Kathleen is a mother, wife, Yoga instructor, writer and activist. She is involved in pro-Israel activism and advocacy efforts, many focused on Hindu-Jewish alliance and strengthening ties between India, Israel and their allies. Visit www.reflectionsofindwellinglight.com for more on her work in this area. You can find information about her Yoga instruction at www.lookingglasshouseyoga.com.
“The problem is not how to determine, as you hear in the media, whether you have ‘the right’ to criticize Israel or whether it is possible to be ‘anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic.’ The truth is that one can now be anti-Semitic only by being anti-Zionist; anti-Zionism is the required path for any anti-Semitism that wishes to expand its recruiting pool beyond those still nostalgic for the discredited brotherhoods.
The question is no longer simply whether the Holocaust deniers are sincere or perverse, ill informed or fully aware of manipulating historical sources: The suggestion of Jewish trafficking in memory; the accusation of inventing, exaggerating, or simply exploiting the hypothetical suffering of one’s own people; the idea that the Jews might be profiteers not of war but of the Holocaust, obsessively cultivating their memories for the sole aim of covering up their own crimes—all of these offer anti-Semitism a new reserve of good conscience and innocence.”
and drawing members of the *progressive* glitterati in Hollywood & D.C. (along with the *go-along-to-get-along* group) to her fan club — and into the atrocious propaganda-spewing machinery with the unconscionable ruse she’s selling.
CAMERA on Campus reports that Sarsour will also be taking part in Jewish Voice for Peace’s Upcoming National Conference in Chicago on March 31 to April 2nd. JVP, as described by CAMERA on Campus is a “misnamed anti-Israel organization” that “plays a significant role in stirring up anti-Israel rhetoric. JVP supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel, supports Students for Justice in Palestine events including Israel Apartheid Week, and calls for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.” The Anti-Defamation League “has asserted that JVP’s role in the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) effort is to provide the movement with a ‘veneer of legitimacy’ and camouflage against identification as antisemitic.” Sarsour will share the anti-Israel spotlight at the JVP conference with speaker Rasmea Odeh, a convicted Palestinian terrorist and “member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist group.”
Any news outlets that promote Linda Sarsour’s *social justice* agenda and applaud her activism without explicitly acknowledging the dangerous hypocrisy that comes along with these so-called “good deeds” … need to be called out and condemned … in the interest of #honestreporting and for the sake of humanity.
We the undersigned are supporters of strong relations with important U.S. democratic allies, India and Israel;
We recognize that the strength of such alliances with these partners, whose governments are exemplars of democratic ideals, depends upon U.S. policy and action that works to respect those nations’ sovereign decisions to protect the security of their citizenries and grow their own national interests;
Further, we wish to acknowledge the deep and abiding ties that the Hindu-American and Jewish-American communities have to India and Israel, as well as the the long-standing and loyal support that members of both these communities have given to the Democratic Party in the U.S. political arena;
The Hindu and Jewish traditions both hold the values of plurality, inclusivity and egalitarianism in the highest regard and wish to have these values reflected in the words and actions of the leaders who are chosen to represent the United States and its political parties.
With respect to all of the aforementioned, we the undersigned hereby voice our opposition to Representative Keith Ellison’s bid to become the new Chair of The Democratic National Committee.
From the statement by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), December 5, 2016
//The nation’s largest Hindu American advocacy organization, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), today joined prominent human and civil rights organizations in expressing concerns over the bid by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) to head the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
The Foundation announced that it was disturbed by Rep. Ellison’s decade long legislative activism against India, portraying inter-religious conflicts exclusively as one-sided, with the Hindu majority population depicted only as victimizers and religious minorities as victims. Rep. Ellison’s record of co-sponsoring resolutions, congressional letters and statements countered the interests of many Hindu Americans and the broader Indian American community, HAF leaders said, and also gave a platform to certain activists previously accused of Hinduphobia …
“Surveys confirm that nearly 65 percent of Indian Americans are registered or lean Democrat, so leadership of the DNC is a matter of great importance in further engaging the community,” added Suhag Shukla, HAF’s Executive Director. “Mr. Ellison’s record on India over the last decade raises many concerns, but we believe that beginning a constructive dialogue between the Indian and Hindu American communities and Mr. Ellison are important first steps in realizing unity and inclusivity urgently needed today.”//
From the PRESS RELEASE by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), December 1, 2016
//New York, NY, December 1, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said new information that has come to light since Rep. Keith Ellison’s announced candidacy for chair of the Democratic National Committee raises “serious doubts” about his ability to faithfully represent the party’s traditional support for Israel.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
When Rep. Ellison’s candidacy to be chair of the Democratic National Committee was first reported, ADL did not rush to judgment. Instead, we took a hard look at the totality of his record on key issues on our agenda. We spoke to numerous leaders in the community and to Mr. Ellison himself. ADL’s subsequent statement on his candidacy appreciated his contrition on some matters, acknowledged areas of commonality but clearly expressed real concern where Rep. Ellison held divergent policy views, particularly related to Israel’s security.
New information recently has come to light that raises serious concerns about whether Rep. Ellison faithfully could represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel. In a speech recorded in 2010 to a group of supporters, Rep. Ellison is heard suggesting that American foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by Israel, saying: “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes.”
Rep. Ellison’s remarks are both deeply disturbing and disqualifying. His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests. Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S. These comments sharply contrast with the Democratic National Committee platform position, which states: “A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.”//
As the New York Times dotes on the latest Israel basher, Rachel Kushner, we have to wonder if she and any of the authors writing about the plight of the Palestinian refugees even care that they’ve been pointing their fingers of blame in the wrong direction this whole time. Would they be interested in writing the same stories if they had to tell the world that it was the Arabs — and not the Jews — who leave the Palestinians to languish in refugee camps? That Rachel Kushner’s orphans have been set-up as the “armaments of … Arab nationalism” by the real perpetrators of this atrocity?
“The Israeli government systematically resettled all its refugees as part of its national-home policy. The Arab governments, with the assistance of the UN, kept the Arab refugees in camps …”
“Once the UN partition vote was taken the Arabs were bent on destroying all the Jewish settlements and began to attack them immediately. Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, said on the radio: ‘This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre.’”
“The Jewish commanders were confident but their resources were small … By March 1948 over 1,200 Jews had been killed, half of them civilians, in Arab attacks … early in April Ben Gurion took what was probably the most difficult decision in his life. He ordered the Haganah on to the offensive to link up the various Jewish enclaves and to consolidate as much as possible of the territory allotted to Israel under the UN plan. The gamble came off almost completely … They established the core of the state of Israel and in effect won the war before it started.” (A History of the Jews, Paul Johnson)
“Ben Gurion read out the Scroll of Independence on Friday 14 May in the Tel Aviv museum. ‘By virtue of our national and intrinsic right,’ he “said, ‘and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, we hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state … Egyptian air raids began that night. The next day, simultaneously, the last British left and the Arab armies invaded. They made little difference, except in one respect. King Abdullah’s Arab Legion took the Old City of Jerusalem for him … By the close of the year the Israeli army was 100,000-strong, and properly equipped. It had established a military paramountcy in the area it has never since lost. Armistice talks were opened in Rhodes on 12 January 1949 and were signed with Egypt (14 February), Lebanon (23 March), Transjordan (3 April) and Syria (20 July). Iraq made no agreement at all, and the five Arab states remained in a formal state of war with Israel.” (continued from A History of the Jews, Paul Johnson)
“The events of 1947-8, which established Israel, also created the Arab-Israeli problem, which endures to this day. It has two main aspects, refugees and frontiers … According to UN figures, 656,000 Arab inhabitants of mandatory Palestine fled from Israeli-held territory … They left for four reasons: to avoid being killed in the fighting, because the administration had broken down, because they were ordered to or misled or panicked by Arab radio broadcasts, and because they were stampeded by an Irgun-Stern Gang massacre at the village of Deir Yassin on 9 April 1948 …”
“From 1920 until this point, the Jews had refrained from terrorist attacks on Arab settlements, though the innumerable Arab ones had sometimes provoked heavy-handed reprisals. When the fighting began in the winter of 1947-8, Deir Yassin, an Arab quarrying village of less than 1,000 people, made a non-aggression pact with the nearby Jerusalem suburb of Givat Shaul. But two Jewish settlements nearby were overrun and destroyed, and the Jewish desire for revenge was strong. The Stern Gang proposed to destroy Deir Yassin to teach the Arabs a lesson. A senior Irgun officer Yehuda Lapidot, testified: ‘The clear aim was to break Arab morale and raise the morale of the Jewish community in Jerusalem, which had been hit hard time after time, especially recently by the desecration of Jewish bodies which fell into Arab hands.’ Begin agreed to the operation but said a loudspeaker van must be used to give the villagers a chance to surrender without bloodshed …”
“The Syrian government is reluctant to vet large international organizations for work in Syria, suspecting that they are serving as conduits for spies from ‘Zionist organizations’…”
“It was at this point that the raiding force moved into the village and went out of control … News of this atrocity, in exaggerated form, spread quickly and undoubtedly persuaded many Arabs to flee over the next two months. There is no evidence that it was designed to have this effect. But in conjunction with the other factors it reduced the Arab population of the new state to a mere 160,000. That was very convenient.” (continued from A History of the Jews, Paul Johnson)
“… they did not want the refugees resettled because it meant the final disposal of a moral asset. As Cairo Radio put it: ‘The refugees are the cornerstone in the Arab struggle against Israel. The refugees are the armaments of the Arabs and Arab nationalism.’”
“On the other hand, there were the Jews encouraged or forced to flee from Arab states where, in some cases, Jewish communities had existed for 2,500 years. In 1945 there were over 500,000 Jews living in the Arab world. Between the outbreak of the war on 15 May 1948 and the end of 1967, the vast majority had to take refuge in Israel: 252,642 from Morocco, 13,118 from Algeria, 46,255 from Tunisia, 34,265 from Libya, 37,867 from Egypt, 4,000 from Lebanon, 4,500 from Syria, 3,912 from Aden, 124,647 from Iraq and 46,447 from the Yemen. With a total of 567,654, Jewish refugees from Arab countries were thus not substantially smaller in number than Arab refugees from Israel. The difference in their reception and treatment was entirely a matter of policy. The Israeli government systematically resettled all its refugees as part of its national-home policy. The Arab governments, with the assistance of the UN, kept the Arab refugees in camps, pending a reconquest of Palestine which never came. Hence, as a result of natural increase, there were more Arab refugees in the late 1980s than there had been forty years before.”
“This contrasting attitude towards refugees itself sprang from a fundamentally different approach towards negotiations. The Jews had been for two millennia an oppressed minority who had never possessed the option of force. They had therefore been habitually obliged to negotiate, often for bare existence, and nearly always from a position of great weakness. Over the centuries they had developed not merely negotiating skills but a philosophy of negotiation. They would negotiate against impossible odds, and they had learned to accept a negotiated status, however lowly and underprivileged, knowing that it could later be improved by further negotiations and their own efforts. The paramountcy of settlement, as opposed to force, was built into their very bones. That was one reason they found it so difficult, even when the evidence became overwhelming, to take in the magnitude of Hitler’s evil: it was hard for them to comprehend a man who wanted no settlement at all with them, just their lives.”
“…about the arrival of Iraq Palestinians … Syrian officials … made it clear that the matter must remain quiet, given Syria’s policy of denying entry to additional Iraq Palestinians …”
“The Arabs, by contrast, were a conquering race whose sacred writings both inspired and reflected a maximalist position towards other peoples, the despised dhimmi. The very concept of negotiation towards a final settlement was to them a betrayal of principle. A truce, an armistice might be necessary and was acceptable because it preserved the option of force for use later. A treaty, on the other hand, appeared to them a kind of surrender.That was why they did not want the refugees resettled because it meant the final disposal of a moral asset. As Cairo Radio put it: ‘The refugees are the cornerstone in the Arab struggle against Israel. The refugees are the armaments of the Arabs and Arab nationalism.’ Hence they rejected the 1950 UN plan for resettlement without discussion. Over the subsequent quarter century they refused even to receive repeated Israeli proposals for compensation. The result was disastrous for the refugees themselves and their progeny. It was a source of instability for the Arab states also.” (continued from A History of the Jews, Paul Johnson)
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is a front-runner for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. If you are following the ongoing developments in Rep. Keith Ellison‘s bid to become the next chair of the DNC, you may be interested in some primary source information from Wikileak’s Cablegate.
CODEL PELOSI APRIL 5 MEETING WITH MAJLIS AL-SHURA (2007 April 28)
“…. On April 5, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-California), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), Rep. Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia), Rep. Louise McIntosh Saughter (D-New York), Rep. Dave Hobson (R-Ohio), and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) met with Majlis Al-Shura (Consultative Council) Chairman Sheikh Dr. Salih bin Humaid, Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Adel Al-Jubeir, and eleven other Shura Council members. Humaid … is also the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca …
… Before entering the meeting room, the U.S. delegation was greeted by the 11 Council members who participated in the main meeting. At one point during the meeting, Speaker Pelosi noted that when Congressman Ellison took the oath of office in January 2007, he did so on a Qur’an originally owned by President Jefferson. She pointed out that she told King Abdullah that Jefferson studied Arabic after he left the White House and that U.S. interest in Islam is at least 200 years old. (COMMENT: The Majlis members were visibly and audibly impressed. END COMMENT.) …
…. Shura Council representative Al-Hilwa conveyed his optimism regarding the Arab Peace Initiative, asking for USG support and initiative in pushing it forward. He noted that the Arab Quartet (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Jordan) supports it and requested that the international Quartet do the same. Al-Hilwa emphasized the necessity for Israel to accept the initiative, hoping that the U.S. Congress would press the Israelis to do so. Congressman Lantos said he was deeply impressed with the King’s proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute, emphasizing his importance as a regional leader, as well as vis-a-vis the region’s religious hierarchy. Congressman Lantos stressed that governments such as Egypt and Jordan that have relations with Israel would be useful in this process, adding that it is also important to involve United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon because he enjoys global respect and can help move the proposal forward. He warned that settling this dispute will not happen overnight and will require a great deal of give and take, consultation, and negotiation.
… Council member Fadhel said that everyone is very worried about military developments in the region, especially as they relate to nuclear weapons. He said people are especially worried about Israeli nuclear weapons that are ready for use, saying that the populace wants the region, including Iran, clear and free of nuclear weapons. However, he doubted that this would happen unless the Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved comprehensively and justly. He emphasized that most countries in the region do not accept that Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons is ignored while Iran is sanctioned.
… Noting that there are a number of initiatives in Congress to address energy needs, Speaker Pelosi emphasized that for environmental, energy, economic, and security reasons, the U.S. must increase its energy independence and reduce its dependence on oil. She pointed out that there is not an endless supply of oil and that the U.S. must prepare for the future, adding that the U.S. must also stop global warming. However, she welcomed further discussion, saying that the issue is important to all countries.”
MAJLIS EAGER TO ENGAGE WITH CONGRESS; REQUESTS OFFICIAL INVITATIONS (2007 August 8)
“… As Chair of the K.S.A.- U.S.A. Friendship Committee, Al-Aiban announced that he is developing a series of exchange visits to the U.S. Congress because there is a “need for greater contacts between Congress and the Majlis.” He also confided that Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, who accompanied Speaker Pelosi in April 2007, may be invited to take part in the annual Hajj. Citing the current NOPEC legislation (ref A), Al-Aiban said it is vital to also bring “non-friends” to Saudi Arabia. In closing, Al-Aiban shared that he and a small delegation will be traveling to the U.S. in early October to prepare logistics for the planned visit of Majlis President Sheikh Dr. Salih bin Humaid in late 2007. Referring to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s verbal invitation in April 2007 (ref B) for Humaid to visit Congress, Al-Aiban requested official invitations from Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in order to follow up on that invitation.”
CODEL TIERNEY’S MEETING WITH PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF (2008 March 28)
“… Codel Tierney (Representatives John Tierney, Keith Ellison, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, Maurice Hinchey, and Barbara Cubin), accompanied by Charge and Polcouns met March 27 with President Pervez Musharraf. Also attending were General Shaufkat and MFA Additional Secretary for Americas Attiyah Mahmood.”
ODEL TIERNEY MEETS WITH AHSAN IQBAL, PML-N INFORMATION SECRETARY (2008 April 4)
“… Codel Tierney (Representatives John Tierney, Keith Ellison, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, Maurice Hinchey, and Barbara Cubin), accompanied by Polcouns, met March 27 with Ahsan Iqbal, the newly elected National Assembly member and former Chief Coordinator and Information Secretary for the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), and congratulated him on his new position within the National Assembly.
… Representative Tierney asked whether the new government would give the international community access to A.Q. Khan, the mastermind behind Pakistan’s nuclear capability development. Iqbal quickly pointed out that no political party within Pakistan would ‘give him over.’ However, both the PML-N and the PPP are committed to nuclear non-proliferation. In addition, during his term as Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif rejected the idea of selling the nuclear technology capabilities to other countries, as he was pressured to do. Iqbal was quick to note that had the world’s super powers created a legitimate means of nuclear technology transfer, Pakistan would not have had to create their program using back channels. Iqbal believed that Pakistan was willing to work with the US on creating such a legitimate system of technology transfer for other interested countries.”
US-ISLAMIC WORLD FORUM: IMPACT COMES ON THE MARGINS (2009 February 25)
“… Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) spoke on a panel devoted to the Administration’s approach to the Muslim world …
… On the margins of the Forum, Ellison appeared on Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel as the “mid-day guest,” and was also interviewed by Turkish national television and Egypt’s Al Hayat TV … Ellison also granted an interview to Qatari Arabic daily ‘Al Watan’ …
… Ellison spoke to the dean, faculty and students at Qatar University’s Sharia College and responded to questions about religious freedom and the lives of ordinary Muslims in the United States. The Congressman also spoke to a gathering of young Qatari men organized by the General Youth Authority.”
CODEL BAIRD DISCUSSES GAZA, INTERFAITH DIALOGUE, AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY IN AMMA (2009 March 3)
“… During a February 17-18 visit to Amman, Congressmen Brian Baird and Keith Ellison (both members of the Friends of Jordan Caucus) took the pulse of Jordanian feelings on Gaza …
… During a reception hosted by UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen Abu Zayd, Baird and Ellison announced their intention to ‘bear witness’ to the impact of Israel’s operations in Gaza by traveling there.
… During a phone call with Prince Ghazi, the King’s primary advisor on religious issues, Baird and Ellison spoke about possibilities for advancing interfaith dialogue under the “Common Word” initiative, which identifies commonalities in the Muslim and Christian scriptures. Ghazi flagged an upcoming Georgetown University conference on the subject and urged the Codel to write a letter to President Obama, asking him to attend. Ghazi also outlined his attempts to formulate a UN resolution declaring a World Interfaith Week — a cause he hopes to formally launch at the Georgetown conference. Ghazi plans to accompany the King on a sought-after visit to meet President Obama and hopes to lobby for the President to attend the conference on the side.
… Baird voiced concerns that Judaism was not a part of the Common Word initiative, adding that the cause would be stronger if the common beliefs of three rather than two religions were included. Ghazi responded that Judaism was left out of Common Word due to political sensitivities among Muslims, saying, ‘It’s a tough sell on my side.’”
“After a months-long review by a U.S. House ethics panel, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., has disclosed the amount of his privately-paid trip to Mecca in December.
The trip, paid for by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, cost $13,350, Ellison said Thursday.
The two-week trip to Saudi Arabia, which Ellison described as a personal religious pilgrimage, or Hajj, prompted little discussion until June when Ellison filed financial travel reports that failed to disclose the amount the Muslim group had paid for his travel.
In releasing the amount on Thursday, Ellison held to his previous assertion that he was following the instructions of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the ethics committee.
‘I never had a moral objection to giving the number out,’ said Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. ‘But the rules said I didn’t have to, so I didn’t. Now I am.’”
“As Chair of the K.S.A.– U.S.A. Friendship Committee, Al-Aiban announced that he is developing a series of exchange visits to the U.S. Congress because there is a ‘need for greater contacts between Congress and the Majlis.’ He also confided that Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, who accompanied Speaker Pelosi in April 2007, may be invited to take part in the annual Hajj. Citing the current NOPEC legislation (ref A), Al-Aiban said it is vital to also bring ‘non-friends’ to Saudi Arabia. In closing, Al-Aiban shared that he and a small delegation will be traveling to the U.S. in early October to prepare logistics for the planned visit of Majlis President Sheikh Dr. Salih bin Humaid in late 2007. Referring to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s verbal invitation in April 2007 (ref B) for Humaid to visit Congress, Al-Aiban requested official invitations from Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in order to follow up on that invitation.”
If the House ethics panel did not, in fact, have this information for context during their review, it is this author’s opinion that members of the panel should reopen the investigation to ensure that all relevant background information is considered. It appears that the House ethics panel’s initial review was focused on whether the Rep. Ellison’s travel expenses were reported according to procedure insofar as the nature of private or public business conducted during the trip. In light of all of the background context revealed in the diplomatic cables, especially the information regarding Al-Aiban’s statement that revealed it was Majlis Al-Shura’s intention to bring Rep. Ellison over for Hajj, there are other questions that arise as to procedure — for instance, about the source of the funding for the travel and whether it was channeled or arranged by a foreign government.