CAIR Has No Place in Synagogues

June 19 2018

Two weeks ago, Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El had scheduled Albert Fox Cahn, a congregant who works as a lawyer for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to speak at its Friday-night services, but rescinded the invitation abruptly after considering his links to this dangerous organization, which has longstanding ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Cahn has predictably labeled the disinvitation a failure of tolerance. The Muslim activist Shireen Qudosi, however, applauds the synagogue’s decision:

Synagogues should never be bullied into hosting organizations that promote divisiveness and demonization—especially groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which slurs [Muslim] reformists as “Uncle Toms” and seeks to impose its intolerant views on the American Muslim community. That intolerance often takes the form of harassing reformers who advocate for liberalism within Islam, while only recognizing as legitimate representatives of Islam those Muslims who represent Islamic orthodoxy. . . .

[Furthermore], CAIR has contributed dangerously to the politicization of Islam. . . . It doesn’t hide its behavior, either, often [working] as a self-appointed heresy hunter against Muslims who want to have an open conversation on Islamic extremism.

The Islamic faith has no organized leadership, and the caliphate of Islamic empires died long ago. Muslim organizations . . . such as CAIR, [trying to fill this vacuum], have positioned themselves as representatives of Muslims in America. . . .

Cahn [wrote in response the Emanu-El’s decision to disinvite him] that it “is up to this generation . . . to show that we have learned the lessons of history and the teachings of the Torah [and] to show that we are not doomed to wander the desert of intolerance.”. . . I don’t believe the Jewish tradition teaches its followers to submit [to bigots] and call it “tolerance.” In fact, I have heard of a Jewish saying that “if you are kind to the cruel, you will end by being cruel to the kind.” And we see that playing out here. Champions of indiscriminate interfaith dialogue such as Cahn are harming moderate Muslim communities by empowering CAIR’s bigotry.

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More about: American Muslims, CAIR, Muslim-Jewish relations, Religion & Holidays, Synagogues

 

Syria’s Downing of a Russian Plane Put Israel in the Crosshairs

Sept. 21 2018

On Monday, Israeli jets fired missiles at an Iranian munitions storehouse in the northwestern Syrian city of Latakia. Shortly thereafter, Syrian personnel shot down a Russian surveillance plane with surface-to-air missiles, in what seems to be a botched and highly incompetent response to the Israeli attack. Moscow first responded by blaming Jerusalem for the incident, but President Putin then offered more conciliatory statements. Yesterday, Russian diplomats again stated that Israel was at fault. Yoav Limor comments:

What was unusual [about the Israeli] strike was the location: Latakia [is] close to Russian forces, in an area where the IDF hasn’t been active for some time. The strike itself was routine; the IDF notified the Russian military about it in advance, the missiles were fired remotely, the Israeli F-16s returned to base unharmed, and as usual, Syrian antiaircraft missiles were fired indiscriminately in every direction, long after the strike itself was over. . . .

Theoretically, this is a matter between Russia and Syria. Russia supplied Syria with the SA-5 [missile] batteries that wound up shooting down its plane, and now it must demand explanations from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. That won’t happen; Russia was quick to blame Israel for knocking over the first domino, and as usual, sent conflicting messages that make it hard to parse its future strategy. . . .

From now on, Russia will [almost certainly] demand a higher level of coordination with Israel and limits on the areas in which Israel can attack, and possibly a commitment to refrain from certain actions. Syria, Iran, and Hizballah will try to drag Russia into “handling” Israel and keeping it from continuing to carry out strikes in the region. Israel . . . will blame Iran, Hizballah, and Syria for the incident, and say they are responsible for the mess.

But Israel needs to take rapid action to minimize damage. It is in Israel’s strategic interest to keep up its offensive actions to the north, mainly in Syria. If that action is curtailed, Israel’s national security will be compromised. . . . No one in Israel, and certainly not in the IDF or the Israel Air Force, wants Russia—which until now hasn’t cared much about Israel’s actions—to turn hostile, and Israel needs to do everything to prevent that from happening. Even if that means limiting its actions for the time being. . . . Still, make no mistake: Russia is angry and has to explain its actions to its people. Israel will need to walk a thin line between protecting its own security interests and avoiding a very unwanted clash with Russia.

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More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war