Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review July 16, 2001 / 25 Tamuz 5761

Evan Gahr

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Sleeping with the enemy -- IS the Alliance for Marriage a bit too diverse for its own good?

The ideologically and racially diverse group last week declared holy war on gay marriage. At a crowded Washington, DC press conference the Alliance unveiled a constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to men and women. This eminently sensible, yet controversial, idea, boasts support from former DC delegate Walter Fauntroy, Nathan Diament of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and such illustrious personages as Vitus Cheng of the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland.

Surrounded by persons of many colors, Matt Daniels, executive director of the Alliance for Marriage, one of the few whites in front of the cameras, joked about the under-representation of white folks. He insisted that "some of my best friends are white." Are his other friends -- or at least allies in the crusade against gay marriage -- sympathetic to the terrorist group Hamas?

The Alliance for Marriage board of advisors includes Aly Abuzaakouk of the American Muslim Council. According to a woman who answered the AMC's phone, "Dr. Abuzaakouk" is "director" of the organization.

Does the AMC sound familiar? Last year, Hillary Rodham Clinton was forced to return a campaign donation from longtime AMC honcho Abdurahman Alamoudi. His $1000 contribution was cited by the the New York Daily News when it exposed the pro-Arab fundraising event she attended.

Hillary's campaign collected $50,000 in donations at the fundraiser, which was sponsored by another Muslim group. George W. Bush's presidential campaign was also forced to return a contribution from Alamoudi.

Despite the negative publicity, Alamoudi was hardly chastened. At a Washington, DC rally in late October he reiterated his support for Hamas. "We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah," the New York Daily News reported. "I want you to send a message. It's an occupation stupid. Hamas is fighting an occupation. It's a legal fight."

Between 1994 and 1996, Hamas killed 130 people and wounded some 600 others, many civilians. But Alamoudi calls Hamas "a freedom-fighting organization."

As this writer noted last year, the AMC officially claims to oppose terrorism. But, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, that defends on how you define terrorism. If Hamas is a bunch of freedom-fighters, who precisely are the terrorists the AMC ostensibly opposes? No matter how you answer those questions, the AMC undoubtedly has long evidenced a soft-spot for Hamas. In 1995, for example, their newsletter urged Israel to talk with Hamas, not Arafat, because, the AMC contended, the semi-retired terrorist no longer represented the Palestinians.

Alamoudi's lawyer, Stanley Cohen, told the New York Daily News that "The fact is there are millions of people in the Middle East who support Hamas."

Wonderful: the Alliance for Marriage has a huge untapped constituency.

At the moment, though, their high-profile board members include, among others, Father Richard John Neuhaus, conservative Catholic activist Mary Ellen Bork, Prof. Robert George of Princeton University, Prof. Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School, and Rich Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals.

But Nathan Diament of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America shrugged off questions about his alliance with an allegedly pro-Hamas organization. He said the OU had previously worked with the American Muslim Alliance to support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. True enough. On the other hand, the United States previously worked with the Soviet Union to defeat Hitler. Does that mean the two countries should have formed all sorts of post-war alliances to quash homosexuality?

Diament did not respond to follow-up questions emailed to him.

But Rabbi Barry Freundel, known as "Lieberman's rabbi," is also an Alliance for Marriage board member. The spiritual leader of Kesher Israel in Georgetowne, he told this writer last week he was unaware of the AMC connection. He promised to investigate the matter immediately.

This is not a theoretical debate; rightly or wrongly, Hillary was forced to return the money from the AMC honcho.

Let's have one standard for everyone, please. Under Diament's "logic" did Hillary clearly get a bum rap? If anything, Hillary "only" took money from the AMC orbit; as her contributions from the tobacco rich Tisch family illustrate, money doesn't necessarily buy influence or an alliance. But Diament, not Hillary, is officially in bed with the AMC.

Moreover, Diament is not some lone rabbi out in Seattle. The OU is not only a major organization, it is the most respected and recognized kosher agency worldwide. Indeed, Diament's support for the marriage amendment was splashed all over the front page of the July 12 Washington Times. In their mad rush to oppose gay marriage, the OU has stamped the AMC "kosher."

Other Jewish members of the pro-Hamas, pro-marriage coalition either ignored inquiries or could not be reached for comment.

But Diament's insouciant attitude towards the AMC reeks of the morally-obtuse politicking which has long infested the left. To borrow language from another era when folks overlooked the insidious philosophy of allies whose ultimate allegiance was to a foreign power, is Diament a useful idiot for the AMC? Already, the AMC has achieved considerable mainstream credibility. Criticism is deemed anti-Muslim, etc.

Now, the AMC can ask, quite reasonably, why they should be stigmatized if they are allied with a mainstream Jewish organization on a hot button social issue. The OU would do well to re-consider its reckless decision.

Think about it: Is gay marriage a bigger threat to Jews than Hamas? Are Jews more likely to be blown to bits by Hamas or two homosexuals on their honeymoon in Jerusalem?

JWR contributor Evan Gahr is a Washington-based journalist. To comment click here.


07/11/01: The Body Politic
05/24/01: Funding feminism
05/10/01: Ashcroft and Advocacy: Did foundations cross the line?
04/19/01: Creepy People for the American Way
04/12/01: Feminist Chung Vows "New Revolution"
03/28/01: Liberal chickens come home to roost
03/20/01: Teddy's FOBs --- Friends of Bush
03/16/01: Missile defense zealots
03/13/01: Stonewall Jackson strikes again
03/02/01: Only in New Yawk --- NOT!
02/28/01: Jesse the spendthrift? 'Moocher' is more like it!
02/21/01: Remember Saint Ralph?
02/17/01: Donna Brazile Speaks out on Clarence Thomas
02/15/01: Operation PUSH back
02/08/01: Of 'players,' boozers, and your tax dollars
02/02/01: Schumer's new insensitivity
01/31/01: The Real Pat Caddell
01/26/01: Louts Above the Law
01/18/01: Bush and other GOP converts to racial politics are profoundly misguided
12/20/00: Whose America? Here are some election results the "mainstream" press won't report
12/14/00: Gore's last smear campaign
12/05/00: Fido v. Fido --- the emerging 'pets' rights' movement
12/01/00: Missile defense fog
11/17/00: The Dersh opens his yap one time too many
11/13/00: Gore's biggest missing Florida bloc
11/07/00: Hillary's cruel blow to American pluralism
11/01/00: Given Hillary's history should anyone -- other than society's most radical -- be surprised?
10/26/00: Remembering Gus Hall, that 'all-American' kinda guy
10/19/00: Hey conservatives, Nader wants your vote!
08/24/00: Not So Super-Heroes
08/15/00: Meet Mr. Quotas
08/01/00:The Visigoths are coming! The Visigoths are coming! ... Or so the media thinks
07/12/00: Geraldo's Food for Thought
06/27/00: Time for To Execute a Murderer
06/20/00: Hillary and the Cop-bashers: Will the real Ms. Rodham please stand up?
06/08/00: For voting rights purposes, should criminal offenders be judged not by the content of their character but the color of their skin?
05/10/00: Feminist Majority Rule
05/02/00: The Tin Man's Doctor
03/07/00: Bob Jones hypocrisy: Liberals are lecturing Americans on "anti-Catholicism"?
02/03/00: The red and the Black: The Left-wing Extremist in Bill Bradley’s Camp
01/06/00: Looking backwards: An anchorman's version of the 20th Century
12/16/99: Yellow journalism for the Pink Lady?
12/07/99: How to make the American Psychological Association squirm

© 2001, Evan Gahr