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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 2, 2003 / 7 Kislev, 5764

Queer allies

By Evan Gahr


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The little-noticed alliance between gay marriage opponents and alleged terrorist sympathizers


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to legalize homosexual marriage in the Bay state re-ignited the culture wars. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, perhaps the preeminent liberal Jewish organization in Washington, DC, applauded the ruling. Religious-minded conservatives, however, were horrified. They are determined to stop the gay rights movement in its tracks. At what price?

JewishWorldReview.com has discovered that prominent religious conservatives — Jews, Catholics and Evangelical Christians — are allied with a radical Islamic group to stop gay marriage. Pushing a constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to heterosexuals, they work with the Islamic Society of North America. What is ISNA? According to terrorism expert Steve Emerson, ISNA:

  • has held fundraisers for terrorists (e.g., after Hamas leader Musa Marzuk was arrested, it raised money for his defense, claiming he was innocent and not connected to terrorism)

  • has condemned US seizure of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad assets in the United States after 9/11

  • has consistently sponsored speakers at their conferences that defend Islamic terrorists. Recently, a leader denied in an interview with an NBC affiliate that ISNA took any Saudi money but that was a brazen lie as evidenced by a recording of an ISNA conference in which it was revealed that money came from Saudi Arabia.

"ISNA," says Emerson, "is a radical group hiding under a false veneer of moderation."

What better way for ISNA to maintain its "false veneer of moderation" than by working side by side with prominent religious figures that also bring the prestige of their institutional associations? How can critics plausibly depict the organization as extremist if it boasts the company of so many prominent Jews and Christians? Even Martin Luther King couldn't boast a working alliance with this many different members of the religious community.

Who are these religious conservatives? The Jews include a vice-president of the highly regarded Rabbinical Council of America, who is also known as "Lieberman's rabbi" because the Connecticut senator and presidential candidate attends his synagogue; one of Reform Judaism's most highly visible rabbis known for his frequent TV appearances as the Jewish half of the two man "God Squad,"; an Orthodox rabbi who is one of the heads of the most highly regarded kosher supervision agency in America; a former aide to President Ronald Reagan and official in the subsequent Bush administration; and an Orthodox rabbi who wants to unite Christians and Jews.

ISNA's newfound Christian friends also boast sterling credentials. They include President Clinton's ambassador to the Vatican; the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia: a Harvard law professor and former Clinton advisor; the president of a prestigious Evangelical school; and a neo-conservative author who edits a small, but influential magazine, that serves as the unofficial bible of many religious conservatives.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, says that "people have to be careful with whom they associate, even with causes unrelated to the Middle East. Such associations give credence to groups that don't deserve it."

Radio talk show host Don Feder, himself a religious conservative, is a bit more blunt: "You have to be crazy to work with these people."

But maybe that's too charitable. Crazy implies divorced from reality. ISNA's newfound comrades are perfectly sane. They don't have some kind of delusional concept that ISNA is secretly pro-Israel. They comprehend the facts but don't seem to much care. They are not guilty by reason of insanity. Their behavior displays a reckless disregard for the safety and security of America, Jewry and Israel.

This, from people who claim they are on the side of Western civilization?

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Although efforts to contact some ISNA's colleagues were unsuccessful, those that were located hardly seemed perturbed when provided last week with detailed information — from impeccable sources — about ISNA. Thus far, it appears they'll remain with ISNA on the advisory board to the Alliance for Marriage, which has attracted considerable Congressional support for its much ballyhooed constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage.

Social conservatives consider the amendment their last best hope to preserve heterosexual marriage. Cultural liberals view the amendment as a potentially serious roadblock to making gay marriage the law of the land. All this makes it likely that the Alliance for Marriage, is likely to come under increased scrutiny. It seems eager to use the "diversity" of its board members to deflect criticism and show that support for traditional marriage is broad-based.

This strategy seems particularly obtuse. You don't win moral arguments by bean-counting. The reliance of "diversity" to argue for traditional marriage obscures if not contradicts the most powerful argument that it supporters can make: Namely, this is a corner-stone of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

'DIVERSITY' IS NO MASK

If "diversity" is your key argument then you're not making much of a moral case at all. Martin Luther King didn't make his case by claiming that his Southern CHRISTIAN leadership had diverse or broad-based support. Just the opposite: He defused the widespread opposition by making clear that his way was the Divine's way.

Unlike the Ten Commandments, the diversity card is not written in stone.

Moreover, the left is not likely to be assuaged by their opponent's emphasis on "diversity." Diversity is a power-ploy by the left; when it allows leftists to aggregate power they're for it. Otherwise, they don't much care about it. The "diversity" of President Bush's nominees for federal judgeships — a black woman, Hispanic man and two white women — matters little to the Senate Democrats who have blocked these nominations for ideological reasons.

Even worse, the inclusion of an allegedly terrorist-friendly Muslim group to prove "diversity" is likely to sow discord among its own base. Already, it has cost the Alliance support from one key Jewish organization. It is likely to alienate Evangelical Christians who are fervently pro-Israel.

The last time JewishWorldReview.com revealed that a different group that is said to be terrorist friendly served on the AFM's board of advisors, it cost the Alliance one key constituency member.

THEY DON'T LEARN

In 2001, JewishWorldReview.com reported exclusively that another problematic group, the American Muslim Council, served on the Alliance for Marriage advisory board with Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America's Washington lobbyist, Nathan Diament. Within hours of the story being published, the union withdrew from the advisory board.

Other religious conservatives remained.

But they sounded not like religious figures but rather crass politicians who lack any kind of moral compass. Rabbi Barry Freundel, of the Rabbinical Council of America, who wouldn't say much publicly, remained on the board. Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things magazine and head of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, simply dismissed the AMC connection as the nature of alliances. So did Rabbi Daniel Lapin of Toward Tradition, which seeks to unite Jews and Christians.

"What I see is that I am supporting an idea and if others with whom I don't agree on a variety of other topics also support the idea," Rabbi Lapin told the Forward after the original expose was published on JewishWorldReview.com, "then they are supporting my idea. I'm not supporting theirs . . . When America allied itself with Russia to defeat Nazi Germany in no way was America endorsing the contemptible politics of the Soviet Union."

About six weeks later, a bunch of young men killed 3000 innocent civilians when they plowed highjacked planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

The cliche is that everything changed after September 11. But it doesn't seem that much changed with the Alliance for Marriage. Although the American Muslim Council was apparently kicked off — it is no longer among the board of advisor members posted on AFM's website — the Islamic Society for North America remains.

ISNA ignored repeated requests for comment. The Alliance for Marriage, for its part, shrugs off questions about its ties to ISNA. Why does ISNA serve on its advisory board? "Oh, get over it," replies AFM vice-president Paul E. Rondeau. "You're wasting your time calling here."

In any event, ISNA's track record is hard to disregard, or "get over" to use Rondeau 's eloquent phrase.

Steven Schwartz writes in his new book, "Two Faces of Islam", that groups such as CAIR, AMC, and Islamic Society of America "are comparable to the Saudi religious militia, or their now-defunct Tailban imitators, in seeking to establish ideological control over the American Muslims In the furtherance of this goal, which did not diminish after September 11, they imported the methods, rhetoric and characteristic deceit of Islamic fundamentalists into the American public square [p.260]"

Moreover, in his 1998 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government, Steve Emerson said that Hamza Yousef, who serves on CAIR's board of advisors, told a 1995 meeting of the Islamic Society of North America that "the Jews would have us believe that G-d has this bias to this small tribe in the middle of the Sinai dessert and all the rest of humanity is just rubbish. I mean that this is the basic doctrine of the Jewish religion and that's why it is a most racist religion.

Schwartz, on page 250 of his book, writes that Muzammil Siddiqi of Islamic Society of America, told an anti-Israel "Jerusalem Day" rally on October 28, 2000 that "America has to learn . . . if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of G-d will come. Please, all Americans. Do you remember that? If you continue doing injustice, and tolerate injustice, the wrath of G-d will come."

When informed about ISNA, a collective silence prevailed among ISNA's key religious allies. Rabbi Lapin said through an aide that he regretted he was unavailable for comment due to a packed speaking schedule. The normally loquacious "God Squad" rabbi Marc Gellman refused to talk on the record.

Rabbi Freundel, known as "Lieberman's rabbi", said he didn't know ISNA served on the advisory board. He declined further comment except to say that "I'm concerned about gay marriage."

But it's troubling that such a well-known figure among the Modern Orthodox would keep quiet about terrorism. According to his synagogue website, in addition to serving as a Vice President of the Rabbinical Council of America, Freundel received his smicha (ordination) from Yeshiva University, is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Maryland, an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, and a Consultant to the Ethics Review Board of the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health. The rabbi sits on the Washington Vaad (Orthodox rabbinical council) and is very involved in community issues in the Greater Washington area. He is regarded as a resource and authority on eruvim, and has assisted in their construction in a number of cities, including Washington. His weekly shiurim (public lectures) are varied in both content and locale, as he teaches classes at NIH, on Capitol Hill, and at the DCJCC as well as at the synagogue.

Unlike Rabbi Freundel, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld explained his thinking a little bit. An executive at the nation's most highly regarded kosher supervision agency, run by the same Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and known by their symbol, a circled "u" (OU), the rabbi said that before he joined the AFM, its president, Matt Daniels, assured him that there were no terrorist-friendly groups on its advisory board. (Does that make Daniels a liar? Or just naive? Did he bother to do basic research?) Although Rabbi Schonfeld requested to see more info about ISNA, he did concede that even if the group is hostile to Israel and sympathetic to terrorists, "I can't tell you I would resign."

According to a Orthodox Union spokesman: "The rabbis in question are not there as official OU representatives but rather represent themselves."

Rabbi Basil Herring of the Rabbinical Council of America declined comment on Rabbi Freundel's association.

Prominent Christians contacted were equally forthcoming.

Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, who refused to resign when the AMC connection was reported in 2001, did not respond to messages, but was said to be having health problems. Glendon did not return repeated phone calls. Neither did the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Flynn could not be reached for comment. Richard Mouw, president of the Fuller Theological Seminary, an Evangelical institution, said "I'll look into this." How? "Click."

But another Christian conservative has already learned all he needs to know about the AFM.

Paul Weyrich, longtime leader of the Free Congress Foundation, says that he was asked to serve on the AFM's advisory board but declined precisely because of its connection to groups like ISNA.

Weyrich, who supports the constitutional amendment to limit marriage to the traditional definition, says that "I have no problem working with Arabs to preserve traditional marriage but the price is too high when I am asked to work with Islamists."

Why are others willing to pay that price? More importantly, who shall suffer for their sins?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Evan Gahr is a journalist in the Washington, DC area. To comment, please click here.


© 2003, Evan Gahr