David Yerushalmi and (in)SANE - updated 6/20/2012

Sheila Musaji

Posted Jun 20, 2012      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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David Yerushalmi and (in)SANE

by Sheila Musaji

A recent article about David Yerushalmi called him a “white supremacist”.  The idea of a Jewish white supremicist is something I had trouble seeing as a possibility since I couldn’t imagine many white supremacist groups that include Jewish members.  However, just as I was mentally wrestling with this concept, I saw an article by Richard Silverstein David Yerushalmi, Jew as White Supremacist in which he notes that he also had trouble with the concept initially, but after some investigation discovered that indeed it appeared to be true in this case.

Yerushalmi has featured in so many TAM articles about Islamophobia that is has now become obvious that he deserves a page of his own.  He is featured in TAM articles on Pamela GellerSharia and Halakha (which includes information on all of the current anti-Sharia bills in states across the U.S.)  -  Jewish anti-Muslim statements  - Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy Sharia Report, The anti-Muslim Congressional Mafia (objections to Muslim staffers and interns on Capitol Hill) etc.

Yerushalmi is Pamela Geller’s personal attorney and has represented her group SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America).  Yerushalmi incorporated American Freedom Defense Initiative which is the non-profit under which she and Robert Spencer produce their blogs.  He is also the legal counsel for Frank Gaffney’s anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy and served in the same role for Stop the Madrassa, the group which got Debbie Almontaser fired as principal of the Khalil Gibran Academy. **  He is associated with several organizations including the American Public Policy Alliance.

Yerushalmi’s name comes up whenever anti-Sharia or “creeping Sharia” is the subject.  The most recent anti-Sharia bill in Tennessee was actually drafted by Yerushalmi:  “The Tennessee bill goes further by proposing criminal penalties for following Shariah. Matheny said the bill was model legislation, given to him by the Tennessee Eagle Forum, a conservative advocacy group.  Bobbie Patray, state president of the Eagle Forum, confirmed that the law had been drafted by David Yerushalmi, a Chandler, Ariz.-based attorney. Yerushalmi runs the Society of Americans for National Existence, a nonprofit that says following Shariah is treasonous.  He also has close ties to Frank Gaffney, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy.”  Bob Smietana

Yerushalmi published American Laws for American Courts (the basis for the many anti-Sharia bills across the country) which was published and promoted by the American Public Policy Alliance (APPA).  A page on the APPA site lists supporters of American Laws for American Courts.  Here is that list, and many individuals on the list have backgrounders in our TAM Who’s Who of the Islamophobia/Arabophobia Industry:

Opinion Leaders for American Laws for American Courts:  R. James Woolsey – Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency, William G. “Jerry” Boykin – Lt.Gen. (Ret.) US Army, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence,
Harry E. Soyster, Lt.Gen. (Ret.) US Army – former Director Defense Intelligence Agency, Henry F. Cooper – Former Ambassador and Chief US Negotiator at Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union, Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons, US Navy (Ret.) – former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, Phyllis Schlafly – Founder, Eagle Forum, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. – former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy (Acting), President and Founder, Center for Security Policy,
Joseph E. Schmitz, Esq. – former Inspector General, Department of Defense, Andrew C. McCarthy, Esq. – former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney; Senior Fellow, National Review Institute; Contributing Editor, National Review, Stephen C. Coughlin, Esq. – Major (Res.) USA, former Senior Consultant, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael J. Del Rosso – Senior Fellow, The Claremont Institute and Center for Security Policy, Daniel Pipes – Founder and Director, Middle East Forum, Brigitte Gabriel – Founder, ACT! for America, American Congress for Truth, Faith J. H. McDonnell – The Institute on Religion and Democracy , Sarah Stern- Endowment for Middle East Truth, Andrea and James Lafferty – Traditional Values Coalition, Richard Thompson, Esq. – President, Thomas More Law Center, David Yerushalmi, Esq. – Counsel for American Public Policy Alliance and Center for Security Policy, Richard Gilman – Americans for a Safe Israel, Rabbi Aryeh Spero – Caucus for America, Pastor Randy Simmons – Oak Initiative-Texas, Pastor Paul Blair – Reclaiming America for Christ, Carol Taber – Family Security Group, Diana West – Columnist and Author, The Death of the Grown-Up, Bill Warner – Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam, Tom Trento – Director, United West, Clare Lopez – Retired CIA Officer, Andrew Bostom, MD – Author, The Legacy of Jihad and Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School, J. Michael Waller – Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of International Communication, Institute of World Politics, John Guandolo – Former Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stuart Kaufman – Alliance for Interfaith Resistance, Kelly Cook – ACT! for America, William A. Mayer – Editor & Publisher PipeLineNews.org, Elizabeth Allweiss – United Nations for Animals, David Reaboi – Vice President, Center for Security Policy, Christine Brim – Chief Operating Officer, Center for Security Policy, Christopher Holton – Vice President, Center for Security Policy.  Lawyers for American Laws for American Courts:  Stephen Coughlin, Esq. – Former Adviser to Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rep. Christian Coomer – Georgia House of Representatives, Karen Lugo, Esq. – California, William Connor, Esq. – Former Senior Military Adviser, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Michelle Ghetti – Louisiana Outside Counsel for Health and Ethics Endowed Professor of Law, Southern University Law Center, Stephen Gele – Smith Fawer, New Orleans, Louisiana, Nicholas Nahorski, Esq. – Michigan, Gerald Roden, Esq. – Florida, Brian Treacy, Esq. – South Carolina, Gayle Camp, Esq. – Georgia, Sandra Gilbert, Esq. – Minnesota

Yerushalmi published a racist article that he must now be ashamed of, as Alex Kane points out “Yerushalmi has deleted as much evidence of the “On Race” article as he could; he removed it from the Internet Archive and the Google cache, and put his entire website behind a registration wall. But here’s a PDF that contains the full article, and it’s as ugly and twisted a piece of racism as anything I’ve ever seen. Yerushalmi opens by calling Islam “an evil religion,” and “blacks … the most murderous of peoples.”  

The McAdam Report also has a PDF of issue number 585 (May 12, 2006) of their report, pages 7 to 11 of which contain the full text of Yerushalmi’s article “On Race”. 

Yerushalmi is the former employer of Dave Gaubatz, his one-time “Director of Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Studies” and author of a Muslim-bashing book. In 2007, Yerushalmi’s group paid Gaubatz $148,898 for “research.”    Gaubatz has a long history of bigotry targeting Islam and Muslims. He has called Islam an “evil ideology” and a “terminal disease.” Along with his past rhetorical attacks Islam, Gaubatz has called President Obama a “crack head” and wrote that “a vote for Hussein Obama is a vote for Sharia Law.” Nihad Awad

A key leader of the group opposing a new, Arab-focused public school in Brooklyn is a virulent opponent of a democratic Jewish state who denounces “Zionist Israel” and calls on it to “cast off the yoke of liberal democracy.”    Stop the Madrassa leader David Yerushalmi also condemns democracy in the United States and, in comments that evoke classical anti-Semitic stereotypes, says he finds truth in the view that Jews “destroy their host nations like a fatal parasite.”  ...  In a message to a pro-Israel rally last June he asked: “What interest does America have in a strong Israel? If your answer is democracy in a liberal or western sense, know you have sided with the Palestinians of Hamas.”  Jewish Week

Yerushalmi represented SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America) in bus ad lawsuit.  Pamela Geller founded AFDI (American Freedom Defense Initiative) with attorney David Yerushalmi **.  AFDI is the parent organization of SIOA (Stop the Islamization of America) which has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A lengthy ADL backgrounder on Yerushalmi, filed under extremism includes the following

One of the driving forces behind Shari’a-related conspiracy theories and growing efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’a law in American courts is David Yerushalmi, an Arizona attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry.

In recent years, Yerushalmi has created a characterization of Shari’a law (i.e., Islamic law) that declares there are “hundreds of millions” of Muslims who are either “fully committed mujahideen” or “still dangerous but lesser committed jihad sympathizers” who, because of Shari’a law, would be willing to murder all non-believers unwilling to convert, in order to “impose a worldwide political hegemony.”  Meanwhile, Yerushalmi asserts, the U.S. government itself has consciously chosen to turn a blind eye to this threat.

To combat this alleged threat, Yerushalmi has vigorously opposed all perceived “inroads” of Shari’a law in the United States, even entirely innocuous measures such as American financial institutions creating financing packages designed to be compatible with Islamic restrictions against loaning money at interest.

...  Yerushalmi has not only actively promoted his conspiratorial vision of Shari’a law, but has also sought to portray all Muslims as a threat. In one March 2006 article, for example, Yerushalmi even went so far as to claim that “Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”

That same year, Yerushalmi founded the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), a “think tank” that has published anti-Muslim, anti-immigration and anti-black materials, as well as New World Order-style conspiracy theories. In 2007, SANE, declaring itself “dedicated to the rejection of democracy and party rule and a return to a constitutional republic [of the original founders of the US],” launched a campaign fueled by suspicion of all Muslims.

That campaign, “Mapping Shari’a in America: Knowing the Enemy,” sought to determine exactly what type of Shari’a every single mosque and Muslim religious institution in the U.S. was advocating. A June 2007 press release announcing the campaign indicated that SANE would work to “test the proposition that Shari’a amounts to a criminal conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government” by investigating and ranking the adherence to Islamic law of mosques and their associated day-schools throughout the U.S. The statement also promised to “advocate for the criminalization of Shari’a” if it felt its targeted investigation into mosques and Islamic day schools proved such a measure necessary. 

SANE also proposed legislation that furthering or supporting adherence to Shari’a “shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison.” It called on Congress to declare war on the “Muslim nation,” which it defined as “Shari’a-adherent Muslims,” and further asked Congress to define Muslim illegal immigrants as alien enemies “subject to immediate deportation.”

The SANE press release for the Mapping Shari’a in America project included this statement “Shari’a is not merely speech, and it is certainly not religion as understood by the West,” SANE’s President, David Yerushalmi, said at a morning press conference. “Rather, it is a political and ideological mandate to destroy the West. We believe that every act to teach, preach, and live according to traditional, historical, and authoritative Shari’a contributes to a criminal conspiracy to overthrow our government.”

Loonwatch published an article discussing Robert Spencer’s “documentation” for his claim that 80-85% of American mosques are radicalized, and in that article noted

Spencer’s last piece of evidence to back up his bogus claim comes from the Mapping Sharia Project led by the loony racist anti-Muslim lawyer David Yerushalmi, David Gaubatz and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. The only thing I could find on this “study” was a Jihad Watch link reporting the findings of the Mapping Sharia Project. The Jihad Watch article reports that “An undercover survey of more than 100 mosques and Islamic schools in America has exposed widespread radicalism, including the alarming finding that 3 in 4 Islamic centers are hotbeds of anti-Western extremism…”

Spencer relying on “undercover survey’s” by radical Islamophobes with pseudo-racist beliefs? Just par for the course.

Firstly, there is no web page allowing us access to examine the methodology employed by this study. When I went to the link to the Mapping Sharia Project, I was taken to the web site for David Yerushalmi’s organization, SANE (Society for American National Existence). To gain access, I had to become a member. I did not want to join this loony web site’s membership list, as I am spammed enough as it is. So Spencer’s third study does not even exist, at least out in the public. Even the link he places for the Mapping Sharia Project just takes you to another JihadWatch web page reporting the findings of the study. Guess we’ll just have to take Yerushalmi, Gaubatz, Gaffney and Spencer’s word for it that 80%… err, three out of four American mosques are radicalized.

Update:  see Robert Spencer Wrong about claim that 80% of American Mosques are radicalized for a full response to this claim.

In 2008 Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-GA) held a congressional briefing on Islamic finance that featured a presentation by Yerushalmi.  ***


The mythical ‘moderate’ Muslim ... the Muslim who embraces traditional Islam but wants a peaceful coexistence with the West, is effectively non-existent ... because he chooses to remain within traditional Shari’a-based Islam, where the Ulamā or Islamic legal scholars, and the Muftoon (singular: Mufti) who issue fatawa (singular: fatwa) or legal edicts, reign supreme together with the lesser mullahs, imams, and maulvis. A ‘moderate’ among these men will simply be shouted down, coerced into silence, or murdered. In contrast, the Muslim Reformer takes the proper position that Islam as it was created, as it has existed for 1,300 years, and as it exists now, is an evil political ideology the goal of which is a worldwide Islamic Caliphate.”  ***

“On the so-called Global War on Terrorism, GWOT, we have been quite clear along with a few other resolute souls. This should be a WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful…At a practical level, this means that Shari’a and Islamic law are immediately outlawed. Any Moslem in America who adopts historical and traditional Shari’a will be subject to deportation. Mosques which adhere to Islamic law will be shut down permanently. No self-described or practicing Muslim, irrespective of his or her declarations to the contrary, will be allowed to immigrate to this country…”  **

“Islam was born in violence; it will die that way. Any wish to the contrary is sheer Pollyannaism. The same way the post World War II German youth were taught by their German teachers and political leaders to despise the fascism of their fathers, with strict laws extant still today restricting even speech that casts doubt on the Holocaust, so too must the Muslim youth be taught from the cradle to reject the religion of their forebears.” **

“Muslim civilization is at war with Judeo-Christian civilization…The Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”  **

While our constitutional republic was specifically designed to insulate our national leaders from the masses, democracy has seeped up through the cracks and corroded everything we once deemed sacred about our political order. Prior to the Civil War, the electorate, essentially white Christian men, had access to local government. It was here, where men shared an intimacy born of family ties, shared religious beliefs, and common cultural signposts, that representative government was meant to touch our daily lives. With the social and cultural revolution which followed the emancipation, man’s relationship to political order was radically nationalized and democratized. Today, there is simply no basis to resist “democracy” and the “open society”. **

“Instead of a promise of victory, Sura 24:52 must be made ashes in the mouths of Muslims. A seemingly unending air control campaign over enemy territory is the way to continually remind the Muslims of their subordinate status and the impotence of Allah without becoming mired in the quagmire of counterinsurgency.” **

“The mythical ‘moderate’ Muslim ... the Muslim who embraces traditional Islam but wants a peaceful coexistence with the West, is effectively non-existent ... because he chooses to remain within traditional Shari’a-based Islam, where the Ulamā or Islamic legal scholars, and the Muftoon (singular: Mufti) who issue fatawa (singular: fatwa) or legal edicts, reign supreme together with the lesser mullahs, imams, and maulvis. A ‘moderate’ among these men will simply be shouted down, coerced into silence, or murdered. In contrast, the Muslim Reformer takes the proper position that Islam as it was created, as it has existed for 1,300 years, and as it exists now, is an evil political ideology the goal of which is a worldwide Islamic Caliphate.” **

“America was the handiwork of faithful Christians, mostly men, and almost entirely white, who ventured from Europe to create a nation in their image of a country existing as free men under G-d.”  Other articles on his website made racist statements such as: “There is a reason the founding fathers did not give women or black slaves the right to vote,” and “Race matters and affects your intelligence. Jews are the smartest white people around. Orientals smarter than Whites. Latinos next. Then Blacks.” **

Yerushalmi said “The more carefully reviewed evidence, however, suggests that because jihadism is in fact traditional Islam modernized to war against the ideological threat posed by the West against Islam proper, there is no way to keep faithful Muslims out of the war. If this is true, any Muslim who sticks his neck out of the mosque to yell some obscenity at the West should be considered an enemy combatant and killed or captured and held for the duration of the war. If you kill enough of them consistently enough, those disinclined to fight in the first place will find a way to reform their religion.”

Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)

SANE (Society of Americans for National Existence)  released a policy paper that in part stated: WHEREAS Islam requires all Muslims to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic with a political system based upon Shari’a.    Whereas, adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the US Government through the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the US Constitution and the imposition of Shari’a on the American People.    HEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED THAT: It shall be a felony punishable by 20 years in prison to knowingly act in furtherance of, or to support the, adherence to Shari’a.    The Congress of the United States of America shall declare the US at war with the Muslim Nation.   **

The SANE website is no longer open to anyone except members.  That means that original documents are not available and can only be referenced through articles about them, or if someone has done a screen capture.

Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) was involved with Dave Gaubatz in the Mapping Shari’a in America Project which was sponsored by the Center for Security Policy.

In our extensive collection of information documenting the anti-Sharia movement titled Islamic Sharia and Jewish Halakha Arbitration Courts there is a great deal of information about UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of this anti-Sharia craze for other communities, including the Jewish and Catholic communities, as well as businesses involved in International trade.

UPDATE 3/6/2011

Richard Silverstein has just posted an article David Yerushalmi threatens defamation lawsuit which outlines the history of this threatened lawsuit against Silverstein.  The post includes a copy of the letter from Yerushalmi’s law firm.  Silverstein said that he had “debated how to address this threat and of course I’ve engaged pro bono legal case in the event he follows through on it.  But I will not be cowed by a bully.  I stand by the posts I’ve written by him.  I will not remove them.  I will gladly meet him in court or anywhere in defense of both my right to speak and publish, and the truth of the statements I’ve written about him.”  The post ends with this statement NOTE: Yerushalmi has withdrawn his lawsuit threat in a note he sent to my counsel.  Update 4/7: Richard Bartho