Chelm on the Charles River
by Jerry Gordon (August 2009)
When the new Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) was dedicated on June 26th, a number of local clergy, including members of the progressive rabbinate showed up for the event. They were complemented by members of the Boston Jewish community who had unwavering long term commitments to Jewish Muslim dialogue. Massachusetts Governor Derval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Jewish head of the City Council either sent greetings via videos or showed up for the occasion. “Others who attended included the Dean of Harvard Divinity School, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, and local Christian and Jewish clergy.”
Their appearance was opposed by leaders of Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) and others in Boston community, Jews and non-Jews. The APT news conference laid out a factual record of the ISBCC whose funding had come from known terrorist financiers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. ISBCC trustees had either been convicted of being launderers of terrorist funding or had espoused the extremist Salafist/Muslim Brotherhood hate doctrine towards Jews, Christians and other infidels. APT leaders like Charles Jacobs, formerly of the David project, Prof. Dennis Hale of Boston College and Egyptian Reformist Sheik Ahmed Mansour pressed the matter of this extremist Islamist background with evidence produced in a law suit abandoned by the ISBCC in 2007.
That evidence figured prominently in an expose, “Menino’s Mosque” published by the Boston Phoenix. The information made public probably convinced leaders of the main Jewish communal organizations, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) not to show up for the ISBCC official dedication. Those progressive Jews who came to the ISBCC program were useful fools. They were abetting the agenda of Muslim Brotherhood front the Muslim American Society (MAS), which backs the ISBCC, to subjugate and otherwise turn into dhimmis, their own coreligionists.
Jacobs and Hale noted at the conclusion of the Boston Globe report on the ISBCC event:
“We have let sensitivity trump truth’. . . and Our political leaders are failing us by embracing the radical leadership.”
This benighted group of progressive Jews are akin to the fabled Wise Men of Chelm, the mythical Polish shtetl in the humorous works of the late Nobel-laureate, Isaac Beshevis Singer like “Zlateh the Goat “and the “The Fools of Chelm.” In her play, “The Wise Men of Chelm,” author Sandra Fenichel Asher introduces us to these foolish Jews:
Legend has it that when the earth was created and the time came to fill it with people, two angels were chosen to deposit wise and foolish souls evenly over the land. But one angel tripped on a mountain peak and the entire sack of foolish souls emptied out over one spot, a tiny town in Poland called Chelm.
Given what transpired in Boston at the ISBCC dedication, it would appear that the angels dropped some foolish Jews on the banks of the Charles River that divides the Cities of Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.
This article will attempt to reveal the foolishness of these progressive Jews as an illustration of what occurs when you align yourselves with your enemies.
The Foolish Jews comments about the ISBCC
The Boston Globe report on the controversial ISBCC dedication sets the scene for this drama of foolish Jews on the banks of the Charles River.
“At long last, Islam has taken its rightful place as a full partner on the American scene,’’ said Rabbi Sanford Seltzer of Hebrew College, who spoke at the breakfast. And Enid Shapiro, who attended the breakfast, e-mailed me to say, “I was very disappointed that representatives of the established Jewish Community (CJP) were not represented. The demonstration outside the Reggie Lewis Center was appalling and certainly did not represent me or in my mind the Jewish Community.’’
Later, at the ribbon cutting, Globe writer Michael Paulsen, ran into Rabbi Moshe Waldockss of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, who told me he counted six local rabbis at the celebration. “For those in the Jewish community who have been involved in dialogue with the Muslim community, we celebrate what our cousins are doing by establishing this symbol in the community for many years to come.’’
We noted in an Iconoclast post what Rabbi Seltzer said in a New England Cable News interview:
Among the contingent of interfaith representatives at the ISBCC was Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, Associate Dean for Rabbinic Community Relations of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College. Seltzer remarked in the NECN news story, that until he sees “chapter and verse about these allegations, he remains unconvinced.” Seltzer may be another victim of what Jacobs of APT called “Islamophobiaphobia.”
Our understanding is that Jacobs has challenged Seltzer to sit down and review the evidence about the radical Mosque and its hate mongering Imams and trustees. We await word should that occur.
Another foolish Jew is Michael Felsen, head of the Workmen’s Circle in Boston who attended the event. He wrote a July 5th op ed in the Boston Globe opposite one by the APT leaders, Jacobs and Hale, entitled, “Trustworthy community.” Martin Solomon of the blog Solomonia called Felsen’s opinion piece “superficial pap.” Felsen wrote:
So, are the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and the Muslim American Society-Boston truly dominated by Islamist extremists, and hence properly boycotted by Jewish - and other - groups?
My personal experience suggests they are not. As an officer and representative of a Jewish communal organization, I have encountered only graciousness, sincerity, and warmth in my dealings with leaders of both organizations. I have also observed these leaders demonstrate the same attitudes toward rabbis and lay leaders of an array of Jewish organizations.
Consider two public statements crafted collaboratively with ISBCC and MAS-Boston leaders. The first, “Building a Community of Trust,’’ was rolled out in 2007 at every mosque in Greater Boston on the first day of Ramadan, and at synagogues on Rosh Hashana. Announcing the stated goal of replacing distrust and misunderstanding with respectful communication, the Muslim and Jewish signers decried all forms of terrorism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Muslim prejudice. The signers - imams, rabbis, and Jewish and Muslim community leaders and members - embraced a Greater Boston in which diversity is respected, and pledged to foster efforts to decrease divisions between our communities.
Here’s another Solomonia bon mot about Felsen, the alleged Cambridge anti-Zionist peacenik in a post about the Palestinian Dance troupe Al Rowward:
One of the performances this time is being sponsored by the Workmen's Circle, an ostensibly "secular Jewish" organization that is also nominally pro-Israel, but whose President, Michael Felsen, has been one of the biggest supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood's Boston Mosque, appearing at press conferences with the MAS and basically as a volunteer to give the group "Jewish" cover. Confronted on the day of the Mosque opening, Felsen was asked what actual pro-Israel activism his group had done. Fumbling for a response, he finally blubbered something about signing a petition against "the settlements!"
The Boston Globe op ed by Drs. Jacobs and Hale, “Leaders are Extremists” poked holes in Felsen’s remarks with the facts.
Some milestone! The city has helped the Wahhabi clerical establishment - purveyors of the most intolerant religious teachings on the planet - and the Muslim Brotherhood - genesis of all Sunni terrorist organizations - set up shop in the Cradle of Liberty, flying a false flag of moderation. And to make matters worse, this sad milestone is praised as a great victory for diversity and a boon to local Muslims.
The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center offers courses from the Islamic American University, whose vice chairman is Jamal Badawi, a trustee of the center, and headed by Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a hate-mongering preacher from the Gulf who has been banned from Egypt and the United States.
Trustee Walid Fitahi has claimed that according to the Koran, Jews are “killers of the Prophets,’’ responsible for the “oppression, murder, and rape of the worshipers of Allah.’’ Yet Fitahi was chosen to read Koranic passages at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
ISB records show that the organization has both received money from and donated money to organizations that were later investigated or shut down for terrorist activities. Among the recipients of ISB largesse are the Benevolence International Foundation - an Al Qaeda charity - and the recently convicted Holy Land Foundation - a Hamas charity.
These are the people who will now be ministering to the spiritual needs of the local Muslim community and bringing to the center preachers who share their views.
Case in point: The ISB invited Yasir Qadhi to speak at its Cambridge mosque in March. Qadhi is a Holocaust denier who preaches that Jews want to destroy Muslims and that Christians are theologically “filthy.’’
In the same July 5th edition of the Boston Globe as the Felsen and APT op eds was a letter from another foolish Jew, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, and spiritual leader of Reconstructionist synagogue Dorshe Tzedek of West Newton. It was entitled, “Mosque's opening a milestone to be celebrated.” Spitzer noted:
I want your readers to know that while one vocal but unrepresentative faction of the local Jewish community has dampened official Jewish engagement with this project, there are many across the Jewish community who are actively engaged in a variety of activities in concert with the local Muslim community, including the Islamic Society of Boston.
I was embarrassed and disheartened by the presence of mosque opponent Charles Jacobs and a few of his compatriots outside the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, but I also knew that Jacobs does not speak for me, nor, I believe, for the majority of Jews in the Boston area.
Nexus for the Jewish Fools-The Jewish Muslim Relations Center
The JMRC hopes to strengthen relations between Jews and Muslims in the Greater Boston area through:
· Creating leadership collaboration
· Enabling grassroots education and interaction
· Providing a forum for shared inquiry and communication through the written word
Fulfilling this mission will enable us to fight anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, enhance Jewish and Muslim identity in a pluralistic society, and work together for the good of the wider community.
Among the board of the JMRC are the usual assortment of foolish Jews, the trustees of the ISBCC and the Boston chapter of the Muslim American Society.
· Dr. Abdul Cader Asmal – Islamic Center of Boston, Islamic Council of New England
· Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld - Hebrew College Rabbinical School
· Bilal Kaleem - Muslim American Society, Boston Chapter
· Dr. Larry Lowenthal - Executive Director, The American Jewish Committee (AJC) Greater Boston Chapter
· Enid Shapiro - Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
· Rabbi Moshe Waldockss - Temple Beth Zion, Brookline
Lowenthal is a special case of a delusional Jew. Now retired after 25 years as executive director of the AJC Greater Boston chapter he is still involved in Muslim Jewish dialogue. Several years ago, Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch and the New English Review had attended a Jewish Muslim dialogue session. He was so offended by what occurred at a suburban Boston gathering organized by Lowenthal that he wrote David Harris, executive director the national AJC a scathing denunciation of such encounters. Later in 2006, Lowenthal sat near me at a lecture by Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein at a David project lecture on “Jihad and Judaism” at Temple Emanuel in Newton, clutching one of Rubenstein’s acclaimed books, “The Cunning of History.” We hoped that Rubenstein’s lecture might have dissuaded Lowenthal from continuing his sponsorship and involvement in Jewish Muslim dialogue. It didn’t.
Jews must be extremely sensitive to Islamophobia in Boston, evidenced whenever Islam is attacked, inherently, as a hostile, violent, aggressive, cruel, bigoted religion. Such ugly stereotyping of Muslims must be fought every step of the way. Knowledge of Islam is essential before one can presume to defend it. One must be aware of Islamophobic claims that Muslims are deceptive in their interaction with non-Muslims for the purpose of promoting worldwide Jihad. Jews must read more books about Islam, and must be open to honest dialogue with Muslims if they wish to understand this complex and powerful religion. Fighting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is through education and dialogue. Otherwise we end up believing dangerous claims.
A different view of Lowenthal’s 2007 JMRC interview is presented by pro-Palestinian blogger Joachim Martillo when he suggests:
The first priority of interfaith activity for decent Jews and Muslims should have been a joint effort to expose both
· the wealthy, politically-connected Jews that are attempting to incite virulent Islamophobia in order to marginalize American Muslims in the American political process and also
· the Jewish fraudsters, who use fake accusations of anti-Semitism to distract from Jewish anti-Muslim incitement.
Instead, the transcription of the interview indicates that the JMRC works mostly to indoctrinate Muslims in Zio-speak and to colonize them mentally.
The 2007 Rosh Ha Shanah- Ramadan Jewish Muslim Declaration: “Towards Community”
In the Hebrew calendar, the New Year 5768 was marked in Boston by a joint statement sparked by the conjunction of the Jewish New Year and the start of the month long Muslim observances of Ramadan.
Notwithstanding all of the evidence in the ISBCC defamation case brought against the plaintiffs, including the David project, the Greater Boston rabbinate co-signed a declaration with local Muslim leaders. It demonstrated a widening net of foolish members of the rabbinate, including the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. The blog Solomonia drew attention to the contents and signatories of the joint declaration prepared by the JMRC in a post aptly entitled: “Go along to get along…Some Rabbis will sign anything”:
Building A Community of Trust
We, members of the Jewish and Muslim communities, seek to build trust and mutual understanding and strive to forge positive relationships between our respective communities. We are determined to work together in order to replace fear, distrust, and misunderstanding of each for the other, where it exists, with hope, and respectful communication.
As shared beliefs:
* We affirm the common humanity of all racial, religious, and ethnic groups, and our common needs for safety, security and dignity.
* We decry all forms of terrorism, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim prejudice, or any other form of discrimination or stigmatization against any racial, religious or ethnic group.
* We support the rights, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, of faith communities to gather for worship.
Among the Jewish signatories were the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Leonard Fein, Michael Felsen, Dr. David Gordis, Rabbi Toba Spitzer, and Rabbi Moshe Waldockss. Muslim signatories included Anwar Kazmi - Board of Directors, Islamic Society of Boston, Hossam al Jabri - President, Muslim American Society, Boston chapter, Imam Basyouny Nehela - Islamic Society of Boston, Salwa Abdallah - Board of Directors, Islamic Society of Boston, and M. Bilal Kaleem - Executive Director, Muslim American Society, Boston chapter.
So what we have here is further confirmation of the deepening sense of Dhimmitude of local progressive rabbis and leftist leaders like Felsen and Leonard Fein.
The Film “In Good Faith” showcases useful Jewish fools
The useful fools in the Boston Jewish community figured prominently in the film, “In Good Faith” produced as a project by graduating Boston College Senior, Michael Porter that premiered in 2008. You may view a trailer of the film on YouTube, here. The film made by Porter for Boston College TV endeavors to tell the story of the ISBCC Mosque from differing vantage points:
In Good Faith is a student-documentary chronicling the building of New England's largest mosque in Boston. The film looks at the make-up of the community, and their relationship to the rest of the city's community of faith.
Highlighted in the project are the Muslim community's responses to questions and concerns about Islam and their society, the evolution of two major lawsuits that delayed the construction of the mosque, and the work done behind the scenes with the supporting religious communities to foster partnerships and dialogue.
The film draws from exclusive one on one interviews with leaders of the Islamic Society of Boston, American Jewish Committee, Hebrew College, and the Archdiocese of Boston.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) Boston chapter screened the completed documentary in March 2008 at the ISBCC with a discussion panel that included some familiar names:
· Bilal Kaleem, MAS Boston
· Dr. Diana L. Eck, Pluralism Project
· Dr. Larry Lowenthal, American Jewish Committee
· Father Raymond Helmick, S.J., Boston College.
Solomonia had these remarks about ‘In Good Faith” in an April 12, 2008 review.
Last Thursday evening I went down to the Boston College campus to watch a new student-made film called "In Good Faith: The Building of a Mosque and a Community". The film promised a look at the Islamic Society of Boston, their mosque project and the controversies that have plagued it.
Funded through a grant from The Jacques Salmanowitz Program for Moral Courage in Documentary Film, BC junior Matt Porter took a year and half to complete the effort. If you take a moment to imagine every politically correct trope about dialog, tolerance, diversity, and respect for the other no matter who "the other" is and what they believe floating around college campuses today then you'll have a shot at understanding just what it was I sat through the other night.
In Good Faith starts with a word of the day, "Dialog," and remains unwaveringly faithful to pushing its agenda regardless of what facts stand in its way. In fact, the degree to which facts are twisted -- or more often, ignored -- and claims are simply accepted in wide-eyed innocence unintentionally demonstrate just how empty and unhelpful such PC points of faith are in serving us in our attempts to understand and deal with the real world outside campus kumbaya sessions. This is not journalism. It does not inform, it simply builds illusions, pushing its agenda, creating heroes and villains without ever giving the viewer the information necessary to judge whether the filmmaker is leading them astray.
We watched a video clip from the film that gave us further evidence of the delusional foolish Jews. Here are our observations.
We found Lowenthal's statements indicative of gross ignorance about Islam. And this from a Jewish community professional who engaged in Jewish Muslim dialogue for 25 years. He describes his discovery of the Islamic term taqiyyah. He says he learned of the term at a talk before 400 people in Newton at Temple Emmanuel at which the speaker, Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein tells the audience that the term taqiyyah means religiously sanctioned dissimilitude in Islam. Further, Rubenstein states that you cannot trust Muslims to speak candidly with kafirs, unbelievers. We were present at the Rubenstein lecture and had the opportunity to ask Lowenthal about his opinion of Rubenstein's talk. He thought Rubenstein's talk in 2006 was an eye opening. Too bad his mind wasn't opened up to investigate further and learn what Dr. Rubenstein was talking about to this Newton audience. Lowenthal in the film “ In Good faith” effectively says that if what Rubenstein conveyed in the Temple Emmanuel talk was the case, then there are no moderate Muslims. Lowenthal then talks of seeking the counsel of his Sunni Muslim interlocutors in his Boston Muslim Jewish dialogue sessions. They misinform him that taqiyyah is a term alien to Sunnis, but adopted by Shia. This is patently disingenuous. Taqiyyah is an Arabic term and it explicitly condones under Sunni/Salafist Sharia doctrine religiously sanctioned dissimilitude. It is what Bill Warner calls:"lying for Allah." Jacobs in an email exchange suggested that Lowenthal lifted the definition from a Wikipedia entry. In any case, Lowenthal demonstrated his dhimmi-like subservience to his Muslim dialogue partners. A subservience in pursuit of a delusion, that you could dialogue with Muslims whose ideology promotes a supremacist view that lords Islam over Judaism and Christianity to say nothing the rest of the world’s major faiths.
Then there were comments from Rabbi Waldocks, whose moral compass is wobbly to say the least. Waldocks says on the film’s audio track that he hadn't found any evidence of Saudi contributions to the construction of the ISBCC , but rather says that it came from 'contributors' in the community. He is truly blind to documented evidence to the contrary in the ISB trial record.
Hebrew College President David Gordis promotes mindless diversity in his remarks in the film a reflection of the agenda that both he and Rabbi Seltzer have developed for the interreligious program at the Hebrew College.
The folly of Chelm on the Charles River spreads across America
The delusions and follies of Chelm on the Charles River are spreading across America up to and including the White House. This time it is the Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) along with liberal Rabbi Marc Schneier founder of the New York –based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) that figured prominently in promoting Black-Jewish relations. Now Schneier and the FFEU have a new effort conflating anti-Semitism with Islamophobia. The FFEU brought a contingent of European Rabbis and Imams to a fast paced tour of how ‘successful’ interfaith dialogue is in America, exemplary of what could be done to combat fundamentalist Islamic hatred of Jews in Europe.
A group of 28 imams and rabbis from 10 European countries arrived in New York and Washington this week for whirlwind visits to interfaith centers to break new ground on Muslim-Jewish relations and combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in each other's communities.
They will receive instructions from teams of American rabbis and imams who will show the Europeans how American-style ecumenism works on the ground. It's the first visit of its kind to involve foreign Muslim and Jewish leaders coming to the U.S., where interreligious ties have a much longer history and track record of success.
"Our success in America has given us the faith and confidence to reach out to Europe," said Sayyid Mohammad Syeed, national director of interfaith and community alliances for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of three hosts for the visit.
The impetus for the five-day visit came after "exponential" growth of anti-Semitism among Muslims in Britain, France and elsewhere in Europe, said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the New York-based FFEU and chairman of the World Jewish Congress American Section.
"We want to help strengthen those in the Islamic world who are projecting this voice of moderation and to help them take their religion back from the cadre of extremists and fanatics in Islam," he said.
Rabbi Schneier was rated by Newsweek and The Forward among the top fifty American Rabbis. Clearly, Schneier is caught up in the fantasy of dhimmitude misleading both European and American Jews about the intent of his Muslim interlocutors.
All of this sounds constructive, but as Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein commented in an email: “it is a fraud.” The reason is the Islamic Quranic canon espouses xenophobic anti-Semitism and hatred of “the other” meaning Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, B’hai and Zoroastrians. This hatred has fomented Jihad down through the centuries. It is what killed 3,000 on 9/11 at ground zero in lower Manhattan, the courageous passengers on Flight 93 in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Flight 77 passengers including service personnel and civilians at the Pentagon.
FFEU Jewish Muslim outreach is an aggressive version of the delusional Jewish Muslim outreach by the Boston rabbinate chronicled here. The Washington Times piece continues,
Two years ago, the FFEU ventured into Muslim-Jewish relations, convening a summit of rabbis and imams in New York in November 2007. They combined forces for a public service announcement on CNN in early 2008 that denounced both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
On a weekend in November 2008, they "twinned" 50 mosques and synagogues in cities across the country to encourage mutual visits and partnerships. A second such weekend is planned this year for Nov. 13-15.
"We received calls from faith leaders in England, Sweden and Australia who want to take part in that," Mr. Schneier said. He organized this week's visit, which, he added, is costing the FFEU about $150,000.
The moral blindness of these foolish Jews is evidence that Chelm exists on the Charles River and is spreading across America . The FFEU sponsorship of the European rabbi and Imams visit to New York and Washington, DC, including a red carpet visit to the Obama White House, is indicative of rampant dhimmitude among liberal members of the rabbinate. The reality is that without any fundamental change in the Islamic Quranic Canon, like the rabbinate in Boston, they will look like the foolish Jews in Chelm leading their congregants astray.
This is indicative of the mindset of many Jewish community leaders in Boston and throughout America. They are woefully ignorant of Islam, and as Lowenthal states “In Good Faith,” even ignorant of the 'complexities' of their own faith. They are leading their fellow Jews and the greater community astray from the body of factual evidence of the extremists in the leadership of the ISBCC, MAS, ISNA and CAIR, among the unindicted co-conspirators cited in the United States vs. Holy Land Foundation trial record. They all believe that interreligious dialogue, with Muslims for its own sake, is good because out of it comes a feel good 'rapport.' Moreover, they earnestly believe American Muslims are truly assimilable, when the Islamic religious doctrine of supremacism contradicts this. They perpetuate the ignorance of fellow Jews concerning the real agenda that lies behind the toothsome grins of Muslims at dialogue sessions. Add to those arguments the fact that Muslim Brotherhood fronts, like the MAS, ISNA, CAIR and others support their affiliate Hamas in Gaza, which openly seeks the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and you wonder why these foolish Jews of Chelm on the Charles and elsewhere in America are so delusional.
Rabbi Jon Hausman of Cong. Ahavath Torah, the only rabbi in America who invited Dutch politician Geert Wilders to speak at his synagogue had this observation: “these foolish Jews are twisting reality to fit a particular political-philosophical weltanschauung (world view).” Our comment is that the world view of these foolish Jewish leaders in Chelm on the Charles River could become our undoing.
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