around this capital city’s most famous monument.

Known as the Memorial for Latvian Legionnaires, it is the world’s only march by veterans of Nazi Germany’s elite SS unit.

A handful of them, including nonagenarians in wheelchairs, lead the procession through the Old City to the monument. Some wear the insignia from their old units — the 15th and 19th Waffen Grenadier Divisions — as they receive flowers from young women flanking the procession.


The marchers, some of them skinheads wearing fascist symbols, also spark passionate opposition from Latvians who recall how some of the fighters honored were complicit in the murder of Jews. Equally ardent advocates of the march argue that the Legionnaires were either patriots seeking independence from Russia, forcefully conscripted victims of the German Nazis or both.

But throughout the 20-year-old debate over perceived perpetrators, no one had bothered to use the site to remember the victims of the Nazis.

To be fair, there is an attempt by some people bring up the actual history:

Until 2016, that is, when a non-Jewish Holocaust education professional from Riga — whose great-uncle fought for the Germans — started grassroots commemorations at the monument for murdered Jews, reclaiming the site from the far right.

“In order to make something that belongs to the whole of Latvia, it has to be at Freedom Monument,” Lolita Tomsone, the organizer, told JTA.

But the push-back, both social and official has been intense:

In Lithuania, hundreds of nationalists march each year with swastikas and banners carrying portraits of collaborators who helped murder Jews. There, Zuroff’s 2016 book about the Holocaust led to the first debate of its kind about local complicity in the genocide. Zuroff, the Eastern Europe director for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, co-authored “Our People” with the popular author Ruta Vanagaite.

In recent weeks, though, a Lithuanian Cabinet minister submitted legislation that would outlaw the sale of material that “distorts historical facts” about his country – an echo of a similar and controversial bill recently passed in Poland. Vanagaite has left Lithuania amid a smear campaign against her: After she dared criticize a Lithuanian nationalist hero, her publishing house recalled and shredded all of her books.

If you live in a society where it is not only controversial, but unpopular, to say that Nazis are bad,  you need to fix your society, and your politics, and a lot of other stuff.

This is F%$#ed Up and Sh%$

An orthodox Jewish employee of Anne Frank House in Denmark was told that he could not wear a Yarmulke to work.

Kafka would find this bizarre:

For his first six months on the job, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam reportedly forbade a Jewish employee from wearing a kippa.

Twenty-five-year-old Barry Vingerling was told to remove his kippa upon showing up at his first day of work at the museum, according to a report Thursday in the NIW Dutch Jewish weekly.

Museum officials explained that the Anne Frank House had a policy against donning religious symbols that would break with their “neutrality” efforts, Vingerling relayed to the NIW.

Yeah, I guess that letting people know that there are Jews working at Anne Frank House would break with their “neutrality” efforts.

The phrase coined by Douglas Adams, “A bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes,” appears to apply.

Snark of the Day Conundrum

Surprised the @washingtonpost didn’t illo this with the word JUDENREIN shaved into pubic hair. https://t.co/pK4pK4siAR

— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) April 2, 2018

It being a slow news day, the Washington Post posted an article from Carey Purcell, who is miffed that the two Jewish men she dated refused to recognize her in all her WASPy glory.

In the last line, she refers to  creating a cocktail called, “A Jewish Man’s Rebellion, which has a bourbon base and a bacon garnish.

Well, there were two responses that were noteworthy, one a tweet from Spencer Ackerman that is the might be even more epic than his comment at an editorial meeting of the New Republic, where he offered to, “Skullf%$# the corpse of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to establish his anti-terrorist bona fides.”

It is a work of beauty and elegance under Twitter’s 140 280 character limit.

On the other hand, the Forward goes for the long form, “How Come Jewish Men Keep Breaking Up With Me?, which (obviously) goes into more detail (4347 characters), and makes what I assume to be devastating allusions to the TV show Sex and the City.

I assume that Twitter is rather a rather unaccommodating climate for Ms. Purcell right now, but please remember to take the time to heap opprobrium on the editor who selected this for publication as well.

Remember the tools for such things are irony, sarcasm, and mockery, not obscene epithets or threats of violence.

It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, don’t f%$# it up and make them martyrs.

Why I Tend to Favor Russia in its Dispute with the Ukraine

Because as bad as Russian antisemitism is, the Ukraine has more antisemitic incidents than the rest of the former Soviet Union combined, and this has been so since the days of the tzars:

In its main annual report on anti-Semitism, Israel’s government singled out Ukraine as unusual in Eastern Europe for the alleged increase in attacks there, triggering protest by Kiev.

The allegation appeared in the anti-Semitism report for 2017 that the Ministry for Diaspora Affairs under Education Minister Naftali Bennett published last week, ahead of the Jan. 27 International Day of Holocaust Remembrance.
“A striking exception in the trend of decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe was Ukraine, where the number of recorded anti-Semitic attacks was doubled from last year and surpassed the tally for all the incidents reported throughout the entire region combined,” the report said.

The report did not name the total number of incidents reported but a ministry spokesperson queried by JTA said that throughout 2017, more than 130 incidents of anti-Semitism had been reported, including violent assaults, in Ukraine. The data came from Jewish communities and Nativ, an Israeli government agency that used to be part of the intelligence services but today deals exclusively with issues connected to aliyah, or immigration by Jews and their relatives to Israel.

The report also said that 2017 was the second consecutive year that Ukraine had the largest number of anti-Semitic incidents of any other country from the former Soviet Union.

Note that current Russian government isn’t erecting statues to, naming streets after, and marching to honor dead genocidal maniacs who collaborated with the Nazis either.

While we are at it. f%$# the current Polish government for planning to literally making it illegal to acknowledge the historical FACT that there were large numbers of Poles who enthusiastically collaborated with the Nazis and helped execute the Holocaust, including some members of the Polish resistance.

Russia comes out as the best of an REALLY bad lot in that part of the world on issues of glorifying Nazis and denying the reality of what some of its populace did during WWII..

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Kevin Wilshaw, a longtime of the National Front in the UK, and a self-admitted Nazi, has eschewed his previous radical racism and come out as having a Jewish mother and being Gay:

A white supremacist active as recently as the start of this year says today he is publicly renouncing 40 years of hate. Speaking on Channel 4 News he comes out as gay for the first time – and admits to a violent past. After a lifetime of involvement with the far-right Kevin Wilshaw announces on Channel 4 News that he is leaving the movement – at the same time publicly coming out as gay.

The well known National Front organiser in the 1980s was still active in white supremacist groups earlier this year – including speaking at events.

But tonight on Channel 4 News he explains for the very first time why he is publicly disavowing the movement – sharing his secrets, explaining how he was both a Neo-Nazi and of Jewish heritage , while admitting to violent acts and what motivated his hatred.

Kevin Wilshaw also opens up about his Jewish mother.

“She was part Jewish, maiden name was Benjamin, we have Jewish blood on that side.

And here is the money quote:

Mr Wilshaw admits that being a Nazi who is gay – but with a Jewish background – is a contradiction.

Gee, you think?

BTW, Mr. Wilshaw, according to Jewish law, you are Jewish, because your mother was Jewish.

This is f%$#ed up and sh%$.

Between the Ages of 7 & 13, I Lived in Charlottesville

What the Dead Kennedy’s Said

Goddamn Virginia Nazis!

Nazis, not an exaggeration, see the photo, marched in Charlottesville over the weekend carrying firearms and wearing body armor, and were greeted by counter protesters.

One of the Nazis drove his car into protestors, killing one. (He’s been caught and jailed.

There is video of the attack, but I strongly recommend avoiding it.

Trump, who has called this sort of attack terrorism repeatedly in the past, responded with a lame ass “both sides do it” statement, which was quickly followed by widespread condemnation from a chorus of critics, including the New York Times and a startlingly large number of Republicans.

Following this, and the resignation of 3 members of his council of U.S. business leaders, Trump finally issued a grudging condemnation of white supremacists:

President Trump is facing a crossroad in his presidency — a choice between adopting the better-angels tone of a traditional White House or doubling down on the slashing, go-it-alone approach that got him elected in 2016.

On Monday, he tried to walk both paths — and satisfied neither supporters nor critics.

Mr. Trump, bowing to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody weekend demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., on Monday labeled their views as racist and “evil” after two days of issuing equivocal statements.

“Racism is evil,” said Mr. Trump, delivering a statement from the White House at a hastily arranged appearance meant to halt the growing political threat posed by the unrest. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

When law enforcement needs to pursue what happened as terrorism, and the media needs to describe it as terrorism.

The fact that this term, and those laws, are never applied when white people are involved has contributed to this problem.

Right wing terrorism accounts for more than 3 x the number of attacks from Islamists in the United States, but it’s not a priority, because of their ineffable whiteness.

It is white privilege writ large.

What Part of Ukrainian Nationalist Don’t You Get?

The Ukrainian city of Lviv has decided to hold a festival to honor a collaborator with the Nazis who murdered Jews and Poles, primarily in Volhynia and Galicia:  (The article does not mention the massacres of Poles by Shukhevych)

The Ukrainian city of Lviv will hold a festival celebrating a Nazi collaborator on the anniversary of a major pogrom against the city’s Jews.

Shukhevychfest, an event named for Roman Shukhevych featuring music and theater shows, will be held Friday.

Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, in a statement called the event “disgraceful.”

On June 30, 1941, Ukrainian troops, including militiamen loyal to Shukhevych’s, began a series of pogroms against Jews, which they perpetrated under the auspices of the German army, according to Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder and other scholars. They murdered approximately 6,000 Jews in those pogroms.

The day of the festival is the 110th birthday of Shukhevych, a leader of the OUN-B nationalist group and later of the UPA insurgency militia, which collaborated with the Nazis against the Soviet Union before it turned against the Nazis.

Shukhevychfest is part of a series of gestures honoring nationalists in Ukraine following the 2014 revolution, in which nationalists played a leading role. They brought down the government of President Viktor Yanukovuch, whose critics said was a corrupt Russian stooge.


In a related debate, the director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Remembrance, Vladimir Vyatrovich, who recently described Shukhevych as an “eminent personality,” last month defended the displaying in public of the symbol of the Galician SS division. Responsible for countless murders of Jews, Nazi Germany’s most elite unit was comprised of Ukrainian volunteers.

Displaying Nazi symbols is illegal in Ukraine but the Galician SS division’s symbol is “in accordance with the current legislation of Ukraine,” Vyatrovich said.

I would note that I am aware of my family history, and I am aware that there is some Galitzianer* in my background, (my dad prefers a sweet gefilte fish), so I do tend to not to be dismissive of efforts Nazi apologists from that part of the world, though I am not surprised by such efforts.

Ukrainian history is rather more virulently antisemitic than corresponding Russian history.

*My Grandmother also claimed descent from the Goan of Vilna (Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman) which would make us Litvaks (Lithuanian) Nas well, so I span both major divisions of Eastern European Jews. There is also some Yekke (German/Western European) Jewish background in the family tree, so we’re mutts.
Note that the division of Galitzianer, Litvak, and Yekke only vaguely correspond to the current or historical boundaries of these regions.

Trump is a Real Friend of the Jews

Trumps State Department is shutting down its anti-Semitism monitoring office:

The U.S. State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism will be unstaffed as of July 1.

A source familiar with the office’s workings told JTA that its remaining two staffers, each working half-time or less, would be reassigned as of that date.

The Trump administration, which has yet to name an envoy to head the office, would not comment on the staffing change. At full staffing, the office employs a full-time envoy and the equivalent of three full-time staffers.

So not a surprise.

Trump is dancing with what brung him.

Gorka Out

Sebastian Gorka, who was brought into the Trump Administration as a terrorism expert, is leaving the administration.

It appears that this was not because his PhD was basically fraudulent, no because he was a member of a Hungarian Neo-Nazi Group, but because the so-called terrorism expert could not get a security clearance:

Sebastian Gorka, an adviser to Donald Trump who has been under pressure over his links to Hungarian far-right groups, is leaving the White House.

A senior official said Gorka, a former counterterrorism analyst for Fox News who joined the administration as an adviser, will be leaving the White House in the coming days.
Trump aide drew plan on napkin to partition Libya into three
Read more

The official said that Gorka had initially been hired to sit on the strategic initiatives group, an advisory panel created by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon to run parallel to the national security council.

But that group fizzled out in the early months of the administration. Gorka was unable to get clearance for the national security council after he was charged last year with carrying a weapon at Ronald Reagan Washington national airport.


In recent weeks, one White House source told the Washington Examiner that Gorka’s role had diminished to the point where he was appearing on television, “giving White House tours and peeling out in his Mustang.”

How the hell do you get a position in the White House, particularly working national security, when you cannot get a security clearance, particularly when 15 years earlier, he also could not get a security clearance in Hungary.  (It appears that his CV is a bit dodgy.)

Seriously, this is a guy who should be asking, “Do you want fries with that?”

I Didn’t Go There, but Other People Are

On Friday, I made it a point to reflect on other victims of the Holocaust.

I did so in a way that specifically mentioned Jews.

Saturday, I took a rare day off from blogging, and on Sunday, I noted, among other things, that Trump had not mentioned Jews at all in their Holocaust Remembrance Day message.

Given the sh%$ storm that erupted, it was at the end of this post, though.

Now Tim Kaine, of all people, is saying that the omission of Jews is a form of Holocaust denialism:

Senator Tim Kaine said on Sunday that it was “not a coincidence” that the White House did not mention Jews or Judaism on Holocaust Remembrance Day yet Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“The final solution was about the slaughter of Jews,” said Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate in her defeat by Trump in November, in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “We have to remember this. This is what Holocaust denial is.

“It’s either to deny that it happened, or many Holocaust deniers acknowledge, ‘Oh, yeah, people were killed. But it was a lot of innocent people. Jews weren’t targeted.’ The fact that they did that and imposed this religious test against Muslims in the executive orders on the same day – this is not a coincidence.”

Kaine spoke after White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, appearing on the same show, stood by the original statement.

“I don’t regret the words,” Priebus said, adding: “I mean, everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust, including, obviously, all of the Jewish people.”

On Friday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House said: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

Pressed on the omission on Saturday, after criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and Anne Frank Center, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN: “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered.”

Certainly, one of the tropes of Holocaust deniers from the more antisemitic side of that crowd (there is also a more pro Nazi side) is to assert that the deaths of Jews,* and say that everything has to be viewed in the context of overall Nazi brutality.

Steve Bannon is clearly on one of those sides, and given that Trump just put him in every meeting of the National Security Council, it’s pretty clear that he is the power behind the throne right now.

So I am inclined to agree with Kaine’s assessment, though it is unclear to me whether or not this was Bannon freelancing or not.

In the final analysis, it does not matter, and my Orthodox Jewish friends and relatives who voted for Trump need to keep this on their list when asking God for forgiveness on Yom Kippur.

*Pretty much everyone ignores the Roma (Gypsies), because they are perhaps the most despised minority in the Western world.

When You’ve Lost the Forward………

The battle for the next head of the DCCC is heating up, and it appears that someone is concerned that Keith Ellison is jeopardizing their phony baloney jobs,* because they are casting broad aspersions of antisemitism.

A number of outlets have called bullsh%$ on this most recently The Foreward, formerly known as the Yiddish Daily Forward, which declares that his so-called antisemitic speech is a result of deliberately deceptive editing:

If you’ve been following the uproar over Congressman Keith Ellison and his run for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, you might recall hearing about a 36-second audio clip containing a snippet of an Ellison speech that, according to his critics, proves he’s anti-Israel and shouldn’t get the job. You may even have listened to the clip and been left wondering exactly what it means.

If so, you’re in luck. The other 22 minutes of Ellison’s speech are now available for your listening pleasure. You can listen and make up your own mind.

Some background: The audio file captures Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, addressing a 2010 campaign fundraising event for a fellow Muslim who was running (unsuccessfully) for the Virginia state legislature. Ellison is heard claiming that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is “governed” by “what’s good or bad” for a certain nation of 7 million. Translation: Israel’s welfare is a primary goal of American policy.

He goes on to say that American Muslims could wield their own influence on American policy if they got more involved in the political process. In other words, donate tonight and help the Muslim cause. More on that later.


I posted a piece on Friday morning dissecting various bits of evidence that Ellison’s critics cite to prove he’s anti-Israel, including the 36-second audio. I expressed skepticism about the case against him. Regarding the audio, I wrote that it could just as easily be understood as a description of plain fact: that Israel’s welfare ranks high among U.S. policy priorities and Muslims might have more influence if they were better organized. That Israel’s advantage is held up not for condemnation so much as emulation.

It’s worth noting that the first interpretation — the ADL’s reading — accords with the image of Ellison as an Israel-hater that’s popular in conservative Jewish circles. The second, more benign reading, on the other hand, jibes with the picture of Ellison portrayed by the Democratic leadership in Congress and virtually the entire leadership of the Jewish community in Ellison’s hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul, where he’s consistently described as a friend and ally of the community and a supporter of Israel.


Well, on Friday afternoon I got an email from Steven Emerson. He wrote that there was no intention to leave the audience dangling, and that the full speech, audio and transcript, was about to be released. And sure enough, an hour later the full speech appeared on the project’s website. Click here to read and listen to the full 22-minute speech.


Fifth, in case anyone thought he was advocating extreme action, he’s calling for “public diplomacy.” He says it twice. And, he adds, crucially: “This is not to say that I don’t want the U.S. to be friends with Israel.” (Having trouble sorting out all the double and triple negatives? Hint: He just said he wants the U.S. to be friends with Israel. To what he thought was a closed audience of Muslim activists.)

He continues: “I just want the United States to have a lot of friends. And to be in a position with the friend to say — you are wrong and you must stop.” (That is, Israel is and will continue to be a friend, but friends don’t let friends drive drunk.)

Finally, here’s his most conspiratorial-sounding statement: “That country” — Israel — “has mobilized its Diaspora in America to do its bidding in America.” Sounds ominous, right? He’s accusing AIPAC of doing a good job. But now he draws the lesson he wants to drive home to Muslims: “The question is, with all of us here, we ought to be able to do at least as much. You understand what I am trying to say? That we got a lot of work to do.” That is, the Jewish community does effective work on its causes. Muslims should learn from them.

While this is not an official OP/ED of The Forward editors, it is from its former editor-in-chief, Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg.

Rather unsurprisingly, this is all about a battle power, control, and money among the party apparatchiks.

*One of the most vociferous condemnations of Ellison have come from Clintonistas and other members of the Democratic Party Nomenklatura such as Clinton megadonor Haim Saban.