What About Other Recipients of the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize?

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Fareed Zakaria‘s dramatic rebuke of the Anti-Defamation League for opposing a mosque at the Ground Zero construction site replacing the 9-11 destroyed World Trade Center in New York raises obvious questions about who else has been honored by the ADL and how these recipients feel about the high profile controversy.
hhh_award.jpgAs he explains in his commentary above, Zakaria is not just hitting ADL on the head but rather returning the Humphrey Medal and $10,000 prize as an effort to encourage the organization to regain its credibility by recognizing that it made a mistake. This is a principled move by Zakaria and holds open the hope that ADL will pivot back towards the ethical track it has long been on.
I don’t necessarily believe in follow-the-leader behavior and don’t know if other recipients of the Humphrey Medal would be in the same position as Zakaria to easily return a large cash prize years after the fact. But knowing how other recipients feel about the ADL controversy and the Cordoba mosque could be instructive and important.


If Zakaria has stated “I cannot in good conscience keep the ADL’s 1st Amendment award,” are other ADL award recipients struggling with this as well. Alternatively, do they think Zakaria is off base in emphasizing this mosque controversy given the enormous good that the Anti-Defamation League has done for others, including for Muslims, over the years?
The roster of medal recipients includes a number of friends and associates of mine — and while I respect that these individuals may not see this controversy as theirs to engage and also respect that these kinds of issues are ones of personal conscience, I plan to ask some of these folks how they feel. I have no idea whether they will respond — and don’t know if they will respond for the record.
That said, I plan to write a respectful letter to some of the following recipients and see if they would be willing to share their views. Other journalists, bloggers, or commentators may wish to reach out to those whom they know.
ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize Award Recipients:

2009 – Nat Hentoff
2009 – Clarence Page
2008 – Tim Rutten
2007 – Jon E. Meacham
2006 – Charles Krauthammer
2005 – Fareed Zakaria
2003 – Floyd Abrams
2003 – Bernard Lewis
2003 – Daniel Pearl (posthumously)
2002 – Bob Schieffer
2001 – Bernard Shaw
2000 – Wolf Blitzer
1999 – Lesley Stahl
1999 – Marvin Kalb
1998 – Arthur Miller
1998 – Meet The Press
1997 – Dr. Seuss (Posthumously)
1997 – C-SPAN
1997 – Ranan Lurie
1996 – Dan Rather
1996 – Mortimer Zuckerman
1995 – Larry King
1994 – Charles Kuralt
1993 – David Kaplan (posthumously) and CNN
1992 – Bill Moyers
1991 – The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
1990 – Martin Peretz
1990 – A.M. Rosenthal
1989 – George F. Will
1988 – Fred W. Friendly
1987 – William Safire
1986 – This Week with David Brinkley
1985 – The Wall Street Journal
1983 – Dial Torgerson (Posthumously)
1982 – Max M. Kampelman and the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
1981 – Dore Schary (Posthumously)
1979 – Jacobo Timerman
1978 – John Chancellor, Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters
1977 – Hubert H. Humphrey

As I wrote the other day, I found Zakaria’s gesture high risk for him and commendable. I realize that others disagree and have been interested in some of the comments made here and elsewhere that have taken a different view.
But to reinforce Zakaria’s point, I believe that the U.S. still tends to treat Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans with caution, almost as second class citizens when it comes to government jobs, government procurement, border and security profiling, and more.
We need to turn this around.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

52 comments on “What About Other Recipients of the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize?

  1. Cee says:

    Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has called on the UN to probe claims by Hezbollah militants that Israel was behind the murder of his father in 2005, according to local press reports Thursday.
    Harari said evidence presented earlier this week by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah implicating Israel in the assassination of Hariri

    Reply

  2. WigWag says:

    Nadine’s comments on this thread (and elsewhere) suggesting that American elites are dramatically out of touch with the views of the majority of Americans are clearly borne out by the polling data.
    On the question of the mosque/cultural center, CNN asked in a poll conducted August 6-10,
    “As you may know, a group of Muslims in the U.S. plan to build a mosque two blocks from the site
    in New York City where the World Trade Center used to stand. Do you favor or oppose this plan?”
    A whopping 68 percent of Americans oppose the construction of the mosque/cultural center while only a miniscule 29 percent support using the site for this purpose; 3 percent had no opinion. The raw data can be found here,
    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/11/rel11a.pdf
    This suggests clearly that the vast majority of Americans think that Abe Foxman and the ADL are right and Fareed Zakaria is wrong.
    As Nadine has pointed out in numerous comments, the implications of this disconnect between elites and ordinary citizens are not trivial. The fact that Fareed Zakaria, Steve Clemons and so many other academics, think-takers, journalists and politicians believe that Americans who oppose constructing the mosque/cultural center on this site are intolerant bigots is very illuminating. Anyone who wants to understand the roots of the Tea Party movement and the extraordinary popularity of Fox News, need look no further for an explanation than the arrogance of the pro mosque/cultural center crowd.
    Are we really to believe that nearly three quarters of Americans are ignorant racists while a tiny cadre of elite Americans including Zakaria has been blessed with a special insight that allows them to see the light that most other Americans are blind to?
    Zakaria’s behavior is troubling in other ways. Clearly by publishing his decision to return the prize in his magazine column and blog and by mentioning it on his television show, Zakaria hoped that his decision would make a statement that would influence millions of Americans. Zakaria made a conscious decision to step out of his role as a reporter of news and step into the role of central character in a news story of his own creation. The idea that a reporter can deliberately use his status as a reporter to make himself the subject of a news story should be disturbing to anyone who thinks ethics in journalism is important.
    Of course the concept that journalists should behave in an ethical matter may just be a quaint anachronism. But anyone who reflects on Zakaria’s behavior in this matter and still finds it laudable rather than unfortunate needs to reflect on their own sense of propriety.

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  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Ok, nadine, mano a mano”
    Mano a mano????
    Nope.
    More like Gumbi vs Lizard.

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    Ok, nadine, mano a mano,
    How many texts in pomo/multi cultism have you read?
    Seriously, have you gone at all beyond whatever IBD and Fox have handed you?
    Start with Plato’s Republic which presents a whole metaphysical reading of truth (the theory of Forms) that challenges relativism, that notes that the good for men is the same as the good for women, even if some men are stronger than some women, so men and women will wrestle together naked and will fight together on the battlefield….
    Run all the way through some contemporary social theory about judging, social variation, our own bizarre patterns we take to be “normal”, whether or not there is a “view from nowhere” and let me know what you find!
    Or stick with the damned Fox shit written by people who haven’t had a real thought in a few decades, or ever.
    The categories you use above, including “your own cultural context” are not really coherent under some readings…. You’re using terms that aren’t defined, and so on……

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  5. nadine says:

    “Hmmm, could it be, ummm, let me think, oh yeah! They are RENDERING JUDGMENT ON AN ABSOLUTE SCALE OF MORALITY.
    BUT WAIT! Lefties can’t do that cuz they’re multi-cultists unable to judge anything at all! They are RELATIVISTS who think that anything anyone does is fine. They are suspicious of grand narratives, and hey, isn’t morality a grand narrative?
    So, nadine, which is it? Are lefties judgmental or incapable of judging? You can’t have it both ways, unless you’re, ummmm, contradicting yourself?!”
    Hey, questions, you missed the first lesson of multiculturalism. You need some remedial study.
    The first lesson of multiculturalism is that morality is defined by its cultural context and good and evil only exist inside that context.
    So if somebody else is inside your own cultural context (e.g. an American Republican), you can call him a Nazi to your heart’s content. But if somebody is outside your own cultural context, (e.g. Sheikh Nasrallah, head of Hizbullah), you are forbidden to judge his morality in any way, shape or form, much less call him a Nazi, even though Nasrallah actually is a genocidally-inclined fascist.
    Get it now?
    Of course, multiculturalists can’t really get through life without ever rendering judgments on other cultures, so they contradict themselves all the time. But they try very hard not to notice anything they would have to disapprove of; cultural “otherness” is elevated to a great protective shield, a kind of all purpose money-laundering scheme of morality, a golfer’s handicap of assumed virtue.

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  6. nadine says:

    “JohnH does make a very good point. Jews living on the Iberian Peninsula were treated far better when the Moors controlled Andalusia than when the Roman Catholics began to reconquer it” (Wigwag)
    No, he doesn’t have a good point. The relative good treatment was only in the first centuries of Moorish rule; by the 12th century the fundamentalist Almohades from North Africa conquered al Andalus and the Jews had to flee, like Maimonides did to Egypt. When the Christians conquered it was at first an improvement, and only gradually became worse as the Spanish Inquisition developed and intensified over the course of two hundred years. La Reconquista did NOT begin in the 13th century, but as early as the 8th century; timeline here http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/eurvoya/timeline.html
    Cordoba was not a symbol of religious tolerance; was the site of the grandest mosque of Al Andalus; it was the symbol of Muslim triumph.
    JohnH is blowing smoke out his you-know-what as usual.

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  7. WigWag says:

    JohnH does make a very good point. Jews living on the Iberian Peninsula were treated far better when the Moors controlled Andalusia than when the Roman Catholics began to reconquer it. The process of reconquest began as early as the 13th century; when Ferdinand and Isabella completed it in 1492, the fate of the Jews of Spain was sealed. All of the expulsions, forced conversions and the iniquities of the Spanish Inquisition that affected both Muslim and Jew alike were conducted by Christian rulers not Muslim rulers. In this regard, Cordoba can be viewed through a prism of tolerance and decency rather than a prism of arrogance and triumphalism that Newt Gingrich and others allude to.

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  8. JohnH says:

    Here’s the website for Cordoba House, the Islamic cultural center in downtown Manhattan.
    http://www.cordobainitiative.org/
    The name, of course, is a direct reference to Andalusia, the great Arab nation that noted for its religious tolerance a millennium ago. Of course, it was in Cordoba that Maimonides was born, at the end of the golden age of Jewish culture in Spain.
    Cordoba House sounds like a wonderful concept to me.
    The irony is that Simon Wiesenthal’s Museum of Tolerance opened just this week to the intolerant ravings of its sponsors. Or could it be that Foxman and Wiesenthal are just PO’ed that someone has the chutzpah to poach on their potentially lucrative “tolerance business?”

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  9. questions says:

    And one more “hey nadine” thought:
    What is it that these leftists are doing when they call the opposers of various proposals “nazis” or “bigots” or “fuckheads” or whatever?
    Hmmm, could it be, ummm, let me think, oh yeah! They are RENDERING JUDGMENT ON AN ABSOLUTE SCALE OF MORALITY.
    BUT WAIT! Lefties can’t do that cuz they’re multi-cultists unable to judge anything at all! They are RELATIVISTS who think that anything anyone does is fine. They are suspicious of grand narratives, and hey, isn’t morality a grand narrative?
    So, nadine, which is it? Are lefties judgmental or incapable of judging? You can’t have it both ways, unless you’re, ummmm, contradicting yourself?!
    *********
    And on a different relativity note — the TPM Conservapedia piece on the dissing of Einstein’s theory of relativity is fucking hilarious. I so wonder if it’s a hoax.
    These people have had no physics at all, they don’t understand the issues regarding the speed of light, the meaning of “relativity” for Einstein. They also seem not to have read anything about mu mesons. And very little about “quantum teleportation”/entangled particles. It’s cool stuff. And I don’t think it proves anything about Christianity’s miracles…..
    The right can be really dumbfuck without trying really hard. Really interesting.

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  10. questions says:

    hey nadine,
    How many blocks away is “acceptable” and is this only a 9/11 rule or does it apply to all zoning decisions from now on?
    How many rights of mine should I have put up to vote? Clearly the right to marriage should be voted on. So if someone vetoes my love, I don’t marry. Sounds good!
    Regarding health care, the first problem is that people consume it whether or not they pay for it. The second problem is that the market simply fails to provide insurance to people who cost money to treat. They cannot purchase a product they would like to purchase.
    So the whole rhetorical thrust of this piece is off.
    We don’t put basic human rights up for a vote, and denying those basic rights because of sentiment is deeply biased, problematic, and needs to stop. “Traditional marriage” is nonsense. And those who subscribe to this notion of one man and one woman should talk to, say, Newt Gingrich’s second wife and Ted Haggard, both of whom have been harmed by the current system.
    Property rights in this country are triumphant. Life, liberty and PROPERTY, anyone?? So in fact suggesting that the owners of a piece of property ought not develop it as they see fit, and in keeping with current zoning laws, would seem to be the opposite of the conservative position.
    But then, the “conservative position” on so many issues is rhetorical, self-serving, hypocritical fluff designed to whip up anxiety right before elections.
    We all have things we’d rather not live near, we all have traumas we don’t want to confront. I think mosque-o-phobia is nonsense, absolute nonsense.
    New York City is a city, and as such it will always contain painful juxtapositions, odd palimpsests, and terrible pilings on. I’m sure cabs have driven by the very corner where a cab killed a beloved. I’m sure that guns have traversed the very spot where some amazing human being was shot and killed in the most brutal way, I’m sure that buildings have been put up in sacred places, money has been made on the very spot it was lost, the profane has desecrated the sacred, and the sacred has cleansed the profane over and over and over. That’s what a city is. And Manhattan is a hell of a city.
    If the right has become oh so sensitive to such deep sentiments, why can it not recognize the true love of a gay couple and let them walk down the aisle with pride and publicity?
    And if there’s such deep concern about various victims, why can the WSJ not support health insurance so that we have many fewer premature deaths among the suffering souls of the uninsured? Had we already good insurance, the NYC first responders would be cared for already without their needing special legislation to deal with that originary trauma of 9/11.
    Methinks there’s the smell of mendacity in this piece.

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    Bill McGurn writes on how the elites are telling the majority of Americans that they are bigots who should sit down and shut the fuck up.
    Don’t like Obamacare? Racist! Protest runaway government spending? Nazi! Don’t want gay marriage? Irrational bigot! Think a 13 story mosque at Ground Zero is indecent? Un-American!
    This is from the same crowd who are lauding W&M and working to mainstream anti-Semitism and make it respectable again.
    _____________________________________
    Are Americans Bigots?
    Attacking the motives of those who disagree with elite opinion has become all too common.
    By WILLIAM MCGURN
    When in 1983 Ronald Reagan characterized the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” the reaction from his betters was swift. Writing in the New York Times, Anthony Lewis called it “primitive”

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  12. JohnH says:

    I have no doubt that there is a lot of real anti-Semitism in the Arab world, something that we should all condemn.
    In my experience, Arabs know how to distinguish between Americans and their government’s policy. Likewise, they should distinguish between the Israeli government and Jews, many of whom do not like the policies of the government that claims to speak on their behalf.

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  13. nadine says:

    Richard Cohen notices the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism, here taking the form of whitewashing virulent anti-Semitism in the Arab world, the better to bash Israel:
    “Unforgivable Silence
    By Richard Cohen
    I always read The Economist magazine. I like many things about it, but I particularly cherish its book reviews. They are cogent and snappily written, and often deal with books that I don’t find reviewed elsewhere. An example is a forthcoming biography of one of contemporary Islam’s most important thinkers, Sayyid Qutb. The book gets a good review. It’s more than I can say for The Economist itself.
    Qutb was hanged in 1966 by the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser after the customary torture. He had been the intellectual leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and a man of copious literary output. One of his efforts was called “Our Struggle with the Jews.” It is a work of unabashed, breathtakingly stupid anti-Semitism, one of the reasons The New York Review of Books recently characterized Qutb’s views “as extreme as Hitler’s.” About all this, The Economist is oddly, ominously and unforgivably silent.
    This is both puzzling and troublesome. After all, it’s not as if Qutb was some minor figure. He is, as the sub-head on The Economist review says, “the father of Islamic fundamentalism,” and it is impossible to read anything about him that does not attest to his immense contemporary importance. Nor was Qutb’s anti-Semitism some sort of juvenile madness, expressed in the hormonal certainty of youth and later recanted as both certainty and hairline receded. It was, instead, the creation of his middle age and was published in the early 1950s. In other words, his essay is a post-Holocaust work, written in full knowledge of what anti-Semitism had just accomplished. The mass murder of Europe’s Jews didn’t give him the slightest pause. Qutb was undaunted.
    But so, apparently, are some others who write about him. In his recent and well-received book, “The Arabs,” Eugene Rogan of Oxford University gives Qutb his due “as one of the most influential Islamic reformers of the (20th) century” but does not mention his anti-Semitism or, for that matter, his raging hatred of America. Like the 9/11 terrorists, Qutb spent some time in America — Greeley, Colo., Washington, D.C., and Palo Alto, Calif. — learning to loathe Americans. He was particularly revolted by its overly sexualized women. Imagine if he had been to New York!
    The Economist’s review is stunning in its omission. Can it be that a mere 65 years after the fires of Auschwitz were banked, anti-Semitism has been relegated to a trivial, personal matter, like a preference for blondes — something not worth mentioning? Yet, Qutb is not like Richard Wagner, whose anti-Semitism was repellent but did not in the least affect his music. Qutb’s Jew-hatred is not incidental to his work. While not quite central, it has nevertheless proved important, having been adopted along with his other ideas by Hamas. Qutb blames Jews for almost everything: “atheistic materialism,” “animalistic sexuality,” “the destruction of the family” and, of course, an incessant war against Islam itself.
    Obviously, this is no minor matter. Critics of Israel frequently accuse it of racism in its treatment of Palestinians. Sometimes, the charge is apt. But there is nothing in the Israeli media or popular culture that even approaches what is openly, and with official sanction, said in the Arab world about Jews. The message is an echo of Nazi racism, and the prescription, stated or merely implied, is the same.
    The Economist and Rogan are insufficient in themselves to comprise a movement. Yet I cannot quite suppress the feeling that the need to demonize Israel is so great that the immense moral failings of some of its enemies have to be swept under the carpet. As Jacob Weisberg pointed out recently in Slate, the “boycott Israel” movement is oddly unbalanced — so much fury directed at Israel, so little at countries like China or Venezuela. Can it be that the French philosopher Vladimir Jankelevitch was prescient when he suggested years ago that anti-Zionism “gives us the permission and even the right and even the duty to be anti-Semitic in the name of democracy”? The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, a demarcation I have always acknowledged, is becoming increasingly blurred.
    Because The Economist’s book reviews are unsigned, it’s impossible to know — and The Economist would not say — who’s at fault here. So the magazine itself is accountable not just for bad taste or unfathomable ignorance, but for disregarding its own vow, published on its first page, “to take part in ‘a severe contest between intelligence … and an unworthy timid ignorance obstructing our progress.'” During the week of July 15, it didn’t just lose the contest — it never even showed up for it.”
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/08/10/unforgivably_silent_106680.html

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  14. JohnH says:

    Well, Nadine, given the US and Israel’s credibility in the Arab world (virutally zero), I would guess that there are a LOT of people who believe Nasrallah’s account.
    Of course, in the US, Sulzberg and Zuckermen’s media outlets will do their best to convince everyone that the STL is the paragon of truth and justice, though the evidence they used is circumstantial and the motives of many of the witnesses fall into the dubious category.

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  15. JohnH says:

    Yes, it is VERY interesting that it was long the conventional wisdom that Syria did it. But when that narrative no longer suited the narrators’ purpose, then Hezbollah got saddled with it. I’ve always thought it very likely that Israel did it, for reasons I don’t understand.
    Meanwhile, former ABC correspondent Charles Grass writes about the next war in Lebanon.
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=118085#axzz0wFYldpna
    As in Gaza, Israel killed about 9x the number of Israelis who got killed. This seems to be the IDF quota, since obviously an Israeli life is worth about 10x and Arab life. It’s consistent with the supremacist narrative.

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  16. Cee says:

    Elie Hobeika was killed the same way before he could testify against Sharon
    The fact is, the emergence of ANY open, democratic, liberal and SECULAR Arab nation, particularly on Israel’s border and under the influence of an internationally respected figure like Hariri, would threaten the carefully crafted image of Middle Eastern Arab states as “Islamic terrorist regimes” and undo all of Mossad’s hard work. It is for this reason that Hariri became an enemy of the state of Israel and of its patron the US, and had to be removed from the picture. By framing Syria for the murder of Hariri, Israel could also apply pressure on the Syrian government and, as we have seen with the beginning of the withdrawal of Syria troops from Lebanese territory, provide the pro-Israeli Christians in the Lebanese government with a much bigger say in Lebanese politics.
    Coming back to the bombing itself; it is interesting to note that the details of the attack bore a stark resemblance to many other Israeli intelligence operations, most notably the killing in Beirut in 1979 of then PLO Chief Ali Hassan Salameh aka “the Red Prince”.
    Gordon Thomas writes in his book “Gideon’s Spies”:
    Three Mossad agents who could pass for Arabs crossed into Lebanon and entered the city. One rented a car. The second wired a series of bombs into its chasis, roof, and door panels. The third agent parked the car along the route the “Red Prince” traveled to his office every morning. Using precise timing Rafi Eitan had provided, the car was set to explode as PLO chief Salameh passed. It did, blowing him to pieces.
    Hariri’s murder followed a very similar pattern. Approx 300kg of explosives were packed into a car sitting outside a derelict hotel on a Beirut road. As Hariri’s cavalcade of armored Mercedes Benz cars passed, the bomb was remotedly detoned, obliterating several cars – blowing one into the third story of the hotel – killling 14 people injuring 135 others and leaving a 15 foot deep, 40 feet wide, crater in the road.

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  17. nadine says:

    Sure, JohnH, people in Lebanon are really buying Hezbullah’s accusations that Israel wanted to assassinate Hariri and other pro-Western March 14th politicians.
    Heck, Nasrallah did better than that — he accused Israel of planning to execute every Lebanese politician. Now when pro-Western Lebanese politicians continue to get killed by Hizbullah – as has happened routinely over the last two years, Nasrallah will accuse Israel again.
    Nobody is stupid enough to actually believe this except Hizbullah’s most ignorant or fanatic followers, and irrational Israel-haters like you, who will believe anything. The rest of Lebanon knows the score very well.
    Hizbullah has just announced that Lebanon better drop the UN Tribunal accusing Hizbullah and Syria of killing Rafik Hariri, or Hizbullah will drag them into another war.
    Shooting across the border to assassinate Israeli officers was the shot across the bow, so to speak. Using a friendly Lebanese army unit to do the deed just emphasized that Hizbullah and Lebanon are one now, and will be in the line of fire together.

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  18. Carroll says:

    Reading thru the Carter presidential Library several years ago I came across the papers of US Amb to Lebanon, Amb John Gunther Dean. I wanted to revisit it in light of current Lebanon situtation. But for whatever reason within the library it is the only link that doesn’t work in the entire index listing of available papers and oral histories. I sent a mail to their website adm about this and if they let me know what the problem is and or fix it I will post Dean’s experiences in Lebanon.
    http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/siteindex.phtml#d.D A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Daily Diary Online, Jimmy Carter Presidential
    President’s Daily Report File
    Dean, John Gunther – Oral History (September 6, 2000)
    Diary, Robert C. Ode
    Directions to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum
    Directives, Presidential [Carter Administration, 1977-81]
    Docents, Museum
    Normally I like to go to the horse’s own official mouth when citing Israel examples. Since that is not available until the Carter Library link is fixed or not I will use two sources, one a index that on his paper that exist and two, an article in The Nation that gives us a look at what Amb Dean said about his Israel and Lebanon experience.
    http://oggo1.free.fr/g.%20Lbanon%20and%0US-Palestine%20Inventory%201978%20-%201981.doc.pdf
    US Envoy Writes of Israeli Threats
    Barbara Crossette
    March 31, 2009
    In the wake of the accusation by Chas Freeman that his nomination to lead the National Intelligence Council was derailed by an “Israeli lobby,” a forthcoming memoir by another distinguished ambassador adds stunning new charges to the debate. The ambassador, John Gunther Dean, writes that over the years he not only came under pressure from pro-Israeli groups and officials in Washington but also was the target of an Israeli-inspired assassination attempt in 1980 in Lebanon, where he had opened links to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    Dean’s suspicions that Israeli agents may have also been involved in the mysterious plane crash in 1988 that killed Pakistan’s president, General Mohammed Zia ul Haq, led finally to a decision in Washington to declare him mentally unfit, which forced his resignation from the foreign service after a thirty-year career. After he left public service, he was rehabilitated by the State Department, given a distinguished service medal and eventually encouraged to write his memoirs. Now 82, Dean sees the subsequent positive attention he has received as proof that the insanity charge (he calls it Stalinist) was phony, a supposition later confirmed by a former head of the department’s medical service.
    Dean, whose memoir is titled Danger Zones: A Diplomat’s Fight for America’s Interests, was American ambassador in Lebanon in August 1980 when a three-car convoy carrying him and his family was attacked near Beirut.
    “I was the target of an assassination attempt by terrorists using automatic rifles and antitank weapons that had been made in the United States and shipped to Israel,” he wrote. “Weapons financed and given by the United States to Israel were used in an attempt to kill an American diplomat!” After the event, conspiracy theories abounded in the Middle East about who could have planned the attack, and why. Lebanon was a dangerously factionalized country.
    The State Department investigated, Dean said, but he was never told what the conclusion was. He wrote that he “worked the telephone for three weeks” and met only official silence in Washington. By then Dean had learned from weapons experts in the United States and Lebanon that the guns and ammunition used in the attack had been given by Israelis to a Christian militia allied with them.
    “I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack,” Dean wrote, describing how he had been under sharp criticism from Israeli politicians and media for his contacts with Palestinians. “Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.”
    Dean’s memoir, to be published in May for the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Memoir Series by New Academia Publishing under its Vellum imprint, has been read and approved for publication by the State Department with only very minor changes, none affecting Dean’s major points. Its underlying theme is that American diplomacy should be pursued in American interests, not those of another country, however friendly. A Jew whose family fled the Holocaust, Dean resented what he saw as an assumption, including by some in Congress, that he would promote Israel’s interests in his ambassadorial work.
    Dean, a fluent French speaker who began his long diplomatic career opening American missions in newly independent West African nations in the early 1960s, served later in Vietnam (where he described himself as a “loyal dissenter”) and was ambassador in Cambodia (where he carried out the American flag as the Khmer Rouge advanced), Denmark, Lebanon, Thailand (where Chas Freeman was his deputy) and India. He takes credit for averting bloodshed in Laos in the 1970s by negotiating a coalition government shared by communist and noncommunist parties.
    He was sometimes a disputatious diplomat not afraid to contradict superiors, and he often took–and still holds–contrarian views. He always believed, for example, that the United States should have attempted to negotiate with the Khmer Rouge rather than let the country be overrun by their brutal horror.
    As ambassador in India in the 1980s he supported then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s policy of seeking some kind of neutral coalition in Afghanistan that would keep the American- and Pakistani-armed mujahedeen from establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state. For several years after the Soviet withdrawal, India continued to back Najibullah, a thuggish communist security chief whom the retreating Soviet troops left behind. After the mujahedeen moved toward Kabul, Najibullah refused a United Nations offer of safe passage to India. He was slaughtered and left hanging on a lamppost.
    It was in the midst of this Soviet endgame in Afghanistan that Dean fell afoul of the State Department for the last time. After the death of General Zia in August 1988, in a plane crash that also killed the American ambassador in Pakistan, Arnold Raphel, Dean was told in New Delhi by high-ranking officials that Mossad was a possible instigator of the accident, in which the plane’s pilot and co-pilot were apparently disabled or otherwise lost control. There was also some suspicion that elements of India’s Research and Analysis Wing, its equivalent of the CIA, may have played a part. India and Israel were alarmed by Pakistan’s work on a nuclear weapon–the “Islamic bomb.”
    Dean was so concerned about these reports, and the attempt by the State Department to block a full FBI investigation of the crash in Pakistan, that he decided to return to Washington for direct consultations. Instead of the meetings he was promised, he was told his service in India was over. He was sent into virtual house arrest in Switzerland at a home belonging to the family of his French wife, Martine Duphenieux. Six weeks later, he was allowed to return to New Delhi to pack his belongings and return to Washington, where he resigned.
    Suddenly his health record was cleared and his security clearance restored. He was presented with the Distinguished Service Award and received a warm letter of praise from Secretary of State George Shultz. “Years later,” he wrote in his memoir, “I learned who had ordered the bogus diagnosis of mental incapacity against me. It was the same man who had so effusively praised me once I was gone–George Shultz.”
    Asked in a telephone conversation last week from his home in Paris why Shultz had done this to him, Dean would say only, “He was forced to.”
    Barbara Crossette
    March 31, 2009

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  19. Carroll says:

    The FBI and the US military command are the two US groups that know the exact nature of the zionist and Israel. IMO they will get them in the end because Israel will make one too many fatal mistakes that not even their congressional agents can cover.
    Israel Charged with Systematic Harassment of U.S. Marines
    By Donald Neff
    Former Time Magazine Bureau Chief, Israel
    Washington Report, March 1995
    It was 12 years ago, on March 14, 1983, that the commandant of the Marine Corps sent a highly unusual letter to the secretary of defense expressing frustration and anger at Israel. General R.H. Barrow charged that Israeli troops were deliberately threatening the lives of Marines serving as peacekeepers in Lebanon. There was, he wrote, a systematic pattern of harassment by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that was resulting in

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  20. JohnH says:

    Hezbollah has presented Israeli video reconnaissance footage, showing that Israel was staking out PM Hariri’s frequently traveled routes–before he was assassinated. Now the UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) appears poised to use circumstantial evidence to accuse Hezbollah of the assassination. It sounds like the STL will have all of the credibility of the Warren Commission or the 911 Commission.
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=118041#axzz0wDX45miW
    Israel is waiting for the STL report with bated breath, hopeful that the report will create havoc in Lebanon, perhaps allowing Israel to take advantage of the situation and conduct another pogrom there.
    I wonder what the IDF goals for civilian deaths will be this time? In 2006 and in Gaza 2008, the IDF stopped after killing a thousand. Will it be 10,000 this time?

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  21. Carroll says:

    Speaking of Beirut and the Israelis.
    Letter from Marine Commandant Barrow to Defense Secretary Weinberger
    April 4, 1983
    The following is the complete text of a letter from General Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. General Barrow sent a copy of the letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    March 14, 1983
    Dear Mr. Secretary:
    I must formally register my deep concern over the two unprovoked incidents in Beirut of this past weekend involving Marines of the Multinational Force and members of the Israeli Defense Forces. I had considered commenting on earlier incidents between Marines and the IDF but corrective measures, which were rapidly implemented in February 1983, appeared to defuse the situation. I can no longer remain silent on this continual problem of provocation from the IDF.
    In addition to the U.S. MNF incidents, I have received information concerning serious harassing incidents by the IDF of U.S. officers attached to the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO). These particular incidents involved USMC and USA officers in life-threatening situations, replete with verbal degradation of the officers, their uniform and country. Unfortunately, and of greater concern to me, incidents of this nature are the rule, rather than the exception.
    It is evident to me, and the opinion of the U.S. Commanders afloat and ashore, that the incidents between the Marines and the IDF are timed, orchestrated, and executed for obtuse Israeli political purposes. The U.S. has been prompt and forthcoming in defusing previous problems and has established a viable communications procedure between the Marines and IDF. The IDF, however, persist in creating serious incidents.
    I am distinctly proud to have Marines participating both as members of the Multinational Force and with UNTSO under the auspices of the United Nations. It is inconceivable to me why Americans -serving in peacekeeping roles-must be harassed, endangered, and degraded by an ally.
    Previous demarches and diplomatic initiatives have not eliminated difficulties between our Marines and the IDF. Additionally, the expansion of communications links and the use of Liaison Officers will not preclude additional problems, unless the attitude and actions of the Israelis are altered. It is time for firm and strong action, to demonstrate to the Israelis that a role as a peacekeeper does not presume weakness. If anything, the Israelis should respect our efforts in this region.
    Warm personal regards,
    Sincerely,
    R. H. Barrow

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  22. Cee says:

    The report contended that Mossad agents were spying on Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehi, two of leaders of the 9/11 hijack teams
    This reminds me of the report that Israel knew that the US barracks in Lebanon would be bombed but didn’t warn us.
    In the book, (Victor) Ostrovsky reports an episode especially shocking to American readers. He said Mossad agents in Beirut learned in the summer of 1983 that a large truck was being rigged by a terrorist group to hold unusually large bombs. The Israeli agents speculated that the US Marine barracks at the Beirut airport would be one of the most likely targets of the truck-bomb.
    They asked Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv for permission to issue a special alert to US military leaders in Beirut. The answer was negative. The Beirut station was ordered to provide only routine notice, so general, Ostrovsky wrote, that “it was like sending a weather report, unlikely to raise and particular alarm.” He said more than one hundred such warnings had been issued during a period of a few days, so one more would be unlikely to attract attention.
    In refusing to alert the Americans to the danger, the Mossad leadership in Tel Aviv explained: “We are not there [in Beirut] to protect Americans. They’re a big country, send only the regular information.”
    I also haven’t forgotten that Netanyahu said that the attack was good for Israel.

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  23. Franklin says:

    With respect to funding religious organizations overseas this strikes me as ill-advised and unlikely to be successful. The very idea of these programs remind me of W.’s abstinence education programs — it’s pushing ideology rather than a program that is likely to be effective.
    Give people skills they can use and services they need and the U.S. will have done its part with a clean conscience and maybe have won some chits or karma or whatever in the process.
    The simple idea that the U.S. MIGHT fund religious organizations overseas is likely to put a target on all religious organizations with any odor of “Americanization” to them.
    The kind of people who need cash incentives to engaging in those kind of activities are doing it for the wrong reasons anyways; and odds are people will sniff them out as phonies. It’s a waste of U.S. resources.
    Of course there are establishment clause type questions — even if the law doesn’t narrowly apply to actions overseas — the underlying rationale still does.
    With respect to Zakaria — good for him for saying no thanks.
    As far as New Yorkers opposing the Cordoba House, this is more a testament to the fact that it’s an election year, and politicians of a certain ilk will pander over these cultural wedge issues because they’d rather not talk about their serial infidelity or the current economic train-wreck.
    Opinions about the mosque-YMCA-type facility are split amongst the victims families. The people that I’ve talked have vented about the utter stupidity of the campaign against the Mosque-YMCA (which won’t even be visible from the WTC site). Clearly there are other people with diametrically opposed views who have an equally legitimate claim in the “feelings” and sensitivities category.
    Of course “feelings” are ultimately moot in either direction — the Constitution, courts, and ideally an impartial judge(s) are what will likely resolve this particular dispute.

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  24. nadine says:

    I think you can file this under: “One good turn deserves another”. Wonder what Steve Clemons will say to this?
    “MONDAY’S GREGALOGUE: MY NEW GAY BAR
    So, the Muslim investors championing the construction of the new mosque near Ground Zero claim it’s all about strengthening the relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
    As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque – after all, if they buy the land and they follow the law – who can stop them?
    Which is, why, in the spirit of outreach, I’ve decided to do the same thing.
    I’m announcing tonight, that I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.
    This is not a joke. I’ve already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.
    As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.
    The goal, however, is not simply to open a typical gay bar, but one friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. The bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance.
    Bottom line: I hope that the mosque owners will be as open to the bar, as I am to the new mosque. After all, the belief driving them to open up their center near Ground Zero, is no different than mine.
    My place, however, will have better music.
    For investment information, contact me at dailygut.com”
    http://www.dailygut.com/?i=4696

    Reply

  25. nadine says:

    “It’s hard to know who is more ridiculous; Zakaria for failing to understand what moderation in religious matters really is, or the legions of progressive hypocrites who would call a priest, minister or rabbi who held the Imam’s positions not moderate but intolerably conservative.” (Wigwag)
    Multiculturalism trumps everything, haven’t you noticed, Wigwag? It certainly trumps women’s rights and gay rights. It definitely trumps the feelings of decent respect for a battlefield/graveyard held by the majority of Americans; having failed to persuade a majority of their fellow citizens, the progressive hypocrites resort to calling us all bigots. They have cried wolf way too often with that charge.

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  26. nadine says:

    “So when Jeffery Goldberg vouches for a particular imam, I’m inclined to give that a bit more weight than your generalized suspicions that any muslim who simply doesn’t try to kill you on the spot is just practicing some clever takfiri trick.” (aniprof)
    As Wigwag points out, the bar for moderation in imams is set very low and according to a completely different standard than used to judge, say, Baptists. I can disagree with Jeffrey Goldberg about the “moderation” of an imam who won’t say that Hamas — who routine claim credit for their barbarous acts — are in fact terrorists. If Goldberg has ever delved into this imam’s private statements, he gave no sign of it.

    Reply

  27. Carroll says:

    Well now, why don’t we also protest Jewish synagogues any where near the WTC land?
    The only people in the US dancing around and ‘celebrating’ 911 were Israeli Jews.
    Don’t the Jews care about the feelings and sensitivities of our traumatized public?
    The Dancing Israelis
    November 2, 200
    The Sunday Herald Scotland
    Five Israelis Were Seen Filming as Jet Liners Plowed Into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001
    Were they part of a massive spy ring which shadowed the 9/11 hijackers and knew that al-Qaeda planned a devastating terrorist attack on the USA?
    by Neil Mackay
    THERE was ruin and terror in Manhattan, but, over the Hudson River in New Jersey, a handful of men were dancing. As the World Trade Center burned and crumpled, the five men celebrated and filmed the worst atrocity ever committed on American soil as it played out before their eyes.
    Who do you think they were? Palestinians? Saudis? Iraqis, even? Al-Qaeda, surely? Wrong on all counts. They were Israelis – and at least two of them were Israeli intelligence agents, working for Mossad, the equivalent of MI6 or the CIA.
    Their discovery and arrest that morning is a matter of indisputable fact. To those who have investigated just what the Israelis were up to that day, the case raises one dreadful possibility: that Israeli intelligence had been shadowing the al-Qaeda hijackers as they moved from the Middle East through Europe and into America where they trained as pilots and prepared to suicide-bomb the symbolic heart of the United States. And the motive? To bind America in blood and mutual suffering to the Israeli cause.
    After the attacks on New York and Washington, the former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was asked what the terrorist strikes would mean for US-Israeli relations. He said: “It’s very good.” Then he corrected himself, adding: “Well, it’s not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy [for Israel from Americans].”
    If Israel’s closest ally felt the collective pain of mass civilian deaths at the hands of terrorists, then Israel would have an unbreakable bond with the world’s only hyperpower and an effective free hand in dealing with the Palestinian terrorists who had been murdering its innocent civilians as the second intifada dragged on throughout 2001.
    It’s not surprising that the New Jersey housewife who first spotted the five Israelis and their white van wants to preserve her anonymity. She’s insisted that she only be identified as Maria. A neighbor in her apartment building had called her just after the first strike on the Twin Towers. Maria grabbed a pair of binoculars and, like millions across the world, she watched the horror of the day unfold.
    As she gazed at the burning towers, she noticed a group of men kneeling on the roof of a white van in her parking lot.
    Here’s her recollection: “They seemed to be taking a movie. They were like happy, dancing you know … they didn’t look shocked to me. I thought it was strange.”
    Maria jotted down the van’s registration and called the police. The FBI was alerted and soon there was a statewide all points bulletin put out for the apprehension of the van and its occupants. The cops traced the number, establishing that it belonged to a company called Urban Moving.
    Police Chief John Schmidig said: “We got an alert to be on the lookout for a white Chevrolet van with New Jersey registration and writing on the side. Three individuals were seen celebrating in Liberty State Park after the impact. They said three people were jumping up and down.”
    By 4pm on the afternoon of September 11, the van was spotted near New Jersey’s Giants stadium. A squad car pulled it over and inside were five men in their 20s. They were hustled out of the car with guns leveled at their heads and handcuffed.
    In the car was $4700 in cash, a couple of foreign passports and a pair of box cutters – the concealed Stanley Knife-type blades used by the 19 hijackers who’d flown jetliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon just hours before.
    There were also fresh pictures of the men standing with the smoldering wreckage of the Twin Towers in the background. One image showed a hand flicking a lighter in front of the devastated buildings, like a fan at a pop concert. The driver of the van then told the arresting officers: “We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.”
    His name was Sivan Kurzberg. The other four passengers were Kurzberg’s brother Paul, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari. The men were dragged off to prison and transferred out of the custody of the FBI’s Criminal Division and into the hands of their Foreign Counterintelligence Section – the bureau’s anti-espionage squad.
    A warrant was issued for a search of the Urban Moving premises in Weehawken in New Jersey. Boxes of papers and computers were removed. The FBI questioned the firm’s Israeli owner, Dominik Otto Suter, but when agents returned to re-interview him a few days later, he was gone. An employee of Urban Moving said his co-workers had laughed about the Manhattan attacks the day they happened. “I was in tears,” the man said. “These guys were joking and that bothered me.
    Vince Cannistraro, former chief of operations for counter-terrorism with the CIA, says the red flag went up among investigators when it was discovered that some of the Israelis’ names were found in a search of the national intelligence database. Cannistraro says many in the US intelligence community believed that some of the Israelis were working for Mossad.
    After the owner vanished, the offices of Urban Moving looked as if they’d been closed down in a big hurry. Mobile phones were littered about, the office phones were still connected and the property of at least a dozen clients were stacked up in the warehouse. The owner had cleared out his family home in New Jersey and returned to Israel.
    Two weeks after their arrest, the Israelis were still in detention, held on immigration charges. Then a judge ruled that they should be deported. But the CIA scuppered the deal and the five remained in custody for another two months. Some went into solitary confinement, all underwent two polygraph tests and at least one underwent up to seven lie detector sessions before they were eventually deported at the end of November 2001. Paul Kurzberg refused to take a lie detector test for 10 weeks, but then failed it. His lawyer said he was reluctant to take the test as he had once worked for Israeli intelligence in another country.
    The New York Jewish newspaper, The Forward, reported in March 2002, however, that it had received a briefing on the case of the five Israelis from a US official who was regularly updated by law enforcement agencies. This is what he told The Forward: “The assessment was that Urban Moving Systems was a front for the Mossad and operatives employed by it.”
    Back in Israel, several of the men discussed what happened on an Israeli talk show. One of them made this remarkable comment: “The fact of the matter is we are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event.” But how can you document an event unless you know it is going to happen?
    We are now deep in conspiracy theory territory. But there is more than a little circumstantial evidence to show that Mossad – whose motto is “By way of deception, thou shalt do war” – was spying on Arab extremists in the USA and may have known that September 11 was in the offing, yet decided to withhold vital information from their American counterparts which could have prevented the terror attacks.
    Following September 11, 2001, more than 60 Israelis were taken into custody under the Patriot Act and immigration laws. One highly placed investigator told Carl Cameron of Fox News that there were “tie-ins” between the Israelis and September 11; the hint was clearly that they’d gathered intelligence on the planned attacks but kept it to themselves.
    The Fox News source refused to give details, saying: “Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.” Fox News is not noted for its condemnation of Israel; it’s a ruggedly patriotic news channel owned by Rupert Murdoch and was President Bush’s main cheerleader in the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq.
    Another group of around 140 Israelis were detained prior to September 11, 2001, in the USA as part of a widespread investigation into a suspected espionage ring run by Israel inside the USA. Government documents refer to the spy ring as an “organized intelligence-gathering operation” designed to “penetrate government facilities”. Most of those arrested had served in the Israeli armed forces – but military service is compulsory in Israel. Nevertheless, a number had an intelligence background.
    The first glimmerings of an Israeli spying exercise in the USA came to light in spring 2001, when the FBI sent a warning to other federal agencies alerting them to be wary of visitors calling themselves “Israeli art students” and attempting to bypass security at federal buildings in order to sell paintings. A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report suggested the Israeli calls “may well be an organized intelligence-gathering activity”. Law enforcement documents say that the Israelis “targeted and penetrated military bases” as well as the DEA, FBI and dozens of government facilities, including secret offices and the unlisted private homes of law enforcement and intelligence personnel.
    According to a 61-page report, drafted after an investigation by the DEA and the US immigration service, the Israelis were organized into cells of four to six people. The significance of what the Israelis were doing didn’t emerge until after September 11, 2001, when a report by a French intelligence agency noted “according to the FBI, Arab terrorists and suspected terror cells lived in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as in Miami and Hollywood, Florida, from December 2000 to April 2001 in direct proximity to the Israeli spy cells”.
    The report contended that Mossad agents were spying on Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehi, two of leaders of the 9/11 hijack teams. The pair had settled in Hollywood, Florida, along with three other hijackers, after leaving Hamburg – where another Mossad team was operating close by.
    Hollywood in Florida is a town of just 25,000 souls. The French intelligence report says the leader of the Mossad cell in Florida rented apartments “right near the apartment of Atta and al-Shehi”. More than a third of the Israeli “art students” claimed residence in Florida. Two other Israelis connected to the art ring showed up in Fort Lauderdale. At one time, eight of the hijackers lived just north of the town.
    Jim Margolin, an FBI spokesman in New York, implied that the public would never know the truth, saying: “If we found evidence of unauthorized intelligence operations that would be classified material.”
    2003 Newsquest (Sunday Herald) Limited

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  28. WigWag says:

    Of the many things that make Zakaria’s decision laughable, perhaps the most bizarre is his inclination (and the inclination of others) to call the Imam who will be in charge of the mosque/cultural center “moderate.”
    It’s really remarkable how little it takes to be considered a “moderate” in the Islamic world. Oppose female circumcision, express dismay when your co-religionists crash airplanes into skyscrapers and come out against stoning adulterers to death and abracadabra you’re considered a moderate Muslim.
    How patronizing to Muslims can Zakaria and his supporters get? Advocate anything less than the most severe, barbaric and caustic Islamic practices and Zakaria and other progressive elites are ready to anoint you as the savior of modern Islam or if not Islam’s savior, then Islam’s Martin Luther.
    To be considered a “moderate” cleric in the West (at least if you

    Reply

  29. PissedOffAmerican says:

    For us in the real reality-based community, we are still able to notice that the killers of 3,000 innocent New Yorkers were Muslims acting in the name of Islam.
    And how many innocent Muslims has the Jewish State killed, Nadine?

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  30. observer says:

    And how about McVeigh? What was he?

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  31. JohnH says:

    For us in the real reality-based community, we are still able to notice that the killers of 2,000 innocent Lebanese (2006) and Palestinians (2008), mostly civilians, were Jews acting in the name of Zionism. Not Muslims. Not Christians.

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  32. anirprof says:

    Nadine,
    Take it up with Goldberg. He’s not exactly one who assumes away threats from Islamists. He certainly bashes liberals who want to believe Hamas is no threat. He was the blogger who brought to light Octavia Nasr’s comments on that Hezbollah cleric, and Goldberg would be in full agreement with you on Walt, Mearsheimer, and Andrew Sullivan.
    So when Jeffery Goldberg vouches for a particular imam, I’m inclined to give that a bit more weight than your generalized suspicions that any muslim who simply doesn’t try to kill you on the spot is just practicing some clever takfiri trick.

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  33. nadine says:

    “I know Feisal Abdul Rauf; I’ve spoken with him at a public discussion at the 96th street mosque in New York about interfaith cooperation. He represents what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country.”
    Then why does he blame the US for 9/11 and refuse to say that Hamas are terrorists?
    It’s hard to trust self-proclaim moderate imams when so many are dissimulators. They make moderate statements out in public but you can’t get them to say the radicals are wrong. In private, sometimes they say very different things. This is the problem with a religion that sanctifies lying to the infidel, holy war, and in takfiri sects, killing other Muslims who disagree with you. If you’re not Muslim, you can never trust what you are being told.

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  34. nadine says:

    “Good job, Nadine! Funny how easy it is to apply her accusations to her side.”
    If you’re willing to invent the “facts,” it is. You are, so it’s no problem.
    For us in the real reality-based community, we are still able to notice that the killers of 3,000 innocent New Yorkers were Muslims acting in the name of Islam. Not Jews. Not Christians.

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  35. JohnH says:

    Let’s try this on for size: “The attackers were not just guys who happened to be Jews. They were radical “religious nationalists” for whom the religious and the political are the same thing, who acted in the name of Judaism. The Jewish establishment tries to pretend that they are not nutters but just people with Western values. A more realistic look at Zionism shows that they are supported by a wide swath of the Israeli public.”
    Sounds like a pretty good summary of Israeli history as seen by those who got ethnically cleansed and subsequently got bombed in their refugee camps.
    Good job, Nadine! Funny how easy it is to apply her accusations to her side.

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  36. observer says:

    WigWag:
    You wrote: “…radical Islam (which Gingrich defines as the form of the faith which takes Sharia seriously)…”
    This means a long US with Islam.
    A war that US cannot win.
    And there will be no “West” accompanying America.
    Certainly the Church will not endorse this position.
    I pity Americans; what happened to people like Marshall and FDR? Where do you get men like Gingrich?

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  37. observer says:

    WigWag:
    The only real hope of modernizing Islam, as you state it, lies with the experiment in Iran.
    US certainly cannot do so.
    And excepting Turkey, US official allies among Muslims have zero chance of doing so.

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  38. anirprof says:

    It’s not at all clear that Al-Queda would want to feature that center in their recruiting videos. Bin Laden hates moderate Muslims — you might have noticed al Queda blowing up not a few of them in the Middle East and South Asia.
    The point was made well by the Atlantic’s Jeffery Goldberg, who is no friend of Islamic extremism and who has unimpeachable pro-Israel credentials:
    “The Cordoba Initiative, which is headed by an imam named Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an enemy of al Qaeda, no less than Rudolph Giuliani and the Anti-Defamation League are enemies of al Qaeda. Bin Laden would sooner dispatch a truck bomb to destroy the Cordoba Initiative’s proposed community center than he would attack the ADL….
    I know Feisal Abdul Rauf; I’ve spoken with him at a public discussion at the 96th street mosque in New York about interfaith cooperation. He represents what Bin Laden fears most: a Muslim who believes that it is possible to remain true to the values of Islam and, at the same time, to be a loyal citizen of a Western, non-Muslim country.”
    full post: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/08/if-he-could-bin-laden-would-bomb-the-cordoba-initiative/60833/

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  39. nadine says:

    “As others have pointed out, the bombers were Islamic, but ISLAM itself didn’t attack the US.
    What attacked was political, not religious.” (questions)
    That’s a false distinction, questions. The bombers were not guys who happened to be Muslim. They were radical Islamists for whom the religious and the political are the same thing, who acted in the name of Islam. The Left tries to pretend that they were just a few nutters, but a more realistic look at Islam shows that they are supported by a wide swath of Salafi/Deobandi support.
    “You seem to want to conflate the two here, and then deny the conflation when it comes to Israel and Judaism.”
    Of course I do. Judaism is different from Islam. Israel is a Jewish state but not a theocracy. The laws of Israel are made by an elected Knesset, not a Rabbinic court. The Jews have 2500 years practice in living with separations between government and religious control.
    The Muslim world has far less (basically the secular states of the 20th state) and the Islamists want to abolish it by returning to a mythical 7th century with totalitarian Islamist control.

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  40. WigWag says:

    What makes the whole debate about the mosque/cultural center so interesting is how it obscures what’s going on just beneath the surface.
    What I think this debate is really about is whether Huntington

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  41. Carroll says:

    ROTFLMAO
    So we are funding some religious buildings?
    Big deal.
    Better than funding an entire religious State that we arm to the teeth.

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  42. jonst says:

    I’m not against building the Mosque. It would be unlawful, I believe, to prevent them. I’m not particularly happy about it. Because I am not a big fan of Monotheism in general. And Islam in particular. But anyway….they own the land, there are no zoning issues, or regulatory issues holding it back, they have a right to build it, let them build it.
    However the ADL seems to me to have a right to oppose it without being demonized. This has become media types (among others) main past time, these days, feigning outrage for some misstatement or like.
    Did he REALLY have to give the award back? On one level it is a courageous act, because Z now has a target on his back. But I think it an overblown act. You disagree with the ADL stance, fine. Criticize it and lets move on.
    But no….everyone in America has learned the power of being the ‘victim’. Well, sadly, for Z, he may get a REAL lesson in becoming a victim.
    We trump up everything.

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  43. JamesL says:

    Wigwag: “I think that many devout Americans would be fascinated by Mr. Zakaria’s assertion and would be delighted to have some of that government largess being distributed to foreign mosques instead devoted to supporting their own religious activities here at home.”
    Very glad to see you backed up a bit from your last phrase above and clarified that the guvmunt should not be funding any religious group. Probably should start with the Christians who have managed to open some sizeable sluices from the guvmunt trough running hidden through the guvmunt underbrush. But trying to avoid further pissing off the Muslim population of the planet after spending several years killing Muslims is also a good idea.

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  44. philip smucker says:

    Yes. Thx. Steve. It is certainly worth considering. The media has been bullied into jumping into these controversies and reporting them “down the middle” when there are real persons and political interests ginning up the animosity.

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  45. WigWag says:

    JohnH, I don’t think that the United States government should be providing funding for any religious institution; in fact, depending on how it

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  46. JohnH says:

    Wigwag–why is it shocking that the USG funds mosques? The USG under Bush started funding a wide array social programs for religious institutions.
    And, yes, the USG funds synagogues:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/07/18/2010-07-18_two_bronx_synagogues_on_local_list_to_receive_grant_money_for_protections_agains.html
    The mosques in my area are surrounded by 6′ chain link fences topped by concertina wire. They carry no visible markings indicating that they are mosques. Obviously they have received terrorist threats, too.
    They could use some of that USG money, too!

    Reply

  47. WigWag says:

    In his Newsweek column where he announced that he is returning his prize, Zakaria said,
    “…early in its tenure the Bush administration began a serious effort to seek out and support moderate Islam. Since then, Washington has funded mosques, schools, institutes, and community centers that are trying to modernize Islam around the world. Except, apparently, in New York City.”
    This comment is shocking, so shocking in fact that it’s hard to believe that it’s true. But Zakaria is a careful journalist so I have to assume he knows what he’s talking about.
    The United States is funding mosques around the world; is that really possible? Do we fund churches around the world? Do we fund synagogues? What about temples, ashrams or cem?
    I thought that one of the central tenets of the establishment clause is that the United States government doesn’t provide funding of any kind for religious activity in this country or elsewhere.
    I think that many devout Americans would be fascinated by Mr. Zakaria’s assertion and would be delighted to have some of that government largess being distributed to foreign mosques instead devoted to supporting their own religious activities here at home.
    In the Gingrich foreign policy talk that Steve referred us to in his post a few down from this one (it was the post where Steve pretended to wonder which side of the Republican “foreign policy divide” Gingrich would come down on) the former Speaker mentioned that 50 percent of the Mosques in the United States were financed by Saudi Arabia; in fact, he was more specific. Gingrich claimed that 50 percent of the mosques in the United States had mortgages held by the Saudis.
    This is also a remarkable and disturbing statistic if true; but maybe Gingrich is just exaggerating. Perhaps when Zakaria is finished with his sanctimonious posturing, he will climb down from his high horse and return to what he does well; real journalism. When he does, maybe he can let us know why, like Saudi Arabia, the United States is funding religious enterprises and what the implications might be of 50 percent of the Muslim congregations in the United States being in debt to the Saudis.

    Reply

  48. DonS says:

    “The ADL stepped over a line in conflating political and religious motivations.”
    ADL = ‘Conflation-R-US’ (i.e., you’re against Israeli extremism, you’re against Jews)

    Reply

  49. samuelburke says:

    Slater: rightwing Jewish support for Israel risks anti-Semitic
    backlash when U.S. wakes up
    by PHILIP WEISS on AUGUST 8, 2010
    “Great piece by Jerry Slater on How bad can the Jewish Rightwing
    get? in which he responds to the Tablet attack on critics of Israel
    and argues that rightwing Jewish complicity in the occupation
    and the Israel lobby poses a danger to the Jewish status in the
    west:
    Rather than guarding against anti-Semitism, the insults,
    coarseness, irrationality and dishonesty of the Jewish rightwing
    risks setting off an anti-Semitic backlash. To be sure, I don

    Reply

  50. samuelburke says:

    Steve, i used to be critical of you in the past but have since
    learned a lot about you from continually reading your blogs and
    seeing your concerns for all peoples expressed in your writings.
    my apologies for past critiques of you, the cuban lobby and the
    israeli lobby are both antiquated tools of the state security
    apparatus, the main difference being that one, aipac, is far
    bigger and more to be feared.
    i absolutely can not stand it when these ziobullys continue to
    point the finger at the new weak kid in the school playground,
    and the zeal with which they enjoy berating them.
    “It was the tail-end of a bleak November 2001: a pall of shocked
    numbness hung over the country, and a rising war hysteria had
    nearly everyone cowed. Americans were just beginning to pick
    themselves up, dust themselves off, and focus on what had
    happened, and how to react. It was very early on the morning of
    the 23rd when, scanning the headlines, I came across a
    Washington Post story by John Mintz:

    Reply

  51. questions says:

    nadine,
    Symbolism is a funny thing.
    As others have pointed out, the bombers were Islamic, but ISLAM itself didn’t attack the US.
    What attacked was political, not religious.
    You seem to want to conflate the two here, and then deny the conflation when it comes to Israel and Judaism.
    I think it’s a better thing to separate the political and religious motivations entirely.
    I’m glad Zakaria has enough disposable income that he can hand over 10 grand at the drop of a principle. Not a bad life!
    And really, not a bad thing to do.
    The ADL stepped over a line in conflating political and religious motivations.
    It’s probably a good thing to think through how we’re going to draw all of these social lines. A multi-ethnic, multi-religious community has built-in tensions and suspicions just from the multifarious nature of the people stuck with each other, and we’re really not at all good at living desegregated lives. It’s time we learn, actually.
    And nadine, let’s not live our entire lives in fear of what shows up in an A-Q video. Their triumphalism is unavoidable, for they will take whatever glory they can generate and use it. It’s not a great way to run our lives, to be in fear of A-Q videos.
    But Steve, hasn’t the ADL backed down at this point? For how long do we protest the impurity of an institution’s bad decision before we say, OK, it’s safe now?
    Do you have a limit, a parameter for deciding when the ADL is back on the acceptable keep-the-money list?

    Reply

  52. nadine says:

    I hope you get some replies, Steve. Please post them if you do.
    Interesting that Zakaria says that if this mosque were in a foreign country, the US might be funding it. Really? We fund mosques? Inside the country, the ruling class is so aggressively secular that city halls can’t put up a creche or the Ten Commandments, but we fund mosques? Say what?
    It’s nice to know that Zakaria thinks this imam is moderate. But true moderation involves some kind of sensitivity to the feelings of New Yorkers. This imam has displayed none. Nor has Mayor Bloomberg, who has responded by scolding New Yorkers, instead of reassuring their reasonable fears.
    Ordinary people understand what you and Zakaria seem not to; that this mosque will go onto Al Qaeda recruiting videos as a symbol of triumph. Maybe even with this imam’s complicity if he’s not as moderate as he makes out, which he has given us reasons to doubt. 3000 Americans were murdered at Ground Zero in the name of Islam. We have a right to be sensitive about the message sent by what gets built there — without getting told what bigots we are.
    Zakaria’s stand is risky, but not in the way you think. It is not the loss of admiration of a few fellow pundits, who aren’t his main audience anyway, that he has to worry about; it is rising fury and resentment of the majority of Americans who are sick and tired of being lectured to by an out-of-touch ruling class, who have stopped listening to the will of the people.

    Reply

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