The U.S. Green Party Embraces Islamism

by Lorna Salzman

"The creation of the state of Israel was a greater crime against the Jewish people than the ovens were. It is better to be murdered by a fascist than to become one" (David Cyr, New York State Green Party State Committee member).

"Hezbollah has emerged as the hero to millions of Arabs and Muslims...I believe the Israel government a danger to all people" (Todd Chretien, California Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, 2006).

The U.S. Green Party, one could argue, is a vanishingly small presence in this country's electoral arena. But recent events, notably its consuming passion to promote that totalitarian theocracy known as Islamism and relegate the sovereign state of Israel to the dustbin of history, have made it a major player in that fumbling agglomeration called the American Left.

Normally this would be of little import. But the national uprising against the war in Iraq has allowed the moribund and intellectually vacuous left a grand opportunity to vilify the U.S. and turn simmering anti-Americanism into a full-fledged "hate America" campaign that Osama Bin Laden would be proud of.

Few of the founding fathers of the USGP, which began in 1996 as a multi-state group called the Association of State Green Parties and became an FEC-recognized national committee in 2001, could have envisioned how the federation that they hoped would become a mildly leftist appendage of the Democratic Party would morph in a few short years into a tool and ally of radical Islamist groups such as Al-Awda (Palestine Right of Return), the International Socialist Organization (ISO), and even, partly and indirectly, the violent, neo-Maoist International Solidarity Movement (also known as the Palestine Solidarity Movement).
This bend to the left began with a 2005 resolution based on a USGP platform item, approved at the 2004 national convention, that supports establishment of a Palestinian state and favors broad financial divestment from Israel; it also urged "reconsideration" of a single state incorporating Palestine and other words, it called for the destruction of Israel as a sovereign nation.

In the fall of 2005, an additional resolution intended to implement this platform item was introduced to the party's National Committee, which is comprised of about 125 delegates from 33 state parties, only about a third of which have an official ballot line. Few of these delegates informed or consulted with their state parties on this resolution; of the approximately 125 members of the NC, only 72 cast votes: 55 voted in favor, 10 voted against, and 7 abstained. In effect, less than half of the NC delegates formulated foreign policy on an issue about which the vast majority of USGP members know little or nothing.

The resolution was introduced by the Wisconsin Green Party, co-chaired by Ruth Weill, who is Jewish, and introduced by Muslim Mohammed Abed, an organizer for Al Awda, and by Ben Manski, also Jewish and a former co-chair of the national party. Instrumental in the promotion of the resolution were members of the International Committee, including Justine McCabe from Connecticut, an ally of Mazim Qumseyeh, a founder of Al Awda and a radical Muslim most noted for having succeeded in sneaking a strong anti-Israel rant into the Davos economic summit newsletter in Switzerland in 2005.

The complicity of green Jews in supporting this resolution is striking. The list includes Michael Rosenberg of Philadelphia, a recent candidate for the Pennsylvania State Assembly; Michael Berg, an anti-war green who lost his son in Iraq and ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Delaware; and of course Weill and Manski. (To her credit, the Green Party candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Marakay Rogers, has spoken out in no uncertain terms against resolution 190 and the undercurrents of anti-semitism which she believes are prevalent in the national party). More recently, the Michigan Green Party nominated David Sole, a member of the violence-preaching, Maoist-leaning Workers World Party, as their candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Adding more insult, the USGP National Committee, at the beckoning of the Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party, one of the two hotbeds of radical islamism in the national party, went on record supporting resolution 247 exhorting all state parties to initiate state-level divestment campaigns modelled on the Somerville Mass. divestment campaign a couple of years ago.

This campaign, supported by the Mass. GRP, went down to defeat after divestment proponents quietly tried to manipulate the town council to put it on their agenda without notifying the public. But the GRP bounced back and got a new resolution 247 on the National Committee agenda, and it passed recently, though by a one or two vote margin and an even smaller total vote than the one that approved resolution 190. (Reportedly, the Mass. GRP prodivestment supporters are no longer in control there. They lost their most pro-Islam member when Aimee Smith, a Muslim convert, moved to the Muslim haven of Dearborn, Michigan. Smith has publicly said that Darfur is not genocide and that the movement to help the Darfurians is a Zionist plot).

How could an organization founded on a list of Ten Key Values that includes Grassroots Democracy, Nonviolence and Feminism end up promoting policies in direct violation of these Values? How could an organization founded on the principle of Grassroots Democracy allow itself to be corrupted and co-opted by fanatic islamist special interest groups? How could an organization that signed on to an extensive Global Greens charter requiring it to consult and work with sister Green Parties around the globe zoom off onto an extremist, anti-woman, anti-democracy, and pro-violence trajectory? And, not least, how could this party boast of its intent to become a serious third party in American politics and then allow itself to be distracted away from its mission of saving the earth and promoting social justice onto a track carrying truckloads of terrorists, anti=Semites, and totalitarian creeds like islamism?

Quite a few people have noticed the parallel between this set of events and that of the Stalinist era of the 1930s and 1940s, when leftists in this country and western Europe blindly worshipped at the feet of Joseph Stalin as he imprisoned his own citizenry, sent them to gulags, and allowed tens of millions of Russian peasants to starve to death or, if they were lucky, slave away the rest of their lives in hard labor camps, while their orphaned children were reduced to penury and begging. The "useful idiots" that enshrined Stalin and turned a blind eye to his crimes have been reborn in the American and western European left, as they embrace the most reactionary, repressive and violent islamism while ignoring the islamist agenda aimed at erasing democracy, destroying personal freedom and civil liberties, and keeping women enslaved in their miserable medieval patriarchies, while plotting worldwide jihad bombings.

To show their fealty to islamism, the USGP enacted these two resolutions and in so doing thrust the whole USGP into the center of a policy debate over which it has not one shred of influence. In a word, the USGP has with all deliberate speed thrown its entire founding principles and mission out the window and in so doing has begun its march into political oblivion.

These efforts are part of a larger effort by radical islamists to bring various liberal, religious and civic organizations into a global movement intended to vilify and isolate Israel, portray it as the chief source of mideast violence, and elevate the Palestinian cause to a position equal to that of civil rights and other progressive movements. The Anglican and Presbyterian churches fell into this trap, but the latter recently retracted its original anti-Israel policy.

Across this country, islamists, having invented the fiction (now promoted by former Pres. Jimmy Carter) that Israel practices apartheid, hold campus conferences that attract naive activists, many of them Jewish, who know nothing of either the history of Israel, the reality of the Palestinians, or, most crucially, the fact that this effort has less to do with Israel per se than with promoting islamist interests, which, among other things, are intent on:

portraying muslims as persecuted victims rather than sympathizers and perpetrators of oppression and violence;

intimidating naive liberals and Jews anxious to prove they are "good Jews";

providing cover for anti-Semitism;

and most importantly, distracting attention away from the theocratic totalitarianism of islamic regimes across the world, where the enslavement and murder of women is an everyday occurrence; where civil liberties are unheard of; where freedom of expression is nonexistent; where women are refused education; where nonmuslim religions are persecuted and forced into exile; where vile anti-Semitic propaganda is disseminated as a matter of government policy throughout the media, madrassas and mosques.

Academia is also targetted along with other sectors. Notre Dame University tried to hire Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the Hassan Al Bana, founder of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a precursor to Hezbollah, to their faculty, and at this moment Wayne State University in Michigan is under fire for trying to hire the son of the late Edward Said, one of the most notorious apologists for Islam. Islamists see universities as prime game, where Political Correctness and the value of free speech will (they hope) allow the camel's nose into the tent.

These realities of islamism do not appear on the radar screen of American leftist activists, who in their naivete are persuaded to put their bodies on the firing line like the late Rachel Corrie, a recruit of the bloody International Solidarity Movement. Corrie was deliberately and unwittingly brought by the ISO to the most dangerous battleground in Palestinian territory: where underground tunnels were built under homes and villages in order to bring in weapons from Egypt and Syria, and which Israel, quite rightly and justifiably, was trying to discover and dig up. ISM wanted a martyr and they created one.

The issue of Israel's "occupation" and its existence as a sovereign state are only two relatively minor parts of the broader pattern being sewn together by violent islamists. The broader pattern is one in which secular democracies are bent to the will of religious fanatics, where progressives and liberals can easily be intimidated by radical muslims claiming speciously to be "victims" of prejudice and persecution. This new form of Political Correctness has found a welcome home among leftists and uninformed liberals in this country, where almost all press and broadcast media outside of the conservative media repress even mild criticism of islamism and often bend over backwards to curry favor with muslims.

The slow but deliberate spread of fundamentalist islam into Europe and the United States is being accompanied by the rise of militant islamists in Malaysia and Indonesia, which until recently have been relatively liberal and tolerant and are now facing heavy pressure from muslim extremists to bring their societies into conformity with sharia law. The other side of this of course is the violent side, the jihads, the use of suicide bombings and terrorist acts throughout the world.

This is the reality of what some call "islamofascism" but which is more accurately described as totalitarian theocracy, a belief system that does in fact share some tactical resemblances to fascism as well as sharing its objectives: the suppression of all religions save islam and the unification of all nations on earth under the mantle of Islam. It is this reality of which the US Green Party and other organizations in this country have bought into; each new movement or group that buys this propaganda hammers a nail into the coffin of secular democracy and freedom.

The task for Jewish organizations, indeed for all those concerned about the survival of secular democracy, is to understand the full picture, not focus on just that part of it pertaining to Israel. Regardless of what the future geography in the middle east will look like, one thing is certain: that the jihads, the violence, the hatred for nonmuslims, the oppression and murder of women, and the abased cultures of these authoritarian patriarchies, will not disappear, even if the Israel-Palestine problem is solved.

Those who think that this problem is at the root of islamist violence could not be further from the truth. Jewish groups should understand this and broaden their efforts to focus on the execrations and violence of islamism rather than simply defending Israel. It is not only the Jews who are the target of islamist radicals but all nonmuslims who believe in peace, liberty, equality and democracy. We are ALL targets.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.