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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.

“Zionism Unsettled” is a hatefilled document endorsed by Iran and David Duke

zionism unsettledA century ago the Presbyterian Church was among the leading Christian Zionists. These days a minority within  the Presbyterian Church USA is engaged in relentless delegitimization of Israel through a decade long BDS campaign. Their affiliate the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) released last month a 74 page guide, Zionism Unsettled (the Guide) that recently stoked the ire of the American Jewish community. A JNS.org story on the Zionism Unsettled guide cited Rabbi Noam Marans, the American Jewish Committee’s  Director of Intergroup and Interreligious Relations, who called it:

 A devastating distortion of Jewish and Israeli history, aimed at nothing less than eradicating the State of Israel.

The study guide is reminiscent of medieval Christian polemics against Judaism, with the authors claiming to know better than the Jewish community how Jews define themselves. This is another example of the ongoing effort to demonize Israel by a cadre of people who want to see the dismantlement of the Jewish state.

Here are some examples drawn from the Guide  that led to adverse criticism:

The Nakba (catastrophe) that befell the Palestinian people in the late 1940s should never have taken place. The Palestinian story is one of suffering at the hands of the international community, which authorized the division of Palestine in 1947, and at the hands of the Zionists who planned, organized, and implemented systematic ethnic cleansing.

Now, 65 years later, the Zionist quest for demographic control of the land in still underway – not only in the occupied territories, but within Israel itself.

Yesterday, the Guide received the endorsements of the Shiite Islamic Anti-Semitic Regime’s Press TV in Tehran and the American Anti-Semite, David Duke.  Duke has conducted outreach to Muslim Anti-Semitic groups in both Syria and Iran, to say nothing of his racist efforts here in the US.

Press TV’s report, “Zionism destroying lives of Palestinians, Jews” applauded the anti-Zionist Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP):

In a study guide on the Israeli regime released by the IPMN of Presbyterian Church (USA) last month, the authors argue that Jewish criticism of Zionism is on the rise, hailing the Jews who speak against the ‘supremacist’ movement.

“Contemporary voices are breaking the taboos that have stigmatized and punished critical examination of Zionism and its consequences,” says the study guide, calling on the brave Jews who criticize Zionism to resist a concerted effort by Pro-Zionist groups to silence them.

Press TV supported the Guide’s anti-Israel views:

A Presbyterian Church group has described Zionism as the single reason behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it is destroying the lives of both Palestinians and Jewish communities across the world.

Dexter Van Zile, Christian Media Analyst for the Boston-based Middle East media watchdog, CAMERA, cited praise for the Guide from David Duke in an Algemeiner article:

In a major breakthrough in the worldwide struggle against Zionist extremism, the largest Presbyterian Church in the United States, the PC (USA), has issued a formal statement calling Zionism “Jewish Supremacism” — a term first coined and made popular by Dr. David Duke.

The IPMN website has additional acclamation from leftist Anti-Zionist Ben Gurion University Professor Neve Gordon (no relation) and former Palestinian National Council spokesman, Professor Rashid Khalidi, holder of the endowed Edward Said Chair on Modern Arab Studies  at Columbia University:

Gordon said in his blurb:

In my work I am inspired by the great Jewish prophets’ struggle for justice and freedom, while simultaneously I am often astounded how certain strains in Judaism and Christianity invoke the Bible in order to justify oppression and social wrongs in Israel/Palestine. Therefore I welcome the effort to emphasize a conception of Judaism and Christianity that espouses universalistic ethics – whereby all humans are imago dei – and to use it to expose injustices carried out in my homeland.

Khalidi said:

The denial of the rights of the Palestinians is largely driven by the exemption of Zionist ideology and its real-world implications from any serious scrutiny. Zionism Unsettled explains accurately and concisely why it is essential to look at the theological roots of Zionism, and how it has appealed to both Jews and Christians, in order to understand the true nature of the long ordeal suffered by the Palestinian people, as well as the real roots of so much of the strife in the Middle East.

Today, the Presbyterian Church (USA ) entered the fray with a news release in the wake of this kerfuffle over the Guide:

 “Our church has a long history of engaging many points of view when it comes to dialogue on critical issues facing the world around us — it’s who we are, part of our DNA,” said Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “There are likely as many differing opinions as there are Presbyterians — and, like many denominations, we don’t always agree.”

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) policy calls for a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine and the right for each to exist within secure and recognized borders. The church has condemned acts of violence on both sides of the conflict, as well as the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israeli settlements. Our church has categorically condemned anti-Semitism in all its forms, including the refusal to acknowledge the legal existence of the State of Israel. At the same time, we believe that condemnation of injustices perpetrated in the name of the State of Israel, including the violation of human rights, does not constitute anti-Semitism.

In 2004, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) formed the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) to help move the church toward the goal of a just peace in Israel/Palestine. The independent group — which speaks to the church and not for the church — recently published a study guide, Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study. The guide is intended to prompt discussion on the ever-changing and tumultuous issue of Israel-Palestine. The IPMN booklet was neither paid for nor published by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“There are myriad voices within congregations, and some would like to see the church go beyond that stance,” added Valentine. “But we remain guided by the policies of the General Assembly, seeking peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Then it quotes the head of the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace:

There are a variety of voices and opinions within the Jewish community on this issue as well. Jewish Voice for Peace advocates for a peaceful and just solution among Palestinians and Israelis that respects human rights for all.

“We are in opposition to the settlements and occupation, and in favor of a true and just peace,” said Sydney Levy, director of advocacy for Jewish Voice for Peace. “And we are not alone in this — Jews, Christians, and Muslims join us in the prayer for peace.”

Is this the view of all members of the PCUSA?  Not by any means.  Robert Norvell, a Presbyterian Minister and counter-jihad activist in Jonesboro, Arkansas wrote in an email:

I believe 85% of all Presbyterians are adamantly opposed to this study. Is Israel perfect? No, but neither is the USA. But Israel is far superior morally to Hamas, Fatah and the other Muslim savages populating the neighborhood. They are our only reliable friends and allies in the region. I am embarrassed by the actions of a few Presbyterian extremists.

Dexter Van Zile in the JNS.org article corroborated Norvell’s comment saying:

The folks who lead this church in Louisville (site of Presbyterian Church USA’s headquarters) are quite willing to allow a small but vocal minority to demonize Israel and use the church’s brand-name to do it. They have behaved like this since 2004. Most of the denomination’s laity does not support these extremists, but their voice has not proven to be decisive.

When I wrote about a battle within the PCUSA over an anti-Israel BDS resolution at the annual conference in an American Thinker article in June 2006, “Divest Hate”, I noted who were among the Presbyterians opposing it:

Because grass roots opinion has been building among both pastors and their flocks against the leadership of the PCUSA on the divestment resolution. They want to eliminate hate and most importantly protect the religious freedoms of minority Christians in the Middle East from the real threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Their allies in this battle include leading grassroots Presbyterian groups like End Divestment Now!, founded by Jim Roberts.  Among vocal opponents of the BDS resolution was former CIA director, R. James Woolsey, a Presbyterian Elder,  and chairman of the Washington, DC-based foundation for Defense of Democracies..

Zionism Unsettled  is a hateful document that has had a spotlight thrown on it  by the endorsement of Iran’s Press TV and David Duke. As cited by Norvell, we trust that  a majority of Presbyterians will rise to the occasion and defeat another BDS resolution at the Church’s upcoming annual conference in June.  Whether they can remove the current PCUSA leadership and return to the moral high ground is another matter. Nonetheless, we wish the activist laity well in their battle to support the Jewish nation of Israel.

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