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American Jewish Committee gave 'Moral Courage' Award to Muslim Dutch politician who fabricated persecution story

Ayaan Hirsi Ali lied about name, birthplace, and story of arranged marriage - came to Holland for economic reasons
May 14, 2006


As a self proclaimed 'ex Jew hater' and Muslim, Ali became the darling of organisations like the American Jewish Committee, who expressed their adoration with financial and material support, onlystopping short of beatification because there is no sainthood in Judaism

Instead, of sainthood, the American Jewish Committee conferrred their 'Moral Courage' award.on Ali. Unfortunately for them, a documentary entitled "Saint Ayaan" which was shown last week in Holland revealed that the AJC's Muslim godess has feet of clay, and the speech she made specifically addressed to the Jews at the AJC event, was as rife with mendacity as her 'confession' that she "hated Jews" but "no longer blames Jews for her misfortune".

Hirsi Ali's ‘speech' was a long recitation of every anti semitic canard she claims to have believed, telling them that she had thought "they were by nature evil", until persumably, she met her gullible benefactors in America who touted her as the new 'Muslim Messiah' while opening their hearts and wallets to her.

Ali was introduced by the AJC's director David Harris who reverently intoned that:

"Ali was the most fitting recipient of an award meant to ‘celebrate 100 years of fighting for human freedom, human dignity and human rights for all". His remarks were followed by thunderous applause and a standing ovation. The AJC's pandering was not lost on Ali who cynically noted : "Isn't it ironic that the American Jewish Committee has voted to give me the moral courage award?" "…

MIM:Excerpts from Ali's Moral Courage Award acceptance speech.

Never once did she mention Theo van Gogh, the film maker who was murdered after making the film she had written. As a Dutch parliamentarian Ali, had been under the protection of bodyguards since 2002,making the claim of 'moral courage' as disingenuous as her claims of fleeing religious persecution.

"...Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a confession to make if you are Jewish. It is a testimony from my dark past. "I used to hate you. I hated you because I thought you were responsible for the war that took my father from me for so long. When the Soviet Union aligned with our dictatorship in Somalia I was told that the Jews were behind it. In Saudi Arabia I saw poor people,men women and children huddled together in squalor, I was told you drove them out of their homes" "I hated you for that". When we had no water I thought you closed the taps. I don't know how you did it- but you did it" When my mother was mean to me you were definitely behind it.

Even when I failed an exam I knew it was your fault. I didn't know how you did all these things but then I didn't need proof. You are by nature evil and you had evil powers and you used them to evil ends. Learning to hate you was easy. Unlearning it was difficult. Even after I had learned about the Holocaust in Europe, and the terrible outcome of centuries of anti Semitism I still found it difficult to take a stand against it. When my half sister told me that the Holocaust was the best thing that had happened to the Jews,I refrained from arguing with her for fear of breaking the family ties. When she showed me Koranic verses to support her hatred of you I feared arguing with Allah, for Allah would make me burn in hell".

Isn't it ironic that the American Jewish Committee has decided to give me the moral courage award ?

"The good news is that I and others like me have learned not to blame the Jews for our misfortunes"

Click links to hear award ceremony.

David A. Harris
, AJC Executive Director

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
, Member of Parliament, Netherlands

Read introduction by David A. Harris >

Listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's introduction and acceptance speech

Amsterdam, 12 May (AKI) - A newly aired TV documentary has investigated the past of Somali-born Dutch MP and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali - an outspoken critic of Islam who received death threats for her screenplay for the film 'Submission' which criticised Muslims' treatment of women. The documentary,'Saint Ayaan', aired by commercial RTL4 network on Thursday probes Hirsi Ali's account of how she fled from Somalia to escape mistreatment by her dictatorial father and a forced marriage and travelled in 1992 to the Netherlands, where she was granted political asylum.
According to relations of Hirsi Ali's interviewed by the documentary in the Horn of Africa, however, she was not mistreated by her family.

Moreover, contrary to Hirsi Ali's previous account of her life, her relations told RTL4 that she took refuge in Kenya before civil war broke out in Somalia. Her father was leader of the opposition at to Somalia's Marxist leader during the 1970s and 1980s, Siad Barre, and the family fled to Ethiopia, then to Saudia Arabia and Kenya, where was granted political asylum, Hirsi Ali's relatives said.

Hirsi Ali married a Somali who lived in Canada, Othman Qawari, who told RTL4 they married for love - a claim backed up by her aunt Othman Qawari and her brother Muhad, who both described Hirsi Ali's "joy" at the union. Hirsi Ali has claimed she was not present at the wedding.

The claims made by Hirsi Ali's relatives in the documentary appear to gainsay Hirsi Ali's version of events, on the basis of which she was granted political asylum in the Netherlands, and which herself has recently contradicted in remarks made on Dutch television. In these, she admitted she had not told the true history of her departure from Somali, and had changed her family name and date of birth to obtain political asylum.

Hirsi Ali shot to fame after the murder of film director Theo Van Gogh who was stabbed to death while cycling to work by a Moroccan born extremist in November 2004.

A letter was also pinned to his chest with a knife, quoting the Koran and threatening Hirsi Ali, who wrote the script for the Van Gogh's controversial film Submission.

A young radical Islamist was earlier this year given a life sentence for the murder.


Minister Verdonk to look into the naturalisation of Hirsi Ali despite having said she had nothing to fear.

Verdonk bekijkt naturalisatie Hirsi Ali toch

ROTTERDAM - Minister Rita Verdonk (Vreemdelingenzaken en Integratie) gaat de naturalisatie van Tweede Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali toch onderzoeken.

Dat heeft de minister zaterdag op een bijeenkomst over integratie in Rotterdam gezegd.

Verdonk zei vrijdag dat Hirsi Ali niets te vrezen heeft. Of dat nu wel het geval is, wilde de minister een dag later niet zeggen. ,,Ik wil niet op de resultaten van het onderzoek vooruitlopen. Maar wetten en regels gelden voor iedereen", zei de bewindsvrouw in antwoord op vragen van een rapper die zong over ,,iemand in de VVD" die ,,had gelogen en bedrogen".

De Immigratie en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) verricht het onderzoek. Verdonk kon niet zeggen wanneer het klaar is. Aanleiding voor het onderzoek naar haar partijgenote Hirsi Ali is volgens Verdonk een televisieuitzending van Zembla.


Hirsi Ali geeft al jaren toe dat zij heeft gelogen om een verblijfsvergunning in Nederland te krijgen. In een uitzending van tv-programma Zembla afgelopen donderdag verklaarden de broer van Ayaan, een tante en haar ex-man onder meer dat zij niet tegen haar zin was uitgehuwelijkt en dat zij destijds geen angst had of hoefde te hebben voor haar familie. Later zei haar broer echter tegen ANP dat het huwelijk wel degelijk gearrangeerd was en hij er zelf niet bij was.

Naar aanleiding van die uitzending stelden verschillende Kamerleden, waaronder Hilbrand Nawijn, vragen over de kwestie.



De leugens van Ayaan

Ayaan's Lies With what right can a VVD politician plead for the sending back of asylum seekers who lie about their reasons for coming to Holland? The question has become urgent now that is is clear that VVD House member Hirsli Ali in 1992 had lied about her story about fleeing Somalia. For Minister and fellow party member Verdonk (Immigration) is the situation clear: If she had been Minister then,she would not have let Hirsi Ali into Holland...

Zaterdag 13 mei 2006 - Met welk recht kan een VVD-politicus nog pleiten voor het terugsturen van asielzoekers die hebben gelogen over de reden van hun komst naar Nederland?
Die vraag is opportuun geworden nu duidelijk is komen vast te staan dat VVD-Kamerlid Ayaan Hirsi Ali in 1992 leugens heeft verkondigd met haar vluchtverhaal uit Somalië. Voor minister en partijgenoot Verdonk (Immigratie) is de zaak helder: zij zou, als zij toen minister was geweest, Hirsi Ali niet tot Nederland hebben toegelaten. Maar inmiddels beschikt Ayaan Hirsi Ali over de Nederlandse nationaliteit en is zij een icoon geworden van de strijd tegen de politieke en extremistische islam in dit land en daarbuiten. Ze heeft dus niets te vrezen.

Juist daarom is het ontluisterend te beseffen dat deze politica de mensen in dit land maar iets op de mouw heeft gespeld over haar vlucht voor de burgeroorlogen in haar geboorteland Somalië, haar ontsnapping uit haar gedwongen huwelijk en haar angst voor de eerwraak van haar familie. Ze leefde juist jarenlang in het veilige Kenia onder relatief luxueuze omstandigheden.

Hirsi Ali heeft overigens haar leugens opgebiecht aan de VVD-partijtop. Die vond dat kennelijk geen beletsel om haar tot een nieuw boegbeeld van de liberalen te maken. Uit de donderdagavond uitgezonden reportage in het tv-programma Zembla blijkt dat Ayaan Hirsi Ali meer gelogen heeft dan ze tot nu toe heeft toegegeven.

Het is een feit: sommige asielzoekers zijn gelukszoekers die met list en bedrog elders een goed onderkomen proberen te vinden. Hirsi Ali is er een van en dat geeft ze zelf ook toe.

De VVD zit intussen opgezadeld met een Kamerlid dat loog over haar vluchtelingenstatus en valsheid in geschrifte pleegde door onder andere een identiteit aan te nemen die niet de hare is. Als de liberalen daar niets tegen ondernemen, verliezen ze, net als Hirsi Ali nu, elke morele en politieke geloofwaardigheid. Laat staan wanneer Rita Verdonk de nieuwe liberale lijsttrekker wordt.


MIM: Not content to show their support for a self professed ex African born Muslim, the American Jewish Committtee has annouced a new enterprise with the Muslim country of Nigeria, which was described by a delegate who aptly noted that the AJC is making a gargantuan effort to show that they prefer not to concentrate on Jewish interests and prefer helping Muslim causes.

"...There are a plethora of Jewish organizations in the United States and across the world, who, are in the hot pursuit of the interests of Jews. But AJC acts as an umbrella organization or clearinghouse for Jewish organizations, it is safe to describe AJC as a conglomerate of Jewish organizations.."NIDO is in a mutually beneficial partnership with AJC.."Noting that "AJC has push and pull and clout..."

MIM: What this 'mutually beneficial partnership ' was supposed to entail vis a vis the AJC was never explained in the article persumably because the AJC is hoping to win over hearts and minds - among Muslims by helping them get ahead. The writer implies that he cannot believe his luck that a well financed Jewish organisation was now putting their financial and political clout to at the service of the 'Nigerian Diaspora' and his fellow Muslims and showed the requisite unctuousness by gushing that

"... The events were all directed at the attainment of public good, the common good of all, and in particular, the good of Jews and their Nigerian counterparts...
"..It was a surprise to me, as to how many foreign heads of governments there were, which sent felicitations to AJC!

Nigerians, Jews & Humanity's Common Good
By Paul I. Adujie

American Jewish Committee Celebrates 100 Years of Public Service & Nigerians In-Diaspora Organization's Partnership With AJC Culminates In Launching Of African Institute, Nigeria Peoples Forum 7 Years; Attainment & Debates Of Common Good, Public Good For All Humanity - Adujie

American Jewish Committee or AJC for short stands for public good. Nigerians In-Diaspora Organization or NIDO for short stands for public good and so does Nigeria Peoples Forum, hereinafter referred to as NPF. And for convenience, we will now refer to these three organizations as AJC, NIDO and NPF respectively.

Published schedule of the above organizations informed the world of their activities spanning from Thursday May 4, 2006 through the weekend in Washington DC. The events were all directed at the attainment of public good, the common good of all, and in particular, the good of Jews and their Nigerian counterparts.

The United Nations was represented by its Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan, the United States was represented by President Bush, Nigeria, was represented by Ambassador George Obizor and Ambassador Aminu Wali; Germany was represented by its new Chancellor Angela Merkel, and those who could not attend in person, attend via electronic means, as goodwill messages poured in from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, Prime Minister Howard of Australia, and many more messages from governors of the states of the United States, Arnold Schwarznegger and New York's Governor Pataki among others. It was a surprise to me, as to how many foreign heads of governments there were, which sent felicitations to AJC!

The one of the reasons that I write here about AJC is because of its parallel goals with NIDO, and perhaps NPF. I have not read NPF's aims, objectives or mission statements. But its activities, in which I participated several days ago, are clearly geared towards a better Nigerian nation. And as everyone knows, NIDO is an umbrella organization that encompasses all Nigerian socio-economic, cultural, political organizations outside the shores of Nigeria. NIDO is therefore a clearing house for all the Ummunah, all the Parapo and all the Zumunta associations through which Nigerians in-Diaspora and their friends congregate and associate in the name of a better Nigeria for all Nigerians at home and abroad. I understand that NPF was founded almost a decade ago, by Professor Bart Nnaji

AJC is a similar organization for Jews. There are a plethora of Jewish organizations in the United States and across the world, who, are in the hot pursuit of the interests of Jews. But AJC acts as an umbrella organization or clearinghouse for Jewish organizations, it is safe to describe AJC as a conglomerate of Jewish organizations.

NIDO is in a mutually beneficial partnership with AJC. Some months ago, AJC provided for free, a workshop or seminar for representatives of NIDO worldwide, on how to serve Nigeria selflessly, let me add, to serve Nigerians and humanity, selflessly. It was an eye-opening event. AJC's formative years experiences are quite similar, if not identical to the growing pains of NIDO. But now, AJC has accumulated laurels in public service, selfless service, over the course of 100 years (1906-2006)

AJC invited Dr. Ola Kassim, Engineer Jumoke Akin-Taylor and my humble self, to its gala night in celebration of AJC's centennial or 100 years of service to humanity. AJC was formed in May of 1906 and this penultimate May 4, 2006, AJC clocked 100 years of doing public good, attaining common good for Jews and non-Jews.

NIDO goals, aims, objectives and mission statements are quite like AJC's. NIDO aspirations are to corral every idea, every effort, energy, every technology and every processes and procedures that will benefit Nigerians, Nigeria and the world.

NIDO has therefore found wonderfully spectacular opportunities in partnering with AJC. NIDO is open to other organizations that are similarly favorably disposed to sharing ideas and methods with NIDO, as NIDO learns the ropes, the conquering of the challenges that beset those who aspire to do volunteer and selfless work. AJC has push and pull and clout

AJC is a veteran organization in this regard. It has a wealth of experience in the service of humanity, particularly Jews. And AJC has had an open door policy towards NIDO as it has been willingly, sharing its ideas and methods with NIDO representatives.

AJC invited Dr. Kassim, who is the current chairperson of NIDO North Americas, to witness AJC celebrations of a hundred years of accomplishments and achievements as well as the launching of The Africa Institute, an organization with strong support and affiliation with AJC. AJC acting as coordinator and an organizer, a motivator etc, as it provided the essential impetus for The African Institute founding.

So, Dr. Kassim, a Nigerian physician, who lives and has extensive medical business, in the form of a series of medical outfits in Canada, left his business for several days, in the hot pursuit of Nigeria's national interests. So did Engineer Jumoke Akin-Taylor, a NIDO coordinator extraordinaire, who similarly left her professional obligations and family obligations, just like the good doctor, all, in order to mind the store for Nigerians, at home and abroad, and yours truly, was just happy to be in their wondrously esteemed company.

Dr. Kassim and Engineer Taylor will answer you at 2:00AM or at other most inconvenient times, if your inquiry concern Nigerians and Nigeria and that is an understatement, considering their demonstrated sense of patriotism and commitment and, my experience with them, working assiduously on Nigeria's behalf.

The activities began on Thursday May 4, 2006 In Washington DC, we witnessed the AJC gala, which included speeches of commitment to Jews and Jewish causes from President Bush and UN Secretary General Annan and other eminent personalities from across the world. The Africa Institute was launched.

President Bush, Kofi Annan UN Secretary General, Angela Kertel Chancellor of Germany, all in the same hall assembled, for a common purpose, the service of humanity.

Dr. Ola Kassim is a physician, with a series of medical establishments in Canada, Engineer Jumoke Akin-Taylor and I, were invited by American Jewish Committee and Nigeria Peoples Forum to participate in a) American Jewish Committee AJC Centennial celebrations (19906-2006) 100 hundred years of public service, doing public good through public service.

And Nigeria Peoples Forum had invited the three of us to its Good Governance & Democracy in Nigeria Seminar/Conference. Several position papers were delivered by seasoned academicians and policy wonks, by Nigerians and Americans. Dr. Kassim, an outstanding physician in Canada, operates medical clinics and laboratories in Canada, where he lives, he excused himself from his 15 hours a day schedule, in order to grace these events in Washington DC.

Dr. Kassim is the Chairperson of Nigerians in-Diaspora Organization, NIDO, in North America wing. Engineer Jumoke Akin-Taylor is your quintessential energizer bunny zealous patriot, with tireless energy anywhere and anytime Nigerians issues are at stake.

I have known Jumoke for several years now, and I have never known her to tire of fathoming ways, best ways to serve Nigeria selflessly. Her commitment to Nigeria defies my experience with people here in New York City, where people are liable to be all stressed out with the fast pace of life around here. New York City is a place where people are compelled to frequently engage in cost analyses of every action. What is it for me? Is a recurring question that is literarily on every lips; Jumoke has never disappointed me or anyone when it comes to what Nigeria deserves in terms of public service.

Engineer Jumoke Taylor will convince any diehard cynic, pessimist and despair merchant in-chief as to why Nigeria's cause is ALWAYS a worthy cause whether in rain or sunshine or snowstorms and in humid summer afternoon!

She left her family and professional obligations for several days to serve Nigeria national interests attending AJC and NPF events we all shuttled from one hotel to the other, hotels where we stayed individually and severally, and hotels where the events were spread, seminar, gala, dinner and dance etc from Marriot, Residence Inn, Ritz Carlton to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at hectic pace, in taxis, on foot, sitting, standing, making speeches or listening to speeches or explaining Nigeria to everyone in the audience.

We explained Nigeria to the audience we asked questions, answered some questions and expressed appreciations frequently. We were exhausted and spent, but we were delighted all the same, because it were all for our beloved country and homeland, Nigeria. These were volunteer efforts at great personal expenses of money, time and convenience but all worth it!

I plan to write more about the NPF and Professor Maurice Iwu, and particularly about Professor Iwu's exuberance, enthusiasm, confidence and his extraordinary grasps of all Nigerian issues, elections and all.

I personally worried that there was a pervasive despair, pessimism, cynicism, fatalismWe will pray for Nigeria was the frequent refrain was repeated ad nauseam in mournful ominous tones by many. Wonderful ideas were proffered repeatedly, but with some aura of, these ideas, as good as they sound, would not work in Nigeria, would not be accepted in Nigeria, or the impression was given, that it is too late or futile to try anything in Nigeria Too many spoke, as if Nigeria is beyond redemption somehow. Some guest speakers spoke as if Nigeria is irredeemably bad hopeless. Some guest speakers spoke with a sense of evil foreboding or some sorts of harbingers of sinister qualities

The two events occurred in Washington DC between May 4, and 5, 2006 concurrently. NIDO were a part of two events in Washington DC, events organized by AJC and NPF These events brought together peoples of various background, various races, religions and nationalities, but more specifically, Nigerians and Jews. These events invited my participations, even with conflicting schedules.

The closeness of the schedules was exemplified by the similarities in passions that overflowed on behalf of Nigerians and Jews. There emotions driven by patriotism and love of country, which made these events must see, must hear and must participate for me; Guest speakers, were numerous persons with varied professions and personalities participating directly at both events.

These personalities ranged from the most socially liberal to the most conservative. Bush, Annan, Utomi, Iwu, Aluko, Babalola etc Professor Iwu of Independent Electoral Commission wowed everyone with his enthusiasm, his exuberance, his passion and zeal, all geared towards making Nigeria a marvel of the world. Professor Iwu's passions were the exact opposite, when contrasted against the pervasive despair, cynicism and pessimism that characterized the tones and deliveries of public lectures by most guest speakers.

Speakers were professionals who have excelled in their various fields of expertise and the bulk of these public intellectuals were drawn from the academe.

The presentations were vibrant and very vigorous. The interactive sessions that followed these presentations by NPF guest speakers, were equally very lively and informative.

Speaker after speaker made meaningful contributions through their analyses of the challenges of the past and what future challenges may be. Solutions were proffered aplenty. But there were the pervasive and all permeating sense hopelessness, as if Nigeria was some sorts of vehicle without brakes speeding on a slope toward a cliff and bottomless pit etc.

My impressions were that the pessimists outnumbered those with positive expectations.

On the whole, the AJC, NIDO and NPF events were wonderful experiences in the pursuit of common good for Nigeria. These were lessons in human refinements of the best kind. These were how to, for anyone, particularly, for Nigerians interested in selfless service.



MIM: The AJC's suicidal pursuit of moral relativism reached it's absurdist nadir in the forum about Jewish identity which was hosted appropriately, by Ted Koeppel, who himself had 'converted'from Judaism to Unitarianism when he married his non Jewish wife..

Not to be outdone by ex Muslim and non Muslim antisemites, the AJC invited Israeli Jewish writer A.B. Yeshosha, who caused an uproar with his anti Zionist remarks, lambasting his co panelists for being Jewish and mocking their ties to Israel..

Unlike the grateful Nigerian delegate above who twice gushed how his hosts:

"...AJC has accumulated laurels in public service, selfless service, over the course of 100 years (1906-2006)..."

"...AJC was formed in May of 1906 and this penultimate May 4, 2006, AJC clocked 100 years of doing public good, attaining common good for Jews and non-Jews..."

Anti Zionist Yeshosha told his benefactors that the last '100 years had been a series of failures for the Jewish people".

Fury as Israeli writer criticises US Jews

'You change allegiance like a jacket,' novelist tells hosts in Washington

Conal Urquhart in Tel Aviv
Sunday May 14, 2006
The Observer

One of Israel's most celebrated novelists has been denounced by American Jews for questioning the depth of their faith and suggesting they would swap their national allegiance as they would swap a jacket.

AB Yehoshua, who was nominated for the Booker International Prize last year, was invited to speak on the future of Jews at the inaugural event to celebrate the centenary of the American Jewish Committee. Later events were attended by President George Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Hundreds of guests gathered at the US Library of Congress in Washington to hear Jewish thinkers discuss Jewish identity and the future of the Jews. The warm start quickly descended into anger as Yehoshua lambasted his co-panellists for their abstract notions of Jewish identity and their fears of anti-semitism.

He left his hosts speechless as he said that there was little to celebrate in the 100-year history of the committee and the Jewish people. 'There is a sense of joy in this event and I am sorry I will have to spoil it a little bit,' he said.

The committee is one of the US's oldest Jewish organisations and Yehoshua is one of Israel's leading authors. A former paratrooper in the Israeli army, he is renowned for having a certain Israeli bluntness.

The panel included Cynthia Ozick, a writer, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and Leon Wieseltier, professor of literature. TV presenter Ted Koppel kicked off the discussion with the question, 'What is a Jew?' He said that Jews always try to be like everyone else in whichever country they are in. The warmly received remark infuriated Yehoshua, who gave his definition of his Jewish identity.

'I am what I am. I have a language, I have a people; like the Dane; like the Norwegian. I cannot be Danish. I cannot be Norwegian,' he said.

He said that the past 100 years had contained a series of failures for the Jewish people. He said the Jews in Europe had been given the opportunity to return to Israel by the British government's Balfour declaration in 1917, yet they had failed to take it, even though the warnings of disaster were everywhere.

He scoffed at Ozick, who tried to define her Jewishness as living her life in the US but also being hurt by events in Israel. 'You sit in America and you think of Israel,' he mocked. 'In Israel, the Jew takes responsibility for all the components of his life. In Israel there will never be a question of a Jew becoming assimilated just as there is no question of Frenchman being assimilated in France.'

He said that diaspora Jews changed their nationalities like jackets. Once they were Polish and Russian; now they were British and American. One day they could choose to be Chinese or Singaporean, he said.

The relationship between Israel and the Jewish diaspora is complicated. In Israel many, such as Ariel Sharon, have said that Israel needs Jewish immigration as much as ever to contend with growing Arab populations in the country.

Others, on the left, question why the US's six million Jews have the right to become Israeli citizens while tens of thousands of foreign workers and Palestinians who live there and speak Hebrew do not.

Shmuel Rosner, the Washington correspondent for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, said Yehoshua had an agenda. 'The problem was that he was very blatant and he wasn't listening to the other panellists. He was fairly rude and very unAmerican.'

According to Rosner, people at the conference described the writer as 'impertinent', 'tasteless' and 'foolish'.

Yehoshua's performance sparked a debate in Israel. In Haaretz last week, Natan Sharansky, who was jailed in the Soviet Union for his desire to emigrate to Israel, wrote that Yehoshua was weakening the justification for the state of Israel by claiming, 'everything outside Israel is obsolete and its fate is to be lost'.

Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote that both Israel and US Jewry had substantial failings. 'Much of America's organised Jewish community is mired in a religion of Holocaust and Israel-worship that sends it into a fury if anyone dares compare our Holocaust to theirs, or uses universally accepted criteria of human rights to criticise Israel,' he wrote.

Yehoshua admitted in Haaretz that he had been overly blunt. He said he had been trying to explain 'that for me Jewish values are not located in a fancy spice box that is only opened to release its pleasing fragrance on Shabbat and holidays.'

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at