by William Jackson Sullivan II

Part 1. The Search for Palestinian Moderates

"Moderate" Palestinians. Western voices attest to their existence any time that Palestinian aggression, anti-Semitism, and refusal to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty is cited. They assert that somewhere, hidden in the streets bearing the names of murderous Palestinian terrorists and speckled in the throngs of shouting rabble calling for death and destruction in Israel, they exist in vast numbers, ready to emerge and assert their rational influence in the peace process.

Though one can't rationally argue that there are not singular examples of moderates within the populations of those who call themselves Palestinians, it's safe to say that the notion that they exist in large numbers is pure bunk.

 First of all, it has proven impossible to locate even a single moderate among Palestinian leadership. Most often cited as the most convincing example of Palestinian moderation is Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. To really believe he is a moderate, however, requires an incredible leap from reality. Abbas earned his doctorate by justifying[1] Holocaust denial.

He has offered generous pensions to the families of suicide bombers and endorsed the execution of Palestinians who sell property to Jews. And his position on the matter of Israeli sovereignty is entirely unilateral, not moderate. In past negotiations, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the generous offer to concede "95% of the land conquered in response to Jordan's offensive against Israel." Abbas demanded it all. Now, he is demanding[2] all of it again, threatening "harsh measures" if Israel does not comply.

And as Isi Leibler laments in the Jerusalem Post, "Unfortunately, all opinion polls demonstrate that the Palestinian masses have been brainwashed and endorse these views."

And looking at the actions of the Palestinian general populace is truly disheartening, as the murderous overtones are much less subtle. Consider that last year, upon the savage murder[3] of the Fogel family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the common reaction among Palestinians was not horror, but celebration -- complete with the distribution of candy[4] to local Palestinian children. Or perhaps consider that while Israelis celebrated[5] the release of Gilad Shalit, Palestinians celebrated the release of murderous prisoners and exalted them as heroes. Among these released Palestinian terrorists was the "mastermind of the 2001 bombing" of a Sbarro's pizzeria in Jerusalem that killed fifteen innocents. Also released was the ringleader of a lynch mob that, after brutally murdering an Israeli, was photographed presenting his bloodstained hands to a crowd of cheering Palestinians. This murderer, particularly, was lucky enough to collect a second round of accolades for this evil deed upon his release.

Jonathan S. Tobin offers a reason for this twisted behavior. He suggests that during the Second Intifada, "mass slaughter became not only a tool of war but the touchstone of a people's identity." And that identity is not only well-evidenced in Palestinian actions, but also in their cultural and intellectual mediums.

In their new book, "Deception: Betraying the Peace Process," Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Ziberdik relate[6] that the Palestinian magazine Zayzafuna is a generally "positive and educational" publication that enjoys funding by the Palestinian Authority. However:

These positive messages are directed at Palestinian society, Muslims, Christians and Druze. When it comes to portraying Israel and Jews, Zayzafuna changes its tone and includes items glorifying Jihad against Israel and praising Martyrdom death for Allah, and the Martyrs themselves.

Indicative of this anti-Semitic slant is a selected essay published by the magazine, written by a teenage girl. The essay describes a dream the child had, where she was visited by such Islamic icons as Al-Khwarizmi,[7] who stressed the importance of "Islamic sciences," Naguib Mahfouz,[8] who stressed the importance of making use of one's time, Saladin,[9] who unsurprisingly suggested a new liberation of Jerusalem, and a rather oddly included bedfellow, Adolf Hitler.

Upon meeting Hitler in her dream, she asks him, "You're the one who killed the Jews?" Hitler responds, "Yes. I killed them so that you would all know that they are a nation that spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands." She thanks Hitler for the advice, which she finds sound, and her rationalization of the Holocaust is something that the Palestinian Authority and the magazine's editors find suitable for publication in their educational endeavors.

To call such things "moderate" is an absolute travesty.

I truly hope that moderate Palestinian voices can be found and heard, and I hope they will be instrumental in crafting a peace where Palestine and Israel can coexist. But all of the evidence our search has uncovered thus far has made optimism difficult to muster.

Part 2. How Honest Of A Cross-Section Is "All-American Muslim?"

Lowe's has now decided that they would pull their advertising from the show "All-American Muslim" on The Learning Channel. The Florida Family Association asked that sponsors pull their ads for the show. Why did Lowe's comply with the request, you ask? A Lowe's representative gave this reason:

The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.

By making this statement, Michelle Goldberg says[10] in The Daily Beast, it proves that Lowe's "agrees with the idea that Muslims shouldn't be depicted as anything other than terrorists." Now, most of her readers at this point are crying "Harumph!" and have set firmly in place the idea that Lowe's is a racist and hatemongering company. Such is the power of fanaticism.

Other readers, however, might be left to wonder how she is able to write so well when she clearly cannot read. Lowe's does not take issue with the fact that Muslims are portrayed as "ordinary folks." They state quite clearly that they disagree with the fact that the show profiles only those Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding more devout Muslims. A minor point, I guess, but Lowe's neither denied the existence of ordinary Muslims, nor did they say that the show should not include them. But hey, when your agenda is to stir the pot, why get hung up on truth?

Americans have reason to take issue with "All-American Muslim," and it's not because it portrays everyday, peaceful Muslims. As Robert Spencer clarifies:[11]

In reality, All-American-Muslim purports to be fighting "Islamophobia." That is a claim that the show makes about itself in the beginning of the very first episode. Yet it then goes on to depict Muslims who by their own account aren't observant, and so not reading the texts and teachings that Islamic jihadists use to justify violence -- and so they're not the kind of people who would have given rise to any suspicion of Muslims in the first place. If All-American Muslim had said it was fighting "Islamophobia" and then shown pious, devout Muslims teaching other Muslims that the interpretation of Islam of al-Qaeda and other jihadists was all wrong, we might have had something useful. If they'd shown Muslims fighting against terror, it might have been inspiring.

And if they'd simply have left "Islamophobia" out of it and shown people from a Muslim background living their lives, it might have been an enjoyable show without pretending to deal with larger political and societal issues.

Of course, I disagree with Mr. Spencer that "it might have been an enjoyable show" without the underlying agenda to "fight Islamophobia." "Normal" people are not on reality television, because "normal" people are not fun to watch. Reality stars are crab-fisherman, alligator wranglers, epically dysfunctional housewives, and Snookis.

We all know that some Muslims are "ordinary folks." But they're not any more fun to watch that "ordinary" Christians or Jews. The producers of the show believe it will be watched by people ignorant, yet curious about Islam. The show seeks to give these viewers an incredibly biased and whitewashed impression by showing practioners of Islam that do not necessarily reflect the lifestyle and beliefs of a large number of American Muslims. And that's precisely why people take issue with the show -- it dishonestly presents these "ordinary" Muslims as an honest cross-section of American Muslims.

And not only is the show not a an honest cross-section of American Muslims, it's not even an honest cross-section of Muslims in Michigan.

Let's try looking at this study,[12] conducted by The Institute for Policy and Social Understanding, an Islamic advocacy group. In it, you will find an interesting trend. 81% of Muslims in Detroit, Michigan, are in favor of the application of Sharia law in Muslim lands. Yes - 81%.

Now, what does this tell you? Well, it shows that a lot of Muslims think Sharia law is a good thing. Now I will not discount the fact that there are a lot of Muslims, like those in this show, that are are less fundamentally observant of Islamic doctrine and probably don't know what the hell Sharia law is all about. But I guarantee you, that a lot of them are not only observant but devout, go to mosque regularly, and know what Sharia is all about and believe in Islamic hegemony. And Sharia is anything but "All-American."

All we're asking is that if you are going to claim to be showing a holistic picture of Muslims in America, be honest. If you really want people to "learn," do not dishonestly whitewash truth with fiction just to advance a PC agenda.

UPDATE: Not all the characters depicted in "All-American Muslim" are everday, peaceful Muslims. Even in The Learning Channel's attempt to whitewash the truth, some of it seeps out. Husham Alhusayni is depicted prevalently as the religious backbone of the families. The problem? He openly supports terrorism and the terrorist organization of Hezbollah. No threat there, though, right? Read more, written by former Palestinian terrorist Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack, here.


[1] Columnists/Article.aspx?id=245007

[2] 2012/01/05/why-israel-cannot-accept- palestinian-conditions/

[3] 2011/03/the_lesson_in_the_death_of_yoa.html

[4] 34223/which-response-to-fogel-family- massacre-is-sicker-hamas-or-wall-st-journals/

[5] 2011/10/17/palestinians-celebrate-murder-shalit/

[6] main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=6006

[7] ~history/Mathematicians/Al-Khwarizmi.html

[8] nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1988/ mahfouz-bio.html

[9] http://www.historylearning

[10] articles/2011/12/12/christian-right-s-anti- muslim-war-targets-wholesome-tv-series.html

[11] 2011/12/64-companies-have-pulled-ads- from-all-american-muslim.html#_login

[12] detriot_mosque_2.pdf

William Sullivan is a financial advisor and author who frequently contributes to online magazines such as RedState, World Net Daily, and American Thinker.

This article is the joining of two essays, published independently. Part 1 appeared January 8, 2012 on the Political Palaver website where Sullivan blogs and it is archived at 2012/01/bleak-outlook-in-our-search-for.html. Part 2 appeared December 14, 2011 on Political Palaver and it is archived at 2011/12/how-honest-of-cross-section-is-all.html

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