Zahra Bloo is Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area. Her official biography states that she was awarded the Society of American Law Teachers 2017 Human Rights Award, which is a left-leaning organization of law professors.
We should start by noting the fact that mainstream Jewish organizations (i.e. in this context, progressive leaning) have been strong advocates for Muslim refugees entering the U.S. They also opposed Trump’s “Muslim ban”, hateful comments made against Muslims by right-wing populists, etc.
Nevertheless, as the Jerusalem Post reports Billoo holds these organizations, which she calls “polite Zionists,” responsible for “Islamaphobia:” “When we talk about islamophobia, we often think of the vehement fascists… but I also want us to pay attention to the polite Zionists, the ones that say ‘let’s just break bread together.'” Is she talking about the Anti-Defamation League? “The Anti-Defamation League, it is important to focus on the Jewish Federation and the Zionist synagogues. Hillel chapters should be viewed as part of our campus. These are Muslims’ “enemies,” she stated.
It’s impossible to get mainstream Jewish communities than synagogues. (Almost all synagogues could be considered “Zionist” under her light), Hillel the Federation charitable infrastructure and the ADL. Billoo wanted to show her audience that the vast majority of American Jews are the enemy. Billoo said that even “organizations which claim they are not zionists, but support a two-state solution”, is the enemy. This assumes they do not want Israel to be destroyed.
Worse yet, she strongly implies that Islamaphobia is a Jewish conspiracy: “Islamophobia is a well-funded conspiracy, a well-funded project — A well-funded project to marginalize us… We have to connect the dots between the organizations that promote Zionist agendas materials marketing and legislation are the same ones that want to ban Muslims, are the same ones that want to pass anti-sharia legislation…”
Balloo asks why even “polite Zionists” hate Muslims so much.
Because Muslims advocate for Black Lives Matter, police accountability, homelessness, against poverty, for the environment and “a free Palestine.” Billoo said that the police “must pursue us”.
Not surprisingly, she also repeated the absurd blood libel that the Israeli military trains police officers in the United States to “kill unarmed black men, women and children.”
Jonathan Greenblatt is the CEO of ADL, and has been accused of being reticent in face of antisemitism which does not originate from white nationalists. tweeted that Billoo’s speech was “textbook vile, #antisemitic, conspiracy-laden garbage attacking the mainstream US Jewish community. It sounds like something you would expect from white supremacists.”
CAIR is true to its Hamas roots and remains a front for Hamas. attacked Greenblatt and defended Balloo.
My parochial interest as a law professor in this controversy, is what SALT will do, if any. The award was given to an individual who, in addition to being antisemitic, can be justifiedly accused of inciting against American Jews. This is the kind of rhetoric that could provoke violence. SALT will make a statement. Revoke the award It ought to. It won’t. I am guessing so, but it will. I expect to be very surprised.