LA Jewish Federation Cancels Event Citing Muslim Threats

June 25, 2012 11:59 am 18 comments

The Jewish Federation Goldsmith Center. Photo: www.you-are-here.com.

At the last minute, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles canceled a Sunday morning event where Pamela Geller was scheduled to speak on the issues of war in the Middle East and the historical hatred of Jews in the Muslim world.

Citing security concerns that the building might be stormed by Muslim activists, the Federation informed the Zionist Organization of America – which was hosting the event – that the speech would be called off.

“We said, ‘we will pay for additional security so there will be no problems,’” Morton Klein, President of the ZOA, told The Algemeiner.  “They rejected that, saying ‘we’re not going to let Pam Geller or any of your people in the building.’”

Klein says the event was posted for weeks on the Federation’s website and that everything was done transparently throughout the process of scheduling Geller to speak, and that the timing of the cancellation was upsetting.

“If there was a problem, we should have discussed it earlier, but we shouldn’t cancel a talk because of threats and condemnations from radical Muslim groups or other anti-Semites,” Klein said.

The Jewish Federation of Greater LA has not returned requests for comment on this story.

Geller, who is a controversial author and activist criticized by some for her beliefs towards Islam, says the Jewish Federation in LA has set a dangerous precedent.

“I think it was a disaster.  Zionism is not welcome at the LA Jewish Federation,” she said in an interview with The Algemeiner. “It was almost a historical moment where they would cave to a group who is affiliated with Hamas,” she said, referring to reports that the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been linked to the terrorist group by the U.S. Congress, was responsible for the event’s cancellation.

According to the Los Angeles Times, CAIR representative Hussam Ayloush says his group will not be affected by people like Geller.

“We will not be affected by the noise of people who hopefully become more and more irrelevant,” Ayloush said. “Unfortunately, outrageous rhetoric gets attention because it’s outrageous, and Pamela Geller knows that very well.”

Suggestions that the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles may have made their decision based on threats from “left-wing” donors, and not Muslim activists, were made to The Algemeiner by numerous sources.

And according to Klein, officials from the Federation have acknowledged the late cancellation to the ZOA.

“They called and told us they made a mistake by waiting to the last minute to discuss the issue” he said.

“We have nothing against the Federation. They do important work and they help Israel,” Klein added.

UPDATE: Following clarification from the Zionist Organization of America of comments made by Mr. Klein, the following amendments have been added to this article.

1. The event featuring Ms. Geller was posted on the Federation website for three weeks preceding the event as opposed to “months” as reported originally.

2. Mr. Klein’s reference to threats and condemnations from “the Muslim world” was clarified as threats and condemnations from “radical Muslim groups or other anti-Semites.”

3. Mr. Klein’s mention of an apology from the Federation as previously reported was clarified to be in actuality only an acknowledgment of their mistake in waiting to discuss and cancel the event at the last minute.

18 Comments

  • If I had to empty the treasury for added security, I would to uphold the principle of free speech. The LA Federation bowed to the hooligans who now know their weekness.

  • Cowardice and absence of pride are the two motivating factors behind this ignominious surrender to the darkest forces in the universe.
    How do these pathetic “leaders” get to represent anybody and make decisions on anything?
    They represent the most shameful tendencies of Jewish experience.
    Who elected them?
    Avek di padles!

  • As they say: “I’m shocked, that you’re shocked!”
    The “Federation” is a collection of guilt-by-Judaism operatives, making their bucks on the backs of hard-working,under/unemployed people that don’t understand pandering or kowtowing to radical Islam or Jew-haters.

    This is a group that found it necessary to suck up to Farrakhan, to get their daily ration of Jew-bashing…absolutely incorrigible losers.

    What’s amazing is, just like the apparachniks in the Kremlin, these folks (or their concepts) never stop plaguing the Jewish community. It’s as if Spielberg,
    Streisand, Leer, and Woody Allen had veto power, along with Ruth Baider-Ginzburg and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, over any activities at the “Federation.”

    Maybe it’s time for Jews everywhere to remove the progressive, repressive shackles and chart a true path to Jewish pride and self-respect!

  • Mihai-Robert Soran

    Pamela Geller proves to be at least as dangerous for Jewish communities as radical Muslim Groups

  • Peter Caroline

    The Jewish Federation of Wussies is a gaggle of liberal, limp-wristed hoplophobes who would rather apologize to our mortal enemies than stand up like Maccabees. They probably believe that the Holocaust was our fault!

  • Herbert Grossman

    Some Jews, apparently also in the LA Federation, cannot shake the ghetto mentality of their forbears in living on their knees and cowering before the anti-Semites, even here in a free country where they can stand up as proud Jews, exalting in our many accomplishments. Fortunately, most will be gone from the fold by the next generation. Good riddance!

  • It’s interesting to me that this is the only place I’ve heard mention of this. One little bit of appeasement at a time is the poisonous thinking and heart that CAIR counts on to intimidate others.
    Where are all the free speech activists now? I think this is a sign of a much deeper problem.

  • Curt Erlandson

    You people at the LA Fed. might as well get your train engineer licence; at least you’ll be able to drive. Despicable move!

  • Israel is the third, like the third day? (Isaiah 19:24) Reading 1st Samuel 20:12 equals Luke 23:21.

  • glenda urmacher

    As Jews we are incredibly stupid.
    As Los Angeles Jews, we are more so.
    All these high paying executive, who feed off of our donated dollars, to reward themselves with 6 figure incomes, while closing down Jewish CC buildings throughout the greater Los Angeles area, have just stooped to the new low level of yellow belly, spineless wimps.. .
    Or self hating Jews.
    I can’t decide which, but no matter.
    The smart ones among us had stopped donating to the Jewish Federation years ago.
    To stop a Jewish speaker from an prearranged program, due to the threats of morons, places Jewish Federation in the same league as the morons, who would keep an intelligent woman from speaking.

  • Herb Hendrick

    “Unfortunately, outrageous rhetoric gets attention because it’s outrageous”… Unfortunately for islamics, the continuous and increasingly outrageous carnage ridden behavior, nationally and globally, of the fundamentalist islamic muslims, with the tacit support of the moderate muslims, keeps getting more and more attention, around the Free and Courageous world. As a result, more people defect from the muslim gang, and moreover, others are stiffening their resistance to any encroachments by muslims against Freedom and Democracy. See what Germany is proudly doing against muslim encroachment, for example.

    And because of cair’s misbehavior and lies, more people are learning it is a thuggish driven gang, not a religion, and is deserving, by creed and behavior, of extermination, as with nazis, thuggees, mafioso, and any other thuggish gang.

    The cowardice of the Federation is a high shameful disgrace in light of the holocaust, and centuries of islamic examples of genocidal hatred, and actions, non-stop.

    Jews should be proudly showing universal resolve and resistance against a declared enemy such as is islam!

  • What is there to say? Shame on the Jewish Federation. It refused to allow Americans, particularly American Jews the opportunity to learn how Islamic Jew hatred is a driving force in Isla, in general and the root of the intractable conflict the Arab have with Israel in particular. The Federation apologizing for cancellation is not enough. Will it reschedule Pamela Geller – or will continue enforcing ignorance as the order of the day? If it does not promptly reschedule Pamela Geller and perhaps even invite Steve Emerson to talk about his book “Jihad Incorporated – A Guide to a Militant Islam in the US,” here is the e-mail to remove oneself from the LA Federation donors’ list: kdors@jewishla.org, or, call 323-761-8000 and ask for donor services.

  • Abdul Keddou

    Threats and intimidation are among the favored methods in the Muslim world in general and the Saudi-funded CAIR playbook in particular.

    The Minnesota chapter of CAIR threatened a moderate Muslim there who spoke out against a radical Muslim mosque in the Twin Cities area that recruited Somali Jihadists to go help the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

  • Robert Sklar

    I work right across the street from the Federation and have over the years met many in its staff. I am shocked and terribly disappointed that the Federation would cancel this event for either its purported inability to provide security or the purported opposition by persons who do not share Ms. Geller’s point of view. It is particularly unfortunate that CAIR is purported to have been the reason. CAIR can, and will, reasonably deny that they would ever engage in violence to silence a speaker and thereby gain credibility as legitimate association promoting open discussion of Middle East issues and not the Islamist front group that it is. Pam Geller must be given a forum in which to speak, if for no other reason than to challenge CAIR and its cadres.

  • Jersey Dave

    In LA? LA? Of all places, wide open LA? Nuts to that! (Facepalm.)

  • Just another example of spineless liberal Jews. They prefer Al Queda loving CAIR over Pamela Geller.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Commentary ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    ‎Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer (REVIEW)

    Kosher Lust, by Shmuley Boteach (Gefen Publishing House, 2014). You really do want to find something positive to say about Shmuley Boteach. He is a phenomenon; very bright, an articulate bundle of energy and self-promotion. Anyone who has the chutzpah to describe himself as “America’s Rabbi” deserves ten out of ten for effort. I believe that along with most Chabad alumni, official and unofficial, he does a lot of good and is a sort of national treasure. In this world [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    Hollywood’s Revisiting of Passover’s Exodus Story a Part of Throwback ‘Year of the Bible’

    JNS.org – In a throwback to the golden age of cinema, Hollywood has declared 2014 the “Year of the Bible.” From Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses, to Russell Crowe playing Noah, Hollywood is gambling on new innovations in technology and star power to revisit some of the most popular stories ever told. “It’s definitely a throwback to the 1950s and early ’60s,” Dr. Stephen J. Whitfield, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University, told JNS.org. Starting with The [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    JNS.org – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show, “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an Arab-Jewish cooking school. MasterChef is a popular reality TV show that originated in the U.K. It is [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Theater Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel is seeking public support to help produce a musical based on his film about a British Muslim man who discovers his parents are Jewish. London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East is in development to premiere The Infidel in October, London’s Evening Standard reported on Wednesday. However, the theater needs another £55,000 on top of around £200,000 already raised in order to produce the show. Baddiel, 49, retained the stage rights to the story when he wrote the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.