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N.Y. State Senator Hosts Anti-Jihadi Inquisition – OpEd


Anti-Muslim crusaders Frank Gaffney, Nonie Darwish and David Yerushalmi were shut out of Rep. Peter King’s recent Congressional hearings on alleged Islamic extremism.  But like a Jack in the Box, no sooner are they squashed than they rear their ugly heads once again.

N.Y. state senator Gregory Ball, a Republican representing that den of Muslim terror, rural Putnam County, took a page out of King’s book by alerting the unsuspecting citizens of the Empire State of the fifth column within.

Gaffney and the gang have once again insinuated themselves into the political mainstream by offering Sen. Ball their “expertise” on the subject.  And he’s swallowed it hook, line and sinker.  If he’s not careful it could bite him, as King’s initial embrace of Gaffney did.  The former ended up renouncing Gaffney in a spat that heard around the world…or at least the anti-jihadi blogosphere.

In the ultimate irony, before the hearing Ball counterattacked claiming that criticism of his witnesses was:

“Just an attempt by some to drum up national publicity.”

At today’s hearing he pandered on a similar issue:

…“There are some who are more concerned about the front-page press than today,” Mr. Ball said. “I understand politics. But we cannot allow our homeland security to become a political football.”

Obscure rural politicians never attempt to drum up state-wide or national publicity by holding hearings on non-existent problems, do they?  And they’re certainly not concerned about front page press.  And kicking Muslims in the gut is certainly not political, not at all.

One of the stars of the proceedings was the notorious Mr. King himself who made this typically two-faced statement both exonerating and blaming Muslims for terror in practically the same breath:

Mr. King prefaced his comments by noting that “99 percent” of Muslims in the United States are “outstanding Americans” and not terrorists.

“But the fact is: The enemy, or those being recruited by Al Qaeda, live within the Muslim community, and that’s the reality we have to face,” Mr. King said. “This is not to put a broad brush over a community, but you go where the threat is coming from, and that’s the reality today.”

I’ve already reported here that Gaffney’s ‘Roy Cohn,’ David Yerushalmi, who is general counsel of the former’s Center for National Security, received a failing report card from the ADL, which labelled him an extremist and compared his views to that of the white supremacist New World Order.

But I just learned the even more startling news that during the Stop the Madrassa campaign led in part by Yerushalmi, he sued Debbie Almontaser for defamation.  She told me that she had accused Yerushalmi and his shrill collaborators of stalking her.  The crack lawyer not only lost his suit, but he lost the appeal and Almontaser emerged vindicated and victorious.

Again, this an example of the concept of lawfare, a term used by  pro-Israel advocates to smear legitimate attempts to hold Israeli leaders accountable for violations of international law.  Except here Yerushalmi turns the concept on its head to harass his opponents.  I recently received a dose of this with a threat of a lawsuit from him, which he subsequently withdrew.

This article first appeared at Tikun Olam

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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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