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VIDEO: Boston Jews divided on Saudi/UAE anti-Israel materials in public schools

Last weekend, we posted on Facebook the background of controversial anti-Semitic vandalism in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts.  The topic at the core of a heated public meeting convened by Mayor Setti Warren.  A video produced by the team at Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) provided background on the rancorous public meeting in Newton. The Facebook post of the APT video garnered over 60 shares from FB pages across the U.S., Europe and Israel.  It provided documented evidence of the use of Saudi and UAE funded anti-Semitic texts and Arab World Studies notebook laced with pro-Palestinian propaganda materials and maps.  We noted that APT had been in the forefront of uncovering the use of these materials by the Newton public schools since discovery in 2011.  They contended their removal has yet to be independently confirmed. Watch it here:

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Newton, Massachusetts Mayor Setti Warren.

A second FB post contained a Wicked Local Newton report noted the acrimony at the Newton public meeting:

Emotions were running high at a community discussion organized by Mayor Setti Warren Thursday night in response to several incidents of anti-Semitism and racism in the schools, with some in the overflowing audience apparently frustrated with the city’s response to the incidents as well as with the event’s tone.

A panel of speakers, including the mayor, a civil rights law expert, a child psychiatrist, teachers and students, spoke of the need for dialogue around discrimination in Newton, addressing issues of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and discrimination against people with disabilities.

But some Jewish residents, including many with direct familial or personal ties to the Holocaust, wished the forum was more focused on recognizing and denouncing the anti-Semitic graffiti in particular. There was also a group of activists upset about “anti-Israel” teaching materials they feel contributed to the anti-Semitic incidents.

“The idea that we’re supposed to have a dialogue with people who put swastikas up after the Holocaust is absurd,” said resident Steven Katz, a professor of Jewish Holocaust Studies at Boston University. “And this evening is not supposed to be about liberal values. It’s supposed to be about anti-Semitism.”

Tina Glik, a resident and parent, said she was concerned that “as clearly as the message was written, ‘Burn the Jews,’ we came here to listen to: let’s be nice, let’s talk about racism, let’s talk about discrimination against gay people, let’s talk about anything else but anti-Semitism.”

Warren reiterated that he took any instances of anti-Semitism “very seriously,” calling anti-Semitic graffiti found at F. A. Day Middle School “despicable” and “horrible.” He pledged that all potential hate crimes would be investigated, with the perpetrators punished. Anti-Semitic graffiti was also discovered at Newton North High School multiple times during the past several months.

 The Boston Globe  initial report of the acrimonious meeting  alleged that the  protesters at the public  meeting had ‘disrespected’  an articulate African American woman who drew attention to her son’s isolation at the Newton High school as evidence of racism, “Activists disrupt Newton forum on prejudice:

The group of activists was led by Newton resident Charles Jacobs, who has had a longtime grievance with the city’s schools about what he says are pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic text books.

[…]

Newton resident Janet Yassen said it was her first time attending this type of community meeting, and she came because she was interested in hearing what Warren had to say.

But what she saw from some members of the crowd “disgusted” her, she said.

“It was embarrassing, it was awful,” she said.

After hearing the students, who at the end of the evening mingled with some of the most vocal in the crowd, Yassen said she was heartened.

“The young people were phenomenal,” she said. “For them to confront the disrespect shown by some of the adults was really courageous.”

Following the ‘rowdy’ meeting two Boston Jewish community groups, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Boston Jewish Federation’s affiliate, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and the local chapter of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) seized upon the Globe  report that an African American woman had been ‘heckled’ by protesters at the public meeting.  The joint AJC/JCRC news release, while noting the persistent problems of anti-Semitic materials in school programs, wrongly criticized  the protesters:

To our dismay, a group of activists – who have been identified in the media as members of the Jewish community – disrupted the proceedings. An African-American mother was heckled while discussing her own child’s experience of racism. There were loud contentions that the only concern worthy of discussion was anti-Semitism. The overall affect was to shift the focus of the meeting from concerns about anti-Semitism, as well as racism and homophobia to the conduct of the meeting itself.

The escalation and obfuscation was amped up by The Boston Globe that seized upon the joint JCRC/AJC news release  in an article that went viral via the AP and  internet outlets like Yahoo news and other social media,  “Jewish groups condemn ‘disrespect’ at Newton forum:”

Leaders of two Jewish organizations on Monday condemned the behavior of a group of activists at a community meeting in Newton last week, saying the struggle against anti-Semitism must be part of a larger effort to build “respectful tolerant communities.”

In a joint statement, the American Jewish Committee Boston and the Jewish Community Relations Council said the activities of those who disrupted a meeting at City Hall on Thursday night “do not represent the broader sentiments of the Jewish community.”

This time, Jacobs of APT was able to fire back at both the Globe and AJC/JCRC accusations in the latest Globe article:

Charles Jacobs, the leader of the activists, said in an e-mail to the Globe that he was “quite surprised” by the statement.

Jacobs, founder of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, has had a longtime grievance with the city’s schools about what he says are pro-Palestinian and anti-Semitic textbooks.

“Given that Jews in Europe and in the Middle East are hunted, hounded and murdered because of an anti-Semitism which falsely portrays the world’s only Jewish state as among the cruelest of nations . . . and given that the Saudis and United Arab Emirates have been caught funding ‘lessons’ that taught these things in the Newton schools . . . and given that (Newton) School Superintendent David Fleishman was forced to remove some of this material and yet told the people at the meeting that he knew nothing about it, I think the meeting was, under these circumstance, quite civil,” Jacobs wrote.

However, the AJC/JCRC with the complicity of this second Globe article continued to convey the false information by School Superintendent Fleischman that the woman at the Newton public meeting had been ‘disrespected:’

“Moreover, it is hardly a secret that pernicious elements exist that are seeking to import anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias into American school curriculums. We share this concern. However, it does not justify conduct that was manifest at this meeting or the disrespect that was shown to neighbors, who also had difficult experiences of their own to discuss.”

Fleischman, who was booed at last Thursday’s meeting and required a police escort to leave, retorted in an email on April 11, 2016 cited by The Globe saying:

In an interview Friday, Fleishman said that Jacobs’s complaints about the Newton curriculum being biased against Israel “are issues from the past,” which were resolved in 2013.

“They have our entire curriculum, our faculty at both high schools spent hours putting together all the material, unit by unit, in response to freedom of information requests,” Fleishman said of Jacobs’s group.

Fleishman sent an e-mail to faculty on Monday discussing the events of the forum.

“What was intended to be a community discussion to ensure Newton is a welcoming and inclusive place for all turned into a display of disrespectful and uncivil behavior,” Fleishman wrote. “Some in the audience were particularly insensitive toward a Newton parent who courageously shared a story of racism faced by her son.”

Jacobs and APT responded to Fleischman’s allegation, Tuesday with video documentation suggesting that both Fleishman and The AJC/JCRC were wrong about the alleged “heckling”. The Globe proceeded to soft pedal it:

On Tuesday afternoon, Jacobs’s organization issued a statement denying that the woman had been heckled.

In a video of the community meeting posted on the city’s website, the woman talks about her son’s experiences with racism. Twice she is interrupted, prompting someone in the crowd to call out, “Let her speak.”

The JCRC/AJC and The Globe were upended by the APT cell phone video that captured evidence that the woman had been, if anything, respected by attendees at the public hearing.  Watch the You tube video of the woman’s presentation at the Newton public meeting.

Problem is that the JCRC/AJC and The Globe reports have not been challenged on the lack of credibility, let alone credulity.

Jacobs has been warning for years that establishment Jewish organizations have failed to shift to the new situation Jews face: anti-Israelism, the new anti-Semitism. Now Jews are hated for their “apartheid state,” Israel.   The radical left/radical Muslim alliance, the red-green alliance is hunting and killing Jews in Israel and Europe. They intimidate Jews on American college campuses with eviction notices, fake Apartheid walls, simulated border checks and die –ins, especially during Israel Apartheid Weeks. The Jewish establishment Jacobs contends fled from this new anti-Semitic alliance. They still want to fight the old anti-Semitism, neo- Nazis, White Aryan nation and KKK racists. They cower and are confused in the face of a leftist anti-Zionism and patently Islamist anti-Semitism that Jews in Europe fear will cause them to leave, a second time. Jacobs has been hounded by what passes for the Jewish Establishment for years because of his position. This latest episode in Newton he thinks may be their push-back

We asked Jacobs for his views on the dispute. Here is what we wrote us:

Why would the Boston Jewish leadership not insist on seeing the curriculum, after Newton School Superintendent Fleishman was forced to remove a Saudi funded anti-Semitic lesson that taught students that Jews in Israel murder Arab women in jail? After they have all seen the video which shows those libels.

It should not be forgotten that the Jews of Europe are hounded, hunted and murdered because of anti-Israelism.  American Jewish students are harassed and intimidated on campuses because of the same ideology that is being taught in the Newton schools. Newton has security at its synagogues for the very same reason: anti-Israelism. Yet some of Newton’s top Jewish leaders prefer to circle the wagons, defend their friends and deny the truth.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Newton, Massachusetts Mayor Setti Warren faces Dr. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, taken on April 7, 2016. Source: Katherine Taylor, Boston Globe

Another Reason not to Admit Syrian Refugees: Anti-Semitism

On Monday, February 22, 2016, Dr. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance stood at a lectern in the rotunda of the Rhode Island State house in Providence explaining to Governor Gina Raimundo why “unconditional welcome” of Syrian Refugees was dangerous:  anti-Semitism. Jacobs assisted by former US Rep.  Pete Hoekstra couldn’t complete his remarks given the outcries from 100 protesters.

Dr. Charles Jacobs, President of Americans for Peace and Tolerance with Former US Rep. Pete Hoekstra

Dr. Charles Jacobs, President of Americans for Peace and Tolerance with Former US Rep. Pete Hoekstra State House Rotunda in Providence, February 22, 2016. Source: Americans for Peace and Tolerance

The jns.org news service reported the evidence behind Jacobs’ rationale, Citing anti-Semitism; Jewish leader urges Rhode Island to reject Syrian refugees:

We are proud that America is a country of immigrants. We welcome people who come here to join us and bolster our way of life. We do see and we do sympathize with people fleeing war and violence. But an influx of Syrian refugees may pose a significant danger to Rhode Islanders, and especially to the Jewish and certain other communities, specifically gays and women, that exist in Rhode Island.

Jacobs said that amid the national debate on Syrian refugees, “no one has raised…the very serious question of the deeply ingrained hatred of the West and our way of life that is embedded in Syrian cultural values.”

“Then too, over and beyond the threat to all Americans, this migration represents a unique and specific threat to the Jewish community posed by a near genocidal hatred of Jews that is inculcated in all Syrians,” he said. “This animus is taught through Syrian educational intuitions, starting from childhood, and finds continual expression in the broader Syrian culture. Sadly, even Jewish community leaders have failed to take note of this danger. I am here to break this dangerous, politically correct silence.”

Jacobs explained that studies of Syrian school curricula “show that practically every Syrian will have been taught to hate the West and the Jews. This is the sad consequence of growing up under a Ba’athist regime—a violent authoritarian movement with its roots in 1930s European fascism.”

Those studies, according to Jacobs, include: “The schools of Ba’athism: A study of Syrian schoolbooks,” by Meyrav Wurmser via the Middle East Media Research Institute; “Islam in Syrian textbooks: monolithic and nonpluralistic,” by Muhammad Faour via the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and “Jews, Zionism and Israel in Syrian school textbooks,” by Dr. Arnon Groiss via the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, among others.

“The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace published a report [by Groiss] in 2001 that revealed Syrian school textbooks teach that Jews ‘are portrayed as enemies of Islam since its inception, enemies of all mankind, and enemies of God himself.’ Syrian textbooks teach that, ‘The Holocaust is justified, though its magnitude is exaggerated by the Jews,’” Jacobs noted.

He added a description of the “famous case of [Syrian] defense minister Gen. Mustafa Tlass, who wrote a book titled ‘The Matzah of Zion’ in the 1980s that claims that Jews living in Damascus in 1840 killed two Christians and used their blood in preparing the unleavened bread called matzah. In consequence, since the Jewish religion is one of ‘vicious deviations’ and ‘black hatred against all human kind and religions,’ no Arab country should ever sign a peace treaty with Israel.”

Addressing Gov. Raimondo, Jacobs asked, “Do you really want to welcome hundreds or thousands of people who think that their religious duty is to make jihad, who think that Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs, or Nazis, and who are believed to kill gentile children to make matzah? We need to heed the lessons of Europe. We are inviting in people from a radicalized culture that rejects tolerance and teaches hatred of women, gays, Christians, Jews, and democracy. Jewish leaders in Europe have spoken about the growing violence against the Jewish community emanating strongly from Muslim immigrants. Sexual assaults and violent anti-Semitism now affect much of western Europe. Before we can admit hundreds of similar refugees, who come from the same deeply disturbing culture, surely we must first gauge the threat they pose and examine the ideas they support.”

What was Jacobs talking about before his free speech was denied by the raging protesters in the rotunda? He was giving chapter and verse of why bringing Syrian refugees to the US would stoke the fires of anti-Semitism. Why, you ask? Because they have been marinated in Jewish hatred under both secular Ba’athist school materials and Muslim Brotherhood doctrine. He cited studies attesting to incitement of Jewish hatred in doctrinal Islam as well as use of ancient blood libels produced in TV series broadcast far and wide during Ramadan.

Hopefully, not all Syrians are predisposed to this, but many have been and still harbor such noxious beliefs. Let us not forget that the Assad regime under the late Hafez gave safe haven to Adolph Eichmann’s deputy, Alois Brunner, who considered Jews as human garbage to be disposed of. Or that Bashar Assad and his Ba’athist minions ‘honored’ former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke in Damascus for spreading his white supremacist hate toward the Zionist controlled government in Jerusalem and Zionist ‘occupied’ America.

Jacobs is concerned because Europe with an influx of millions of Syrian refugees has experienced a major spike in Anti-Semitism. That has caused 700,000 European Jews to seriously consider making Aliyah to Israel or more secure climes, if there are any these days. Jacobs does not hate Muslims. That is reflected in the composition of APT and his alliance with M. Zhudi Jasser and others in the leadership of the Muslim Reform Movement.

So ask Governor Raimondo and Rhode Island voluntary agencies and other American Jewish organizations like HIAS why they are denying Jacobs free speech drawing attention to Syrian historic blood libel and Anti-Semitism. In the case of HIAS, they are making money from processing these Syrians refugees for resettlement here.

Now, if you think that Jacobs is dusting ancient academic studies on Syrian anti-Semitism from the bygone era. Think about his experience in Buffalo shutting down a benighted Synagogue Mosque “twinning program” with participation of Syrian anti-Semitic clerics engaged in classic duplicity.  Here is the story from our February 2011 interview with him Fighting Muslim Brotherhood Lawfare and Rabbinic Fatwas:

We were contacted by a grandmother in Buffalo who told us that her synagogue was twinning with a Muslim group. She had researched on the internet some of the people involved and found them problematic and was seeking help from us. Our APT research director Ilya Feoktistov does superb research. Regarding the Muslim dialogue partners in Buffalo, he found a typical disconnect. On their English websites it was all kumbaya, brotherhood and Abrahamic relationships. However, on their Arabic sites it was quite different. The Jews and Israel were horrible. Ilya prepared a Power Point presentation based on his research. We flew to Buffalo. We met privately with the ADL, the Federation, other Jewish leaders, and school teachers. We held a public meeting with the Jewish leadership and concerned citizens. We had over 40 people in attendance, among them were two of the three Rabbis who had signed on to twin with Mosques under the FFEU program. Ilya presented his documentation. It turned out that the revered mentor of the Muslim partner [in Syria] had hosted Nazis and Farrakhan in his mosque and wrote terrible things about Jews in his book

The protesters at the Rhode Island State House in Providence have no shame shutting down Jacobs’ presentation to Governor Raimundo. If they only knew about the Buffaloed in Buffalo incident and discovery of Syrian Jew hatred do you think might have changed their minds? Doubtful. Kol hakavod to my chaver Charles Jacobs for taking this valued stand in Rhode Island.

Hopefully, this article might be sent to Governor Raimundo and the head of HIAS one of the Volags processing Syrian refugees being sent to 190 communities in America, with thousands more to follow carrying anti-Semitic baggage.

Kol hakavod to my chaver Charles Jacobs for taking this valued stand in Rhode Island.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Obama, J Street and the American Jewish Divide

Former Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren is a native of West Orange, New Jersey best exemplifies the special relations between the two allies, Israel and the U.S. Ally-book cover jpgWith the publication of his memoir, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide (2015), he has another best seller. Previous ones were Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (2003) and Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present (2007)Having read Ally, I concur with praise from two pundits: Bret Stephens, the Tuesday Wall Street  Journal columnist of note, and Vic Rosenthal, a former resident of Fresno, California, now a Jerusalem resident whose Abu Yehuda blog  posts are a must read about an American  living in Israel.

Bret Stephens’ opening stanza in his June 29, 2015 WSJ column “The President Against the Historianexplains why Oren’s memoir is a must read:

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, has written the smartest and juiciest diplomatic memoir that I’ve read in years, and I’ve read my share. The book, called “Ally,” has the added virtues of being politically relevant and historically important. This has the Obama administration—which doesn’t come out looking too good in Mr. Oren’s account—in an epic snit.

Vic Rosenthal in his July 2, 2015, Abu Yehuda blog post, Michael Oren is tired of American Jews, and so am I, addresses  the yawning  divide between Israel and American Jews, another of Oren’s themes in Ally:

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is offended by Michael Oren, on behalf of (non-Orthodox) American Jews. These Jews, like America’s “first Jewish president,” turn out to be very easy to offend: just suggest that Israelis are more qualified than they are to decide the future of their country.

Oren’s new book has offended both Yoffie and the Obama Administration, which has launched an all-out media blitz against him (as far as I know, Obama spokespeople haven’t called him a ‘chickenshit’ yet, but give them time).

Yesterday morning, I dialed into an Israel Project  (TIP)sponsored presentation by Oren. He told the listeners ,unlike the daylight between Obama and Netanyahu over the Iranian nuclear nightmare threat, that there is no daylight across the political divide in the  obsessive democratic cockpit of the Knesset. As Oren tells it, whether Likud, Zionist Union and even Arab parties, all Israel is united that Iran achieving nuclear breakout is “a very bad deal”. Further, he said while some  in the media, the Obama claque of  “senior officials’ and former aides have excoriated him for the early publication  of his memoir, he was heartened that they haven’t addressed the facts of what the Administration has perpetrated. Listen to this recorded  TIP presentation by Oren and the following Q&A.

Oren’s memoir has a lot to say about President Obama and his Administration acolytes isolating Israel over Iran and  Netanyahu’s vigorous defense of Israel  sovereign right of Israel to warn America and the untrusting world about Iran’s nuclear  threat and the very bad P5+1  deal. Perhaps  a  deal about to be announced in Vienna in a few days. Or if not simply kicked down the road.  All while Iran’s  Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei  and Mahdist acolytes of terrorism perfect the means of taking out the “little Satan”, Israel ,with one bomb and the “big Satan”, the  US, with a nuclear tipped ICBM.

Oren clearly takes pride that his well honed skills as a Columbia and Princeton educated historian who earned his PhD in Middle East Studies with the venerable Bernard Lewis.   Not bad for a pudgy dyslexic , pigeon toed 15 year old who shook the hand of the late Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, when the latter was  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US.  He exclaimed on that memorable occasion that some day he would be Israel’s Ambassador.  A late bloomer in high school Oren fulfilled his quest, slimed down hardened through rowing .  Equipped with his backpack he made aliyah to Israel to go through  grueling  paratrooper training  earn his coveted red beret along with an oath taken  to defend Israel on Masada with his IDF comrades.  He ends up in combat and later as a reserve officer during the Second Lebanon War as a military spokesperson to the foreign press.  Along the way he  meets his  American wife Sally Edelstein, a  Jersey girl, dancer and former San Francisco hippy groupie when she makes Aliyah to Israel and they ultimately form their Israeli family.

Ally  depicts what it was like for an American-Israeli to fulfill his dream as his adopted country’s Ambassador in Washington  Israel’s  interests in the byzantine politics of the Obama era from 2009 to 2013. After leaving Washington, Oren turns home to Tel Aviv to lecture, teach at Harvard and Yale and write his memoir.   Oren is now a member of the Kulanu party headed by former  Likud Communications Commissioner and economic reformer Moshe Kahlon.  Oren is a thinking liberal and  both he and the family are members of a Reform synagogue.  His memoir culminates on a dramatic note when he  and Sally attend  a  Bar Mitzvah celebration for 13 year olds at  Kibbutz Na’an, with one of his former Washington Embassy aides, Lee Moser, mother of  one of the bar mitzvah candidates when a red alert sounds, sirens wail and they scurry for shelter. He writes:

I held Sally’s hand and glanced over my shoulder over my shoulder just as two Hamas rockets roared in. Then with twin booms that rattled the tin overhang  and shook the ground below, the missiles exploded. Iron Dome interceptors, developed by Israel and funded by the United States, scored perfect hits. For moment afterward, as we emerged into the uncertain night, the glow of those bursts hovered over us, beaming like kindred stars.

All  of which brings  us to why he has frosted the J Street  fawning rabbinic leadership of the Reform Movement in America and  earned  both Vic Rosenthal’s and my admiration. This came on the cusp of having orchestrated a  recent viewing and panel discussion of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance documentary, J Street Challenge with Pensacola pro-Israel colleagues; Rabbi Eric Tokajer of Brit Ahm synagogue, Mike Bates, 1330amWEBY general manger of “Your Turn host and Florida State Representative Mike Hill, a U.S. Air Force Academy grad.

Vic Rosenthal notes a similar experience in his Fresno in his Abu Yehuda column:

We tried to bring the local Jewish community – the organizations, the synagogues and individual Jews – along with us. With a few exceptions, mostly people like us who had lived in Israel or had relatives there, we had to drag them kicking and screaming. Most of our pro-Israel events drew the same few supporters.

The local Reform temple was probably the most frustrating. A film critical of J Street, followed by a discussion? Absolutely not, it would be ‘divisive’! The Jewish Federation and Hadassah were better, but it was always easier to organize an event about Jewish culture than Israel.

Is Oren right that American Jews are more interested in helping others than their own? Certainly they were far more upset about terrorism in Charleston than Jerusalem, and far more ready to criticize our Prime Minister than their own Administration. The Reform rabbi threw himself into activities to help the poor and homeless. He is seen on TV on panels with the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center. He is an outspoken advocate of liberal causes, but he did not give a sermon in favor of PM Netanyahu’s speech about Iran before the Congress.

In preparation for the recent J Street Challenge  Pensacola event, we culled excerpts from Oren’s Ally about his views on J Street  and its defenders inside the Obama Administration, illustrative of what  concerns Vic Rosenthal.

On J Street’s inclusion in Major American Jewish organizations meeting with Obama in 2009 p. 78

He promised to be more evenhanded in asking all parties, not just Israelis, to make sacrifices for peace. Yet the meeting would be remembered as a turning point in the administration’s approach toward the Jewish State.

Included for the first time with the mainstream Jewish leaders were the heads of Americans for Peace Now and the newly founded J Street, both organizations stridently critical of Israel and its traditional American supporters.  Their presence rattled the other participants, many of whom had been personally slighted by these parvenus.

The President concluded, “When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs”.

Commenting on the discussion, J Street founder Jeremy Ben Ami cited Obama’s ability to connect with the Muslim World and his immense standing in America and the World. “He was very clear that this is a moment that has to be seized and he intends to seize it.  By contrast the other American Jewish leaders emerged from the meeting concerned about Obama’s departure from the long standing principle of “no daylight” in U.S. –Israel relations.

On J Street’s promotion of the Goldstone Report that Maligned Israel in Operation Cast Lead in 2008 – 2009 p. 102

Though J Street refrained from formally endorsing the [Goldstone Report], activists in the organization escorted Goldstone to Congress for meetings with progressive members.  Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner told the UNHRC of America’s disappointment with the document’s double standards. But he also cited Goldstone’s ‘distinguished record of public service” and called on Palestinians to investigate Hamas abuses. This, for Israelis, was tantamount to asking al-Qaeda to investigate 9/11.

On the contretemps between the Israeli Embassy and J Street P. 107

Irksome was the embassy’s continued imbroglio with J Street. Unlike my predecessor, Sallai Meridor, who had shunned the lobby, I initially engaged it in a dialogue.  I had no illusions about the group, which received funds from anti-Israel contributors, supported every legislator critical of Israel, and stridently attacked mainstream American Jewish leaders. Though J Street defined itself as “pro-Israel” and “pro-peace”, its logo bore no connection to Israel whatsoever, not even the color blue, and portrayed other pro-Israel organizations as anti-Israel. Before becoming Ambassador, I chanced to meet one J Street board member and asked him why he had joined. “I’m uncomfortable with the special relationship,” he told me. “I want to normalize U.S.-Israel ties.”

Outrageously, J Street members hosted Goldstone in Congress and lobbied  against sanctions on Iran. These actions were deeply deleterious to Israel’s security – “they endangered seven million Israelis,” I said –and made interacting with J Street virtually impossible. Both the Prime Minister [Netanyahu] and the foreign minister [Avigdor Liberman] vetoed my participation in its annual conference.

On the Obama White House relations with J Street p. 108

J Street… fashioned itself as the Administration’s wing in the American Jewish Community. Obama acknowledged that fact by sending his National Security Advisor [former Marine General] Jim Jones, one of Washington’s most powerful officials to greet the organization. “I’m honored to represent President Obama at the first national J Street conference.  And you can be sure that this administration will be represented at all other J Street conferences…” Obama’s newly appointed advisor on anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, an early J Street supporter, issued her first denunciation not of anti-Semites, but rather of me for boycotting the summit.

Michael Oren’s Ally might be considered a 21st Century version of Emile Zola’s J’accuse.  Oren , like Zola in the fin de siècle Dreyfus affair,  addresses the calumnies of President  Obama, nurtured  in Muslim Indonesia, creating daylight isolating Israeli PM Netanyahu over nuclear Iran and recognition of a Faux Palestinian State.  Daylight promised  to Obama’s  Chicago anti-Israel confreres, Rashid Khalidi, holder of the Edward Said Endowed Chair on Modern Arab Studies  at Columbia and Ali Abunimah , editor of The Electronic Intifada blog, that he wouldn’t forget them. Oren chronicles how Obama delivered on that promise.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of President Obama and former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, July 2009. Source: White House Photo

Why is Boston the Hub of Violent Islamic Extremism?

Boston terror hub Hi Res jpeg

For a larger view click on the image.

When we posted on ISIS-Inspired terrorism in Boston and vicinity, we wrote:

Two news stories have suddenly brought attention to ISIS-inspired terrorism in Boston and vicinityOne involved ISIS –inspired suspects plotting to behead police officers resulting in one killed in a shooting incident and two others arrested by Boston area police. The second involves the death of an American citizen in an air attack in Iraq’s Anbar province who was technically educated and radicalized at Mosques in the Boston area. He fled the US to ultimately become one of the top leaders in ISIS running their highly effective social media propaganda arm.

The second story demonstrated why, in the opinion of colleague Ilya Feoktistov of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), the Boston area has nurtured dangerous Jihadis fomenting violent “Islamic” extremism.  We included in our post a YouTube video with APT Research Director Feoktistov interviewed on these emerging story on New England Cable News (NECN) with particular attention to the late  ISIS top social media expert, Ahmad Abousamra, a dual Syrian American citizen and educated computer science professional who fled to join the Islamic State.  Feoktistov connected the dots between Ahmad’s father, Dr. Abdulbadi Abousamra, an endocrinologist, who established a network of Muslim Brotherhood controlled mosques radiating from the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, including the Islamic Center of New England in suburban Sharon, Massachusetts.  We noted the father recruiting Mohammed Hafiz Masood, a Pakistani Imam with radical extremist vie to become the Imam at ICNE. Masood had family connections to the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba  that perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai Massacre. The Imam may have been responsible for radicalization of Islamic State top social media expert, the late Ahmad Abousamra.  Masood, who graduated from Boston University with a degree in Economics, was subsequently deported to Pakistan for immigration visa violations.

Watch the NECN interview with APT Research Director Feoktistov:

During the NECN interview, a poster of a dozen Muslim Brotherhood (MB) extremists connected with both the ISBCC, its affiliated Cambridge Mosque was flashed on screen to make a point of “connecting the dots”.  The APT graphic displays those members and trustees of the ISBCC and ICNE who were trustees or Members of the MB and ISIS, convicted or killed or still at large.  The Cambridge Mosque, affiliated with ISBCC, was attended by convicted terrorism felons including Pakistani Al Qaeda bio warfare expert, Aafia Siddiqui, Tarek Mehanna and the Chechen refugee Tsarneav Brothers who perpetrated the Boston Marathon Bombing.

 Our colleague, Jonna Bianco of the Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security (TTFNHS) sent our post on the Boston web of violent Islamic extremism via email to every member of the Tennessee Assembly with this   statement:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The incident yesterday is its own Security Brief.  If measures are not currently being taken to deal with these kinds of “connect the dots” dangers, we will be experiencing the same sorts of incidents right here in our state.  These same organizations exist in Tennessee connected to some of these same people. You should read this article and note how the people who lead and protect bad actors are not poor people just needing a job.  The father of the ISIS leader killed recently overseas is an Endocrinologist.  The ISIS leader himself had a degree in Computer Science.  These folks do not need jobs.  They need deportation papers, if not prison for material support of terrorism in the United States.  We have some of the same people right here in our state.

If you think this is much ado about nothing, then please contact the Task Force for a personal Security Briefing.  We’ll show you a lot of ‘nothing.’

Ms. Bianco and colleagues at the TTFHNS found the evidence of violent extremist jihadism spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood mosque network in Boston, with evidence of connections to the Islamic State, compelling enough to notify all state legislators in Tennessee.  Other likeminded groups should consider sending this post to every legislator in their respective home states.  FBI Director James Comey should task every Joint Terrorism Task Force across the country to investigate extremist Mosques and Imams.  Especially Muslim Brotherhood controlled Mosques indoctrinating American Muslim youths to join up and fight with the Islamic State, only to return and wreak havoc in our midst.

RELATED VIDEO:

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

VIDEO: J Street — Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel, Pro-Iran?

The J Street Challenge jpeg_ 2-19-14Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) posted this hard hitting YouTube video part of APT’s  J-Street Challenge film, Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel, Pro-Iran?  The focus in this brief YouTube  is on the interlock between J-Street and the alleged pro-Islamic Regime lobby group in Washington, National Iranian American Council headed by Swedish Iranian citizen Dr. Trita Parsi.  Parsi has deep connections inside the Obama White House, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, a former NIAC employee who is now the NSC Director for Iran.

You may have noticed the President’s remarks in a joint Press Conference with Italian President Renzi about  ‘creative negotiations over lifting ‘sanctions’ should a final agreement surface by June 30, 2015, a big if. After all, as Ayatollah Khamenei said this weekend, its “just a myth” that Iran is intent on creation of a nuclear weapon.

Breitbart News in a March 31st, 2015 dossier article on Ms. Nowrouzzadeh reported:

Found that a person with the same name has previously written several publications on behalf of NIAC. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn account, Nowrouzzadeh became an analyst for the Department of Defense in 2005 before moving her way up to the National Security Council in 2014.

A NIAC profile from 2007 reveals that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh appears to be the same person as the one who is currently the NSC Director for Iran. The profiles indicate that she had the same double major and attended the same university (George Washington).

Critics have alleged that NIAC is a lobby for the current Iranian dictatorship under Ayatollah Khamenei. A dissident journalist revealed recently that NIAC’s president and founder, Trita Parsi, has maintained a years-long relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.

NIAC was established in 1999, when founder Trita Parsi attended a conference in Cyprus that was held under the auspices of the Iranian regime. During the conference, Parsi reportedly laid out his plan to introduce a pro-regime lobbying group to allegedly counteract the influence of America’s pro-Israel and anti-Tehran regime advocacy groups.

NIAC has been investing heavily in attempts to influence the talks in favor of an agreement with the state sponsor of terror. In recent days, its director, Trita Parsi, has been spotted having amiable conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s brother.

The APT J Street Challenge You Tube Video has appearances by Lenny Ben- David, former Deputy Mission Chief of the Israeli Embassy in Washington and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.  Ben David surfaced a few names George Soros, and Genevieve Lynch.  Soros is a major donor to J Street and anti-Israel and pro-Islamic Regime related NGOs.  Ms. Lynch is a board member of both NIAC and J Street.  Dershowitz even offered to donate money to J Street if they could explain their support for lifting Iran sanctions and being pro-Israel in the light of comments during Iranian Army Day of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”  or the comment by the commander of Iranian Basij paramilitary groups saying that “destroying  Israel was non-negotiable.”

Ben-David did his homework over the last several years and combed the J Street IRS Form 990 that lists major donors, the names of both Ms. Lynch and billionaire hedge fund mogul Soros popped up.

Back in 2010, Ben-David wrote this about Ms. Lynch interesting Middle East connections in a Jerusalem Post op-ed, “J Street Has No Shame”:

In August 2009, the Jerusalem Post first reported, “Muslims, Arabs among J Street Donors.” Among the donors, the Post article revealed was “Genevieve Lynch… a member of the National Iranian American Council board.

Lynch, the NIAC board member and a member of J Street’s Finance Committee, is listed contributing $10,000 in October. At one point last year, J Street and NIAC leaders worked together to block anti-Iran sanctions measures proposed by Congress. Belatedly, J Street changed its position and supported sanctions.

For more about Ms. Lynch, see here.  For more about Trita Parsi and NIAC, Read  NER contributor Michael Curtis’ American Thinker article, “Friends of Iran in America,” here.

Watch the APT J Street Challenge YouTube video:

RELATED ARTICLE: Communist Cuba’s Alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Florida Senate Passes Textbook Review Legislation

Aya Sewell, Sarasota Citizen Activist in 2010 Protests Houghton Mifflin textbook World History: Patterns of Interaction

textbooks

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In Tallahassee, on April 11, 2014, the Republican controlled  Florida Senate passed SB 864 sponsored by Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) by a narrow vote of 21 to 19. The measure would eliminate State Department of Education control over selection of textbooks returning that role to Florida’s 67 school districts, requiring open public hearing on texts used in courses.  The bill reflected in part concerns of conservative Groups over the Common Core Curriculum State Standards, sponsored by the National Association of Governors and Council of Chief State School Officers  seeking to impose national standards. Despite that criticism the Common Core has been adopted in Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

However, SB 864 was largely prompted by a different issue; objections of parental groups in several Florida counties in about the treatment of Islam and Muslim culture in world history textbooks on the Florida State Department of Education list of approved texts.  A companion bill (HB 921) is working its way  through the Florida House sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton.  That version would provide a local option to districts to review texts; however, the selections must still meet state standards. Gaetz was quoted in a News Herald editorial saying: “I think there’s an increasing frustration by parents in our state, that they don’t have a lot of say regarding the content and materials their children use in the classroom.”

Local advocates here in Florida drew attention to misrepresentations of Islam in protests in Volusia, Brevard and Sarasota Counties. Our Iconoclast post on the subject, “Sarasota, Florida’s biased Islam textbook problem”,  highlighted the relentless efforts of citizen activist Aya Sewell. Ms. Sewell is of Iraqi Jewish  heritage, members of her family were  subject to a 1941 pogrom against the Jewish population in Baghdad, the Farhud.  Sewell led a campaign against such texts locally in Sarasota, as well as before the Florida Department of Education.  Elsewhere in the US, Tennessee parents have also raised objections to similar course material extolling Palestinian suicide bombers. Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) in Boston accused the Newton, Massachusetts school board and superintendent for permitting use of texts and course materials that engage in promoting false information regarding both Islam and demonization of Israel.  APT undertook content and bias analysis and promoted their findings that included placing ads in local area media and a petition campaign.

An article in the current edition of Education Week noted the debate over the pending Florida textbook legislation:

[Sen. ]Hays said the legislation was needed so that school board members will be accountable to parents and voters. He said school board members have blamed the state for the textbooks they picked.

“This bill imposes on the local school board members the responsibility and accountability to their citizens,” Hays said.

Opponents complained it would cost districts money to review textbooks. Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, said she was worried that some districts would wind up censoring some books, while other senators raised questions about whether districts would pick textbooks aligned to the state’s current standards.

Even Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart questioned Hays’ bill.

“From a practical standpoint it lifts a burden from us,” Stewart said. “But we heard loud and clear from districts that they rely on (the state review). They need that. They don’t have the resources to be able to do that.”

Following the Florida Senate vote on SB 864, CAIR-Florida unleashed an ad hominem campaign against Sen. Hays.  CAIR  undertook  an Action Campaign sending  Florida  Legislators an inflammatory Daily Beast  opinion column by Dean Obeidallah, that headlined, “Islamophobic Florida Republican Would Legalize Textbook Censorship”. Obeidallah  (which  means “little servant of God in Arabic”) is a former  lawyer,  self-styled Arab American stand up comic,  son of a Palestinian father and mother of Sicilian ancestry who grew up in Paramus, New Jersey.  Self proclaimed Muslim Obeidallah has been involved in several controversial issues including an apology to the Romney family.  CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, was listed as one of several unindicted co-conspirators in the 2008 Federal Dallas Holy Land Foundation Trial involving funneling tens of millions to Hamas, an MB affiliate.

This latest action by CAIR-Florida  followed earlier criticism of  SB 386, also sponsored by Sen. Hays,  on the acceptance of foreign laws in certain cases by Florida’ s court system as “bullying  legislation against Muslims and other minorities”.  Both  SB 386  and companion house  version (HB903) are currently pending floor votes in both the Senate and  House prior to the end of the 2014 Legislative session on May 2nd in Tallahassee.

To illustrate the concerns of  Floridians that prompted  Sen. Hays  and Rep. Gaetz  to sponsor SB 864 and HB 921, we  investigated  an assessment  performed  by  Jacksonville-based Verity Educate  (VE) of  one the texts on the approved list of the Florida State Department of Education. It was  Houghton Mifflin  Harcourt, Holt McDougal high school  text book called World History: Patterns of Interaction.  VE is a non-partisan, independent organization that uses scholars to examine and provide thorough reports on content accuracy and objectivity in textbooks and curricular material.   VE has performed such assessments at the request of parental groups in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Texas.

A letter we requested from the executive director of VE, Dr. Ellen R. Wald, noted the scope of their investigation of the Houghton Mifflin high school textbook:

Verify Educate examined the 2012 Tennessee edition of  World History: Patterns of Interaction. Verify Educate’s analysis concerned only the sections of the book dealing with the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as other related topics, including certain events in India, Spain, the United States, and the region around the Black Sea. This was done at the request of parents who specifically felt that their backgrounds were insufficient to examine these topics.

VE’s findings from its analysis  are:

The reviewed sections of this textbook exhibit regular flaws of factual inaccuracy, dishonesty, and bias. The primary concern with this textbook is the desire to make arguments and instill opinions in the students. These arguments come at the expense of instilling a fluency in the material (a knowledge of the language and facts). An additional effect of the focus on arguments is the lost opportunity for students to practice and develop critical thinking skills.

The most prevalent flaws in this textbook include the following:

  • The text presents religious texts and tradition as historical evidence even absent independent corroboration. The text regularly uses the Koran and other religious writings to relate events as history and fails to mention when no independent corroboration from sources outside the religion exists. In most cases the text fails to differentiate between history and religious tradition.
  • The text portrays religion as the defining characteristic of the Middle East and Central Asia throughout history, such that essentially all accomplishments and events are based on religion. Among the detrimental effects of this argument are lost opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking, distorted views of history, and the denigration of the inhabitants of this region. Limiting the basis for the history of the Middle East and Central Asia to a narrow focus on religion disparages and demeans the people, politics, geography, and historical events that occurred, particularly when religion is not highlighted in other regions.
  • The text repeatedly asserts that the religion of Islam dictates “tolerance” of non Muslims and that Muslim rulers have historically practiced “tolerance” towards the non-Muslim populations under their rule. This argument is promoted at the expense of examining historical facts honestly and fostering critical thinking. Students are presented with a conclusion and historical facts are often manipulated or stripped of nuance to convince students, even in cases when this conclusion is false. The focus on religious “tolerance” is unique to the sections of the text discussing Islam, and it  borders on obsession and bias.
  • The text depicts the depth and breadth of “Muslim contributions” as unique in history and as the result of Islam. In this regard, the text consistently attributes the successes of diverse societies to religion alone, even when these societies are geographically dispersed and chronologically distant. For example, the text connects the mathematical advances of a 9th century Spanish mathematician to the architectural exploits of a 17th century Mughal emperor in India based solely on their religion. The diverse Muslim populations over a 1500-year period do not constitute one society. In addition, the attention devoted to “Muslim contributions” far surpasses the attention given to any other society’s accomplishments.

That leads to the question of who wrote such misleading entries about Islam that the VE analysis  uncovered in the Houghton Mifflin publication.

One of those groups relied on by major textbook publishers is the Council on Islamic Education  known as the Institute on Religious and Civic Values (IRCV). Its founder, Shabbir Mansuri, is listed as an academic reviewer on a textbook used in Brevard County.

In 2001 the OC Weekly newspaper in California interviewed Mansuri about comments Lynne Cheney made lamenting the amount of time schools were spending teaching cultures that were not American. Mansuri took her comments as a personal attack.

“For the past 11 years, Mansuri has waged what he calls a ‘bloodless’ revolution: promoting an increased emphasis on world cultures and faiths – including Islam – inside American junior high and high school campuses,” the newspaper reported.

The IRCV had Saudi funding to pay Muslim scholars writing those chapters in the Prentice Hall, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin and other world history text  books.

Back in 2002,  this writer  ran interference for the American Jewish Committee chapter in Connecticut in an episode involving federal funding of a Da’wa program on Islam run with Muslim instructors as a summer program for public high school teachers at a state university.   During that episode we made the acquaintance of Stanley Kurtz  of the Hoover Institute at the time on this issue. Kurtz wrote a series of investigative articles for the NRO about the Title VI USDOE Higher Education Act grants for Middle East Studies programs dominated by Islam and Palestinian apologists. Universities, as Kurtz pointed out who benefitted from US Higher Education Act Title VI grants were engaged in preparation of work books for teachers in K-12 that engaged in role playing for fourth graders costumed as Arabs.

That effort led us to the forensic reviews –Islam in the Classroom – conducted by Dr. Gilbert T. Sewall of the American Textbook Council (ATC) on world history texts produced by the four major US textbook publishers.  Sewall  found those treatments biased   and in some cases prepared by the Saudi-financed and California based  IRVC. We later found out that effort had begun in the “image studies” funded by American oil partners of ARAMCO  in the early 1970’s objected to in the mid 1980’s  by a  study conducted by a school district in Tucson, Arizona.   The latest edition of the continuing ATC review of  Islam in the Classroom What the Texts Tell us by Dr. Sewall  was published in 2008.  Its conclusions corroborate the findings  of  Dr. Wald’s analysis in the VE report. To wit:

  • Many political and religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, but the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons are uniquely disturbing. History textbooks present an incomplete and conflicted view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.
  • Misinformation about Islam is more pronounced in junior high school textbooks than high school textbooks.
  • Outright textbook errors about Islam are not the main problem. The more serious failure is the presence of disputed definitions and claims that are presented as established facts.
  • Deficiencies about Islam in textbooks copyrighted before 2001 persist and in some cases have grown  worse. Instead of making corrections or adjusting contested facts, publishers and editors defend misinformation and content evasions against the record. Biases persist. Silences are profound and intentional.
  • Islamic activists use multiculturalism and ready-made American political movements, especially  those on  campus,  to  advance and  justify  the makeover of Islam-related textbook content.
  • Particular fault  rests  with  the publishing  corporations,  boards  of  directors,  and executives who decide what editorial policies their companies will pursue.

Publishers have developed new world and U.S. history textbooks at three different grade levels. Errors about Islam that occurred in older textbooks have not been corrected but reiterated. Publishers have learned of contested facts and have had the time to correct imbalances. But instead of making changes, they have sustained errors or, in deliberate acts of self censorship, have removed controversial material.

In an interview, Dr. Wald of VE analyzed the effects of  Florida Senate Bill SB 864 :

While SB 864 leaves all of the Florida state standards intact, and even highlights further standards to ensure fairness to all ethnic, religious, and diversity groups, the bill provides for parents and communities to have a greater say in the local education system.  Given that the standards are maintained, I can’t see how this bill could engender any more censorship than would come out of the current state review process.  In fact, the bill has the potential to severely decrease censorship.  Whereas now the state board can reject material for the entire state, under this bill, each community would make its own decision, and a rejection would only impact that community.

We commend Florida Sen. Alan Hays and Rep. Matt Gaetz for their sponsorship of  SB 864 and HB 921. Given the analyses of Drs. Wald of Verity Educate and Dr. Sewall of American Textbook Council  Florida may lead the nation to reign in the misleading depiction of Islam in World History texts. By devolving reviews of leading publishers to local school districts in the Sunshine State that may allow concerned parents  to sponsors such studies forcing publishers to finally correct  errors of both omission and commission.

We look forward to the reconciliation of the Senate and House versions leading to passage and ultimate enactment into law.

RELATED STORY: Canada: Criticism of Islam forbidden by Toronto District School Board

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Boston Jewish Leadership caught in Deception over Newton Schools Disputed Texts

Questions on the integrity of Boston Jewish communal groups, the regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and its affiliate, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) were raised in a Boston Jewish newspaper report released this week.  The investigation was prompted by a raging dispute with Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) over the Newton, Massachusetts School Board use of controversial anti-Israel and Muslim proselytizing high school texts.

The Boston Jewish Advocate (The Advocate), the weekly Jewish community newspaper of record, has published an investigation of this latest development in an 18 month battle brought to the community’s attention by Dr. Charles Jacobs and his team at Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), “ADL, CJP Newton reaction raises questions of integrity”.  We posted on The Iconoclast about this simmering dispute in late October 2013, when Jacobs and APT took out ads in several local and regional newspapers.  These were about the troubling world history course texts used by the Newton School Board in 9th and 10th grades; “The Arab World Studies Notebook” and “A Muslim Primer”.

The Advocate’s expose was triggered by a November 15, 2013 letter signed by the heads of the regional ADL, the CJP and its affiliate, the JCRC, published in the newspaper, alleging that they had conducted their own investigation on the troubling Newton school board texts. This letter was prompted by another ad by the APT pointing out the lack of attention by the local Jewish defense and Federation groups to anti-Israel maps from the controversial texts similar to those that ran on bus kiosks and in subways of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).  The Advocate expose noted:

Controversy continues to swirl over a statement released by the ADL, CJP and JCRC claiming that charges by APT President Charles Jacobs of anti-Israel material in the Newton Public Schools were groundless.

Following that statement and ambiguity over whether a referenced ADL report even existed, the JCRC stated that it has also conducted an inquiry into alleged anti-Israel materials taught in 9th- and 10th-grade history classes in the Newton Public Schools that is separate from that of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
However, the JCRC – like the ADL before it – declined to share the details of their review with the public, prompting some in the community – including an instructor at Brandeis University in Waltham – to raise the question of transparency in local Jewish organizations.

We have reported in New English Review articles, interviews and Iconoclast posts on the local Boston regional and national investigations by the APT. In particular we have drawn attention to the nearly decade long battle to uncover the support and indoctrination in terrorism by the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) controlled by an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood,  the Muslim American Society..  The ISBCC figured prominently in the incitement of the Boston Marathon jihad bombers, the refugee Tsarneav brothers.   APT also produced a documentary on anti-Semitism in the Northeastern University faculty and its former Muslim Chaplain associated with the ISBCC.   The APT also produced the nationally acclaimed film, Losing our Sons about the first home grown Islamic terrorist action after 9/11 by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, aka, Carlos Bledsoe. He was trained by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He attacked a Little Rock, Arkansas Army Recruitment center on June 1, 2009.  Mohammed-Bledsoe, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, engaged in a jihad action that took the life of the late Army Pvt. Andy Long, seriously injuring a fellow recruiter, Army Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula.

The deception, disputed  by the ADL, CJP and JCRC in this latest development, was uncovered through investigations by Middle East watchdog group CAMERA’s  Joshua Katzen, a Brandeis University adjunct faculty member, and Russell Pergament, publisher of the Jewish News Services (JNS).

The Advocate cited ADL and JCRC’s lack of transparency:

Neither ADL nor JCRC has agreed to release its findings in order to support their joint statement in a Letter to the Editor in the Nov. 15 issue of The Advocate, where the organizations’ leaders wrote that they have done a “careful review of the materials at issue,” concluding, “We trust that this is reassuring to members of our community.”

[ADL New England Regional Director] Robert Trestan said a report of their investigation does not exist, ADL’s New England Regional Board Chair, Jeffrey Robbins,
said there is indeed such a written analysis but it is not available to the media.“It’s an internal report,” he said. “People do this stuff internally all the time. … It involves all kinds of proprietary research.”

JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton said … JCRC has not completed a “written report or briefing memo” of its analysis.

Katzen replied:

The failure of both organizations to release the reports that they claim to have undertaken, by nameless non-experts, indicates that no such reports were ever prepared.

While CAMERA has an expert on the subject, [Senior Research Analyst] Steve Stotsky, who made serious and professional findings, there doesn’t appear to be anyone at either ADL or JCRC with the credentials to analyze the curricula. Why on earth would they be refusing to release the reports?  Only two explanations: Either the reports are slipshod and amateur, or [they] don’t exist.

Barry Shrage, President of the CJP responded:

Implicitly acknowledging that there were in fact such materials in the Newton schools, Shrage said, “In my view the question of existence [of materials listed on APT’s advertisement] is not the issue, but rather how these materials were used.”

When asked about how the situation reflects on transparency of the Jewish community organizations, Shrage turned the attention on Jacobs’ group, saying, “What about APT? Where is their transparency?” He went on to say that APT still has not answered questions to ADL and JCRC’s inquiries.

In response to the question about his organization’s transparency, Jacobs said in an e-mail, “Our ads and our many op-eds have disclosed the basis of our concerns.”

Russell Pergament publisher of the JNS who conducted his own investigation said:

I really doubted any report existed. I pushed hard on the phone with Schrage…. I wanted facts. What is really alarming here is to see Boston’s most powerful and
well funded Jewish communal organizations train their firepower on one courageous man, Charles Jacobs, who has time and again come to the aid of Jewish high school and college students facing harassment.  These groups often did nothing and, worse yet, even tried to undercut him. That they jointly, almost conspiratorially, joined forces to try and take him down is worse than disgraceful. You have to question their fitness to retain these positions of trust.

An anonymous prominent Boston Jewish community leader observed:

Instead of releasing any report or detailed findings on which their statement is based, these organizations are asking us to blindly trust them and their general conclusion on faith. And yet, how can we do that when they are saying two inconsistent and contradictory things, at least one of which is therefore a lie? This is no longer just a story about the Newton schools, but about accountability and how our communal organizations and leadership operates.

Jacobs of the APT commented:

It seems to me that ADL has done a disservice to the Jewish community and Jewish leadership in Boston, by claiming to have done a thorough, quality investigation – which they refuse to disclose …

We do not believe ADL has any credible basis for its continuing claim that there is nothing for Boston’s Jewish community to worry about. This is very unfortunate for a community that desperately needs strong leadership at a time when Israel and its supporters are under attack in universities, in K-12, and in the media.

Once again, Jacobs and the APT team as well as independent investigators have caught the Boston Jewish community leaders in a web of deception abetting anti-Israelism in both the local schools and in the public debate.  This does not come as a surprise to us, nor is it an isolated case.  For example, we can point to our investigations of the controversial Olive Tree Initiative at UCAL Irvine funded by an affiliate of the local Orange County, California Jewish Federation.

How can we trust the Boston Jewish leaders to defend both Israel and the Jewish people?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.