Taking the Synagogue Hostage-Taker’s Anti-Semitism Seriously

Jan. 17 2022

Shortly after the FBI killed Malik Faisal Akram and rescued the four hostages he was holding in a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, an agency spokesman made a baffling statement, reminiscent of Barack Obama’s notorious remark about those who would “randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli” apropos the bloody jihadist attack on a French kosher grocery store.

“We do believe,” said the FBI agent, that Akram “was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community. But we are continuing to work to find motive.” Strictly speaking, the issue motivating Akram—the freeing of a convicted al-Qaeda terrorist—does not relate to the Jewish community in Colleyville or anywhere else. But in Akram’s mind the relationship to the Jewish community is straightforward, as he believed that the Jews control the U.S. government, and that flying to America and attacking the nearest synagogue would be the best way to get their attention. The same anti-Semitic delusion animated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter. Lahav Harkov comments:

Perhaps at first glance, that issue, the release of Aafia Siddiqui, currently serving an 86-year prison sentence for attempting to murder American troops and FBI agents, does not seem to be “specifically related to the Jewish community.” But Siddiqui was a raving anti-Semite, and that information is readily available.

After Siddiqui was arrested in Afghanistan for her part in plotting al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in the U.S., UK, and Pakistan, shooting at U.S. Army troops as they detained her, she said the case against her was a Jewish conspiracy. Siddiqui dismissed her legal defense team because she said the lawyers were Jewish, and she demanded that jurors in the trial take DNA tests to make sure they were not Israeli or Zionists, in order “to be fair.”

She also wrote a letter to then-president Barack Obama telling him that Jews “have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter.” . . . After her conviction, Siddiqui said: “This is a verdict coming from Israel and not from America. That’s where the anger belongs.”

One of the organizations that has been advocating Siddiqui’s release in recent weeks is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In November, CAIR’s Texas chapter and MPower Change, a Muslim activist group, hosted an online event titled “Injustice: Dr. Aafia and the Twenty-Year Legacy of America’s Wars.” In addition, CAIR San Francisco executive director Zahra Billoo told attendees during a speech she gave last November to “know your enemies” [and] “to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues.”

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Al Qaeda, Anti-Semitism, Barack Obama, CAIR

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform