In this extraordinarily myopic article in the New York Observer, Nina Burleigh rightly hits the Leftist pseudo-journalist Max Blumenthal’s shameful shilling for jihad and uncritical repetition of “Palestinian” jihad propaganda designed to demonize Israel.
But at the same time Burleigh likes Blumenthal, praises his “courage,” and even recommends that people read his book. She is careful to distance herself fastidiously from opponents of jihad terror, sneeringly dismissing them as “the usual suspects””neocons Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz and the cartoonish Pamela Geller (who happens to be the former publisher of The New York Observer.)”
What is cartoonish about Geller? Her offer to help Muslim girls living in fear of honor killing? Her strong defense of the human rights of apostates of Islam, who live daily under a death threat that the world “human rights community” ignores? Her unflinching denunciation of the same pseudo-moderate imams with jihad terror ties that Burleigh warns about in this piece?
We don’t know, as Burleigh doesn’t bother to explain. Nor does she bother to name any foe of jihad and Sharia who is acceptable to her, and that’s just the problem: anyone who stands up and speaks out forthrightly about these issues is tarred with the same spurious labels that makes Nina Burleigh want to distance herself from Geller and the others. She says that “in America, anyone””left, right or center””who criticizes Israel risks the anti-Semite stain.” This is certainly true in regard to jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. As Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins have recently discovered, anyone — left, right or center — who criticizes jihad terror risks the stain of charges of “bigotry” and “racism.” No one, absolutely no one, is exempt.
Burleigh doesn’t want to be associated with these “Islamophobes,” but they are the only ones calling attention to the problems that she criticizes Blumenthal for being naive about. If everyone followed her lead and dismissed the “neocons” and the “cartoonish” foes of jihad, there would be no one at all, sounding the alarm about these issues about which she is apparently concerned.
What’s more, how does Nina Burleigh know all this about the Muslim American Society, Qaradawi, and the Islamic Society of Boston? I suspect she learned it from sources that she would not wish to be associated with at the next Manhattan cocktail party — maybe even from Horowitz’s Discover the Networks or some other source emanating from the very people she dismisses so cavalierly.
So if Israel and the “Islamists” are Goliath vs. Goliath, which is absurd enough given the size of the State of Israel and the prevalence of Islamic jihad and supremacist groups all over the world, then what Burleigh offers us in place of the Davids who are fighting against the jihad is…nothing at all, and no one at all: David vs. Who?
“Goliath vs. Goliath: Blumenthal Book Is Right About Israeli Myopia, but Naive on Islamists,” by Nina Burleigh in the New York Observer, October 29:
There’s a rumble in Brooklyn. Max Blumenthal’s book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel snagged the equivalent of a lefty book award when a Wall Street Journal editor announced he was tossing it in the trash can. Then big-brand liberal Eric Alterman, who should be Max’s fellow traveler, called Mr. Blumenthal naÃ¯ve and juvenile and nominated his book to the “Hamas Book of the Month Club.”…
I can’t find anything in Mr. Blumenthal’s reporting or commentary to indicate he is much troubled by rebels who dream of the once and future caliphate and imposing Shariah law.
In 2010, Mr. Blumenthal penned a long article for The Nation headlined “The Great Islamophobic Crusade” about the “cabal” he said is behind surging American Islamophobia. He profiled the usual suspects””neocons Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz and the cartoonish Pamela Geller (who happens to be the former publisher of The New York Observer.) In the same piece, Mr. Blumenthal sympathized with the problems the men behind the Islamic Society of Boston were having building their center. (They have since completed it.)
Mr. Blumenthal failed to note, if he knew, that the ISB is operated by the Muslim American Society, which has been identified by federal prosecutors as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the Boston group’s original trustees was Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader who publicly urges Muslims to kill homosexuals and Jews.
One of the ISB”s imams is an American covert named Suhaib Webb, who headlined a fundraiser with the late al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki, two days before 9/11. Among the ISB”s notorious worshippers were the Brothers Tsarnaev.
Islamophobia is one thing. Islamist-phobia is quite another. Mr. Blumenthal can publish books exposing Israel’s dark side forever, but jihadists still want to chop off his head in the back alleys of Mogadishu, Karachi or Damascus. Why? Because he’s an American and a Jew….
Yes, for the Qur’an says: “You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers to be the Jews…” (5:82). The Jews “have been put under humiliation by Allah wherever they are overtaken, except for a covenant from Allah and a rope from the Muslims” (3:112) — that is, unless they submit to Islamic overlordship as dhimmis. None of Max Blumenthal’s cheerleading for Hamas and vilification of Israel will ever change his estimation in the hard eyes of those whom he courts so assiduously. The only thing he could do to escape their holding him in utter contempt would be to convert to Islam.