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Moral Relativism and Jihad

By Caroline Glick - April 17, 2013

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It is bad enough that liberal Jewish leaders won't speak out against the Koranic-inspired evil that characterizes the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. What is worse is what their own morally relative blindness causes them to do.

Last Wednesday, we saw two distressing examples of the consequences of this self-imposed embrace of ideological fantasies.

First, Yeshiva University's Cardozo Law School's Journal of Conflict Resolution gave its annual International Advocate of Peace Award to former president Jimmy Carter.

Carter's long record of anti-Israel, and indeed anti-Semitic, actions and behavior made the decision to bestow him with the honor an affront not only to the cause of peace, but to the cause of Jewish legal rights. As an advocate of Hamas and a man who castigates Israel as an illegal "apartheid" state, Carter has a long record of outspoken opposition to both Jewish human rights and to viable peace between Israel and its neighbors.

For outsiders, the Orthodox Jewish university's law school's law journal's decision to honor Carter was shocking, but as it works out, the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution confers its prize almost exclusively on people active in pressuring Israel to make concessions to Palestinian terrorists who reject Israel's right to exist. Past winners include Dennis Ross, Bill Clinton, Richard Holbrooke, George Mitchell, John Wallach and Seeds of Peace and, perhaps most astoundingly, the outspoken Jew hater Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In other words, Carter wasn't chosen for the honor despite his anti-Israel record. He was selected because of his anti-Israel record.

In a similar fashion, New York's 92nd Street Y invited virulent Israel hater Roger Waters to perform a concert on April 30. Given Waters's outspoken opposition to Israel, his call for total economic and cultural warfare against the Jewish state and his leading role in the BDS movement, it is not possible that the 92nd Street Y was unaware of his radical, anti-Semitic sentiments.

And so, the only reasonable explanation for his invitation to perform at the Jewish institution is that the Y wanted to invite this openly anti- Semitic musician to perform. A public outcry by pro-Israel activists forced the Y to cancel his performance.

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. 

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caroline@carolineglick.com

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

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