WONDERING ABOUT THE ACCOMPLICES
By Avi Davis
Many years ago, when working part time for a Jewish institution in Los Angeles, I was assigned to sort through the organization’s archives and came across some old year books. As I flipped through them, I found photographs of student dances and social events which depicted students happily enjoying life and looking the picture of health and vitality. When I gazed at the smiling faces, I noticed the date of the photos for that year. Several of them were captioned, “April, 1943.” That immediately sparked a remembrance. Wasn’t April, 1943, the exact time that the Warsaw Ghetto was being liquidated? A quick check of a reference book in the student library confirmed it. How ironic, I thought, that as their fellow Jews were desperately fighting for their lives and dying in the rubble of Warsaw, these young Jews were enjoying life in the safety of the Los Angeles suburbs and appeared to continue as though nothing was happening?
Of course such an assessment, just on a cursory viewing of a few photographs, is very unfair. These young men and women, so far removed from the fighting in Europe, may have indeed been deeply concerned about what was happening to their brethren and could well have attended the many rallies and prayer services conducted throughout the country on their behalf. Nevertheless, I had to wonder what life had been like for Jews and even ordinary American citizens as millions were being exterminated in the forests and gas chambers of Nazi Europe. What did they know and what did they do to prevent the continued killings?
It was then that I began reading a series of disturbing books, chronicling the abandonment of the Jews during the Holocaust. First there was David S. Wyman’s seminal work, the Abandonment of the Jews, which provided a graphic account of the way the Allied powers, and most particularly the Roosevelt Administration, deliberately ignored the opportunities to save thousands, if not millions of Jewish lives from 1938 onwards. Then I read Deborah Lipstadt’s excellent Beyond Belief which was a study of American press reactions to the Holocaust, detailing how the press nationwide played down or even ignored reports of Jewish persecutions and the Nazi genocidal campaign over a 12-year period. Finally there was Neal Gabler’s An Empire of Their Own, which, while not specifically focused on the Holocaust, showed how the entertainment industry, led by Jewish moguls such as Louis B. Mayer, Alfred Zukor, and Harry Cohn, did all they could to quarantine or play down information about the destruction of Eastern European Jewry for fear that their own productions would be branded as too pro-Jewish.
With all the major institutions of the United States – government , press and entertainment - unwilling to cope with reports of the greatest mass murder in history, who was left to advocate for the Jews of Europe? The answer is obvious: the American Jewish community. What, then, did major Jewish institutional leaders do to challenge their government in order to take action on behalf of the Jews of Europe?
That gap in my knowledge was finally addressed by a powerful drama I saw at the Fountain Theater in Los Angeles two weeks ago. The Accomplices, a play written by former New York Times political reporter Bernard Weinraub and directed by Simon Levy, is the story of Peter Bergson( aka Hillel Kook), a 27–year- old Palestinian Jew. Bergson came to the United States in 1940 initially to raise funds to create a Jewish army. When news came of the escalation of atrocities in Europe, he switched his focus to building a national campaign to save Jewish life. Bergson’s story was already well known to me, as was the obstructionism of the Roosevelt Administration. What was less well known, and was so startling, was the vociferousness with which the American Jewish community’s leadership attacked and isolated Bergson, demonizing his efforts and making it increasingly difficult for him to influence decision makers in Washington
That is because Bergson’s campaign to address the plight of his fellow Jews issued a strong challenge to the Jewish establishment. Buffeted by their own wave of American anti-Semitism in the 1930s, Jewish leaders were determined to keep a low profile and not bring attention to themselves, lest the war be seen as a “ Jewish war” – or, in other words, as a war fought to save the Jews. Bergson, shunned by American Jewish leaders as an extremist, was forced to work outside their networks and appeal directly to the Jewish community. He did this with spectacular – and often bombastic - newspaper articles, mass rallies and continuous lobbying of Senators and Congressmen.
The play reserves some of its greatest bile for one of the acknowledged leaders of the American Jewish community during the War years- Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. Since the early 30s, Wise had maintained strong relations with the Roosevelt Administration and was determined to support the Democratic president’s war policies, no matter what the political costs. The play depicts Wise as having subordinated his own apparent desire to rescue the Jews of Europe to Roosevelt’s war objective. Little known to Wise was that Roosevelt, whose own anti-Semitism is acknowledged in the play as a matter of course, was manipulating him, preying on his loyalty and diverting the Jewish leader from publicly addressing the fate of European Jewry.
For years, the Immigration and Naturalization Department, under Roosevelt’s friend and confidante, Breckinridge Long, had twisted and tightened existing immigration laws in order to keep Jewish refugees from finding a home in the United States. It was only when the information of the Holocaust became so public and Long’s obfuscations were about to be brought to light, that the water began to boil around Roosevelt. Members of Roosevelt’s own administration threatened to resign (including Treasury Secretary Henry A. Morgenthau, himself a Jew) and newspaper editorials began to speak out loudly about U.S. inaction. Thereafter, the President was forced to finally act by creating the War Refugee Board. That Board did, in the end, manage to save Jewish lives – some 200,000, according to the playwright. But it was not enough to save Bergson from a lifetime of remorse that he hadn’t done enough. It is still not clear how men such as Stephen S. Wise, Breckenridge Long or other Roosevelt administration officials dealt with their own guilt.
Since viewing the play I have discovered a new body of literature that addresses Bergson’s career and his tumultuous eight years in the United States. Louis Rapoport’s Shake Heaven and Earth: Peter Bergson’s Struggle to Save the Jews of Europe(1999) and David S. Wyman’s and Rafael Medoff”s A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust( 2004) both provide powerful detail on U.S government failures during the Holocaust. Medoff’s book The Deafening Silence: American Jewish Leaders and the Holocaust, goes even further in revealing internal memos of major Jewish institutions which urge Jewish leaders and Board members to say nothing of the Nazi atrocities.
One leaves such a play deeply shaken. The unfeeling and indifferent attitudes that can condemn millions of innocent people to death is not a figment of anyone’s creative imagination but the reality of a world gone deaf, dumb and blind to the realities of evil. Jews died in the Holocaust, not only because Adolf Hitler was determined to kill them, but because those with the power to make a difference refused to lift a hand to help them. But the play also imparts a stirring message. It teaches us that, despite being confronted with tremendous odds, an individual with enough willpower and determination can make a significant difference. In the 21st Century, confronted by the threat of Islamic fundamentalism and its facilitating partners - political correctness and multiculturalism, we need new Peter Bergsons to arrive on the world stage and rattle the offices of power.
Avi Davis is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow of the American Freedon Alliance.
NEWS: EUROPE AND AMERICA
Muslim Workers Stage Protest At Plant For The Right To Pray
Muslim protest for right to prayer- Tracy Overstreet
GRAND ISLAND —
A group of 500 Muslim workers from Grand Island's JBS Swift & Co. plant staged a protest Monday afternoon. Members of the B shift (3 to 11:30 p.m.) and some members of the morning A shift walked off the job after being denied time to pray during what they said is the holiest of times for them -- Ramadan. A group of protesting women said they were kicked by a supervisor when they attempted to pray at work. Asha Abdi said she knelt to pray when the supervisor said, "You can't pray here," kicked her feet and told her to go home. Another woman, Hawo Mohammed, said she told her production supervisor she needed to go to the bathroom. She attempted to pray quickly in the bathroom until the male supervisor followed her in and told her she was taking too long. "The main point is freedom for religion," said Ridwan Abbi, a second-shift production worker who gladly supported his peers. The workers said they pray about four to five times a day -- two times of which fall during the A shift schedule and two of which fall during the B shift. "The company said we aren't going to give you any time to pray, but this is a free country," said Ahmed Abdi, a spokesman for the largely Somalian group, who formerly worked at the plant. "We are Muslim and this country is about freedom." (theindependent)
Six Muslims Muslims Convicted In Australia’s Largest Terrorism Trial
Guilty findings for six men in terrorist trial-Karen Kissane
ABDUL NACER BENBRIKA slouched low in his seat, greyer and more worn than when he was arrested three years ago. He still wears his long beard and caftan but has aged visibly during his incarceration. His skin has taken on a yellow tinge, and there are pouches under his eyes that did not used to be there. As he sat in the Supreme Court yesterday Benbrika and five of his followers were found guilty in Australia's biggest terrorism trial. Four more men were acquitted and a decision on the final two accused is expected in the Melbourne court today. Over seven months the jury heard evidence on 27 charges from more than 50 witnesses. The Crown's case included 482 covertly recorded conversations.
They heard allegations that Benbrika had plotted to carry out terrorist attacks on the 2005 AFL grand final and the 2006 NAB Cup, and on Melbourne's Crown Casino on the Grand Prix weekend in 2006. Benbrika had appeared quiet and withdrawn during the trial but yesterday he looked like a man expecting bad news. His face remained impassive each time the jury forewoman quietly pronounced him "Guilty". But his legs were jiggling nervously. At the first call of guilty - of being a member of a terrorist organisation - he murmured to the young man who would be convicted next, Aimen Joud. Joud stroked his own beard as he was pronounced guilty on five counts. Several of the other men were close to tears - of grief for their loss or relief at their win - as the verdicts passed along the two rows of seats in the dock. Most bent over and gazed at their knees to shield their faces as their fate was pronounced. But when the four who had been acquitted stood, free to leave, there was an outburst of joy and sorrow among all the men. They embraced affectionately, one after the other, offering congratulations and commiserations and slapping each other on the back. For the first time in a long time, the Benbrika 12 were no longer 12. Shane Kent and Amer Haddara await their verdicts. For Benbrika, Joud and the other four convicted yesterday the next issue will be their sentences. The defence lawyers had often told the jurors that they needed to differentiate between the defendants because they were really participating in 27 separate trials: 12 different defendants on a total of 27 counts. Yesterday's mixed bag of verdicts suggests that the jury took them at their word, evaluating the evidence for each accused independently. The prosecution had alleged that the 12 men, all Muslims from Melbourne's northern suburbs, were part of an organisation pursuing terrorism in the pursuit of jihad and that Benbrika was their leader. Ten of the men had faced other charges too and all had pleaded not guilty. The Algerian-born Benbrika, 48, was a father of seven. He was also a self-appointed Muslim "sheik", or religious leader, who had gathered around him a group of young Australians, all but one of Lebanese background, whom he taught about Islam. For some of those men, the jury seems to have decided, the involvement went no further than that: an interest in religious classes. Several lawyers had argued that their clients had never been present during conversations involving violent jihadi rhetoric. But Benbrika is now a convicted terrorist. He had wanted to pressure the Government into withdrawing troops from Iraq, the prosecution had alleged. He was recorded saying: "Here in Australia, when you do something, they stop to send the troop … If you kill - we kill here a thousand, the government is going to think."
"However, As For The West And Its Characteristics, Especially The Europeans - Their Bad Qualities Are Innumerable!
Government-Appointed Kuwaiti Preacher: Europeans Are Immoral, Unclean, and Cowardly-MEMRI
The Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan recently published an article  by its columnist Sheikh Nabil Al-'Awadhi, who is a government-appointed preacher at a Kuwaiti mosque and in the past had a television show called "An Hour of Sincerity" on Kuwaiti Al-Rai TV. In the article, titled "The Qualities of the European," Al-'Awadhi states that Europeans are disciplined and law-abiding only because they fear punishment; that they are unclean, since they "only wash when absolutely necessary"; and that they are selfish, cowardly and miserly. It should be noted that in August 2006, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowments suspended Al-'Awadhi from his post as preacher for three months, after he gave a Friday sermon inciting to jihad and calling for harming Jews. 
Reformist Kuwaiti writer Ahmad Al-Sarraf responded to Al-'Awadhi's article with one of his own, in which he condemned and refuted Al-'Awadhi's statements about Europeans. 
Following are excerpts from the two articles:
The Europeans' "Bad Qualities Are Innumberable!"
Al-'Awadhi's article, titled "The Qualities of the European," appeared in his regular "A Word of Sincerity" column in Al-Watan. In it, he wrote:
"In a previous piece, called 'The Arab Qualities,' I mentioned some of the bad qualities which distinguish many Arabs, and which Islam calls on us to reject. Some [people], who are dazzled by Western civilization, thought that the examples [I presented in the article] were intended as a comprehensive comparison between the Arabs and the West. But the truth is that I mentioned only a few [Arab] qualities, comparing them with Western characteristics.
"However, as for the West and its characteristics, especially the Europeans - their bad qualities are innumerable! This article does not mean to [discuss] all the European qualities, [but] only some of them - in particular those having to do with their relations with one another. (MEMRI)
Sharia Courts Officially Operating In Britain
Revealed: UK’s first official sharia courts-Abul Taher
ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases. The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence. Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court. Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims. It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh. Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996. Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case. Siddiqi said: “We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are.” The disclosure that Muslim courts have legal powers in Britain comes seven months after Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was pilloried for suggesting that the establishment of sharia in the future “seems unavoidable” in Britain. (TimesOnline)
Muslims Want Alcohol Free Days In Discos And Restaurants
Norway: Alcohol as an obstacle for integration
The International Health and Social Group (IHSG) is arranging an evening at the Central Jammat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat mosque in Oslo on Sep. 24th. The theme of the evening is alcohol policy in an inclusive perspective.
"In Norwegian culture is almost provocative not to drink alcohol. Norway is a multicultural society. Are all groups really included? Muslims make up a large part of the population in Norway, but how does society enable social inclusion?" "What's so provocative about our drinking?" "It's provocative that people aren't part of the group. When somebody sits there and is completely sober and all others are drinking, there's pressure to drink. 'Are you afraid of your parents? Are you a coward who doesn't dare try it?' are typical questions," says Fahim Naeem of IHSG to iOslo.no. Muslims are not allowed to partake of alcohol in any way, and most Norwegian are aware of this, he thinks. "In the invitation to this evening Norwegian alcohol habits are portrayed as an obstacle for the integration of Muslims. What do you mean by that?" "For Muslim youth it's a restriction. We see that it can be hard for them, as most Muslims don't drink. but if moderate amounts are drunk around them, it's good. The problem is that many become a little insistent and the Muslim youth will feel a little uneasy," he says. It's not a state secret that many Muslims drink alcohol on par with other Norwegians. Naeem recognizes that, but says it's completely forbidden. "They get problems at home, if they're discovered." "But can't it be part of integration that Muslims go out to town to dance and enjoy themselves - also with a couple of beers?" "No, I don't think so." "Integration takes place also during leisure time, in the city, out on the town and in cafes. How can people solve this problem? "Muslims want to have alcohol free days in discos. There should be some days when people can go to restaurants and discos where there's a total ban on alcohol," says Naeem. Hege Storhaug of Human Rights Service rejects such a proposal. " (IslamInEurope)
Jihadists Threaten Sir Paul McCartney If He Plays His First Planned Concert In Israel
Sir Paul-Terror Target-Dennis Rice
SIR Paul McCartney has been threatened that he will be the target of suicide bombers unless he abandons plans to play his first concert in Israel.
Self-styled preacher of hate Omar Bakri claimed the former Beatle’s decision to take part in the Jewish state’s 60th anniversary celebrations had made him an enemy of all Muslims. Sources said Sir Paul was shocked but refused to be intimidated. In an interview with Israeli media yesterday he said: “I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here. I refused. I do what I think and I have many friends who support Israel.” Sir Paul, 65, should have gone to Israel with the Beatles in 1965 but they were barred by the Jewish nation’s government over fears they would corrupt young people.
Yesterday a number of websites described him as an infidel and suggested he was going to Israel only because of the reported £2.3m fee for the one-off concert. A message posted on one website said: “Shame on you Paul McCartney for day trippin’ to apartheid Israel” and vowed never to buy his music again. Bakri, who made his weekly internet broadcast to fellow extremists from his home in Lebanon, where he has lived in exile since being banned from returning to Britain, said Sir Paul was “making more enemies than friends”.
Syrian-born Bakri, 48, went on: “I heard today that the pop star Paul McCartney is playing as a part of the celebrations.
“If you speak about the holocaust and its authenticity never being proved historically in the way the Jewish community portray it, people will arrest you. People will you say you should not speak like this. Yet they go and celebrate the anniversary of 60 years of what? “Instead of supporting the people of Palestine in their suffering, McCartney is celebrating the atrocities of the occupiers. The one who is under occupation is supposed to be getting the help. “And so I believe for Paul McCartney, what he is doing really is creating more enemies than friends.” Explaining his comments, Bakri told the Sunday Express: “Our enemy’s friend is our enemy.
“Thus Paul McCartney is the enemy of every Muslim. We have what we call ‘sacrifice’ operatives who will not stand by while he joins in a celebration of their oppression. “If he values his life Mr McCartney must not come to Israel. He will not be safe there. The sacrifice operatives will be waiting for him.” (Express.co.uk)
Free Speech Triumphs At The University Of Delaware
Victory for Free Speech at University of Delaware Distribution Policy Reformed, But Concerns Remain FIRE Press Release
PHILADELPHIA, September 16, 2008—After unconstitutionally denying students the right to pass out a student newspaper without prior approval, the University of Delaware (UD) has changed course and restored the rights of free expression and freedom of the press on its campus. The policy change came in response to a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) demanding changes to the university's restrictions on student speech. However, the university has yet to explain why administrators made misleading statements to students about the nature of their rights. "The right to freely distribute publications dates to the founding of our nation, when American newspapers and pamphlets encouraged resistance to British tyranny," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "For very good reason, then, their distribution is well-protected by the First Amendment. While we are pleased with UD's policy change, we are disappointed that it took FIRE's involvement to get UD to recognize this fundamental constitutional right." (FIRE)
Extremism Still Exists In Textbooks At Saudi-Run School
Wolf Continues Pressing State Dept. on Saudi School-IPT News
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) apparently isn't one to take no for an answer. Or, one to take no answer for an answer for that matter.
On Tuesday, Wolf wrote his third letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice demanding she take aggressive action to determine whether textbooks at a Saudi-run school in Virginia teach extremism and intolerance, including a book which states the killing an apostate or an adulterer is acceptable under Islamic law. Wolf first wrote to Rice June 24, citing a new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and asking that the State Department translate a collection of textbooks from the Islamic Saudi Academy that it has to assess their content. "The State Department is not doing its duty," he handwrote next to his signature. Receiving no response, he wrote again on July 14 noting the new school year was approaching and answers were needed before that. Wolf and the USCIRF argue that the State Department has authority to investigate the ISA, because the school is funded by the Saudi Arabian embassy. The Saudi ambassador to Washington leads the school's board of directors. Wolf finally got a response Aug. 29 from Matthew Reynolds, acting Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. "With regard to the ISA in particular, the school has reported that it is in the process of adopting new religious curricula and textbooks for the 2008-09 school year. The ISA has stated publicly that the new school year's textbooks are currently being reviewed by professors at two American universities." In a response Sept. 16 sent to Rice, Wolf made it clear he was under whelmed. The school year is well under way, he noted, and Reynolds' letter failed to address Wolf's repeated requests for State Department officials to work with the USCIRF to translate the textbooks in State's possession "to conclusively determine what is being taught at ISA." Since the USCIRF report, similar reports have expressed the same concerns over intolerance and extremism in Saudi textbooks. Rice has the power to act, Wolf wrote, "and arguably [you] are obligated to do so given what is at stake." (IPT)
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
“Libel Tourism” Is A Threat To America’s Robust Free-Speech Traditions, Which Protect Authors Here.”
‘Libel Tourism’: When Freedom of Speech Takes a Holiday-Adam Cohen
When Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote “Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed and How to Stop It,” she assumed she would be protected by the First Amendment. She was, in the United States. But a wealthy Saudi businessman she accused in the book of being a funder of terrorism, Khalid bin Mahfouz, sued in Britain, where the libel laws are heavily weighted against journalists, and won a sizable amount of money. The lawsuit is a case of what legal experts are calling “libel tourism.” Ms. Ehrenfeld is an American, and “Funding Evil” was never published in Britain. But at least 23 copies of the book were sold online, opening the door for the lawsuit. When Ms. Ehrenfeld decided not to defend the suit in Britain, Mr. bin Mahfouz won a default judgment and is now free to sue to collect in the United States. The upshot is a First Amendment loophole. In the Internet age, almost every American book can be bought in Britain. That means American authors are subject to being sued under British libel law, which in some cases puts the initial burden on the defendant to prove the truth of what she has written. British libel law is so tilted against writers that the United Nations Human Rights Committee criticized it last month for discouraging discussion of important matters of public interest. Mr. bin Mahfouz, who has denied financing terrorism, said Ms. Ehrenfeld’s book contained inaccuracies and demanded a retraction. He also demanded a significant contribution to a charity of his choice — a charity Ms. Ehrenfeld said she feared would be one with ties to terrorism. Ms. Ehrenfeld, who describes herself as being “in the business of stopping people who fund terrorism,” refused to back down. “I said,” she later recalled, “he’s found the wrong victim.” Ms. Ehrenfeld rallied prominent champions of free speech to her cause, including the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers and the PEN American Center. She also set to work trying to change American law. The New York State Legislature passed a bill that some are calling “Rachel’s law,” which blocks enforcement of libel judgments from countries that provide less free-speech protection than the United States. Gov. David Paterson signed it on May 1. A similar, bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress. (NYT)
Turkish Prime Minister Calls Criticism Of Islam ‘A Crime Against Humanity’
Enmity with Islam ‘crime against humanity’-Thomas Seibert, Foreign Correspondent
ISTANBUL // In a sign of his simmering anger about what he sees as baseless accusations against Islam in the West, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has called on the international community to declare the enmity against Islam a “crime against humanity”. Addressing Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, his Spanish counterpart, and about 2,500 other guests in Istanbul at a celebratory iftar meal on Monday, Mr Erdogan said: “No culture, no civilisation should belittle the other, despise the other or see the other as an enemy.” Mr Erdogan and Mr Zapatero, leaders of a Muslim nation and a Catholic country, respectively, that both suffered from serious attacks by extremists – Istanbul in 2003 and Madrid in 2004 – are partners in and co-sponsors of a UN project called Alliance of Civilisations, which was formed in 2005. The alliance “aims to improve understanding and co-operative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions and, in the process, to help counter the forces that fuel polarisation and extremism”, according to the mission statement on the initiative’s website. Under Mr Erdogan’s government, Turkey has started to play a more active role on the international stage in recent years, pushing for membership in the European Union and cementing its alliance with the United States while at the same time deepening its ties with the Islamic world without giving up its close relationship with Israel. Ankara won praise recently for facilitating indirect talks between Israel and Syria. After clashes between Georgia and Russia in August, Mr Erdogan suggested the formation of a new Caucasus alliance as an instrument of conflict prevention and resolutions. In the Alliance of Civilisations, Mr Erdogan has emerged as a leading representative of the Islamic countries, said Semih Idiz, a foreign policy columnist with the daily Milliyet. As a politician with roots in political Islam and leader of a party that has many pious Muslims among its voters, Mr Erdogan is very sensitive to what he sees as western prejudices towards Muslims, Mr Idiz said. (TheNational.ae)
Muslims Seek To Stop Distribution Of The DVD Obsession
'Radical Islam' video angers South Florida Muslims-Jaweed Kaleem
A controversial DVD distributed to millions of Americans during the past week through direct mail and newspapers, including The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, has angered many Muslims in South Florida.
Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West is being packaged as an advertising insert in 70 newspapers, including The Sun Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post. The Clarion Fund, a nonprofit organization that promotes ''national security through education,'' is sending the hour long preview of the documentary to 28 million households, many in election swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, through next week. Readers of The St. Petersburg Times, The Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville and The News-Press of Fort Myers have already received the DVDs. The DVD includes montages of terrorist training camps and suicide bombers paired with narration by commentators such as Daniel Pipes, founder of the conservative Middle East Forum think tank. Many of the film's pundits are known for controversial views on Islam. In one part of the DVD, clips of Muslim children being recruited as suicide bombers are interspersed with images of Nazis. ''My cellphone has been ringing off the hook . . . We feel that it's going to incite more hate and bigotry against our community,'' said Altaf Ali, Florida chapter director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The DVD does not do enough to differentiate between terrorists and mainstream Muslims, he said. A Clarion Fund representative disagreed. (MiamiHerald)
Pope Condemns Anitsemitism In Meeting With French Jews
In meeting with French Jews, Pope condemns anti-Semitism-EJP
PARIS (EJP)---Pope Benedict XVI condemned all forms of anti-Semitism and called for the strengthening of relations between Christians and Jews, at a meeting Friday with French Jewish leaders in Paris.
The Pope, who is on a four-day state visit to France, met the representatives of the French Jewish community at the apostolic nunciature. During the meeting, he quoted the words of Pope Pius XI: "Spiritually, we are Semites. The Church therefore is opposed to every form of anti-Semitism, which can never be theologically justified." He mentioned French theologian Henri de Lubac who said that "to be anti-Semitic also signifies being anti-Christian." Benedict XVI stressed that Christians and Jews "share a relationship that should be strengthened and lived." "We know that these fraternal bonds constitute a continual invitation to know and respect one another better." The Pope noted that the meeting took place just before Shabbat, "a day which from time immemorial has occupied a significant position in the religious and cultural life of the people of Israel," he said. Richard Prasquier, head of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish institutions, said the Pope’s remarks were clearly in line with the reconciliation work started by Pope John Paul II with the Jews. In his address, Prasquier called the meetings between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people an example for humanity. He also evoked the memory of the Holocaust. The pontiff thanked the Jewish community for its contribution to French society’s spiritual, political, cultural and artistic patrimony. Before leaving the meeting, Benedict XVI told the Jewish leaders: “Shabbat Shalom!” France is home of 600,000 Jews, the largest Jewish population in western Europe. (EJP)
New Report Details Anti-Israel and Antisemitic Incidents At Universities In America And Europe
2007-2008: Another Year of Global Academic Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism -Manfred Gerstenfeld
• The academic year 2007-2008 saw ongoing anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incidents in various countries. Among them is Israel Apartheid Week, which has become an annual ritual in a number of cities on several continents. So have the calls of the University and College Union (UCU) in the United Kingdom for discriminatory measures against Israeli universities and academics. In several universities, such as on some campuses of the University of California, anti-Israelism is endemic.
• Much of the visible anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism occurs in the academic world of Britain, Canada, and the United States. There are problems in many other countries as well. The situation is obfuscated by limited media attention.
• Effective counteractions are also increasing. There is now more exposure of Islamist racism and anti-Semitism on American campuses. In Canada protests against anti-Israeli actions are on the rise. There are also European and British initiatives to enhance academic collaboration with Israeli universities. External monitoring bodies are more and more exposing the hate culture and biased actions of some university lecturers.
• The onslaught against Israel and Jews is not an isolated phenomenon. What happens to Jews has usually been a pointer to their societal environment and a sensor of events to come. This is also the case regarding academic anti-Israelism. Academic freedom has been abused so much that in its present form it has outlived part of its academic and societal usefulness for fostering knowledge.
The academic year 2007-2008 saw ongoing anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incidents in various countries. Among them is Israel Apartheid Week, which has become an annual ritual in a number of cities on several continents. So have the calls of the University and College Union (UCU) in the United Kingdom for discriminatory measures against Israeli universities and academics.
In several universities, such as on some campuses of the University of California, anti-Israelism is endemic. In many others it has seen highs and lows over the years. The situation is obfuscated by the fact that, with a few exceptions, the incidents this academic year were not given much media publicity. (JCPA.org)
Italian Primes Minister Silvio Berlusconi Says The World Should Take Ahmadinejad’s Threats Seriously
Italian PM Warns: Ahmadinejad Means What He Says-Gil Ronen
(IsraelNN.com) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi accused Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday of "lunacy" and warned against taking his words too lightly. "I think we must pay the utmost attention to the lunacy of someone who says, perhaps for internal reasons, that Israel must be wiped off the map," Berlusconi said in a speech to a Jewish organization in Paris. Iran began a broad military exercise of its air defenses on Monday, according to Iranian news reports. The aim of the exercises was reportedly to improve the readiness of Iran's anti-aircraft capabilities in the event of a possible aerial attack.
'Guards Won't Hesitate' The exercise was spread out over half of Iran's territory, involved defense against different types of attacks and checked the readiness of the radar systems, rockets and anti-aircraft batteries. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has put its elite Revolutionary Guards in charge of defending the oil-rich Gulf against any enemy attacks, a top military advisor to Khamenei said on Tuesday. The Guards would not hesitate to "confront foreign forces," the advisor – Yahya Rahim-Safavi – told the official IRNA news agency. "After the Americans found out about this decision they told their warships not to get close to Iranian territory because the Revolutionary Guards do not hesitate to immediately confront foreign forces," he said.
Kantor Calls for UN Action The President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), Moshe Kantor, said that "if there is obvious evidence that Iranians are going to have the nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it, somebody should stop them on behalf of the United Nations, even by military action. “If such military action is done legally, it is a very good protection for the European Jewry,” he added, insisting that everything “should be done legally”, and within the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions. (INN)
TERRORISM, INTERNET, JIHAD
Radical Muslims In Britain: 'By the year 2020, we will be the majority.’
Merchants of Hatred: On the anniversary of 9/11 this terrifying investigation reveals the hatred of Britain's enemies within-Sue Reid
Their message was as disturbing as ever - and the date, September 11, was particularly symbolic.
On Thursday evening this week, at a packed meeting in London's East End, two profoundly dangerous men urged the destruction of the British way of life. I was there as the radical cleric and self-styled sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed proclaimed that this country - where he received state benefits for two decades - will soon be transformed into an Islamic state, or Khilafah, run according to the rules of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. Bakri's black-robed right-hand man went one step further. Anjem Choudary, a 41-year-old militant and the leading light of a thriving new organisation called islam4UK declared: 'There are already six or seven million Muslims here in Britain. 'By the year 2020, we will be the majority. 'In the streets of London - Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Stratford - people are becoming Muslim in their droves. By sheer numbers, Britain will become an Islamic state. 'We will never need to conquer this country. Our eyes are now on Downing Street,' he added, with an excited laugh. Alarmingly, at the three-hour conference called to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities, there were shouts of support from the 100-strong audience of men (some only boys in their teens) and women. At first sight, the meeting in an upstairs room next to the Walthamstow Mosque on Northumberland Street, Leyton, seemed harmless. Between speeches from the robed clerics at the front, there were breaks for prayers and a meal of chicken curry and dates. Children played on the floor and veiled mothers held babies. But what was being said has deep implications for the future of this country. (Dailymail)
Terrorist Videos Officially Banned From YouTube
YouTube Bans Terrorism Training Videos-Eileen Sullivan
The Internet has become a powerful tool for terrorism recruitment. What was once conducted at secret training camps in Afghanistan is now available to anyone, anywhere because of the Web. Chat rooms are potent recruitment tools, but counterterrorism officials have found terrorist-sponsored videos are also key to al-Qaida's propaganda.
You won't find terrorist training videos on YouTube anymore. Google's popular video-sharing site now bans this footage that advertises terrorism or extremist causes. Backers of the change hope it will blunt al-Qaida's strong media online campaign. After pressure from Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Internet search engine revised its community guidelines for posting videos on YouTube. In addition to the ban on terror training videos, the new YouTube guidelines include bans on: videos that incite others to commit violent acts; videos on things like how to make bombs; and footage of sniper attacks. The Internet has become a powerful tool for terrorism recruitment. What was once conducted at secret training camps in Afghanistan is now available to anyone, anywhere because of the Web. Chat rooms are potent recruitment tools, but counterterrorism officials have found terrorist-sponsored videos are also key parts of al-Qaida's propaganda machine. "It's good news if there are less of these on the web," FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said. "But many of these jihadist videos appear on different web sites around the world, and any time there is investigative or intelligence value we actively pursue it." There have been online terror-training videos ranging from how to slit a victim's throat and how to make suicide vests to how to make explosives from homemade ingredients and how to stalk people and ambush them, said Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert and professor at Georgetown University. (Toptechnews)
Video Exposes Terrorist Training Camp In Canada
NEFA Foundation: Video of a "Terrorist Training Camp" in Canada-Evan Kohlmann
The NEFA Foundation has obtained exclusive footage of a would-be "terrorist training camp" that took place in a rural section of Canada in 2006. The camp, directed by CSIS confidential informant Mubin Shaikh, included members of the alleged “Toronto 18” terror cell, who are accused of conspiring to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack in southern Ontario, including plans for truck bombings and storming local buildings such as the Canadian Parliament and the headquarters of the CSIS. The video features footage of the men receiving instruction on the use of handguns, sniper tactics, and basic calisthenics. Crudely edited by its creators to include nasheed music, the video also shows the men practicing evasive driving maneuvers at night in an abandoned parking lot. (Countererrorismblog)
Does Global Warming Justify Breaking The Law? A British Jury Decides It Does
Cleared: Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law-Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage. Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change. The defence of "lawful excuse" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage – such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire. The not-guilty verdict, delivered after two days and greeted with cheers in the courtroom, raises the stakes for the most pressing issue on Britain's green agenda and could encourage further direct action. Kingsnorth was the centre for mass protests by climate camp activists last month. Last year, three protesters managed to paint Gordon Brown's name on the plant's chimney. Their handi-work cost £35,000 to remove. The plan to build a successor to the power station is likely to be the first of a new generation of coal-fired plants. As coal produces more of the carbon emissions causing climate change than any other fuel, campaigners claim that a new station would be a disastrous setback in the battle against global warming, and send out a negative signal to the rest of the world about how serious Britain really is about tackling the climate threat. But the proposals, from the energy giant E.ON, are firmly backed by the Business Secretary, John Hutton, and the Energy minister, Malcolm Wicks. Some members of the Cabinet are thought to be unhappy about them, including the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn. Mr Brown is likely to have the final say on the matter later this year. (Independent)
Society and CULTURE
‘Nutraceuticals’ As The Latest Food Fad
Superfood or Monster From the Deep?-Julia Moskin
OFF the coast of Peru swim billions of sardines and anchovies: oily, smelly little fish, rich in nutritious omega-3 fatty acids. Their spot on the food chain is low; many will be caught, ground up, and fed as fishmeal to bigger animals. But a few have a more exalted destiny: to be transported, purified and served at North American breakfast tables in the form of Tropicana Healthy Heart orange juice and Wonder Headstart bread. These new products promise to deliver the health benefits of fish oil without the smell and the taste — without, in fact, the fish. The possible benefits of eating omega-3s include cardiovascular protection and improved neural development in children. However, “People just aren’t eating salmon or sardines twice a day,” said Ellie Halevy, director for marketing of Tropicana, which is owned by PepsiCo. “But they will drink two glasses of orange juice, if it has no fishy taste and all the benefits.” Orange juice laced with anchovies is one example of the latest way major food companies are competing for health-conscious consumers: plugging one food into another and claiming the health benefits of both. Shoppers are offered green tea extracts in their ginger ale, yogurt bacteria in their salsa, and powdered beets in their peanut butter. Market staples like blueberries (high in certain antioxidants), cherries (may have anti-inflammatory benefits) and bananas (when unripe, particularly rich in fiber) are being broken down, shaken up, microencapsulated, and put to work in new ways. These additives are often called nutraceuticals, broadly defined as ingredients that are derived from food, and that offer health benefits associated with that food. Nutraceuticals like garlic pills and cranberry capsules became popular in the 1990s, usually taken alone in the form of dietary supplements. (NYT)
How Clothing Advertisements Target Teenagers Toward A Hypersexual Lifestyle
Vulgarity abound at the mall-Marybeth Hicks
Someday I'm going to do the research and find out why marketers think there is a relationship between getting a headache and buying clothes for a teenager. I'm convinced there's data out there supporting the notion that the more offensive and irritating a store's soundtrack, the more cash we moms and dads are likely to plunk down on the counter. This has to be true, or why else would I have to endure vulgar rap music while trying to outfit my 14-year-old son with blue jeans that reach the tops of his shoes? You might argue that the music they play in hip mall stores is intended to attract young customers. But all the people I saw on Saturday who actually made purchases weren't young - they were parents, like me. And like me, many of the parents I saw were frustrated, annoyed and even offended by the hypersexual atmosphere that is the mark of today's mall. If you've been to a mall lately, you know there are teen clothing stores and there are stores ostensibly selling teen clothing but really are selling "lifestyle." How to tell the difference? The stores in the market to sell clothes use mannequins attired in the apparel sold in the store, while the "lifestyle" stores advertise their wares with pictures of partially nude models. The message is clear: Shop here, and you'll look "hot," you'll be "hot" and you'll get the "hot" boyfriend or girlfriend of your dreams. This is the lifestyle they're trying to sell to my son. We avoid the store with the naked posters on the grounds that I won't patronize a place that exploits the innocence of its customers. Also, I can't imagine walking around the mall with a shopping bag adorned with - you guessed it - pictures of partially nude models. (WashingtonTimes)