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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The name Charles Jacobs should be a familiar one to readers of this blog. Charles Jacobs, founder of The David Project, co-founder of the Boston branch of CAMERA and the American Anti-Slavery Group, and now Americans for Peace and Tolerance. I would hazard to say, without any exaggeration at all, that Charles Jacobs has done as much or more for the Jewish People (and Western Values in general) off the pulpit than any other single person in New England.

Unfortunately for Charles, and more importantly, for us all, Charles Jacobs stepped on the toes of the Massachusetts left-wing Rabbinical establishment with his recent column: What's up with Deval Patrick? In the column, Jacobs addresses the political controversy stirred up by Governor Deval Patrick's recent visit to the Islamic Society of Boston Mosque. (More on that in the videos below.) Along the way, Jacobs called out some of the local religious leadership which has credulously run toward the cliff in allowing themselves to be used as a whitewash for some of the mosque's radical connections, many of whom should well know better. Jacobs even had the temerity (honesty) to call Rabbi Eric Gurvis by name.

Read the linked column. What's written about Gurvis may sting for the truth of it, but it can hardly be called a substance-less personal attack.

Not so the response it has garnered, however.

Not allowing any slight to go unpunished, seventy of Gurvis' colleagues -- most of them on the liberal left-wing of the Reform and Reconstructionist movements -- have counterattacked with an open letter, printed in the same local paper that Jacobs' column originally appeared in. I have pasted the letter and the complete list of signatories at the end of this post. Please review the list to see if your Rabbi is on it.

The Rabbis call the Jacobs column a "vicious, personal attack," when it was anything but. In fact, it is these Rabbis who are guilty of committing a scurrilous personal attack on a man who has put more on the line for this community than most of them can ever hope to do in their lifetimes. Their letter is devoid of any response whatsoever to the substantive matters that Charles Jacobs has exposed. Their letter is a reply the nature of which ought to be beneath the dignity of Jewish clergy. They didn't respond this way when it was brought to light that patrons of this mosque were preaching the worst kind of despicable Jew hatred. No, these "leaders" who have elevated "dialogue" and "interfaith relations" to the level of a fetish have reserved their worst invective for a man who dared simply to criticize one of their guild. They have utterly abdicated their responsibility to protect their own community in favor of good relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and a few friendly photo-ops, even stooping to the commandeering of Torah verse as a bludgeon, a blackjack employed in the service of their personal vendetta.

Where have they been as the Wahhabis have built the east coasts' largest Mosque? Silent. Hiding. Complicit. And they dare attack the one man -- more leader than any of them -- who was willing to put himself and his own reputation on the line when none of them would? Shame on them. The fact is they know they've lost authority, through their own inaction, to this unordained layman...and it galls them.

They have so badly forgotten that their primary responsibility to the rest of us is not comity at all costs, but to speak the truth and stand for our community, that they have cast their sense of propriety to the wind and shamed themselves.

Again I ask, is your Rabbi on the list?

[Update: Richard Landes has an excellent post going point by point on this: On the nature of Islamophobia: Jacobs vs. the "liberal" Rabbis on the Boston Megamosque]

Here is everything you need to know. First, watch this excellent video of Charles discussing matters with Bill Whittle of PJTV. Jacobs is eloquent and measured throughout:

Second, here is that Americans for Peace and Tolerance video about the Patrick visit to the Mosque. This is that painful substance the Rabbis wish to ignore:

By the way, even the lefty Boston Phoenix assails the Patrick visit to the ISB in an excellent editorial entitled Mickey Mouse Multiculturalism

Now, here is that "Rabbinical" letter:

Rabbis come to the defense of a colleague under fire

We write in defense of our colleague Rabbi Eric Gurvis. Rabbi Gurvis leads Temple Shalom of Newton, is the past president of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Boston Area Reform Rabbis and currently serves as the president of the Newton Clergy Association. He is a distinguished teacher and respected community leader.

We were shocked and appalled by the vicious, personal attack written by Charles Jacobs and printed in

The Jewish A dvocate. We denounce this attack and call upon Mr. Jacobs to discontinue his destructive campaign against Boston's Muslim community, which is based on innuendo, half-truths and unproven conspiracy theories. We call upon members of our community to reject the dangerous politics of division that Mr. Jacobs fosters.

Rabbi Gurvis stood with a number of us at a recent interfaith press conference, denouncing the inappropriate words of a gubernatorial candidate who implied that addressing a large group of Muslims was "pandering to terrorists." Just as we rabbis would expect Christians and Muslims to stand with us Jews if we were unjustly held accountable for the actions of a handful of our people, Rabbi Gurvis stood with our Muslim neighbors. In fact, he pointed out that when Temple Shalom was defaced by a swastika, one of the first calls he received was from Bilal Kaleem from the Muslim American Society.

During these difficult times, Rabbi Gurvis, along with other courageous religious leaders, is attempting to foster a different kind of politics. We support his commitment to interfaith dialogue and cooperation. We stand together in our commitment to a community in which neighbors seek to know one another and join together for the common good.

We write these words following the week in which the Torah portion was Shelach Lecha. It tells the stories of the Israelite scouts who were overcome by fear. As a result, they "spread calumnies" among the entire Israelite camp, who in turn broke out into loud cries and weeping. Because they succumbed to their fears, G-d condemned this generation to die in the wilderness. We refuse to allow Mr. Jacobs to spread his calumnies and paralyze our community in fear.

We the undersigned rabbis support Rabbi Eric Gurvis and walk together in faith. (Institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.)
Rabbi Thomas Alpert
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
(dean, Rabbinical School, Hebrew College)
Rabbi Stephen Arnold
Rabbi Lev Baesh (B'nai Or, Newton)
Rabbi Alfred Benjamin
(Rabbi, Temple Shalom, Milton)
Rabbi Joseph Berman
Rabbi Allison Berry (Temple Beth David, Canton)
Rabbi Herman Blumberg (Emeritus, Temple Shir
Tikva, Wayland)
Rabbi Carey Brown (Temple Isaiah, Lexington)
Rabbi Sharon Clevenger (The Rashi School,
Newton)
Rabbi Joe Eiduson (Congregation B'nai Shalom,
Westborough)
Rabbi Lisa Eiduson (Temple Beth Avodah,
Newton Centre)
Rabbi John Franken (Temple Ohabei Shalom,
Brookline)
Rabbi David Freelund (Cape Cod Synagogue,
Hyannis)
Rabbi Ronne Friedman (Temple Israel, Boston)
Rabbi Neal Gold (Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland)
Rabbi Robert Goldstein (Temple Emanuel
Andover)
Rabbi David Gordis (past president, Hebrew
College)
Rabbi Art Green (Hebrew College, Newton)
Rabbi Neil Hirsch (Temple Shalom, Newton)
Rabbi Boaz Heilman (Congregation B'nai Torah,
Sudbury)
Rabbi Sandi Intraub (Chaplain Resident, Hebrew
SeniorLife )
Rabbi Howard Jaffe (Temple Isaiah, Lexington)
Rabbi Shira Joseph (Congregation Sha'aray
Shalom, Hingham)
Rabbi Dan Judson (Hebrew College, Newton)
Rabbi Randy Kafka (Temple Israel South Shore,
North Easton)
Rabbi Daniel Klein

Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein
Rabbi David Kline
Rabbi Stephanie Kolin (Temple Israel, Boston)
Rabbi Neil Kominsky (Emeritus, Temple Emanuel,
Lowell)
Rabbi Jonathan Kraus (Beth El Temple Center,
Belmont)
Rabbi Claudia Kreiman (Temple Beth Zion,
Brookline)
Rabbi Judith Kummer
Rabbi Stephen Landau (Congregation Tikvoh
Chadoshoh, West Hartford, Conn.)
Rabbi Karen Landy (Hebrew Senior Life, Dedham;
Havurat Shalom, Andover)
Rabbi David Lerner (Temple Emunah, Lexington)
Rabbi Michele Lenke (Temple Beth Shalom,
Needham)
Rabbi Allan Lehmann (vice president,
Massachusetts Board of Rabbis)
Rabbi Greg Litcofsky (Temple Shir Tikva, Wayland)
Rabbi Natan Margalit (Hebrew College, Newton)
Rabbi Todd Markley (Temple Beth Shalom,
Needham)
Rabbi Daniel Medwin
Rabbi Bernard Mehlman (Emeritus, Temple Israel,
Boston)
Rabbi Rim Meirowitz (Temple Shir Tikvah,
Winchester)
Rabbi Joseph Meszler (Temple Sinai, Sharon)
Rabbi Laurence Milder (Congregation B'nai
Shalom, Westborough)
Rabbi James Morgan
Rabbi Jeremy Morrison (Temple Israel, Boston)
Rabbi Beth Naditch
Rabbi Michelle Pearlman (Temple Shalom,
Newton)
Rabbi Barbara Penzner (Temple Hillel B'nai Torah,
West Roxbury)
Rabbi Jay Perlman (Temple Beth Shalom,
Needham)

Rabbi Jonah Pesner (Director, Union for Reform
Judaism Just Congregations, Newton)
Rabbi Ellen Pildis (Jewish Studies Director,
The Rashi School, Newton)
Rabbi Elaine Pollack (Newton Lower Falls)
Rabbi David Reiner
Rabbi Victor Reinstein (Nehar Shalom Community
Synagogue, Jamaica Plain)
Rabbi Rachel Saphire (Temple Beth Elohim,
Wellesley)
Rabbi Talya Weisbard Shalem
Rabbi Lawrence Silverman (Congregation Beth
Jacob, Plymouth)
Rabbi Jodi Seewald Smith (Temple Chayai
Shalom, Easton MA)
Rabbi Joel Sisenwine (Temple Beth Elohim,
Wellesley)
RabbI Toba Spitzer (Congregation Dorshei Tzedek,
West Newton)
Rabbi Keith Stern (Temple Beth Avodah,
Newton Centre)
Rabbi David Thomas (Congregation Beth El of the
Sudbury River Valley, Sudbury, MA)
Rabbi Van Lanckton, (Temple B'nai Shalom,
Braintree)
Rabbi Andrew Vogel (Temple Sinai, Brookline)
Rabbi Moshe Waldoks (Temple Beth Zion, Brookline)
Rabbi Jeffrey Wildstein (Temple Beth David,
Westwood)
Rabbi David Wolfman (director, URJ National
Commission on Rabbinic-Congregational Relations)
Rabbi Julie Wolkoff
Rabbi Sara Zacharia (Hebrew College, Newton)
Rabbi Elaine Zecher (Temple Israel, Boston)
Rabbi Henry Zoob (Emeritus, Temple Beth David,
Westwood)
Hebrew College rabbinical students: Joel Baron, Rogerio Zingerevitz Cukierman, Tiffany Gordon, Margie Klein, Lev Meirowitz, Nelson, Suzie Schwartz, Lila Veissid and Judith Kates (professor)

Jacobs has issued his own response through APT (far more measured than mine, here):

In response to our video sounding the alarm about a Muslim American Society (MAS) imam who told followers to "pick up the gun and the sword," as well as to our criticism of Rabbi Eric Gurvis for embracing the MAS leadership, a group of seventy New England rabbis published a letter denouncing me in the Jewish Advocate.

The letter ignored every concern we raised about the MAS - its Saudi funders, its extremist leaders, its connections to terror and hate speakers. Instead, the rabbis who wrote it, accused me falsely of waging a campaign to defame Boston's Muslim community. These rabbis should have known, with minimal fact-checking, that I have been consistent in my positions: I believe the radical leaders of MAS Boston are first and foremost a threat to Boston's historically moderate Muslim community. The best way to fight this threat is to support the true moderates and reformers of Islam. This is a major component of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance mission and activity. Yet the rabbis irresponsibly claimed that I am defaming all Boston Muslims. This kind of slander can play right into the hands of MAS radicals, who may use this letter to incite Muslims against Americans for Peace and Tolerance and me. Their letter is untrue, inappropriate, and unbecoming for Jewish leaders.

The letter also contains a bizarre interpretation of a Biblical story to justify the rabbis' misguided attack. It is hard for me to believe that the signers actually read their own letter or thought through the weirdly constructed Biblical analogy. I think most signed on to support their colleague, Rabbi Gurvis. Others may have been motivated by progressive politics, political correctness, and the desire to show their universalism. None of the signed leaders approached Americans for Peace and Tolerance to get the facts about the MAS's Imam Faarooq.

You can read the rabbis' letter, which will appear in today's Jewish Advocate, below [above -MS]. You might also want to review our video and my op-ed discussing the relationship between the Governor and the MAS, as well as criticizing Rabbi Gurvis's support for the MAS.

As you know the Jewish community is under siege, and it is unfortunate that we are so divided. I hope you will take the time to call or write the rabbis who signed the letter and urge them to withdraw their names, to seek out the truth about the Muslim American Society and Imam Faarooq, and to join us in countering the radicalization of the Boston Muslim community...

Update: Another worthwhile response:

To the Editor, on your recent article, "Rabbis come to defense of a colleague under fire" (6/11 issue),

With all due respect, I invite the 70 rabbis who signed the open letter, "Rabbis come to defense of a colleague under fire," (6/11 issue), to reexamine Charles Jacobs' assertions in his article, "What's up with Patrick?" Jacobs' main point was not to discredit Rabbi Gurvis' past service to the community or to wage a "destructive campaign against Boston's Muslim community." Rather, Jacob's main point was to bring to light the danger of closing one's eyes to these specific Roxbury Mosque leaders' documented association with, and support of, global radical Islamic terror groups and indicted and jailed terrorists, such as Aafia Siddiqui. Jacobs does not base his assertions on innuendo or half-truths. Instead he has made available numerous FBI and court documents, public information, and videos, which everyone should read before criticizing Jacobs (see his website, www.peaceandtolerance.org). America is under attack both from within and without by radical Islamic terrorists whose goal is to destroy our lives and our freedom. We mustn't falsely accuse or limit freedoms of any Muslim citizen simply because he/she is Muslim. But every political and community leader - indeed every citizen - must be on the alert for those who are found to support acts of terror and anti-Semitism, and be careful not to embrace them as our co-laborer of peace. Nor should we accept them as speaking on behalf of truly moderate Muslims who support every citizen's security and liberty under the US Constitution.

Rev. Fumio Taku
President
Christians and Jews United for Israel

Update: VISION, a pro-Israel New Hampshire group, responds:

AN OPEN LETTER FROM VOICE OF ISRAEL INITIATIVE OF NH (VISION N.H.); ABOUT DR. CHARLES JACOBS

if I'm not for myself, who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
(Pirkei Avot 1.14)

Dr. Jacobs is a man who wears many hats. His achievements span the spectrum from the civil rights movement; working to free the slaves in Sudan for years while the world was silent; exposing college professors animus toward Israel by producing "Columbia Unbecoming"; uncovering media bias while working for The Committee for Accuracy in the Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA); founding the David Project which teaches students "how to advocate for Israel;"and founding Americans for Peace and Tolerance (peaceandtolerance.org) which engages in research exposing radical Islamists in their own words.

He's spent his entire life defending and preserving Democracy; the right to freedom of thought, the right of expression, and the basic human right to be free.

Charles Jacobs is never at rest. He understands that being made in G-d's image means hard work and creation. He makes the connection between his beliefs and his creations. They reflect his responsibility to make a better world. He is a person who possesses the ability to connect and partner with groups that have the same ideas and ideals.

Wherever there is a need and a void, you will find Dr. Jacobs at work.

Please visit peaceandtolerance.org You will be amazed at the research undertaken by this organization.

Dr. Charles Jacobs, "Yeshar Koach"

Sincerely,

VISION MEMBERS

Update: Jewish Russian Telegraph chimes in: About 70 Rabbis, 70 Virgins, and Article 70 of the Soviet Penal Code

Will seventy rabbis get seventy virgins for their support of jihadists?

Our friend Charles Jacobs committed a crime. He dared to bring a proof that Governor Deval Patrick embraced islamist radicals when recently visiting Roxbury mosque. The Governor did it willingly and knowingly. Charles committed another crime, he mentioned a Boston area reform Rabbi Eric Gurvis among people being very welcoming with islamists. Hell hath no fury as a reform "rabbi" caught in an act of what they are really good at -- playing leftist politics at the expense of the Jewish community. Seventy of Gurvis's colleagues wrote a letter that a) completely ignored all the facts brought up in a documented fashion by Jacobs and his organization, b) engaged in a personal ad hominy attack on Jacobs. Distinguished "rabbis" demanded that Jacobs suspends judgment, just as they had done, and stops bringing disturbing facts.

Of course, if these rabbis were rabbis, they would be guilty of gross negligence regarding the interests of their communities. But they are not. Did you ever guess why socially minded reform rabbis are getting so well with the Islamists? Because both groups are radical political activists using the cover of religion to pursue their respective political goals. Islamists do not represent religion. They represent a political ideology aiming for political domination on their terms. Neither do the above mentioned "rabbis" represent Jewish tradition. They are true socialist radicals whose real leader is not Moses, but Marx.

Our "rabbis" demand Charles to stop. What 70 rabbis lack is a wonderful tool, that their ideological brethren in the Soviet Union used against people like Charles -- article 70 of the Soviet Penal code -- Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda. Under this article Charles would get his seven years of Gulag for distorting beautiful socialist reality with his ugly facts and would be silenced for a while. Fortunately for us and sadly for "rabbis" there is still a bit of this old-fashioned freedom left in the United States of America. For how long? It depends on us. Good job, Charles Jacobs. And no, at the end of the road there will be no seventy virgins neither for socially-minded rabbis, nor for their jihadi friends.

Update: From our own Hillel Stavis: "Othering", Rabbinic Style

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: When Rabbis Attack: Standing Up for Charles Jacobs.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.solomonia.com/cgi-bin/mt4/mt-renamedtb.cgi/18146

» When Congressmen Attack at the blog Solomonia

Well, at least the Rabbis didn't actually grab anyone... Think things are getting stressful down there in Washington? It's tough to be in Congress these days I guess, just ask Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.): Touchy much? Those students must have been... Read More

» "Othering", Rabbinic Style [Hillel] at the blog Solomonia

The Imam and the Rabbi: His Master's Voice Did you hear the one about the 70 Lefty rabbis who walked into a bar?..... Here's the punch line: "They all decided that safety lay in siding with the coming dominant... Read More

Last week we discussed the spectacle of 70 Rabbis and Rabbinical students taking to the pages of Boston's Jewish Advocate to attack local uber-activist Charles Jacobs on behalf of one of their colleagues: When Rabbis Attack: Standing Up for Charles... Read More

» When Bad Rabbis Happen to a Good People at the blog Solomonia

Here's a powerful piece at American Thinker, by Stella Paul, in defense of Charles Jacobs: Are you ready for Rabbis Gone Wild -- Boston Edition? In the latest installment of this tragicomedy, the progressive Jewish leadership of Massachusetts decides t... Read More

In full from Jewish Russian Telegraph. Looks like the Rabbis are outnumbered: We, undersigned members and representatives of the Russian Jewish community of Massachusetts, are writing to you to express our deep concerns about the state of affairs in ou... Read More



21 Comments

These awful Rabbis hate it when they're exposed. Personal attacks it's all they've got.

Charles has been my personal hero for many
years. What can I say about these Rabbis?
They are the Obama lovers along with the rest
of the anti-Zionist Jews who will vote for him
again. We have to keep fighting the good fight
and keep supporting Charles who has done so much
for the Jewish community.

These Rabbis are just shooting the messenger. I feel the singling out of Charles Jacobs is Lashon Hara.

Eli,

Knowing no Hebrew I had to google "Lashon Hara".

From Wikipedia (usually a good quick source for non political, non historical or non philosophical matters) I learnt that:

Lashon hara (or Loshon hora) (Hebrew לשון הרע; "evil language/tongue")is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising. By contrast, Motzi Shem Ra ("spreading a bad name") consists of untrue remarks, and is akin to slander or defamation.

Apparently there is an exception when

There are times when a person is obligated to speak out, even though the information is disparaging. Specifically, if a person’s intent in sharing the negative information is for a to’elet, a positive, constructive, and beneficial purpose, the prohibition against lashon hara does not apply. Motzi shem ra, spouting lies and spreading disinformation, is always prohibited. And if the lashon hara serves as a warning against the possibility of future harm, such communication is not only permissible, but, under certain conditions, compulsory.

"to'elet" is more difficult. I gather it is rooted in Abraham's defiance of God! when he must defy even God in the short term to fulfil God's will in the long term.."Haritzut" (decisiveness) being a desirable attribute in a person.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=ff7EFCzgp-sC&pg=PA293&lpg=PA293&dq=to%27elet&source=bl&ots=3zXRsdZo3n&sig=8bzVQginQeMZTY0yFkDXJ-mKAA8&hl=en&ei=5ncUTKvuEcWjkAWwoYD1DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBYQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=to%27elet&f=false

Something like having the courage to speak truth to power?

If so, I agree.

The interview by Bill Whittle is excellent. Whittle is a very good interviewer and I even like his new hairdo.

Yes, Jacobs is eloquent and measured. He has a restrained delivery that doesn't frighten the horses.

Pat Condell does a high powered monologue on the NY mosque at ground zero worth watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4

He touches on the same issue of Moslems building on sacred sites.

Daniel Pipes wrote an intersting article for JPost in 2001 titled "The Temple Mount's Indian counterpart"

It shows that the Temple Mount dispute is far from unique. Moslems have habitually asserted the supremacy of Islam through architecture, building on top of the monuments of other faiths (as in Jerusalem and Ayodhya) or appropriating them (e.g. the Ka'ba in Mecca and the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople).

Off topic - but this clip of a stoned liberal refuting Pat Condell is hilarious - a real "maroon" as Bugs Bunny would say.

Attribution,

It shows that the Temple Mount dispute is far from unique. Moslems have habitually asserted the supremacy of Islam through architecture, building on top of the monuments of other faiths (as in Jerusalem and Ayodhya) or appropriating them (e.g. the Ka'ba in Mecca and the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople).

http://www.danielpipes.org/368/the-temple-mounts-indian-counterpart

Stoned liberal refuting Pat Condell link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaGc4CPXCCM&feature=related

597 comments in a week.

Best comment

"This guy is very smart or maybe not..."

The best way to interpret the Rabbis' letter about Charles is to regard it as an attempt to protect their eroding authority in the face of changing technology.

Just as the Gutenburg press made it increasingly difficult for the Catholic church to keep a lid on controversy in Reformation Europe, the internet has made it difficult for the Boston area rabbis to keep a lid on the concerns raised by Charles Jacobs about their insistence on engaging in interfaith dialogue with people the average citizen would not want them to dialogue with. With the videos, Charles has effectively gone over the heads of the rabbis in the Boston area and spoken directly to the Jewish community about the Roxbury Mosque's ties to terrorists. In so doing, he has raised legitimate questions about the professional judgement of the rabbis who insist on dialogue with the leaders of the Roxbury Mosque.

By coming to one rabbi's defense, the rabbis are trying to fend off a challenge. This is kind of like the priest abuse scandal in the catholic church. Information technology made it increasingly easy for people to connect the dots about abusive priests. Moreover, dissidents had an easier time getting together and organizing as a result of the internet.

The Duke 88, a group of professors at Duke University who attacked the Lacrosse Team which was falsely accused of rape, were engaging in the same type of behavior. They were trying to constrain the narrative and keep it about racism and white privilege when in fact, the story was really about a false accusation of rape. They took out a full-page ad and attacked the team. But the narrative fell apart anyways.

Here it's a bit different. It's not about white privilege, or racism but about "Islamophobia." They want this to be about Islamophobia. I don't think they'll be able to constrain this story. It's not about Islamophobia but a real threat to the public square.

Getting this story out to the people in the Boston area is a messy process, but it has to be done.

Good job, Charles.

If one chooses to defend Western Civilization, one better get used to being viciously attacked by Leftwingers. However, standing with truth and righteousness are their own rewards.

Indeed A Reader, the Global Climate Fearmongering was and is being broken by the end around of the internet. The Left's lies will not stand any longer.

From the Jewish Russian Telegraph's commentary, "About 70 Rabbis, 70 Virgins, and Article 70 of the Soviet Penal Code":

Will seventy rabbis get seventy virgins for their support of jihadists?

... Hell hath no fury as a reform "rabbi" caught in an act of what they are really good at—playing leftist politics at the expense of the Jewish community. Seventy of Gurvis's colleagues wrote a letter that: a) completely ignored all the facts brought up in a documented fashion by Jacobs and his organization, b) engaged in a personal ad hominem attack on Jacobs. ... Did you ever guess why socially minded reform rabbis are getting so well with the islamists? Because both groups are radical political activists using the cover of religion to pursue their respective political goals. Islamists do not represent religion. They represent a political ideology aiming for political domination on their terms. Neither above mentioned "rabbis" represent Jewish tradition. They are true socialist radicals whose real leader is not Moses, but Marx. ... What [the] 70 rabbis lack is a wonderful tool, that their ideological brethren in the Soviet Union used against people like Charles—article 70 of the Soviet Penal code (Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda). Under this article, Charles would get his seven years of Gulag for distorting beautiful socialist reality with his ugly facts and would be silenced for a while. Fortunately for us and sadly for "rabbis" there is still a bit of this old-fashioned freedom left in the United States of America. For how long? It depends on us. Good job, Charles Jacobs.

I agree.

This has already been pointed out, but the rabbis' letter did not deal with any of the factual issues Charles has raised over the past couple of years.

But at the same time, it accused him of issuing calumnies! Exactly what did he say that qualified as calumny? They invoked the Torah to give their critique authority.

Who is issuing calumnies?

Who is paralyzing their community with fear and making it difficult for the community to act effectively in its own interest?

Who?

Charles, or the Rabbis?

Over the years I have had encounters with some of the rabbis on this list. Here are just three examples of contacts with three of these signers to get a sense of who we are dealing with here.

Rabbi Henry Zoob (Emeritus, Temple Beth David, Westwood) – At a bat mitzvah celebration, while announcing the charities being selected by the celebrants (my family), Rabbi Zoob paused for a split second and skipped the word ‘Zionist’ from the name given on a card to him “Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America”. Isn’t it shocking that a Rabbi cannot bring himself to say ‘Zionist’ in his own synagogue, to his own congregation!? Is it then no wonder that Rabbi Zoob and his friends are silent when Governor Deval Patrick accepts a check from Imam Faarooq who called Zionism “a disease” and explained at an “interfaith” Boston event earlier this year that “Israel should disappear”? Is this dialogue and common understanding?
http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2009/12/church-hall-of-shame-st-pauls-boston---/index.shtml

Another familiar name on the list is Rabbi Robert Goldstein (Temple Emanuel Andover). This is the Rabbi who dithered and wavered when notorious anti-Semite Mazin Qumsiyeh and his ‘Wheels of Justice’ came to his town on behalf of the Somerville Divestment Project campaign and its president Ron Francis who happened to be a teacher at that town's school at the time. When told that Francis had paid his students to campaign on behalf of the SDP, this Rabbi explained that he was not too worried as the smart kids, like his daughter, went to the Phillips Academy, not AHS, thus being outside the reach of Francis and his crew. Not a very smart thing to say for a rabbi looking for a political career. After the WoJ rolled through town, this Rabbi arranged a panel discussion in his synagogue consisting of a Jew criticizing Israel and an Arab demonizing Israel, for a balance, I guess. And who was the one standing up for the Andover kids with a counter-programming at AHS - Charles Jacobs and David Project, of course. The Rabbi was MIA throughout.
http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/009796.shtml

And then there is Rabbi David Lerner (Temple Emunah, Lexington), who had Grace Ross of the Green-Rainbow Party, then gubernatorial candidate, in his synagogue for breakfast before she graced a fundraiser for Black September later the same day. Israel supporters who came to protest Ross’ appearance outside were not treated with the same respect afforded to Ross. Do we need to talk any more about dupes and fools?
http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/009178.shtml

I looked through the list and I would say that the title "Rabbi" is misused. They should be called "so-called rabbis". From inspection, I would say that none of them actual deserve the to have the title appended to their names.

Their religion is "Left Wing Liberal" not Judaism.

It is fitting that this controversy arises in the midst of Torah portions Korach and Chukkat in which demagogues repeatedly challenge Moses. For over 3000 years the Israelites have complained endlessly and in both Exodus and Numbers, Ha-shem wanted to destroy them and start over. I can understand why but also understand why, despite the foolishness of the Israelites, Moses continued to plead on their behalf.

Kol Ha-Kavod Charles.

It appears that the Reform Rabbis are going back to their evil ways "Hazar leSuro". The history of the Reform movement starts with the group of "Germans of the Mosses faith". Super patriotic Germans who ended up lost to assimilation (Felix Mendelshon etc.) With the establishment of the State of Israel the Reform movement seem to "Return" to the Jewish mainstream, Zionism and Jewish customs as wearing Kippahs. It appears that now the movement is back to it's Super patriotic nature trying to be American of the Mosses faith. Look at the rising wave of inter-marriages. The old debate (Achad HaAm)of "Be a Jew at home and a human being outside" comes to mind. The fear of being Jewish outwardly is the driving motive of the Open Letter of our Jewish "Leaders". I guess someone like Rabbi Gordis would have chosen affiliation with Israel rather tan being an "Appologetic Jew".
This leadership, who is more concerned with keeping their jobs, is responsible for the decline of our Jewish commuity and the risinf concern for its future.

We need more Maccabbees like Charles Jacbs who will call "Who is for God, join me"

I am with Charles Jacobs. I am a proud Reform Jew, so people should not automatically assume all Reform Jews have the lack of backbone as is displayed by these Rabbis.

I take issue with Elie for his remarks, and I am disgusted with his reference to Reform as being "evil." I consider myself just as Jewish as he presumes he is. Reform Jews wear kippaot and tallitim, and I as a woman wear them too - it is my right. We keep kosher, and many of us choose to be Shomer Shabbat, and while we do reach out to the wider community, we have definitely not assimilated, neither do we take on the "nebbish" characteristics these Rabbis display towards Islam. I have studied Islam, not to be a Muslim, but to KNOW what I am up against. There are thousands like me in the Reform Movement who are not prepared to be subservient to any cult which would deprive us of the right to hold our heads up as Jews.

#11 Nappy-headed Ho' I assume you agree with the article you put up. Shame if you do - because you're guilty of the same kind of fascism you attribute to "left wing" Rabbis.

I agree with Eli #4 - "haritzut" is what is needed by Reform Jewish communities - to speak against these Rabbis and distance ourselves from them. I just have - is there anybody else out there?

1. Nappy posted that article to point out that the Russians, whether religious or secular, who have lived in the workers' paradise, are a lot more perceptive than the majority of left-leaning liberals like those rabbis.

2. Fascism? Hardly. You would do well to look up the origins of fascism; Nappy recommends Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. The authoritarian, totalitarian mindset of fascism has its roots in the progressive movement and socialism, not the right. You want to call the ISB, MSA, Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmadijihad fascist? Fine. They have a lot in common with Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. (Nappy reminds you that "Nazi" is an abbreviation for Nationalsozialismus, i.e., National Socialism?)

You can resort to name-calling if you like, but that label is totally misplaced when applied to freedom-loving refugees from a fascist state.

3. You talk about your "right" to wear religious articles as a statement of your religiosity or feminism or something. Fine. It's a free country. But, so what. Nappy notes that there's no mention of religious obligation to wear kippah, tallit and tefillin, which is how it is framed in the religious traditions that produced these garments.

4. Nappy is glad that you've got your wits about you when it comes to jihad, and Nappy hopes that it's also true when it comes to Israel and Zionism. Reform Judaism has always had ambivalent, if not downright hostile, views of Jewish nationality and Zionism. It's no accident that the base for J Street, Brit Tzedek, NIF, et al. is Reform and secular Jews.

Today's neo-Reform movement has reversed a lot of the practices of classic Reform. Nappy recalls services at St. Emanuel's Cathedral on Fifth Ave where someone wearing a kippah drew stares and disapproving looks, where a visitor responding to the kaddish in the usual way (Y'hay shmay rabbah...) got shushed for disrupting the decorum and beauty of the magical mystery show being presented by the minister (the term used in the Union Prayer Book, still in use there at that time) and the invisible choir behind a marble wall.

Nappy has noted previously some of the positive developments in Reform as evidenced by new attitudes at HUC/IJR and the restoration of liturgical stiches notably absent from earlier Reform prayer books in the new siddur Mishkan T'fila. Still, it will be long time before attitudes like yours become dominant in the Reform world.

Nappy - just to let you know that any rabbi "playing leftist politics at the expense of their communites" would definitely not succeed in my Reform community, and in many others. Attitudes like mine are very dominant in the Reform world, too. I serve on my Synagogue's Council and Executive Council - my vote is as valid as any man's. It's the same in other Reform synagogues, too.

You cannot convince me that the antics of some Heredim in Israel, and the stranglehold of the religious parties there, is not fascism, especially when it means Sephardi and Mizrachi children are not allowed to learn together with Ashkenazi children because the Ashkenazim may become "tainted". If that isn't elitist,fascist and racist, then what is?

Nappy should note also that the wife of an eminent Mea Shearim Rabbi always wore a tallit to shul on Erev Shabbat. It is in a glass case in the Museum of Hechal Shlomo in Jerusalem. It had absolutely nothing to do with feminism- and she was a much loved and respected member of the community.

As for Reform Jews' commitment to Israel - they are no more nor less committed than most Jews. When they are called upon to show their support by donations or by going on demonstrations, they give money and turn up in large numbers. So you generalise, Nappy. Many Reform Jews make Aliyah.

I was born and lived for many years in Israel, Nappy - so you're the last person who should tell me what kind of Jew is the "best" kind. Reform Jews are not secular Jews by any stretch of the imagination. The people in my kehillah are more knowledgeable about Judaism than many so-called Orthodox three day a year Jews, and far more committed to the ethics of Judaism and what they stand for.

Why Muslims Come to the West

Fatah, a left-wing Canadian Muslim who wants Canada to ban the hiqab and burka, writes about Tariq Ramadan as the new face of Islamists.
"Tariq Ramadan reflects the new sophisticated arm of the worldwide Islamist movement, which sees the West as the right place to wage a cultural and intellectual jihad. It preys on Muslim youth who are tired of the old guard; men in beards and long frocks, frothing as they denounce the evil West. The new technique is to undermine the West from within, like parasites and termites, with the host society never knowing what hit it, until it is too late. UK is one example."

Omar Ahmad Co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations: "Those who stay in America should be open to society without melting, keeping Mosques open so anyone can come and learn about Islam. If you choose to live here, you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam ... Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

Algerian leader Houari Boumédienne said at the United Nations in 1974:
“One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”

Al-Jazeera’s Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, who is widely hailed as a moderate reformer in the West, said:
“Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor,” and “the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.”

A Saudi Sheikh, Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi, imam of the mosque of King Fahd Defense Academy, said:
Muslims “will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it”

Mullah Krekar, a jihadist who currently resides in Norway, although officials have been trying for years to get him out of the country, said:
“The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes”

Neut Ginfrich said: Cordoba project is the Trojun Horse.

Mark Bernadiner, PH.D.
Texas

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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