Is It Just the Muslims Who Can’t be Insulted?

In one of the most obviously insulting gestures the United Nations has heaped on the Jewish people, and there have been many, the decision to host Mahmood Ahmadenijad to speak at the UN General Assembly on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, ranks among the very top. What I’d like to know is why the United States, by far the largest supporter of the UN, allowed this to happen. As President Obama makes yet another apology for the film trailer which insulted the Muslim people, the ironic double standard of this slap against the Jewish people cannot be ignored. We deserve an apology too. More than that, Ahmadenijad’s speech ought to be postponed.

Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, introspection and repentance. According to our faith, it is the last day of the year for people to have their prayers heard by God before the Book of Life is sealed for another year, and our fate is determined. We Jews celebrate the day by removing ourselves from the ordinary observances of life, by turning off our devices, by sitting and standing in synagogue most of the day in solitary thought and prayer. While on an ordinary day, we might want to tune in to this man’s lies in order to rebut them, on Yom Kippur we are uniquely severed from the everyday chatter, unable to quickly respond in the media as we would normally do. By allowing this man to speak tomorrow, the UN, with the tacit help of the US, has quite literally forced some of us to choose between our faith and our desire to disperse the truth.

Let’s not forget what Ahmadenijad stands for, because his particular brand of Anti-Semitism goes way beyond the bounds of the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. In denying the historical fact of the Holocaust, of the millions of innocent victims who died in the gas chambers, Ahmadenijad is a standing insult to all humanity- an example of how we can never learn from our past – a living reminder that the same spirit of genocide that animated the Nazis 70 years ago is alive and well . He is repugnant, and the idea that no one in the United States State Department or White House had the guts or sensitivity to deny this man the added publicity of speaking on our holiest day of the year insults me not only as a Jew, but as an American.

Real friends do not let others insult their friends. Not when the insult is totally avoidable, not when a well-placed phone call would have been all that was necessary to stop it from happening.

You have to hand it to the powers that be. They know what we Jews are about. They know we don’t blow up embassies and kill ambassadors when we are grieved. We don’t storm consulates and vow to execute citizens because we are insulted. Instead, we speak up peacefully, hoping that our speech will change the world. In the most ironic double standard of all, if the world were really scared of the Jews, they would never dare to insult the Jewish people this way.

So as President Obama spoke today with his usual eloquence to implore the world to recognize the value of free speech here at home, I couldn’t help wondering-

Is it just the Muslims who can’t be insulted?

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32 thoughts on “Is It Just the Muslims Who Can’t be Insulted?

  1. Lisa, your observations are cogent and your concluding interrogative is worthy of consideration. As you state, President Ahmadenidjad’s presentation was untimely and arguably ironic viv-a-vis Yom Kippur. As you know, business as usual takes place even during days of religious observance — including Yom Kippur.

    In my opinion, the answer to your question is no. Two wrongs don’t make a right and the Muslims have been demonized by our biased American media. They are not all “terrorists.” They have been slandered and defamed. Leaders like President Ahmadenidjad feel backed into a corner by the U.S./Israeli liaison. To him and the Muslim community, it is a “dangerous liaison.” In all fairness, the NYMTA approved subway signs are every bit as insulting to Muslims as swastikas are to Jews.

    The Jewish people, Jadaism, and The State of Israel should be respected. The U.S. and UN are entrusted to function in an unbiased manner. Unfortunately this trust has been violated. The theory is not validated by practice and resentment continues to ignite international outrage.

      1. NYMTA approved flagrantly inflamatory signage regarding civility, jihad, and Israel. It has been in the news for at least a week and clearly lends credibility to Ahmadinedjad’s double-standards allegation.

      2. Please read the newspaper or refer to broadcast news archives for the verbatim reference you are seeking. I do not recall the precise wording and therefore hesitate to erroneously quote.

  2. Thank you for acknowledging this awful insult.
    We are not able to protest on this day, our voices cannot be heard.
    As we said in Temple last night, “we still hope”

  3. It is rude to refer to Muslims as “the Muslims”. There is no grammatical reason to insert “the” before Muslims in that sentence. I don’t think the UN strategically invited Ahmadinejad to speak on Yom Kippur to insult any person, no matter what their religion is. That said, I do not agree with Ahmadinejad’s view on anything. He destroyed Irans’ economy and continues to deny women their basic rights. Also, the tone of your article leads one to falsely believe that no Jewish person has ever commit the same crime a Muslim person has or would, terroristic in nature or not, which isn’t true. My suggestion is to stick to writing just your opinion, since it is obvious that you are not well versed nor do you possess the proper knowledge or research to compose a non-biased article. You should not be speaking for other people, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, etc.

  4. You said: Also, the tone of your article leads one to falsely believe that no Jewish person has ever commit (SIC) the same crime a Muslim person has or would, terroristic in nature or not, which isn’t true.

    The author actually said: They know we don’t blow up embassies and kill ambassadors when we are grieved. We don’t storm consulates and vow to execute citizens because we are insulted.

    The author was ONLY discussing terrorism. Please name at least one or two situations where Jews committed terrorism against Muslims or anyone else. No one ever said, OOh, I got into an elevator and there were two Jews in there and I was so scared. Jews do not committ terrorist acts. And, when they defend themselves against terrorist acts, they are criticized because they are expected to turn the other cheek. The author WAS indeed writing her own opinion. She was not speaking for anyone but herself. She is an educated woman who has forgotten more than you will ever know in your whole life. See if you are smart enough to “get” that.

  5. Ellen, you asked for a few examples of “situations where Jews committed terrorism against Muslims or anyone else”, here are a few:

    1) Gush Emunim Underground (1979–84): formed by members of the Israeli political movement Gush Emunim.[10] This group is most well known for two actions. Firstly, for bomb attacks on the mayors of West Bank cities on June 2nd 1980, and secondly, an abandoned plot to blow up the Temple Mount mosques. The Israeli Judge Zvi Cohen, heading the sentencing panel at the group’s trial, stated that they had three motives, ‘not necessarily shared by all the defendants. The first motive, at the heart of the Temple Mount conspiracy, is religious.’

    2) The “Bat Ayin Underground” or Bat Ayin group. In 2002, four people from Bat Ayin and Hebron were arrested outside of Abu Tor School, a Palestinian girls’ school in East Jerusalem, with a trailer filled with explosives. Three of the men were convicted for the attempted bombing.

    3) The Kingdom of Israel group (Hebrew: מלכות ישראל‎, Malchut Yisrael), or Tzrifin Underground, were active in Israel in the 1950s. The group carried out attacks on the diplomatic facilities of the USSR and Czechoslovakia and occasionally shot at Jordanian troops stationed along the border in Jerusalem. Members of the group caught trying to bomb the Israeli Ministry of Education in May 1953, have been described as acting because of the secularisation of Jewish North African immigrants which they saw as ‘a direct assault on the religious Jews’ way of life and as an existential threat to the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel.

    4) Eden Natan-Zada killed four Israeli Arab civilians on August 4, 2005. His actions were criticized by then prime minister Ariel Sharon, as “a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist”, and author Ami Pedhzer describes his motivations as religious.

    5) Baruch Goldstein an American-born Israeli physician, perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, in which he shot and killed 29 Muslim worshipers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque (within the Cave of the Patriarchs), and wounded another 125 victims.[31] Goldstein was killed by the survivors.[32] Goldstein was a supporter of Kach, an Israeli political party founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane that advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In the aftermath of the Goldstein attack and Kach statements praising it, Kach was outlawed in Israel.

    6) Yigal Amir’s assassination of Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995 has been described as terrorism with a religious motivation.[2]:98-110[34][35] Amir was quoted as saying he had “acted alone and on orders from God.” and that “If not for a Halakhic ruling of din rodef, made against Rabin by a few rabbis I knew about, it would have been very difficult for me to murder.”[13][36]:45 A former combat soldier who had studied Jewish law, Amir stated that his decision to kill the prime minister was influenced by the opinions of militant rabbis that such an assassination would be justified by the Halakhic ruling of din rodef (“pursuer’s decree”).[36]:48 This Jewish religious concept allows for an immediate execution of a person if that person is “pursuing”, that is, attempting immediately to take your life or the life of another person, although the characterization of Rabin as din rodef was rejected as a perversion of law by most rabbinic authorities.[13]:255 According to Amir, allowing the Palestinian Authority to expand on the West Bank represented such a danger.[36]:48Amir was associated with the radical Eyal movement, which had been greatly influenced by Kahanism.

    Apparently, as I don’t understand the meaning of your statement: “She is an educated woman who has forgotten more than you will ever know in your whole life. See if you are smart enough to “get” that. “, it must mean that I am of less intelligence.

    Thank you for letting me know that my Juris Doctorate was just some sort of cruel joke bestowed on me by the fine folks over at NYU law. I must of touched a nerve, since I feel you are upset that I may be “smart”, hence your riveting statement/challenge to me.

    * Reference credits to Google and Wikipedia, as well as a “few years and Professors” over at NYU.

  6. How many suicide bombers have the Arab crazies produced since approximately 1984 when Baruch Goldstein struck? I am talking throughout the world, not just against Israel. Tens of thousands have died at Arab suicide bombers hands. This includes Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    Are Christians and Jews expected not to react, not to ever produce one or two crazies in response? The very few examples you produced (going so far as to name – in desperation to point out acts of Jewish Terror – even attacks that were abandoned, i. e., never carried out) point to non-government sanctioned Jewish crazies.

    These Jewish crazies are condemned by the mainstream, precisely because they are out of the mainstream.

    In contrast, Arabs celebrate their crazies. Streets are named after their crazies. The families of their crazies are extolled and supported if a crazy dies in action. And that is because their crazies are not crazy. Their crazies are deemed heroes by their culture. They are encouraged and lauded.

    And that is why they produce infinitely more terrorists, murderers, thugs, thieves, and genocidal maniacs.

    Notice one very important thing: Israel has had the atom bomb since the early 1960s. Has the world gotten disturbed about it? Has Saudi Arabia threatened war over it? Has it set off an arms race in the Middle East?

    In contrast, Saudi Arabia and all other Sunni Muslim Nations are freaking out at the prospect of the crazies in Iran holding the atom bomb. The actions of the Arab Nations themselves speak to the truth. Their fears, expressed to the United States over and over, speak to the truth of what is going on here.

    It appears that all three of us hold J.D.s but only one of us appears to be an anti-Semite who would reach that far back and dare to make these outrageous comparisons as if they mirror one another. Not even close. You do all of us who hold the same degree a disservice to call yourself educated. It takes more than a degree to be educated. It takes an open mind.

  7. Lisa, I graduated in 2010. I find it interesting that the author has not insulted me and though I don’t share her view point on this article, has allowed me to post my opinion on her blog. Thank you Lisa.

    Ellen, you asked me for a few examples and I provided them for you. Calling me an anti-semite is a little reaching as I was born Jewish (both my parents) and my husband’s mother is Jewish (his father is Roman Catholic). My maiden name is Cohen. It seems Ms. Wexler is capable of having a healthy debate, while apparently you aren’t. The only one so far who doesn’t seem to have an open mind is you, Ellen.

    The point I was making was that there are bad apples in every religion,etc. I was disagreeing with the view point that the UN had invited him to speak on Yom Kippur as some sort of inconsiderate gesture.

    Not all Arabs agree or support terrorism.

    You called me an anti-semite “who would reach that far back and dare to make these outrageous comparisons as if they mirror one another” , well it is called research.

    I think to insult and feebly attempt to discredit someone based on the fact that they did research on what they choose to speak about is an insult to anyone who has spent long days and sleepless nights earning a J.D. or any other type of educational merit for that matter.

    If you choose to respond, my suggestion is to rethink making any type of slanderous accusations of ant-semitism, as I find that to be highly ignorant and extremely insulting.

    You also might want to take the time to do a little research yourself.

    1. The entire “anti-semite” argument is preposterous. Any native people of the Mid-East region, not excluding Israel, are ethnically semitic — and that includes Arabs. Actually, it may be reasonable to argue that there are diaspora Jews that are removed by several generations of Eastern and Western European “hybridization” as to essentially render them non-semitic, or as predominately non-semitic. It is equally to accuse Ahmadinedjad as being anti-semitic — for God’s sake he is a semite, just as his ancient Persian antecedents were. The truth is the Middle-Eastern “sabra” Jews have one hell of a lot in common with those they despise … and vice versa, of course. Aside from religion, these people are brothers and sisters and should not be after each other’s throats.

  8. Harry, after I attended a Palestinian wedding in California I thought the same thing. We were essentially doing the same dances, and everyone looked like my family, only with mustaches. I thought to myself- maybe if we sat down HERE in the US, we could resolve our differences. Over there, it seems much harder to do.

    1. Lisa, I like your sense of humor — “only with mustaches!” It may, however, miss the mark as there are many orthodox hassidic Jews that are far more hirsute with full beards similar to the Arab tradition. Dances, yes, the dabke and the hava nagila “polkas” are quite similar … perhaps we have overlooked the “Zorba two-step and San Antonio stroll!” In terms of regional influence, your point is well taken i.e., conduct conciliatory discussions away from the “hot” zone in the Middle-East. I think the Clinton Global Initiative would make an excellent forum. In fact President Clinton is one of the most balanced statesmen extant and deserves our praise and recognition.

  9. Israel needs to show its hand by not refusing to confirm or deny its nuclear capability before its allegations against Iran can be assigned credibility. Israel needn’t unnecessarily fuel Ahmadinedjad’s double standard accusation by denying all nations the same transparency it demands from Iran.

    1. Yes, please delete the duplicate dated 9/27. It is unfortunate that posts cannot be edited after posting. It is a feature that many blogs permit.

  10. Elena – Let’s go back to your original comment to Lisa’s blog. You began by preaching to her that she was rude to refer to Muslims as the Muslims. It was indeed rather didactic of you to correct her grammar. You meant to be insulting.

    Whether or not the scheduled speech was originally purposeful or not, as Lisa said, it could have been rescheduled. We all look at calendars before we schedule things and I find it hard to believe the powers that be did not notice that little glitch. Would you be so blase if Netanyahu were to speak on Ramadan?

    You then accused Lisa of not being well-versed or in possession of the proper knowledge to compose an article which was her opinion. She never said she was speaking for anyone else other than for herself.

    You indicate you got your JD in 2010. Unless you went back to school as a much older adult, that does not make you very old or experienced. In fact, you seem to need to research things in Wikipedia. I daresay that Lisa and I do not need to do research because we have lived much longer than you and have lived through the details of what you need to look up somewhere. You may think you are smart because you got a J.D. a couple of years ago. Don’t confuse smart and being able to copy things from Wikipedia with wise. You appear sophomoric.

    It is no excuse for you to claim to be a Jew as there are many self-hating or self-apologizing Jews who make excuses for enemies of the Jewish people. I wish to be spared such nonsense. I have lived through decades of anti-Semitism against Jews, not Arabs. And while you are being so sensitive to the needs of the enemies of the Jews, keep in mind that if and when they ever have the power to come after Jews and/or Americans, you will not be spared because you were so generous with your understanding of their plight.

  11. Simply stated (and in the melodic words of Bobby Darin) “avoid the delusion and leave the confusion behind … volare, hey, hey!” World leaders need to get honest. Be authentic. And disseminate intrinsic congruity between what they say and what they truly believe to attain credibility and extinguish the specter of distrust that ignites hatred and incivility. A simple prescription to cure pandemic strife and pandemonium. Paradise is not lost. It just needs to be reclaimed by courageous voices of truth and equanimity.

  12. The power of the will is indefatigable and omnipotent for good or evil. Use it wisely to transmute base instinct into precious intellect tempered by empathetic heart.

  13. Philosophical ideology may cultivate understanding, but it must ultimately be translated into tangible action. The Palestinian debacle will never be settled by ideology alone. It calls for non-belligerent compromise. Israel remains uncompromisingly paranoid and regrettably unyielding in response to the threatening rhetoric spewed Arab zealots aka “radical terrorists.” It has effectively parlayed the hysteria of national fear into coalescent chauvinistic Israeli propaganda. A posture that will continue to perpetuate divisiveness and bitterness. Reactionary hate-mongering based on oppressive propaganda alleging that the Palestinians are hell-bent on driving Israel into the sea is ill-founded. It is the hyperbole of emotionally driven retaliation.

    Here’s a solution: Have Israel and all of the contiguous nations abutting Israel give up some land to jointly and cooperatively create a homeland for the Palestinian people. It may not conform precisely to the original boundaries demanded, but it does represent a concerted effort to recognize and provide a sought after physical solution requiring Palestinian compromise, as well. In this manner, Israel will not be the only nation to cede/sacrifice territory. Moreover, if the re-established nation of Palestine ever decided to threaten Israel there would be a joint treaty in place that would grant Israel multilateral support and the right to fully defend itself against any aggressor — Palestine notwithstanding.

  14. Ellen, while you may interpret my original comment as “insulting” to Ms. Wexler, it was and is my opinion, which I stand by, and interestingly enough, Ms. Wexler has yet to state that she felt insulted.

    If Mr. Netanyahu were to speak on Ramadan I would feel the same way, as he is just as entitled to speak as anyone else should be, regardless of any holiday or religious day.

    As attorneys, research is a vital part of what we do on a daily basis. I would hope that you would be interested in researching certain topics, items, etc. since I am sure things have changed since you have gone to school.

    It is a little ageist to suggest that since I am young my comment is “sophomoric” or that I appear “sophomoric”. We are all entitled to our opinion, no matter how old we are or when we received our J.D.

    I fine it quite laughable that because I disagree with you or the author I am a “self-hating” or “self-apologizing” Jew. I am not very worried about receiving special treatment or “being spared because I was so generous with the understanding of their plight”.

    I’m not sure if you are a practicing attorney or not, but I find it hard to believe that you need not do any research “because you have lived much longer than me and have lived through the details of what I need to look up somewhere”. I hope that in the future, you will dedicate a few extra minutes to research before going on a rant.

    Harry, I enjoyed your comments!

    1. You wrote: “…you have lived much longer than me … ” and even incorrectly put quotation marks around it.

      Correct grammar is: …you have lived much longer than I (have) …

      Research, babe, research.

  15. Ellen, thanks for the lesson in grammar. Glad to see my grammatical error has inspired you to give in to research!

    I put quotation marks around it, as I was quoting what you had written earlier, and I wouldn’t want to deny you of such a “brilliant observation”.

    Frankly, I was expecting a better response to my statement, might I have “stumped” you?

    Also, you might benefit from a lesson from Harry and Ms. Wexler, as to what constitutes an adult debate.

    It feels as if you have lost sight of what the point of being able to post a comment on a blog is. I highly doubt it is to try to demean anyone who disagrees with the author.

    Please respond, if you choose, with only something more articulate, or at the very least, interesting, as I am becoming a little bored.

    1. As usual, you have missed my point. I do not need to research what I already know and you do not. ‘Research, babe, research’ was meant for YOU to research grammar. Additionally, you changed one of my words and then incorrectly put quotation marks around the whole sentence.

      The top heading above says:

      Lisa Wexler’s Blog
      Talk Radio Host Lisa Wexler Speaks her Mind

      It is as clear as can be. Lisa is giving HER opinion, not yours. She is speaking for herself. You could have responded with your own differing opinion. Instead, in your original response to Lisa’s blog, you both insulted her and corrected her grammar. You were the one being demeaning. I was givng you a taste of your own medicine.

      You then continued by shooting from the hip and made statements which you hurriedly attempted to back up after the fact. I find your puerile comments to be defensive and repetitious. That is my OPINION.

  16. Ellen, one again, you have missed the point.

    While you are entitled to your opinion, why not stick to the point of this blog rather than commenting on my age, intelligence,grammar,etc.?

    Ms. Wexler, as I had stated earlier, has yet to claim she was insulted or demeaned by my comment.

    Could it be she is able to handle criticism or an opposing viewpoint?

    It is a little self-rightous of you to think you are so important that your comments in response to my opinion would be “giving me a taste of my own medicine”.

    The only one so far who appears to be defensive or repetitous is you. You have strayed so far away from the topic, that this is no longer interesting to me.

    Congratulations on boring me once again, although for some reason, I believe that this is not the first time you have accomplished this.

    Please try to be a little more interesting.

    Or better yet, why not pick up a newspaper?

    That way you might actually learn something that you don’t already know.

    Below is the comment I am referring to:

    Ellen Says:
    September 27, 2012 at 10:07 am
    What is the wordage of the signs which I have not seen? Where are they posted?

  17. Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be at the web the easiest thing to bear
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