Reform Jewish leader to unindicted co-conspirators: Together we will fight the opportunists who demonize you

How ironic that Yoffie pledged his help against the demonic Islamophobes at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case. In his address, he sounded as if he were reading straight from the American Muslim advocacy groups’ playbook: complaining about “ignorance” of Islam, claiming that the terrorists represent a Tiny Minority of Extremistsâ„¢ who are twisting the faith, alleging that Judaism and Islam are equally likely to inspire violence in believers, and pretending that those who find justification for that violence in Islamic scripture are not the Muslims who are perpetrating that violence, but the non-Muslims who are reporting on that use of Islamic texts by jihadists.

Yoffie may live long enough to discover that his friends with whom he is so eager to cooperate may have something quite different in mind.

“Reform leader to Muslim Americans: Together we will fight the opportunists who demonize you,” by Shmuel Rosner in Haaretz:

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, leader of the Reform movement, spoke this afternoon to the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America. The leadership of ISNA and the Union for Reform Judaism are planning a joint dialogue and education program for synagogues and mosques, Yoffie said. He asked the ISNA to help solve the Middle East crisis.


“There exists in this country a huge and profound ignorance about Islam,” Yoffie said. Hard to argue with that. Yoffie added that it is “not that stories about Islam are missing from our media; there is no shortage of voices prepared to tell us that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots”. Thus, “it has been far too easy to spread the image of Islam as enemy”.

See — he gives no hint of the fact that it is Muslims who are telling us that “fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots.” Like CAIR and other Muslim spokesmen in America, he is trying to create the impression that it is only anti-Muslim analysts who make the connection between violence and suicide bombing and the Qur’an and Sunnah — when actually it is the jihad terrorists who rely heavily on Islamic texts and teachings to justify their actions.

But the shift of focus is deft and effective. It inhibits most of the mainstream media from discussing what needs to be discussed: the ways in which Islamic teachings are being used by the jihadists to incite to violence, and what can be done about that. Most of the mainstream media is afraid to discuss that, for fear of being labeled “anti-Muslim.”

How did this ignorance happen? Yoffie asks and does not hesitate to name names.

“How did it happen that Christian fundamentalists, such as Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham, make vicious and public attacks against your religious tradition?”

“How did it happen that when a Muslim congressman takes his oath of office while holding the Koran, Dennis Prager suggests that the congressman is more dangerous to America than the terrorists of 9/11?”

“How did it happen that a member of Congress, Tom Tancredo, now running for President, calls for the bombing of Mecca and Medina?”


His explanation could be a matter of some debate: He mentions the “profound ignorance” towards Islam in the U.S., but finds fault both with “the terrorists who too often dominate the media, subverting Islam’s image” and with the “opportunists in our midst –? the media figures, religious leaders, and politicians who demonize Muslims and bash Islam”.


Yoffie calls for an end to “racial profiling” and “legal discrimination.” While these concepts both deal with race, they are not necessarily the same: Profiling is a tool, problematic but sometimes almost unavoidable. Discrimination is always bad.

He says that “the dialogue” the organizations will be conducting “will not be one way, of course. You will teach us about Islam and we will teach you about Judaism. We will help you to overcome stereotyping of Muslims, and you will help us to overcome stereotyping of Jews”.

“As a Jew I know that our sacred texts, including the Hebrew Bible, are filled with contradictory propositions, and these include passages that appear to promote violence and thus offend our ethical sensibilities. Such texts are to be found in all religions, including Christianity and Islam”, Yoffie admits. However, he says, “the overwhelming majority of Jews reject violence by interpreting these texts in a constructive way”.

He believes that similar dynamics work in all religions, but falls short of a full-fledged comparison. In the Jewish faith, he says, there is “a tiny, extremist minority”. For Islam he chooses somewhat broader definition: “as we know from the headlines, you have what I know must be for you as well as for us an alarming number of extremists of your own.”

Yes, Yoffie. An alarming number indeed. Funny how that happened.

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  1. says

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie: Useful Idiot

    Stalin, Mao, Castro, and “Che” all had a use for fools like this. But when they had won and were securing their position, they had a interesting and brutal way of dealing with these fantasy prone loons.

  2. says

    So it’s the Christians’ fault. Thanks, Rabbi.

    If he was doing outreach with a local community, then I would hope with all my heart that his work would bear fruit, although I don’t like his negative profiling of Christians (I’m no fan of Pat Robertson and I don’t know who the other man is).

    But reaching out at such a conference is different. He sound like a “social justice” type of guy: quick to accept the stories of victimization, quick to jump in to rescue the poor victims, quick to demonize those accused by the so-called victims.

    What is it?

    Are some of the people who sent school books to Nicaragua and boycotted grapes to protest apartheid desperate for a cause to give their lives meaning and purpose again?

  3. says

    I’m afraid that Jihad Watch is losing. Jaffe is the number 1 guy in reform Judaism, a group that should be alarmed about Islamic immigration, but seems to have no concern.

    Some potential victims of political Islam convincingly point to that tradition as the seed of terror, and they suggest a removal of special, civil-rights protection. Others — and they are not trivial in the scheme of American social life — call for GREATER civil-rights protection.


  4. says

    Tiny Minority of Jewish terrorrists? They must be a really tiny minority, since we seldom hear about them.

    On the other hand, the tiny minority of islamo-fascist terrorrists are the media almost every single day. Every single day there is a terror atack done by a pious Muslim, somewhere in the world.

    Another thing: someone should tell the Rabbi what usually happens with Jews who fall into Islamic/Palestinian hands.

  5. says

    This guy is so far out in “left-field” that he hardly deserves a comment.

    I think I’m going to get on the internet and become a radicalized Christian or maybe a football player

  6. says

    Reform “Judaism” is hardly Jewish at all. It’s
    made up mostly of very liberal secular Jews who
    want to keep pretending they’re Jewish, even
    when they’re atheists. And, according to Jewish
    law, many are still Jewish (Judaism isn’t like
    other religions, it’s not just a matter of belief,
    its more like citizenship in a nation) despite
    their beliefs.

    I used to go to Reform synagogues, that is what I
    grew up with, but after a while I thought it was
    just a club for Jewish Democrats, so I split.

    None of this should be surprising.

  7. says

    The Reform Jewish Congregation in my city is devoted to:

    -the building of a 25,000 sq ft MOSQUE, in a Christian neighborhood, of course

    -partial birth abortion, because if ‘we’ lose that, all reproductive rights will go

    -same-sex marriages, women rabbis, and homosexual rabbis (god’s chosen people are gay)

    root_cause, you are right. I subscribe to the Jewish Light and every week they are mailigning the orthodox community, the Christian majority, and any politician who is not a Marxist.

    Last summer, many of them blamed Israel for the Hezbo attack. It was one of the most outrageous things ever.

  8. says

    “There exists in this country a huge and profound ignorance about Islam,” Yoffie said….Yoffie added that it is “not that stories about Islam are missing from our media; there is no shortage of voices prepared to tell us that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion”

    As it so happens, Rabbi Eric Yoffie lives in Westfield, NJ, USA:

    I suggest that the Rabbi put his money where his mouth his and move to Gaza or the West Bank or any other Islamic paradise before presuming to lecture us infidels, from the safety of his Westfield, NJ, USA residence, about our “ignorance about islam” and how un-fanatical and tolerant Muslims really are.

    Come to think of it, it would make a great reality TV show – SurvivorII – featuring Islam-apologist Jewish reform rabbis like Yoffie dropped off into the midst of “tolerant” Islamic paradises – only – here’s a catch – they must wear their yarmulke’s throughout the challenge and there will be no cameras on-hand to film their ordeal. That might lead to some propoganda attempts for the sake of the media. No cameras in this reality show. We just drop them off, wait 3 months, schedule a pickup at a designated location and then interview the “survivors” about their experiences.

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie – You first. I’ll even chip in for the plane fare.

  9. says

    Re: Yoffie’s mention of Jewish extremists, I believe that they are right up there with the Methodist extremists and the Rotary International suicide brigade.
    What an arse hole!
    And what of all those Muslims who are violating the “holy” Qur’an by associating with Jews?
    Oh, that’s right: Taqqiya!

  10. says

    Yoffie calls for an end to “racial profiling” and “legal discrimination.” While these concepts both deal with race, they are not necessarily the same: Profiling is a tool, problematic but sometimes almost unavoidable. Discrimination is always bad.

    On this point I disagree. Discrimination is also a tool, and like all tools it may be good and may be bad. Profiling, for example, is a particular kind of discrimination. We speak of “discrimination against” such-and-such a group, and I agree that when we discriminate against a group for no just cause, it is bad. But discrimination means, simply “to distinguish”. We discriminate between right and wrong. We discriminate between red traffic lights and green ones. We discriminate in our tastes in food. The moment someone speaks of Americans, or French, or “Caucasians” or “Arabs” they are discriminating — that is, distinguishing, or identifying that there is a distinction between categories. Discrimination is one of our higher faculties and it is sheer idiocy to pretend that there is something evil about it in general. To the contrary, without discrimination there is no way to choose between good and evil. “Racial discrimination” and “cultural discrimination” are sometimes bad. But if it were always bad, then it would be wrong for Italians (for example) to gather together and celebrate the distinctives of their racial/cultural group. It would be wrong for blacks to celebrate their blackness. It would be wrong to institute “affirmative action” programs (…come to think of it, maybe there’s a point there…).

    So … some (most) discrimination is good. But we must fight injustice of all varieties, including those that arise as forms of discrimination against certain people. But simply to discriminate, as in “racial profiling”, is not automatically good. The question of whether a particular instance may be good or bad is subordinate to the question as to why it is being applied — is it justified? That is the key.

  11. says

    Reform, Jews and other non-traditional Jews are typically secular, leftist blue-staters.

    Orthodox and other traditional Jews are firmly in the red state camp, even if they live in NYC or North Jersey.

    Orthodoxy is growing due to high birthrate and non-traditional Jews returning to traditional forms while Reform has the low birth rates typical of secular leftists.

    In a generation or two Reform will no longer be a factor.