Caroline Glick explains why the Great Neck Synagogue’s capitulation to Leftist and Islamic supremacist pressure in canceling the Pamela Geller event there Sunday was so foolish and cowardly. It is heartening that she will be speaking elsewhere on the same day — which shows that not everyone is determined to kowtow to smears and intimidation.
“Column One: Moral relativism and jihad,” by Caroline Glick for the Jerusalem Post, April 11:
The day that Carter was embraced by the Orthodox Jewish establishment, Jewish author and activist Pamela Geller was silenced. Geller is the nightmare of the liberal Jewish establishment.
She is a beautiful and articulate speaker and writer who has risen to prominence in the US for her steadfast commitment to exposing the deadly pathologies of Jew hatred, misogyny and other prejudices inherent to jihadist ideology.
Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugs, is a clearinghouse for information on Islamic persecution of women, Christians and apostates and hatred of Jews. She also showcases the documented ties between mainstream American Islamic groups and the Muslim Brotherhood.
An indefatigable defender of Israel, Geller recently ran a highly controversial, and successful ad campaign in the New York and San Francisco public transportation systems in response to an anti-Israel ad campaign. Her billboards read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, Defeat Jihad.”
Geller was scheduled to speak on April 13 at the Great Neck Synagogue in Great Neck, New York. The topic of her talk was “The Imposition of Shari”a in America.”
Last month, after learning of her talk, a consortium of Islamic and leftist activists in Nassau County led by Habeed Ahmed from the Islamic Center of Long Island launched a pressure campaign to coerce the synagogue into cancelling her speech. Members of the group telephoned the synagogue and castigated Geller as a bigot, and likened her to the Nazis in the 1930s.
In short order liberal rabbis Michael White and Jerome Davidson took over the opposition to Geller and launched a media campaign attacking her as a bigot and demanding that the Great Neck Synagogue cancel her speech.
Rejecting the distinction Geller makes between jihadists and their victims — Muslim and non- Muslim alike, White and Davidson claimed that she opposes all Muslims and so her speech must be canceled. By hosting her, they intoned, the Great Neck Synagogue would be guilty of propagating hate speech. Liberal Christian and Jewish activists and their Muslim associates threatened to protest the speech.
On Wednesday the synagogue caved in to their massive pressure. Citing “security concerns” the synagogue board released a statement saying that while “these important issues must be discussed, the synagogue is unable to bear the burden” of the pressure campaign surrounding Geller’s planned speech. Her event was canceled.
Surveys of the American Jewish community taken in recent years by the American Jewish Committee demonstrate that the vast majority of American Jews are deeply supportive of Israel, and their views tend toward the Right side of the political spectrum in issues related to Israel, the Palestinians and the wider Islamic conflict with the Jewish state.
On the other hand, the AJC”s surveys show that for the vast majority of American Jews, Israel is not a voting issue. This state of affairs was reflected by a comment that Yeshiva University student Ben Winter made to the media regarding the absence of student protest against Carter on Wednesday. In Winter’s words, “While many students at YU feel strongly about their Zionism, few have the courage to publicly express their opinions.”
The danger exposed by the cancellation of Geller’s speech and the conferral of honors on the likes of Carter and Waters by mainstream Jewish institutions is daunting. If moral relativism remains the dominant dogma of the American Jewish establishment, the already weakly defended, but still strongly rooted, support for Israel among the rank and file of the American Jewish community will dissipate.