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« American Flag Soon To Be Allowed in School | Main | Book Review - Animals In Translation »

...And When You Don't Have the Facts Or the Law...

If she's not careful, young Rima Barakhat is going to acquire quite a name for herself. Probalby one she wants, but that the rest of us could do without.

A little while back, I mentioned the visit of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to Denver, and Ms. Barakhat's somewhat, er, defensive reaction to the AJC and the ADL's calling an anti-Semite an anti-Semite. Since Ms. Barakhat lives in America, and not the Islamic state envisioned by the Mufti, papers like the Rocky often offer space for alternative viewpoints, and she took her chance to, well, change the subject.

Instead of defending the indefensible, she decided to attack the Indispensible MEMRI, supposed source of all the confusion about the Mufti's gentle nature and kind-hearted spirit. Fine. We all make mistakes; MEMRI is included in, "we all." Then, this:

Today, the standards of Israeli-Palestinian political and religious discussions have been redefined by pro-Israeli organizations that are working amongst us.

"Working amongst us." Ah, yes, those shadowy cabals, meeting in dark alleys and at Bingo Night down at Rodef Shalom. No doubt many of the Men's Clubs and all of the Ladies' Auxiliaries - not to mention most editorial boards - have been infiltrated, even compromised, by those "working amonst us." Soon, she'll be accusing doctors at Rose Hospital of infecting Muslim youths with AIDS.

She goes after a translation here, a missed word there, not because MEMRI is wrong, but because they perform a valuable service. The imams and muftis they translate say one thing on Friday morning and another thing Sunday morning, and here, she perceives a threat.

Of course, this is a diversion. The real issue, that being what in God's name a "moderate" group in the middle of the United States is doing inviting a bigot to come speak, is too embarassing to deal with. Ah, you want non-MEMRI proof. Fair enough:

"It is shocking to hear a mufti say that there was never a temple there," Palazzi said. He was referring to recent comments by Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Ekrima El Sabri in which he said "there is not even the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on this place in the past. In the whole city (of Jerusalem) there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history." (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

Sabri, addressing this week's Friday congregation in the Aqsa Mosque, said that all Zionist governments ever since occupation of the eastern sector of Jerusalem in 1967 were indulging in a series of excavations underneath the holy site in a desperate attempt to find whatever could prove their illusions (on presence of the remains of the first and/or second Jewish temples). (Palestine Info.)

Speak ing at a press conference at his office on the Temple Mount, Sabri said the Western Wall and the plaza in front of it are part of the holy Mount and are also Waqf property. He stressed there were no political overtones in the timing or content of the fatwa , but that the fatwa compelled a billion Muslims around the world to act accordingly. (Haaretz)

Sheikh Sabri, in his weekly sermon at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque on September 12, 1997, declared: "Oh Allah, destroy America, her agents, and her allies! Cast them into their own traps, and cover the White House with black!"
The speech was broadcast on the PLO's Voice of Palestine Radio, immediately after it broadcast a speech by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. (Likud)

The figure of 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust is exaggerated and used by Israel to gain international
"It's true, the number was less than 6 million and Israel is using this issue to get sympathy worldwide," Sabri said in an inter

He repeated his accusations to other media outlets.

"Six million? It was a lot less," Sabri told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. "It's not my fault if Hitler hated the Jews. Anyway, they hate them just about everywhere. The Jewish people has found a formidable means of winning solidarity from the world."

He told Reuters that he does not deny the Holocaust, but "I think the figures have been exaggerated. We denounce all massacres, but I don't see why a certain massacre should be used for political gain and blackmail." (JPS)

The mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, says that suicide bombings are justified and should be encouraged, according to a report published on Friday in the international Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat. (Haaretz)

Wow, no wonder MEMRI thought he said all those terrible things. Jews have no right to Israel. Jews have to reason to be in Israel. Jews were lucky enough to have to the Holocaust to so they could get to Israel. These are not criticisms of Zionism; they're barely criticisms of Judaism; they're attacks on Jews. If Barakat wants to pretend that they're not, she'll have to perform contortions that I'd pay to see.

Americans like tending to their own gardens, and I can't begin to tell you how much I hate having to write these pieces. I would rather be writing about baseball, design, business, or finance. I'd rather be photoblogging my latest roadtrip. I'd much rather be hanging out someplace warm trying to keep my attention on a good book in the face of delightedly un-burkha-ed babes. The fact that we have to spend time engaged in intellectual combat with people whose intellect stopped creating around the year 700, and who have a conveniently post-modern idea of truth, isn't just annoying, it's stealing my life, and yours.

And next time, if they're as interested in getting along with Jews and Israel as they pretend, they could invite this guy instead. They might actually learn something.

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