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Southern Poverty Law Center Joining Pro-Hamas, Hezbollah, Groups in Blasting ‘Haters’ – Mostly Jews


David Yerushalmi, staunch opponent of Sharia law, is on the SPLC, MPAC and CAP list of "haters."

David Yerushalmi, staunch opponent of Sharia law, is on the SPLC, MPAC and CAP list of "haters."

The Southern Poverty Law Center was once an icon for Jewish values of racial tolerance and equality.  It played a key role in the American civil rights movement.

The Center’s views have now been stretched so far that, in the name of tolerance and equality, the SPLC is partnering with, on the one hand, a Muslim group whose followers revere and support Hamas and Hezbollah, and a far-left think tank whose writers were spewing accusations of dual loyalty and other anti-Semitic canards just a few months ago.

On Wednesday evening, August 15,  SPLC joined with the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Center for American Progress to present a teleconference call they publicized as addressing “The Real World Impact of Hate Rhetoric in America.” It was clear, however, from the participants and the language in the announcement that the hate-meter is all and only about measuring alleged anti-Muslim rhetoric, and will not take a baby step near anything so mundane as anti-Semitism.

Wajahat Ali, “an attorney and expert on the $40 million dollar Islamophobia industry in the US,” is a co-author of  “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,”   Ali represented CAP on the conference call.  He explained that the Network is comprised of a small group of funders who support the experts who create the information, which is then transmitted to grass roots organizations, fed to the mainstream media, and then is inserted into the talking points of leading conservative politicians.

A quick peek at Fear, Inc.’s five supreme evil villains reveals four of the five are Jews, and the fifth works closely with Jews and Jewish organizations.  Those five are Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy; David Yerushalmi (Orthodox Jew) at the Society of Americans for National Existence; Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum; Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America; and Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

During the teleconference Wajahat included David Horowitz (yes, another Jew) of the Horowitz Freedom Center in his list of the Network experts.  Horowitz was not surprised that the SPLC was joining with MPAC and CAP to criticize people like him.

“The SPLC is the most prominent and active leftwing smear site in America,” Horowitz told The Jewish Press.   He explained that, “like much of the left it has joined the Muslim Brotherhood and its front groups in attacking patriotic Americans who oppose the Islamist oppression of women, gays and other religions and promote jihad against the United States.”

The Center for American Progress has been embroiled in a hate speech controversy of its own, one that was not discussed during the Hate Rhetoric teleconference.

Last spring CAP was hit with repeated charges of anti-Semitism over the use by some of its leadership of such terms as “Israel-Firsters” to describe politicians and others who allegedly put Israel’s interests above those of the United States. Several of the organization’s members left as a result of the controversy.

The third group anchoring the teleconference on “Hate Rhetoric” is one whose leader – and the one co-anchoring the call -  blamed Israel for the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2011.  It is a group allegedly born from the seed of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muslim Public Affairs Council president Salam al-Marayati is an expert on hate rhetoric, having long engaged in directing his own version towards Jews and the Jewish State.  But he is tone deaf to certain kinds of hate speech – minimizing and even lauding the terrorist acts of Hezbollah which he claims constitute legitimate resistance.

So why is a nice group like the Southern Poverty Law Center joining forces to talk about Hate Rhetoric with two extreme purveyers of, well, Hate Rhetoric?

Steve Emerson is one of the “architects” of the Islamophobic Network, according to CAP.  Emerson told The Jewish Press, “that now the SPLC has scurrilously jumped on the ‘Islamophobia industry’ like MPAC and CAP in promoting a totally fabricated conspiracy that alleges a group of ten individuals (yours truly included) colluded for a decade to hypnotize 300 million Americans to be suspicious of Muslims.”

In fact, according to Emerson, “the reality is MPAC, SPLC, CAP and also the ADL and ACLU are the true conspiratorialists in promoting the myth of Islamophobia, a term created by radical Islamic groups, together with their handlers like CAP, the SPLC  and the ADL, to silence any criticism of radical Islam.”

A group of national religious leaders joined together in a letter they made public, called on the SPLC leadership to withdraw from the teleconference: “To treat MPAC as a legitimate organization, much less a valued partner of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is an extraordinary rejection of Jewish Americans and of moderate Muslim Americans. ” 

But the signers contacted were not optimistic that the SPLC would withdraw.  And they were right.

Rabbi Jon Hausman of Stoughton, Massachusetts signed the letter.  Hausman said he could not understand how the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was “founded to combat the worst impulses of hatred is now working with acknowledged purveyors of anti-Semitism, and which believes the State of Israel needs to be dismantled.”

Another one of the signers, Charles Jacobs, is a long-time human rights activist who founded the American Anti-Slavery Group in 1994. Jacobs explained that long ago he respected the SPLC, but he learned its true colors when they refused to help his anti-Slavery group nearly fifteen years ago.  At that time, he was “shocked and disappointed.”

According to Jacobs, “the SPLC doesn’t really care about human rights.  To be more precise, they only care about human rights violations committed by those in the West.”  Jacobs told The Jewish Press that “the SPLC has abandoned the victims of non-Westerners, such as Black victims of Arabs, and women victimized by Islam, and Christians victimized by Muslim majorities.”

Heidi Beirich is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Projects Director.  During the teleconference Beirich discussed the “frightening and sustained growth” of hate groups over the past decade in America.  She mentioned that there are now more than 30 anti-Muslim groups in America.

According to the most hate crimes numbers available from the FBI, religious bias accounts for only 20 percent of all hate crimes, and the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes in America is five times greater than that of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass-murderer responsible for the deaths of 78 people in Norway, on July 22, 2011, was mentioned by each of the speakers.  They all emphasized that Breivik’s “manifesto” mentioned by name several of the people in the so-called Islamophobic Network.  Each painted what they clearly see as the causal connection between Breivik’s acts and the writings of people like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and others mentioned in Fear, Inc.

A similar causal connection was not drawn to an act of violence that took place the same day as the teleconference, although it is possible the violence had some connection to “hate rhetoric.”

Wednesday afternoon, 28-year old Floyd Lee Corkins II, walked into the lobby of the conservative Family Research Council lobby and began shooting.  Corkins worked at the DC Center for the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Transgender) Community.  According to CNN, a law enforcement official said Corkins  made some remarks opposing the FRC’s policies before opening fire.

It is unclear whether Corkins knew that in 2010 the SPLC had officially branded the FRC a hate group.  At the time, SPLC’s Heidi Beirich told a reporter that, “there is no difference between the FRC and the KKK in the eyes of the SPLC.”

Charles Jacobs, for one, was prepared to draw the connection.  He said that the actions of the SPLC make it a hate group for inciting violence.

 

 

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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24 Responses to “Southern Poverty Law Center Joining Pro-Hamas, Hezbollah, Groups in Blasting ‘Haters’ – Mostly Jews”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    We actually do need to stop the anti-Shariah movement: In the US there is no way to ban shariah law without banning halachah. It would be impossible to arbitrate disputes in beit din, follow Torah law for inheritance, and possibly even to follow Torah and rabbinic law for marriage and divorce. We already have had a case a few years ago where a judge overturned a beit din decision in an employment matter as contrary to public policy. (Fortunately this was reversed on appeal.)

    In addition, anti-Islam activists have used the same kinds of tools to stop mosques from being built as anti-Semites have used to stop synagogues from being built.

  2. Shut down -no. Monitor -yes.

  3. Philip Kafka says:

    Hey Charlie you news to listen to some Dennis Prager! -pk

  4. וַיֹּאמֶר הָמָן, לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ–יֶשְׁנוֹ עַם-אֶחָד מְפֻזָּר וּמְפֹרָד בֵּין הָעַמִּים, בְּכֹל מְדִינוֹת מַלְכוּתֶךָ; וְדָתֵיהֶם שֹׁנוֹת מִכָּל-עָם, וְאֶת-דָּתֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵינָם עֹשִׂים, וְלַמֶּלֶךְ אֵין-שֹׁוֶה, לְהַנִּיחָם

  5. Nice to see the "impartial" author include the ADL among the list of haters and their minders. Give me a break. Yes there is antisemitism in America. Most if not all on the right wing. But without question there is also a great deal of islamaphobia. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous.

  6. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Might be a good idea for you to read more carefully, Michael D Blum – what you are complaining about is language in a quote, not

  7. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Cont'd.
    not the author's (hi) language.

  8. Charlie Hall says:

    Alexander, I've always supported the efforts of law enforcement to infiltrate any and all groups that pose terrorst threats, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. The NYPD and FBI's infiltration of the plot to blow up the synagogues in the Bronx (by three American and one Haitian Muslims) may have saved my life.

  9. Rachel Tabachnick says:

    I am shocked to see Jewish Press defending David Yerushalmi, who has made statements like the following,
    "Jews of the modern age are the most radical, aggressive and effective of the liberal Elite. Their goal is the goal of all progressives: a determined use of liberal principles to deconstruct the Western nation state in a 'historical' march to the World State…"

    Yerushalmi has called blacks "the most murderous of peoples" and wrote,
    "There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote."

    As a researcher of the Religious Right, I am finding that the current wave of Islamophobia and hysteria about Shariah promoted by the list of people defended in this article, is used to justify xenophobia and Christian nationalism, and therefore also a threat to the rights of American Jews.

  10. Lori Lowenthal Marcus You're right. But you also refer to the Center for American Progress as a "far left" group. Are you kidding? John Podesta? Far left? Come on. You must have heard of McCarthy. Calling a group "far left" was his trick. You should do better.

  11. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Michael D Blum – liberal Democrat and resolutely staunch Obama supporter professor Alan Dershowitz, just this past spring, called CAP virulently anti-Semitic and said the Obama administration's affiliation with it could cost them the election.

  12. Ken Howes says:

    The issue isn't shariah as applied within the Moslem community to matters that are not governed by secular law, and to the extent that it does not contravene secular law. The issue is when Moslems attempt to punish with violence something that is not illegal under the secular law, to compel with violence something that is not required under the secular law, or to defend something that is criminal under the secular law. Shariah calls for death to anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity or Judaism. It justifies "honor killings" of women. Our courts must not take cognizance of Shariah where it would justify otherwise criminal conduct.

  13. Ken Howes says:

    A "researcher of the Religious Right"? When did we stone one of our daughters to death for having been raped? When did we blow up one of our sons for conversion to another religion? The answer is, quite simply–never. The Moslem community has for the most part acquiesced in the actions of its most extreme members. Now, when it comes to Jews–which is more important to you, Ms. Tabachnick? Your Judaism or your liberalism? I suspect it is the latter. When the Law of Moses and the progressive ideology collide, you will be on the side of the progressive ideology. Just remember–once your progressive friends win, your fate is likely to be that of such leftist Jews as Leon Trotsky, Lev Kamenev, etc..

  14. The Jewish Press used to be Meir Kahane's paper. He used to write three columns a week for it when he was in the Knesset. So I don't understand the surprise.

  15. Michael K-n says:

    As much as the Jews are less than a mass homogenous heralded, the Muslims/ Arabs of the globe upheld various opinions not always grounded on a single notion of totally annihilating the world Jewry.
    Keeping the communicating ways opened to balance a situation fragile is important not in Arabic-Jewish affairs only.

    Michael Kerjman

  16. What do you mean by "far left?"

  17. Charlie Hall says:

    "The issue isn't shariah as applied within the Moslem community to matters that are not governed by secular law, and to the extent that it does not contravene secular law."

    Actually, it is. Moslem and Jewish religious law vary greatly from secular law in matters of business conduct, finance, marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

  18. Ethan Perks says:

    All of the early civil rights organizations have turned anti semetic. It seems to be inevitable for left wing groups, even when run by "Jews" to do so.

  19. A lot of that is news to me, Ken. What I see happening is Dearborn turning into Dearbornistan, a Muslim ghetto.

    Whether they're Muslims or Jews or whatever, if those moving into the neighborhood refuse to assimilate, and in so doing make the neighborhood value drop whilst making it a hostile place to visit, then they're trash and they need to be run out. Period.

    I don't care if the new wave is named Yeholihim, or Al-Ababwah or even John Cotterburg. If you trash the neighborhood and start "marrying" 7-year-oid girls in contempt for our laws, and in contempt for basic categorical imperative, and in contempt for basic human decency, then you're garbage and need to be taken to the dump.

  20. Dave Levine says:

    An excellent report! The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the FBI and other branches of the Fed Govt (the State Dept) as well as law enforcement in Southern California. Sharia must be stopped! Any org that sides with the Islamists must be exposed and, if possible, shut down. However, don't look for this to happen with this Administration.

  21. Dave Levine says:

    The ACLU was founded to defend Communists, Ethan. Is it any wonder that they oppose EVERY enforcement bill against illegal immigration and promote Amnesty for the Invaders?

  22. Dave Levine says:

    Lori, an excellent article! Thank you so much!

  23. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Wait, @Rachel Tabachnick – the one who has worked with Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam? Any criticism from her or him are great compliments, thank you!

  24. John Jaffe says:

    Webster's definition of "phobia" is "an unreasonable fear of certain things or people".
    Radical Islamists have carried out over 9000 terrorist murders SINCE 9/11! Who's kidding whom here? It's not a "phobia" to realize that radical Islam is the scourge of civilization and the source of nearly all the brutal terrorism carried out in the last 30 yrs.
    We need to do everything in our power not to let our guards down and fight this heinous murderous cancer threatening not just Jews (their favorite hate target) but also other Muslims, Christians, etc.
    It's beyond amazing to me that these ultra-liberal leftist types are more concerned with the "rights" of terrorists than those murdered by them.

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