**BREAKING: From Army Times and Colo. Springs Independent

From:  (name withheld)
Subject:  **BREAKING: From Army Times and Colo. Springs Independent
Date: March 26, 2019 at 8:46:37 PM MDT
To: Michael L Weinstein <[email protected]>

 

Michael, we Jews should have nothing to do with the Muslims as long as they continue to fire rockets into Israel! My wife and I have been to Israel twice, our Daughter Joy,once. We stand with President Trump and Prime minister Netanyahu . We must fight against the Muslims and all Islamist as they hate all Jews and Christians. My first Wife was Jewish her grandparents were pharmacist in Austria and were killed by the Nazi . My Present wife is Presbyterian .All of her family served in the Navy or the Marines in ww2. Her uncle Charles was killed in the Pacific. You must know that this is a Judaic -Christian Nation! We must protect the Christians and their Crosses as well as our Stars of David! We must bot protect The Muslims who seek to destroy us! What in the hell are you thinking about?Mohammed and his crew have been at war with us Jews since 640! Listen to the two Muslim women who have been elected to Congress. They hate Israel and I hate them and all they stand for! Stop trying to defend them they would kill you if they have a chance!
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

From: Michael L Weinstein <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: **BREAKING: From Army Times and Colo. Springs Independent
Date: March 26, 2019 at 8:50:53 PM MDT
To: (name withheld)

…sorry brother, you are just an old fashioned bigot and racist…what a tragic pity that you would paint ALL of one people and culture and faith and ethnicity with merely ONE brush of irrational hatred….……MRFF represents over 18% of all Muslims in the US Armed Forces….they are terrific sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen!!


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 11:58 PM Mike Farrell wrote:

Hi  (name withheld),

We have choices in this life and you have apparently made yours. Accepting the views of Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu is your right, but buying into and regurgitating anti-Muslim nonsense serves no purpose but to further divide people and give energy to bigotry. Spreading misinformation and encouraging hatred of the “other,” as you’re doing here, suggests you’ve forgotten that that kind of behavior and that attitude resulted in the murder of millions of members of the faith you claim to embrace.

Rather than criticizing Mr. Weinstein’s thinking, I’d suggest you give some attention to the problems with your own. Rather than accuse “the two Muslim women who have been elected to Congress” of hating Israel you might do some listening yourself. Here’s what one of your co-religionists had to say:

The dishonest smearing of Ilhan Omar By Paul Waldman Wash. Post, March 5

In what is surely the most shameful decision of her current term as speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has decided that the time has come for the House to rebuke Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for things she didn’t actually say, and ideas she didn’t actually express. In the process, Pelosi and other Democrats are helping propagate a series of misconceptions about anti-Semitism, Israel, and U.S. political debate.

I’m going to try to bring some clarity to this issue, understanding how difficult it can be whenever we discuss anything that touches on Israel.

To be clear, I do this as someone who was raised in an intensely Zionist family with a long history of devotion and sacrifice for Israel, but who also — like many American Jews — has become increasingly dismayed not only by developments in Israel but by how we talk about it here in the United States.

In the latest round of controversy, Omar said during a town hall, regarding U.S. policy toward Israel, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” This comment was roundly condemned by members of Congress and many others for being anti-Semitic. Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) called her statement “a vile anti-Semitic slur” and accused her of questioning “the loyalty of fellow American citizens.”

Pelosi then announced that the House would vote on a resolution which, while not mentioning Omar by name, is clearly meant as a condemnation of her. It contains multiple “whereas” statements about the danger of accusing Jews of “dual loyalty.”

So let’s talk about this idea of “dual loyalty,” and how it does and doesn’t relate to Omar’s comments. For many years, Jews were routinely accused of having dual loyalty, to both the United States and Israel, as a way of questioning whether they were truly American and could be trusted to do things such as serve in sensitive national security positions.

That charge was anti-Semitic, because it was used to allege that every Jew was suspect, no matter what they thought about Israel, and that they could not be fully American because they were assumed to have too much affection for another country. It wasn’t about the particulars of U.S. policy or what Jews at the time were advocating; it was about who they (allegedly) were, their identity.

Now, back to Omar. Here’s the truth: The whole purpose of the Democrats’ resolution is to enforce dual loyalty not among Jews, but among members of Congress, to make sure that criticism of Israel is punished in the most visible way possible. This, of course, includes Omar. As it happens, this punishment of criticism of Israel is exactly what the freshman congresswoman was complaining about, and has on multiple occasions. The fact that no one seems to acknowledge that this is her complaint shows how spectacularly disingenuous Omar’s critics are being.

You may have noticed that almost no one uses “dual loyalty” as a way of questioning whether Jews are loyal to the United States anymore. Why has it almost disappeared as an anti-Semitic slur? Because, over the last three decades, support for Israel has become increasingly associated with conservative evangelicals and the Republican Party.

Not coincidentally, this happened at the same time as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the most prominent and influential pro-Israel lobby, went from supporting Israel generally to being the lobby in the United States for the Likud, Israel’s main right-wing party. While AIPAC works hard to keep Democrats in line, its greatest allies are in the GOP, where support for Israel and a rejection of any meaningful rights for Palestinians have become a central component of party ideology. When the most prominent advocates for Israel are people such as Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, “dual loyalty” loses any meaning as a slur against Jews.

The idea that taking issue with support of Israel means one is necessarily criticizing Jews as Jews ignores the last few decades of political developments around the United States’ relationship with Israel. “Supporters of Israel” hasn’t been a synonym for “Jews” since the 1980s. I have to repeat this: In the United States today, a “supporter of Israel” is much more likely to be an evangelical Christian Republican than a Jew.

Ilhan Omar certainly didn’t say that Jews have dual loyalty. For instance, in one of the tweets that got people so worked up, Omar said, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” You’ll notice she didn’t say or even imply anything at all about Jews. She said that she was being asked to support Israel in order to have the privilege of serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which was true. Many on the right have called for her to be removed from that committee (see here, or here, or here, or here). Her argument, to repeat, isn’t about how Jews feel about Israel, it’s about what is being demanded of her.

And here’s the ultimate irony: Dual loyalty is precisely what AIPAC demands, and what it gets. Again, it makes this demand not of Jews, but of every member of Congress, and even of politicians at the state level whom you wouldn’t think would be conducting foreign policy. And it is working.

Take, for instance, the wave of state laws passed in recent years in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in which a state would refuse to do business with anyone who supports BDS. In some cases, those laws require that contractors sign a document promising not to support any boycott of Israel. It’s illustrated by the case of a speech pathologist in Texas who sued over a requirement that she sign such a pledge to work in a public school district. That is literally a demand that she pledge her loyalty to Israel. She’s not Jewish, and the officials who demanded that she do so aren’t either; the Texas Republican Party is not exactly an organization dominated by Jews. When Gov. Greg Abbott (R) — also not a Jew — proclaims that “Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies,” he’s expressing his dual loyalty.

Yet, when Omar says she shouldn’t have to do the same, everyone jumps up to accuse her of anti-Semitism, on the bogus grounds that 1) //she is secretly referring to Jews and not to what she is being asked to do; and 2) it’s some kind of anti-Semitic smear to even raise the issue of people being asked to promise their allegiance to Israel, when the truth is that members of Congress are asked to do just that.

When this episode is over, Omar and everyone else will have learned a lesson. You’d better not step out of line on Israel. You’d better not question AIPAC. You’d better not criticize members of Congress for the craven way they deal with this issue. You’d better not talk about how policy toward Israel is made and maintained. Because if you do, this is what you’re going to get.


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Mar 27, 2019, at 2:43 AM, Mike wrote:

 

Hi (name withyhekd),

I did a little digging and found an actual transcript of what Congresswoman Omar actually said.

It might help you to read it.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

What Did Ilhan Omar Say?

Several members of Congress have weighed in on comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar. The problem is, in their outrage, they were misrepresenting what she said. We’ve got the transcript.

This is the transcript of the Rep. Ilhan Omar’s full response to the question about anti-Semitism from the Busboys & Poets event. Her response (video below) begins around 1:00:00:

Andy Shallal: [ question about dealing with accusations of anti-Semitism]

Rashida Tlaib – […] this conversation is about human rights for everyone, this conversation around what this looks like is not centered around hate, it’s actually centered around love.

Ilhan Omar – I get emotional every time I hear Rashida, and I think I’m just gonna stop hanging out with her, she’s messing with my [style?].

I know that I have a huge Jewish constituency, and you know, every time I meet with them they share stories of [the] safety and sanctuary that they would love for the people of Israel, and most of the time when we’re having the conversation, there is no actual relative that they speak of, and there still is lots of emotion that comes through because it’s family, right? Like my children still speak of Somalia with passion and compassion even though they don’t have a family member there.

But we never really allow space for the stories of Palestinians seeking safety and sanctuary to be uplifted. And to me, it is the dehumanization and the silencing of a particular pain and suffering of people, should not be ok and normal. And you can’t be in the practice of humanizing and uplifting the suffering of one, if you’re not willing to do that for everyone. And so for me I know that when I hear my Jewish constituents or friends or colleagues speak about Palestinians who don’t want safety, or Palestinians who aren’t deserving I stay focused on the actual debate about what that process should look like. I never go to the dark place of saying “here’s a Jewish person, they’re talking about Palestinians, Palestinians are Muslim, maybe they’re Islamophobic.” I never allow myself to go there because I don’t have to.

And what I am fearful of is that because Rashida and I are Muslim, that a lot of Jewish colleagues, a lot of our Jewish constituents, a lot of our allies, go to thinking that everything we say about Israel, to be anti-Semitic, because we are Muslim. And so to me, it is something that becomes designed to end the debate. Because you get in this space, of like, I know what intolerance looks like and I’m sensitive when someone says that the words you use Ilhan, are resemblance of intolerance. And I am cautious of that and I feel pained by that. But it’s almost as if every single time we say something, regardless of what it is we say, that it’s supposed to about foreign policy or engagement, that our advocacy about ending oppression, or the freeing of every human life and wanting dignity, we get to be labeled in something, and that’s the end of the discussion, because we end up defending that, and nobody gets to have the broader debate of “what is happening with Palestine?” [applause]

So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is ok for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. And I want to ask, why is it ok for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy? [applause] And I want to ask the question, why is it ok for you to push, for you to be… there are so many people… I mean most of us are new, but many members of Congress have been there forever. Some of them have been there before we were born. So I know many of them were fighting for people to be free, for people to live in dignity in South Africa. I know many of them fight for people around the world to have dignity to have self-determination. So I know, I know that they care about these things.

But now that you have two Muslims that are saying “here is a group of people that we want to make sure that they have the dignity that you want everyone else to have!” …we get to be called names, we get to be labeled as hateful. No, we know what hate looks like. We experience it every single day. [applause] We have to deal with death threats. I have colleagues who talk about death threats. And sometimes… there are cities in my state where the gas stations have written on their bathrooms “assassinate Ilhan Omar”. I have people driving around my district looking for my home, for my office, causing me harm. I have people every single day on Fox News and everywhere, posting that I am a threat to this country. So I know what fear looks like. The masjid I pray in in Minnesota got bombed by two domestic white terrorists. So I know what it feels to be someone who is of a faith that is vilified. I know what it means to be someone whose ethnicity that is vilified. I know what it feels to be of a race that is, like I am an immigrant, so I don’t have some of the historical drama of some of my sisters and brothers have in this country, but I know what it means for people to just see me as a black person, and to treat me as less than a human.

And so, when people say “you are bringing hate,” I know what their intention is. Their intention is to make sure that our lights are dimmed. That we walk around with our heads bowed. That we lower our face and our voice. But we have news for people. You can call us any kind of name. You can threaten us any kind of way. Rashida and I are not ourselves. Every single day we walk in the halls of Congress and we have people who have never had the opportunity to walk there walking with us. So we’re here, we’re here to stay and represent all the people who have been silenced for many decades and many generations. And we’re here to fight for the people of our district who want to make sure that there is actual prosperity, actual prosperity, being guaranteed. Because there is a direct correlation between not having clean water, and starting endless wars. It’s all about the profit and who gets benefit. There’s a direct correlation between corporations that are getting rich, and the fact that we have students who are shackled with debt. There is a direct correlation between the White House and the people who are benefiting from detention beds that are profitized. So, what people are afraid of is not that there are two Muslims in Congress. What people are afraid of is that there are two Muslims in Congress that have their eyes wide open, that have their feet to the ground, that know what they’re talking about, that are fearless, and that understand that they have the same election certificate that everyone in Congress does. [applause]


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere

On Mar 27, 2019, at 5:55 AM, John Compere  wrote:

(name withheld),
 
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is a non-profit constitutional rights organization that represents military members of any religion or belief who request their right to religious freedom, to which ALL AMERICANS are entitled under our US Constitution, be respected & protected. We proudly & patriotically represent pro bono over 61,000 military men & women (including 18% of all Muslim-Americans in the military) & will continue to do so.
 
Like all moral Americans, we oppose & fight against the ignorant intolerance of religious racism, like that which you have expressed. For your enlightenment, Islam is one of the three Abrahamic revealed religions along with Judaism & Christianity whose origin is reported in the Hebrew Old Testament (Genesis), and all three worship the same God of Abraham.
 
“God enters by private door into every individual.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
“Hate corrodes the container it is carried in.” – George H.W. Bush
 
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member

 

 

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