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Jewish World Review Sept. 17, 2001 / 28 Elul, 5761

Lewis A. Fein

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Three Cowards and a Diva: Extreme Liberalism and Terrorism -- SEARCHING for the domestic political message of last Tuesday's horrific events? Look around for whom you don't see: Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and, yes, Barbra Streisand.

Streisand? Farrakhan? These individuals -- until last Tuesday, the erstwhile spokespersons for liberal Democratic politics and racial hatred -- now confirm their extremism by their very silence, the inability on the one hand to approvingly endorse President Bush's actions and their perceived hatred of the public's unity on the other.

For these individuals thrive whenever (Crown Heights) or wherever (Durban, South Africa) the public disagrees.

The more immediate question is: Why do Messrs. Sharpton, Jackson and Farrakhan (respectively, the Moe, Larry and Curly of racial politics) remain relatively silent amidst the greatest attack on U.S. soil? After all, there is Jackson's recent trip to Durban, South Africa, where the United Nations staged its world conference against racism. Never mind Jackson's Orwellian behavior, including his demands for racial reparations and his physical embrace of Yasser Arafat. His presence in South Africa reveals everything: that America -- either because or in spite of its refusal to award reparations -- is, in its own peculiar way (like the actions of Tuesday's terrorists), decidedly un-American.

Thus, Jackson's long embrace of authoritarian leaders, including Arafat and Fidel Castro, reaches its climax --- the ghastly silence that exposes his comical ignorance, or the mournful disdain that his dictatorial patrons are sincere, that America must die. Or, consider Jackson's silence within the context of his previous behavior, as he protests the legitimacy of President Bush's election or the primacy of Israel's survival. Reverend, heal thy self!

And then there is the team of Sharpton and Farrakhan. Both individuals demand or expect popular acceptance (Sharpton is a former and possibly future Democratic political candidate), while employing the conspiratorial language of the lunatic left. So, there is Farrakhan's tragically ironic press conference about Tuesday's events, a farcical tribute to law enforcement and a sly condemnation of law enforcement as racist evil.

Yet, for every impassioned word condemning Tuesday's Muslim extremists, a more painful question remains: Where is Minister Farrakhan's righteous horror for the brethren of Tuesday's terrorists, the suicide bombers for whom the target is not fifty stars but one, the Star of David?

Now imagine Al Sharpton as New York City's principal spokesperson. Would or could Sharpton unite New Yorkers like Mayor Rudy Giuliani? Even worse, Sharpton would not inspire nor respect the city's police officers (his rhetorical attacks are often and several), the brave individuals responsible for the city's order.

Finally, there is Barbra Streisand.

Remember Babs, the same woman who vehemently proclaimed her desire to leave America should George H. W. Bush defeat Bill Clinton in 1992? By her own admission, then, a nation governed by a Republican -- presumably, any White House bereft of Bill Clinton -- is sort of illegitimate. And, in her own way (though undoubtedly of a different kind), Miss Streisand is the entertainment industry's version of Timothy McVeigh --- a person for whom radical ideology, whether perverse libertarianism or demented liberalism, means everything.

Curiously, the above figures -- even those with personal web sites -- remain conspicuously silent concerning Tuesday's events.

Perhaps the nation's unity, especially for a conservative wartime president, disturbs the far left. For George W. Bush now leads a united nation, prepared for war and steeled toward victory. But it is the silence of the few that exposes the truth of extreme liberalism's many:

"That this group refuses in any circumstances to fight for G-d and country."

JWR contributor Lewis A. Fein is a writer and Internet entrepreneur in Los Angeles. Comment by clicking here.


© 2001, Lewis A. Fein