Monthly Archives: July 2013

What’s in a Tweet?: Islamophobe Emerson Brings Frivolous Lawsuit

By Donna Nevel

The Players in the Defamation Suit

Steven Emerson, an anti-Muslim ideologue, is currently suing Cyrus McGoldrick, an American Muslim community organizer and human rights activist, over a tweet that McGoldrick sent to two friends.

First, there is Cyrus McGoldrick, who is an effective and respected advocate, writer, and public spokesperson on behalf of the rights of Muslims and all those facing discriminatory treatment or being targeted (by the state or by individual Islamophobes). When he sent the tweet, McGoldrick was employed at the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a highly-regarded Muslim advocacy organization whose mission, as stated on its website, is “to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”

Then there is Steven Emerson, a member of what the Center for American Progress has called “an Islamophobia network in America.” [1] Emerson has been notorious for opposing efforts to build mosques (Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Boston, and Park51 in lower Manhattan) and for putting forth false and distorted information. Respected journalists have widely discredited Emerson, describing him as a “self-styled anti-terrorism expert,” “poison,” and “disgraced.” [2] The Muslim Public Affairs Council has identified Emerson as one of “America’s Top 25 Pseudo Experts on Islam.” [3] Continue reading

Aboushi Gains Some Yardage

By Marilyn Neimark

When the usual suspects– David Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine and Debbie Schlussel’s blog –went ballistic over the NFL’s NY Jets draft of Brooklyn born, Palestinian American Oday Aboushi, it looked poised to go viral as more mainstream venues, such as yahoo sports and Major League Baseball’s new media coordinator Jonathan Mael joined in the attack. It was no surprise that The Nation’s David Zirin, The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah, and Youssef Mounayer in The Daily Beast rushed to Aboushi’s defense. But the expected left-right shout-down didn’t materialize. The Yahoo story: “Could Oday Aboushi Jeopardize His NFL Career with Anti Israel….”, was taken down almost as quickly as it went up and Jonathan Mael’s mea culpa for his “beyond inappropriate” tweets attacking Abashi was reported in and endorsed by the NY Daily News. Even the ADL weighed in, pointing out in their press release that “Being pro-Palestinian does not mean you’re an anti-Semite or an extremist. The record simply does not show that Aboushi has crossed that line.” Continue reading

Hold the Pickle

by Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark

Unlike hamburgers, which are either kosher or not, some boycotts are apparently more kosher than others.

The state of Israel and its supporters in the US have launched a full court press against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) — even though they’ve often dismissed the campaign as inconsequential and ineffective. Go figure. Such fruitless efforts have inspired legislation in the Knesset, passed in the spring, that allows targets of BDS to sue its advocates without having to prove that they sustained any harm. And here in the U.S., Malcolm Hoenlein head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, recently announced plans for a major offensive against the BDS movement on college campuses. This drive will be joining a multi-million dollar anti-BDS effort from the Israel Action Network.

But at the end of June, when McDonald’s Israel franchise turned down an invitation to open a branch at a mall under construction in the West Bank’s sprawling Jewish settlement, Ariel, settlers immediately called for a boycott of the chain. Continue reading