By Morton A. Klein and Elizabeth A. Berney, Esq.
Radical Muslims are currently the major perpetrators of verbal and physical attacks on Jews throughout the world. For instance, a prominent survey concluded: “Perpetrators of the most extreme cases of violence against European Jews in recent years were Muslims.” (See Antisemitic Attitudes among Muslims in Europe: A Survey Review, ISGAP, May 2015.) And on U.S. college campuses, the radical Islamist group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is the major perpetrator of anti-Semitism. The Zionist Organization of America has extensively documented SJP’s anti-Semitic activities. (See, e.g., ZOA Letter to CUNY Leaders about Anti-Semitic, Violence-Inducing Rallies There, Feb. 10, 2016.). It is thus deeply disappointing that during her speech at the United Nations “anti-Semitism” conference on September 7, 2016, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power failed to even mention the term “Muslim” or “Islamic anti-Semitism” which happens to constitute a major portion of the physical and verbal anti-Jewish attacks. She also never mentioned the critical role of the SJP and Muslim campus groups in committing hate crimes and harassment of Jews, encouraging additional anti-Jewish actions and inducing fear among Jewish students. And throughout her speech, whenever she described attacks on Jews, she never mentioned that the perpetrators were Muslims.
For instance, Ambassador Power stated: “On July 1, a cement-filled bottle was thrown through the window of a local Jewish center in Santa Fe, Argentina with the message, “This is a warning, the next one explodes.”” Ambassador Power left out the fact that the note attached to the cement-filled bottle also stated: “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, and included the logo of the Islamic State. (See Jewish Sports Club in Argentina Threatened with ISIS Logo, JTA, July 6, 2016.)
Ambassador Power also failed to mention even more violent anti-Semitism in South America, such as the Muslim who, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” stabbed to death a Jewish man (and wounded the Jewish victim’s son) in Uruguay in March. (See Uruguayan Jew Stabbed to Death in Suspected Anti-Semitic Attack, Times of Israel, March 9, 2016.
And in still another example, Ambassador Power referred to the “horrific terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris” without mentioning that the perpetrator of this deadly attack on Jews was a radical Somali Islamist who also declared “Allahu Akbar” as he murdered victims that he selected based on their Jewish faith. (See Paris Killer Asked Victims If They Were Jewish Before Firing, Transcript Shows: French paper reports on content of 8-minute clip filmed by Amedy Coulibaly as he gunned down 4 Jews in kosher deli, Times of Israel, Feb. 28, 2015.) Ambassador Power also failed to mention even more violent anti-Semitism in South America, such as the Muslim who, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” stabbed to death a Jewish man (and wounded the Jewish victim’s son) in Uruguay in March. (See Uruguayan Jew Stabbed to Death in Suspected Anti-Semitic Attack, Times of Israel, March 9, 2016.)
It is also deeply disappointing that the only time Ambassador Power mentioned Muslims during her entire speech was when she misleadingly complained that rising anti-Semitism goes “hand in hand” with “xenophobic” efforts to bar Muslim immigration. In fact, Muslim immigration goes “hand in hand” with rising terrorist attacks on Jews and persons of other faiths in western nations. It is not “xenophobic” to want to limit immigration by a population infiltrated by ISIS members and other radical Islamists and who, according to FBI Director Comey, can’t be properly vetted.
Ambassador Power also omitted the involvement of Islamists and SJP when she described anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses.
For instance, Ambassador Power stated: “In February, not far from here in Brooklyn College, a group of student activists interrupted a faculty meeting demanding that all Zionists be removed from campus.” Ambassador Power omitted the fact that this was one of the many incidents that ZOA documented, related to SJP’s anti-Semitic activities at Brooklyn College and other CUNY campuses. (See ZOA Letter to CUNY Leaders about Anti-Semitic, Violence-Inducing Rallies There, Feb. 10, 2016.
In addition to omitting the radical Muslim perpetrators of violent anti-Semitic attacks, Ambassador Power adopted the diversionary tactic of focusing much of her talk on alleged right wing (generally non-violent) neo-Nazi anti-Semitism. For instance, Ambassador Power expounded at length about an isolated, unsuccessful proposal to erect a statue to honor an official who was a Nazi collaborator in Hungary. By contrast, Ambassador Power never breathed a single word about the innumerable ways that the Palestinian Authority (PA) honors Muslim terrorists who murder innocent Jews. The PA names streets, sports clubs, schools, and public squares, and sponsors television specials and holidays for these terrorists, and pays these terrorists stipends for murdering Jews.
Sadly, Ambassador Power also ignored the helpful existing State Department definition of anti-Semitism. The State Department definition includes: holding Israel to a double standard of behavior not expected of other democratic nations; comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions; NGOs focusing peace or human rights investigations only on Israel; and denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and Israel’s right to exist.
Ambassador Power should have called for worldwide adoption of this existing definition. Instead, Ambassador Power called for countries to draft and adopt a weak new definition of anti-Semitism that apparently legitimizes much anti-Semitic criticism of Israel.
We urge Ambassador Power to acknowledge that radical Islam is the major perpetrator of rising anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish and anti-western terrorism.
Morton A. Klein is the President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Elizabeth A. Berney, Esq. is ZOA’s Director of Special Projects.