Zionism and Organized Islamophobia – The Facts*
Much has been said about the disproportionate Zionist presence in the world of organized Islamophobia. Now we learn that there is more to that claim than unfounded conspiracy theories. It turns out the main funder of anti-Muslim blogger/anti-Park51 organizer Robert Spencer and his hate site JihadWatch are husband and wife duo Aubrey and Joyce Chernick, the same couple are ardent supporters of Zionist causes and major funders of pro-Israel groups across the country.
Aubrey Chernick according to Politico,
“A onetime trustee of the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Aubrey Chernick led the effort to pull together $3.5 million in venture capital to start Pajamas Media, a conservative blog network that made its name partly with hawkish pro-Israel commentary and of late has kept up a steady stream of anti-mosque postings, including one rebutting attacks by CAIR against Spencer — who Pajamas CEO Roger Simon called “one of the ideological point men in the global war on terror.”
Politico lists some of the Zionist propaganda organizations and pro-occupation front organizations that Aubrey and Joyce Chernick have funded over the years:
- The Zionist Organization of America
- MEMRI, a group that distributes translations of inflammatory Arabic language material
- The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a group that tracks what it depicts as the threat of radical Islam, run by notorious Islamophobe Steven Emerson
- CAMERA, a group that tracks what it says is anti-Israel bias in the media and that is associated with Daniel Pipes
- The Central Fund for Israel, a clearinghouse for moneys directed to pro-settler groups
- A number of conservative think tanks that are aligned with the Likud.
The Chernicks are also major funders of Jewish groups including: The American Jewish Congress, The Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, and The Anti-Defamation League.
Lauren Rozen goes into more depth as far as the contributions and think tanks such as the Hudson Institute, Defense of Democracies, Central Fund of Israel, etc. (via. Richard Silverstein), including some well-known anti-Muslim and Islamophobic initiatives (in bold below).
Laura Rozen has discovered that Chernick’s charity-giving is done through the Fairbrook Foundation ($66-million in assets). According to its 2008 IRS 990 report, among the far-right pro-Israel groups he’s funding are:
- Ateret Cohanim ($30,000), involved in the Judaization of East Jerusalem through “appropriation” of Arab homes
- Muslim-basher Bridgette Gabriel’s American Congress for Truth ($50,000)
- Aish HaTorah, funders of the anti-Muslim films Obsessed and Third Jihad ($14,000)
- the anti-Palestinian media advocacy group MEMRI ($100,000)
- American Freedom Alliance, another Muslim-bashing group, founded by Avi Davis, which defends western civilization from the unwashed hordes ($120,000)
- Gary Bauer’s American Values ($80,000)
- Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture ($160,000)
- The anti-Arab media advocacy group CAMERA ($25,000)
- The Council for Democracy and Tolerance, an Arab-bashing group established by a Pakistani neocon ($160,000)
- Defend the West, yet another Muslim-turncoat group founded by Ibn Warraq ($130,000)
- Hudson Institute ($50,000); Heritage Foundation ($50,000)
- The Jewish neo-con security think tank JINSA ($15,000)
- The anti-Arab media advocacy group Second Draft ($40,000)
- Stand With Us ($20,000); and Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum ($180,000).
- In 2005, Chernick gave $60,000 to the Central Fund of Israel, one of the largest pro-settler ‘philanthropic’ advocacy groups.
This information is quite disturbing on a number of levels, foremost amongst them being the scant media attention being given to it as opposed to hyped-up stories such as the most recent attempt to sabotage the Park51 project with ten degrees of seperation/guilt-by-association smears against one of the investors in Park51, Hisham El-Zanaty.
The non-news story smears Zanaty by claiming that his one time donation to the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) of $6,050 in 1999 indicts him as a terror supporter. HLF was accused of giving aid to Hamas in the guise of charitable work.
So Zanaty was supposed to have foreknowledge about the HLF that even the U.S. government didn’t have? Is it reasonable then to assume that everyone who gave money to the HLF in 1999 knew that the HLF was giving money to Hamas?
This AP news story sums it up quite nicely,
Many other donors to the foundation gave thinking their donations would fund humanitarian programs.
Other people and companies who donated money, equipment or services to the foundation the year Elzanaty gave included NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon, the Microsoft Corp., and a medical equipment company owned by General Electric, according to tax records.
When the foundation’s leaders were indicted, Attorney General John Ashcroft said, the case was not “a reflection on the well-meaning people who may have donated funds to the foundation.”
Even the Attorney General under George Bush, the one who was instrumental in the implementation of the Patriot Act affirmed what is obvious common sense, the case was not “a reflection on the well-meaning people who may have donated funds to the foundation.”
However, for some reason this non-story about Zanaty eclipses the very real story about the implications surrounding the funding of leading Jewish and Zionist organizations, JihadWatch, and Conservative groups many of which are the chief proponents behind the anti-Mosque drive.
How comfortable do the leaders of the ADL, AJC and others feel about receiving money from a couple who at the same time are the chief funders of an organization and a group of anti-Muslim bigots who are leading the charge in fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment across the United States?
Will they be courageous enough to return the money they have received from the Chernicks and say that they do not want to be tainted by people such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer who as we have documented are thoroughly anti-Islam and anti-Muslim? Will the media drop its wilful ignorance and double standards and begin to look into the glaring data out there?