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Jewish Groups Are Identified as Promoting Hostility to Islam

Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
August 2012

The New York City Police Department has been widely criticized for screening an anti-Muslim film at a counter-terrorism training facility. The 72-minute film, The Third Jihad, is produced and distributed by a small organization, the Clarion Fund, that shares staff and an address with a well-known, Jerusalem-based Orthodox outreach group, Aish Ha’Torah.  
Writing in The Forward (Feb. 10, 2012), J.J. Goldberg reports that, “Launched in 1974, as an outreach yeshiva … Aish is now a multi-million dollar international organization marketing a slick package of Haredi theology … with a broadly conservative political message … ‘The Third Jihad’ purports to show that ‘radical Islam’ is at war with the West … The film opens with a claim, in text on a blank screen that it is ‘not a film about Islam. It is about the threat of radical Islam’ … But the rest of the film undercuts that assertion … Princeton historian Bernard Lewis says ‘this is a global, cosmic struggle between religiously defined civilizations’ … If the messianic, millennialist wings of Islam and Judaism are allowed to turn New York’s public policy debate into their battleground, everyone will suffer.”  
In the film, in a doctored photograph, an Islamic flag flies over the White House. “This is the true agenda of much of Islam in Africa,” the narrator intones. “A strategy to infiltrate and dominate America … This is a war you don’t know about.”  
In an article “Islamophobia’s Sugar Mama” (The Nation, July 2/9, 2012), Max Blumenthal writes of donor Nina Rosenwald who, he declares, “has helped bring the anti-Muslim fringe into the mainstream,”  
He writes: “An heiress to the Sears Roebuck fortune, Rosenwald spreads her millions through the William Rosenwald Family Fund, a nonprofit foundation named for her father, a famed Jewish philanthropist who created the United Jewish Appeal in 1939. His daughter’s focus is more explicitly political. According to a report by the Center for American Progress titled ‘Fear Inc.,’ Rosenwald and her sister Elizabeth Varet who also directs the family foundation, have donated more than $2.8 million … to ‘organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia.’ … Rosenwald sits on the board of AIPAC … and holds leadership roles in a host of mainstream pro-Israel organizations … Her wealth has fueled a rapidly emerging alliance between the pro-Israel mainstream and the Islamophibic fringe.”  
Over the past decade, Blumenthal reports, “Rosenwald’s generosity has … supported former Lebanese Maronite TV anchor Brigitte Gabriel, who told an … audience that Muslims ‘have no souls — they are dead set on killing and destruction’ … No single anti-Muslim activist has benefited more from … Rosenwald than Middle East Forum founder Daniel Pipes, bank-rolled to the tune of $2.3 million. … Pipes has made a career of advocating aggressive U.S. and Israeli military action … including the razing of entire Palestinian villages. Expressing his solidarity with (right-wing Dutch spokesman) Geert Wilders, Pipes echoed his racial views on Muslin immigrants, describing them as ‘brown-skinned people … not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene’ … To his shame, Pipes earned 18 citations in the manifesto of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik … standing trial for the murder of 77 people … Drawing heavily on sources like Pipes to justify his actions, Breivik said he carried out the slaughter to punish Europe for succumbing to ‘Islamicization’ and multiculturalism.”  
Rosenwald also has contributed to the Clarion Fund, which financed the anti-Islamic movie used by the New York Police. According to Henry Siegman, former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, the Rosenwald funding of anti-Islamic groups represents a shift in the American Jewish establishment. “The trend is something that just emerged recently,” he said. “Over the past few decades, the Jewish Federations and AIPAC have played a significant role in shaping this reactionary move …”  
In March, anti-Islamic activist Pamela Geller, whose group “Stop Islamization of America” led the opposition to the planned Islamic community center in New York, which was joined by the Anti-Defamation League, spoke at the Jewish Community Services Building in Philadelphia. Her group has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Council on American-Islamic Relations reports: “Geller once bragged that she uses a Quran as a doorstop. She also called for the demolition of a mosque in Florida.”  
According to Henry Siegman, “Islamophobia has gained many followers in the Jewish estab¬lishment and at this point has infected American Jewish life.” •

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