Rabbi Rachel Gartner, the Director of Jewish Chaplaincy at Georgetown University, has published a ridiculous broadside at The Huffington Post titled “An Antidote for Islamophobia,” denouncing what she calls my “odious” and “heinous anti-Muslim messages” – referring to my American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) ads denouncing the savage jihad against Israel and the Qur’anically-justified anti-Semitism.
This rabbi never bothers to explain what is so “hateful” and “odious” about these ads; she just takes it for granted as she attacks a fellow Jew. But what has this rabbi herself done to combat the vicious Jew-hatred rooted in Islamic teachings that has left thousands of innocents dead? What has this rabbi done to ensure that the cold-blooded murder of little Miriam Monsonego, who was killed by jihadist Mohamed Merah at her school in Toulouse in March 2012 in the name of the Qur’an and Islam, would be the last in the cause of jihad?
Where has Rabbi Rachel spoken about the bloody 1,400-year history of Jews in Muslim lands? She quotes Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “In a free society, not all are guilty, but all are responsible.” Then she adds, “Let’s take responsibility for countering hate speech wherever we encounter it, lest we all go crashing down together.” Yes, let’s do that, Rachel. When have you countered the vicious Jew-hatred that is an increasingly common feature on college campuses and from BDS groups, as well as in Arab media (as the Middle East Media Research Institute and Palestinian Media Watch so indefatigably chronicle), and even in sermons in all too many mosques?
Gartner also says, “The antidote to bad, ill-advised free speech is good, healthy free speech.” I totally agree. Where, then, was Gartner standing up for my right to speak when Jewish groups in Los Angeles and Toronto canceled my speaking engagements? Shouldn’t she have called for discussion and debate to show whose free speech was really “bad” and “ill-advised” and whose was “good” and “healthy”?
She would never have done that, because that would have revealed the hollowness of her opposition to my message, just as she never explains in her Huffington Post piece exactly what is wrong with my ads. Instead, she just claims that they’re “actually hate speech in political garb.”
She may think this because my ad refers to the fact that Islamic Jew-hatred is in the Quran. “Keep the Quran out of it,” she demands. “Unless you also want to reference suras like this one (there are many): ‘Indeed, I, God, sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light, and the prophets judged by it, as did the rabbis and scholars.’ (Quran 5:44)”
Is she seriously claiming that the Quran is more favorable than unfavorable to the Jews? She seems to have missed a key distinction: the Quran is favorable to Jews who accept Muhammad as a prophet and the Quran as a holy book, and venomous to those who do not. The “unbelievers among the People of the Book” are the “most vile of created beings” (98:6). Does she know that the Qur’an says that the Jews are the worst enemies of the Muslims: “the most hostile to those who believe are the Jews” (5:82)?
Yes, the Qur’an says that in the Torah was guidance and light. But it also says of the Jews that “a party from among them indeed used to hear the Word of Allah, then altered it after they had understood it” (2:75), and it is common teaching among Muslims that the Torah as it stands today has been altered and corrupted by Jews in order to erase prophecies of the coming of Muhammad. The Jews’ corruption of their own Scriptures is referenced in the Hadith as well.
But none of that likely matters to Rachel Gartner, for she claims that “all sacred texts can be used to elevate us or to appeal to the basest of human instincts. Choose the high road, share teachings of peace and understanding, respect and love. If you do so, it will strengthen others in doing the same.” Great. But what about the Muslims who read the Qur’an’s many denunciations of the Jews and come away believing, in the words of a music video that was shown on Hamas’s official Al-Aqsa TV station, “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah?”
Gartner seems to think that the existence of Muslims who don’t think that way cancels out and compensates for the existence of those who do. But it doesn’t. They are all too real, and in numbers that are all too large. Or maybe Gartner thinks that if we challenge Muslims who believe this way it will offend those who don’t. But why would it, if they sincerely reject Islamic anti-Semitism?
This weak and cowardly rabbi sanctions the annihilation of the Jewish people by savagely attacking those who stand against it.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.