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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fareed Zakaria Returns ADL Award: Abe, Keep the Plaque, Give Me the Money

Last week, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria protested the Anti-Defamation League's opposition to the building of a mosque in the shadows of the World Trade Center by returning the ADL's Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, consisting of a $10,000 honorarium and a "handsome" commemorative plaque.

Do I understand correctly? With anti-Semitism at horrific levels throughout Europe, and with once reputable North American news organizations such as The New York Times allowing anti-Semites to disseminate their messages online, the ADL provided Fareed Zakaria with a cash award?

This is of course the same Fareed Zakaria who recently wrote:

"Everything you know about Iran is wrong, or at least more complicated than you think. Take the bomb. The regime wants to be a nuclear power but could well be happy with a peaceful civilian program."

Remarkably, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman aspires to return the prize to Zakaria:

"I am holding on to your award and check in hope that you will come to see that ADL acted appropriately and you will want to reclaim them."

Quite honestly, Abe, if I had contributed funds to the ADL to combat racism, and you had used my money for an honorarium to Zakaria, I would be offended.

Fareed's plaque? You can keep it, Abe. Fareed's honorarium, however, you can give to me (no festive black tie dinner required). You'll get several hours a day from a former Wall Street attorney, who is struggling as best he can, without your help, to combat an outbreak of anti-Semitism that is reaching epidemic proportions. And although I'm not famous, and there will be no photo-op or headlines (such as those resulting from your acceptance of Oliver Stone's second apology), your contributors will get their money's worth. This much I promise.


  1. Thank you, Jeffrey.

    I am "speechless" as Abe.

    Everything F.Z. was saying about this mosque is irrelevant - this is not about freedom of religion from state, this is about freedom of state - our state - from this terrible religion. This is about building a temple to the same religion which moved these terrorists to commit their crimes in this same place and moves other terrorists everyday to commit other suicide bombings all over the world. Islam = Islam, this is religion which produces endless sequence of terrorists within America as well as outside.

    I just learned that Zakaria is a Muslim - he just waited for an opportunity to return this prize, I guess. Probably, it compromised him in the eyes of his creed.

    There are plenty of faithful Muslims in CNN: they fired one recently for tweet, but the editor who fired her calls herself "Iranian" in some places on the Internet. Now, here is public aggression against ADL - and majority of American public - by another influential Muslim in CNN.

    It is CNN and NYTimes on the side of Islam against America.

  2. Fareed's grandstanding by using the first four minutes of his airtime on CNN's GPS today to laud Rauf and attack the ADL will only damage whatever reputation he has for professionalism.

    He tried to make himself the story - so far no one is biting. Fareed failed to even discuss this with the ADL. Maybe the real journalists are chewing over today's breaking story from the NY Post that the developers of Park51 do not actually own both buildings due to ConEd's 99-year lease for a power station in one of them. Or maybe they are checking on why the US State Department is funding Rauf's outreach junket to UAE, Baharin, and Saudi Arabia. Or checking into Rauf's association with Malaysia's Perdana4Peace quest to Free Gaza.

    Who knows if Fareed already got the pink slip from the new owner of Newseek, Sidney Harmon.

    Sorry JG, I think the ADL should give this award to Khaled Abu Toameh.
    Nothing personal :)


  3. I found the list of awardees here:

    Among them there are CNN, C-SPAN and Clarence Page, who called the Tee Party "white backslash"

    They shall stop giving this award! This is a shame!

  4. Many thanks, Marina. I was looking for this list. I agree: a tragic waste of donated funds.

    Although I have copied the ADL on much of my correspondence, I have never once heard back from them.

    Sad. I sense that at a time when they are needed most, they have lost sight of their mission.

  5. JG: here is the official list.

    With all due respect, the ADL can not deal with everything. They responded to me in 2009 when I asked them to get someone to pay attention to the antisemitic comments posted in the group emails controlled by Obama's campaign website. The ADL got stonewalled, but at least they tried.

    Having followed the GZ mosque in depth since the ADL statement, there is a (not 100% but close) correlation between bloggers and their view of Israel and belief in the "Israel Lobby", and those who demonized Foxman for that statement.

    It's not something I post in detail, but it has to do with Imam Rauf's affiliation with Matathir's Perdana4Peace that financed Free Gaza.

    Fareed is not getting any media bounce for his grandstanding. He did not deserve the award in the first place, even in 2005. American journalists are probably horrified at him using airtime, and I assume CNN got severe viewer backlash. Very unprofessional to use airtime.

    Now that we learn the GZM developers lied about actual ownership of both buildings, a lot of people who rushed to judgment may be embarrassed. Con Ed has a power substation in the building they own - a fact which changes everything.