Archive for the ‘Anti-Defamation League’ category

CAIR Loses San Diego Schools Partnership

July 26, 2017

CAIR Loses San Diego Schools Partnership, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, July 26, 2017

CAIR’s program aimed to increase education about Islam in the classroom. Parents and religious liberty advocates balked at singling out Muslim students for safe places without providing similar accommodations to other faiths. Muslim holidays would have been added to the school calendar, and campus events falling on those holidays would be rescheduled.

*************************************

SAN DIEGO – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) tried to have it both ways – claiming to be a civil rights organization when it suits its purposes, but admitting at other times that its mission is religious.

That duplicity has cost CAIR a partnership with San Diego public schools and threatens to sabotage a plan to take an educational program national.

San Diego school board members agreed Tuesday night not to work with CAIR on a campaign to specifically fight anti-Muslim bullying generated by an exaggerated CAIR report. Instead, the Anti-Defamation League is poised to work on a program that aims “to comprehensively address the issue of bullying of all students.”

The agenda item specifically mentioned that school board “staff is redirected from forming a formal partnership with CAIR to forming an intercultural committee which shall include representatives of from all faiths and cultures and which shall provide input to District staff on issues of cultural sensitivities and the individual needs of various subgroups within our diverse community.”

Still, speaker after speaker criticized the proposal for excluding CAIR and for not specifically emphasizing anti-Muslim bigotry and “Islamophobia.” CAIR-San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi managed to make that argument while still denying CAIR was singularly focused.

“We have never come out saying that it should only be one group. But I think also we should realize that it might be a mistake not to focus on groups that are targeted much more than the rest,” Mohebi said. “So that being said, we expect the district to publicly acknowledge and recognize the work that we have done for over a decade with the school district.”

While the Anti-Defamation League also has a focus on protecting a specific group – Jews – Regional Director Tammy Gillies said its mission also is to “secure justice and fair treatment for all. That ‘and’ is the most important part of our mission statement. When one community is unsafe we are all unsafe.”

The ADL program, she noted, has been evaluated by Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale and other respected institutions.

The board agreed to work with CAIR in April. CAIR’s program aimed to increase education about Islam in the classroom. Parents and religious liberty advocates balked at singling out Muslim students for safe places without providing similar accommodations to other faiths. Muslim holidays would have been added to the school calendar, and campus events falling on those holidays would be rescheduled.

It was obvious, though, that board members reluctantly decided to implement a broader policy addressing bullying across cultures and religious backgrounds. Vice President Kevin Beiser reaffirmed his support for CAIR and thanked it for over a decade of partnership, but said supported the revised proposal “because I believe it codifies the board’s commitment and my commitment to making sure that all students are safe. We do have certain groups of students who are bullied at much higher rates than other students.

“We need to work together to solve that problem,” Beiser said, “and we want to thank CAIR and all of you in the Muslim community for your partnership.”

The anti-bullying program was never about “promoting a religion” as some critics claimed, said Board President Richard Barerra.

But lawyers with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) sued the school district in May, claiming the program did place Muslim students above others, violating the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the Fourteenth Amendment and California law barring assistance to religion. They also claimed the anti-bullying program was a solution to an exaggerated problem.

None of the speakers advocating for CAIR’s continued involvement addressed that Constitutional concern.

A report by CAIR’s California chapters, “Growing in Faith: California Muslim Youth Experiences with Bullying, Harassment & Religious Accommodation in Schools” inspired the program, FCDF’s lawsuit claims.

The school district’s decision to back away from partnering with CAIR is an important victory, FCDF Executive Director Daniel Piedra told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). But he remains concerned that CAIR still may partner with the school district on other programs.

Mohebi and his allies seemed upset that they will not be able to use the school district to further their agenda, Piedra said after the meeting.

“They talk about equality, but it’s really Orwellian because in their philosophy and the school board’s philosophy, they are really saying that all students are equal but that some students are more equal than others,” Piedra said.

The FCDF lawsuit remains alive despite Tuesday’s decision to switch from CAIR’s program to the ADL’s. The group wants to learn more about CAIR’s role in drafting the anti-bullying program. If it turns out that CAIR was intimately involved, the lawsuit may move forward because students’ rights would have been violated, Piedra said, and to ensure that CAIR loses future opportunities to shape policy.

FCDF could seek monetary damages, he said, but it may ask a judge to impose a consent decree compelling the school district to not partner with CAIR again.

“We are willing to work with them; however, violating the Constitution is a serious allegation, and we are going to hold that to the school district every step of the way,” Piedra said.

Under the now-abandoned program, students accused of bullying Muslim students were supposed to face “restorative justice,” requiring them to reconcile with the other student. The school district would provide monthly reports on the bullying of Muslim students and post them online.

The district’s reversal follows the FCDF’s amended complaint filed last month, which challenged CAIR’s local effort to hide behind the label of being a “civil rights organization.” It pointed to testimony by CAIR co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad, who told the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that it lacked jurisdiction over a fight over unionizing CAIR employees because CAIR is a religious organization.

CAIR letterhead includes the invocation, “In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,” which opens every chapter in the Quran, Charles L. Posner, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, wrote in an April 7 ruling.

This religious acknowledgement goes to the heart of the Establishment Clause‘s separation of church and state.

The loss of the San Diego program is a set-back for CAIR’s desire to take an “anti-Muslim bullying” program national. It represents the biggest government rebuke to CAIR since the FBI instituted a policy in 2008 to break-off outreach programs due to CAIR’s documented history in a Muslim-Brotherhood created Hamas-support network in the United States.

And it should send a message to districts throughout the country, Piedra said, warning CAIR that his organization will sue any public school district that partners with it in a similar anti-bullying program.

“We want to be sure for the benefit of our schoolchildren that CAIR is kept out of America’s schools,” Piedra said.

The Trump revolution, Israel and American Jews‎

November 22, 2016

The Trump revolution, Israel and American Jews‎, Israel Hayom, Isi Leibler, November 22,2016

The most bizarre aspect of this election result is the almost hysterical reaction by liberal ‎segments of the Jewish community. That 70% of Jews supported Hillary Clinton is not ‎surprising and consistent with their long-standing obsession with liberalism. But the ‎manipulation of Jewish issues as a political vehicle by some American Jewish leaders to oppose ‎Trump will be recorded as an act of infamy. ‎

***********************

The victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections will have long-term global ‎repercussions at many levels. It represents a revolt against extreme postmodernism which has ‎undermined the moral fiber of the West and its willingness to defend itself, facilitating the ‎emergence of brutal Islamic terror throughout the world.‎

Many, if not most, of those who voted for Trump were offended by his vulgarity and ‎aggressive language and did not support all aspects of his policies. They voted for him because ‎they regarded him as the only opportunity to break with the status quo.‎

The refusal of his antagonists — the self-styled liberal guardians of democracy — to accept the ‎outcome of the election was despicable and unprecedented and contrasts with the ‎acquiescence of the defeated Republicans when Barack Obama won both of his elections.‎

Whether or not Trump will succeed in restoring America’s former global and political status ‎remains to be seen. We should bear in mind that when Ronald Reagan was elected, the media ‎and much of the “intelligentsia” described him as an idiot and predicted disaster. But he ‎proved to be one of the greatest American presidents.‎

Trump’s victory could have dramatic ramifications for Israel. Of course, pre-election ‎undertakings are never fully implemented, but it is historically unprecedented for Israel to ‎enjoy such a committed pro-Israel incoming president together with massive support from ‎both houses of Congress. ‎

Trump, who literally gushes over Israel, has always been closely associated with Jews in ‎business and politics. Aside from his family, his senior advisers include committed devotees of ‎Israel.‎

He has repeatedly praised Israel and refers to us as America’s greatest ally; he has endorsed ‎Israel’s position on defensible borders and stated that he has no objection to construction in ‎the major settlement blocs and Jerusalem; he called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a ‎Jewish state and is opposed to imposed solutions, insisting that the only way to peace is by ‎direct negotiations between the parties; and most importantly, he has made it clear that he ‎totally repudiates President Obama’s criticism of Israel for failing to make progress in the ‎peace talks and his application of moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians.‎

Trump committed to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — although that is ‎an unfulfilled pre-electoral promise made by many of his predecessors, both Democrat and ‎Republican. ‎

He has also undertaken to confront the Iranian terrorist regime and either terminate the bogus ‎nuclear deal or at least pressure the Iranians to adhere to their commitments. ‎

His vice president-elect, Mike Pence, is a passionately devoted Christian friend of Israel and a ‎seasoned politician who Trump has announced will be his major adviser and policy formulator.‎

And whatever tensions exist between Trump and both of the Republican-controlled houses of ‎Congress, the one issue that they share in common is support of Israel.‎

However, none of this should be misinterpreted to mean that the Trump administration will ‎favor annexation or a one-state policy. Trump has made it clear that he still endorses a two-‎state policy but, in contrast to Obama, he stipulates that it cannot be imposed without ‎providing Israel with defensible borders and all of the security guarantees it requires — an ‎unattainable objective and at present, not even on the horizon. ‎

For this reason, the bombastic declarations by the Israeli Right and particularly Habayit ‎Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett’s calls for annexation in the wake of the election results ‎are irresponsible and could be highly counterproductive. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‎should tell his coalition members to zip their mouths shut and enable him to move forward by ‎engaging in silent diplomacy with Trump, who has already extended a warm invitation to meet ‎with him.‎

One of the negative repercussions of the Trump victory is the accelerated erosion of ‎bipartisanship and the growing influence of the radical anti-Israel wing of the Democratic ‎Party. Nothing exemplifies this more than the likelihood of the anti-Israel Muslim Congressman ‎Keith Ellison — who was initially funded by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic ‎Relations — assuming the role of chairman of the Democratic National Committee, supported ‎by leading Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer. The post was formerly held by pro-Israel ‎Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Simultaneously, anti-Israel Jewish Senator Bernie ‎Sanders is emerging as one of the most powerful forces in the defeated radicalized ‎Democratic Party.‎

The most bizarre aspect of this election result is the almost hysterical reaction by liberal ‎segments of the Jewish community. That 70% of Jews supported Hillary Clinton is not ‎surprising and consistent with their long-standing obsession with liberalism. But the ‎manipulation of Jewish issues as a political vehicle by some American Jewish leaders to oppose ‎Trump will be recorded as an act of infamy. ‎

The trailblazer was Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who shamelessly uses ‎this once-venerable organization as a mantle to promote his radical liberal agenda. ‎Commissioned to combat anti-Semitism, he had the chutzpah to harness the ADL to condemn ‎the Republicans as “anti-Zionist” because they failed to relate to a two-state solution in their ‎Middle East policy platform.‎

He condemned Trump for “tolerating” anti-Semites because he declined to dignify the Ku Klux ‎Klan by responding to their expressions of support for him. In fact, thanks to the ADL’s anti-‎Trump hysteria, anti-Semites and scum like David Duke were brought to the forefront of the ‎mainstream media, a goal which they had sought unsuccessfully to achieve over the past ‎decades. It also encouraged racists and anti-Semites to emerge from their closets.‎

This contrasts starkly with the muted response to by liberals to Obama’s relationship with Rev. ‎Jeremiah Wright, a paranoid anti-Semite. Not only did Obama attend his sermons with his ‎family, but Wright actually officiated at his wedding and was appointed by him in 2007 to the ‎African American Religious Leadership Committee. He only dissociated himself from Wright’s ‎views after media exposure but refused to disown him personally, relating to him as “an old ‎uncle.” Not even the fiercest critics of Trump can suggest any comparable relationship with ‎Duke or any other identifiable anti-Semite. But his critics continue defaming him as a promoter ‎of anti-Semites.‎

Clearly motivated by a very partisan agenda, they take this to insane levels. A star motif used in ‎Trump’s election propaganda was pounced upon by the ADL, claiming that it was a Star of ‎David employed to inflame Jew-hatred. The frenzied ADL also suggested that Trump’s ‎condemnation of the power of the international banks (also promoted by Bernie Sanders) was ‎a subtle means of promoting “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” One has to be either a ‎paranoid delusional or an anti-Semite to genuinely believe that any reference to international ‎banks is a reference to Jews. And to top this, a negative reference to the anti-Israel George ‎Soros — which most Jews would endorse — was also alleged to be anti-Semitic.‎

Not surprisingly, the hysteria impacted on Jews at the grass roots. ‎

Yet in the wake of the election of a most pro-Israel U.S. government, in which Jews and ‎staunch friends of Israel are likely to assume key positions, with the president’s daughter ‎having converted to Judaism and observing an Orthodox religious lifestyle, many Jews have ‎simply lost the plot. A number of Reform and Conservative synagogues actually held special ‎mourning services to bewail the advent of fascism in America. One prominent Conservative ‎rabbi in New York even made a shocking analogy between the Trump victory and the rise of ‎Nazism prior to the Holocaust.‎

The ultimate obscenity was the hysterical attack on Trump’s appointment of the controversial ‎right-wing media executive Steve Bannon as his strategic adviser. Without any credible proof, ‎the ADL accused him of being an anti-Semite who would pave the way for a return to anti-‎Semitism and white supremacy.‎

It so happens that Bannon is surrounded by Jews in his media company, Breitbart News. He is ‎known for his fervent support for Israel and his condemnations of the boycott, divestment and ‎sanctions movement, anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on campus. One can disagree with ‎Trump’s selection of Bannon, but for Greenblatt and the ADL to smear him as an anti-Semite is ‎beyond the pale. The uproar following this was so great that Greenblatt was ultimately obliged ‎to whisper a withdrawal of this false allegation. ‎

The double standards applied by the ADL is exemplified by the fact that despite the outright ‎anti-Semitism and promotion of BDS against Israel promoted by the Black Lives Matter ‎movement, Greenblatt does not call for Jews to boycott the organization and still refers ‎approvingly to the “positive” aspects of its work, suggesting that only a “small minority” ‎imposed the anti-Semitic aspects of its program. Apparently the ADL adopt very liberal ‎standards to real anti-Semitic groups if they come from the Left.‎

Greenblatt’s use of a revered body created to combat anti-Semitism to promote his own ‎partisan political agenda and even stooping to use allegations of anti-Semitism to slander his ‎opponents is scandalous. He has no place in a mainstream Jewish organization.‎

American Jewry today stands at a crossroads. Ironically, at a time when possibly the most pro-‎Israel U.S. administration in history is about to take office, significant sectors of the Jewish ‎community are falsely accusing its leaders of promoting anti-Semitism. It should be noted that ‎other mainstream Jewish bodies, like the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish ‎Organizations, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the American Jewish Committee, ‎did not engage in this campaign and merely called for unity. But the Zionist Organization of ‎America was the only significant Jewish organization protesting against this partisan ‎defamatory campaign.‎

However, it is obvious that increasing numbers of Reform, Conservative and secular Jews ‎consider Israel low among their priorities and confuse liberalism or “social justice” as a ‎universalist basis for a Jewish commitment with no Jewish content or values. In all likelihood, ‎they will become even more estranged from Israel as they seek to further ingratiate ‎themselves with their liberal friends. ‎

Fortunately, this will be compensated by the intensified support for Israel from committed ‎Jews and Christian friends.