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Damning Evidence against The David Project

PRESS RELEASE

Islamic Society of Boston releases Opposition Emails:
Damning Evidence against The David Project

Summary: The David Project conspired with real estate agents and politicians to organize a campaign to deny the Boston Muslim community their 1st amendment rights to worship freely. This week, Jessica Masse, interfaith coordinator of the Islamic Society of Boston, publicly released recent discovery materials obtained as part of the ISB's conspiracy lawsuit, which reveal that an Israel advocacy organization, which specializes in creating malicious anti-Arab, anti-African and Islamophobic propaganda, met with real estate investors, attorneys, and Republican activists at their office at 210 South Street in Boston to discuss their intentions "to present a legal challenge" to the Roxbury Mosque project.

On May 28, 2004, Anna Kolodner, executive director of the David Project, sent an email congratulating the group for their successful meeting.

"Discussion of issues and individuals involved in the Mosque led to some preliminary steps as we continue to gather information and develop an action plan."

Three days later, Kolodner circulated an idea.

"Given that they may not have parking, Josh [Katzen] suggested we might thwart them through the building permit process for the intended parking."

Joshua Katzen is a member of the team of aggressive real estate developers that wanted to unravel the land deal between the City of Boston and the ISB. Another anti-ISB activist, Jonathon Leffell, who develops property in the Boston area, is chairman of the New England "Friends of the Israel Defense Forces" while William Sapers, who instigated the anti-Mosque campaign and who owns an insurance agency in Cambridge, has invested in real estate under the corporate name Hemisphere Inc. Sapers is a director of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, which is an umbrella organization for mainstream Jewish communal organizations in Greater Boston. Steve Cohen, owner of CEA Group, another Boston area real estate agency, took the operational lead in the conspiracy against the ISB.

Steve Cohen suggested to Anna Kolodner that the group recruit a Jewish law student from Harvard to assist their attorneys, Evan Slavitt, who is also a Massachusetts Republican Party leader, and business litigator Jack Fainberg.

In on this private discussion were Avi Goldwasser, a hi-tech financier and movie producer who makes outrageously malicious anti-Arab propaganda movies like "Columbia Unbecoming," Larry DiCara, who is a Republican politician, Harvard undergrad Mickey Segal, who is a David Project intern, and Anna Kolodner's husband Monty Gold. Steve Cohen, who is originally from New York, also consulted with Rabbi Melman, a New York-based Israel advocate who opposes ceding an inch of land to the Palestinians.

The emails also mentioned Jeff Jacoby, a regular columnist in the Boston Globe who has been recycling the David Project's press releases and appears to have received Charles Jacobs' Israel advocacy training. He uses Jacobs' method of communication which is suggested on the David Project website. It advises Israel advocates to use a "baffle them with bullshit" technique where the propagandist throws accusers and questioners off track by responding with a nonsensical question. When the person answers, the Israel advocate is advised to respond with another nonsensical question. Jacoby is clearly making use of the David Project's communication guidelines as he uses his column in the Globe and in Jewish newspapers across the country to repeatedly bring up ask insinuating questions about the ISB again and again, even though the ISB has already answered those questions before the last time he asked them, and had offered to sit down and have a chat with him, but Jacoby refused to speak with anyone from the Muslim community while writing his newspaper articles about them! Talk about sloppy journalism.

Initial attempts to whip up public sentiment against the Muslim community received lukewarm reactions. Reporter Jonathon Wells had complained that he was "pissed that none of the other local media had picked up his story."

"Filing the lawsuit would be the initial lead/newsworthy component of the media angles," Anna Kolodner advised him. This would give the David Project a soapbox.

Anna Kolodner put David Project co-founder Charles Jacobs in charge of "enlisting support of the Black Church community in the suit as a possible plaintiff," but commendably, no one in the Black community would participate in their racist plot.

The David Project had to make do with an Italian American who lives in Mission Hill, nowhere near the Roxbury Mosque.

Policastro's suit was dismissed in 2007 by a judge as being "without merit," but the conspirators were not worried about winning the frivolous lawsuit. It had been a ploy to create negative publicity. Real estate investor Steve Cohen gloated over "the fact that a governmental action was taken in Boston may make this mosque more vulnerable to legal, political or media attack."

In this same email, entitled "Conversation with Jon Wells," Cohen mentioned reporter Jonathon Well's divorce and estrangement from his children like a weakness to exploit.

"After I come up with something to report, he and I will have lunch," Cohen bragged.

He also reported more of what he had learned from Wells.

"[T]he ADL is much more concerned and knowledgeable about this matter than their public statements would indicate. But, being associated with various ecumenical [read: interfaith] efforts, they are reluctant to be the lightning rod on this issue. Jon speculates that they would welcome the assistance and initiative of a bunch of independent guys (like us) who are not afraid of getting some bad press."

Steve Cohen described how he had specifically instructed the Fox TV news reporter Jonathon Wells to use language associating the mosque with terrorism.

According to his May 20, 2004 email, Cohen wanted to seek out information about the ISB's source of donations in the Middle East. Depending on the country of origin, the group would create a sensational news story saying the mosque was financed either by "the Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia or by the Moslem Brotherhood," which, they would fraudulently claim "advocate the violent victory of Islam over the west [sic]."

Cohen went on about his conversation with Wells. "We both agreed that it would be very powerful if it could be proven that this is the source of the funding for the Mosque."

Cohen repeatedly contacted the executive producer of the Investigative Reporting unit at Fox25 News in Boston to pressure him and in one conversation, instructed Jonathon Wells how to use the Freedom of Information act to obtain records from the Boston Redevelopment Authority about the City's sale of land to the Muslim community.

Cohen further explained his strategy to Anna Kolodner of the David Project:

"Aside from our 1st Amendment claims and the various other strategies to attack the mosque, ultimately our interest is based on the premise that some of the senior people in the ISB are supporters of terrorism and sworn enemies of America and Jews, and that the construction of the mosque may be funded by Wahhabis… If we are going to convince others to support our cause, especially in the media, we will need reasonably well-supported allegations."

The David Project collaborated with Robert Leikind, the executive director of the ADL; Steve Emerson at the Investigative Project and Rita Katz, a discredited former FBI informant at the SITE Institute; Ilana Freedman, a terrorism "expert," Republican politician and managing partner of Gerard Group in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, to create a "comprehensive document regarding the individuals/organizations/history etc. of the Mosque, which will be the backbone of the media campaign."

This fabrication, labeled "Mosque Characters.doc," lists over twenty Muslim leaders including Dr. Yusef al-Qaradawi, Abdurahman Alamoudi, founder of the American Muslim Council, and various ISB directors with bogus and bizarre links to "the Moslem Brotherhood," Hamas, Hezbollah and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.


In 2004, the David Project, a 501c3 charitable organization, appears to have received half a million dollars in tax-payer funded government grants while at the same time planning this amazingly well organized campaign to deny the Boston Muslim community their 1st amendment rights to worship freely, according to ISB interfaith director Jessica Masse.

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BACKGROUND

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Muslims Sue Israel Advocates


by Karin Friedemann, Boston

Many celebrated the construction of New England's largest mosque as proof of "the Muslim community coming into its own." Yet not everyone was celebrating. In 2004, the City of Boston was sued for selling the land to Muslims. Racist commentators whipped up public hysteria against the mosque.

"Muslims are very upset," said Mushtaque Mirza, who has lived in Boston for 30 years. "The mosque is always depicted as [supporting] terrorism."

The lawsuit against the City was dismissed in 2007, but irreparable damage had already been done. Donations slowed to a trickle, the mosque only half built.

When in 2005, mosque directors Dr. Yousef Abou Allaban and Ossama Kandil sued Fox News and the Boston Herald for defamation, analysis of discovery materials exposed a professionally coordinated network of pro-Israel organizations, mass media, Islamophobic academics, and real estate developers. The directors accused a growing list of defendants, including William Sapers, Steven Emerson, the David Project, and Citizens for Peace and Tolerance (CPT), whose president is Dennis Hale, of "a concerted, well-coordinated effort to deprive ... members of the Boston Muslim community of their basic right of free association and the free exercise of their religion."

The Jewish community

Some Jewish groups kindly distanced themselves from this conspiracy to deprive Muslim Americans of their constitutional rights, which is a federal crime, but Nancy Kaufman, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, whose stated mission includes minimizing the political influence of groups feared hostile to Israel, stated, "None of those organizations [who signed statements supporting the mosque] are members of the organizations of the JCRC. We don't consider them to be a part of the mainstream Jewish community."

Who is Charles Jacobs?

In 2006, Dr. Yousef Abou-Allaban, chairman of the board of the Islamic Society of Boston, addressed Charles Jacobs, president of the David Project, in an open letter that was quoted in the Boston Globe.

"We would like to know why you and others at the David Project appear to be so intent on inflaming relations between our communities," Abou-Allaban wrote. "Do you really hate us that much?"

Charles Jacobs, like Charles Krauthammer and Richard Perle, earns his living through a PR firm and speakers' bureau called Benador Associates, which specializes in pro-Israel campus events focusing on Islam and terrorism. Fareeha Iqbal, a student at MIT, attended one of his lectures.

"Dr. Jacobs' talk expressed blatantly racist and anti-Islamic views. In fact, I have never seen Islamophobia exuded so blatantly at a public forum at MIT, nor such racist views aired at a panel discussion on human rights."

A pioneer in the technological aspects of mass-marketing hate, CAMERA, which Jacobs co-founded in 1982 to enforce pro-Israel, anti-Arab and anti-Islamic bias in the news, email blasts tailored "action alerts" to huge databases of specific target groups. This Polish immigrant, armed with only a BA from Rutgers and a Masters in Education from Harvard has proven exceptionally effective in manipulating the US government and major American institutions into following policy blueprints created by his Israel advocacy organization, the David Project.

The David Project

The David Project is an affiliate member of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), a network of national Jewish organizations created to counter anti-Israel activity on campus, founded in partnership with the Jewish student organization Hillel and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. (The three organizations share a building in Washington.)


In October 2003, the David Project funded a film, produced by Ralph Avi Goldwasser, to slander professors Rashid Khalidi, Joseph Massad, Hamid Dabashi, and Georges Saliba of Columbia University's Department of Middle East studies. Joseph Massad became known as one of the most dangerous intellectuals on campus. Calls for the professor's dismissal were issued by Congressman Weiner and by the editors of the Daily News and the New York Sun, and the propaganda film was shown in Israel before a government minister at an anti-Semitism conference.

The David Project regularly placed racist anti-Arab and anti-Muslim speakers on Harvard campus, but its first major accomplishment was blocking a $2 million donation from the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, for a chair in Islamic Studies at the Harvard Divinity School. The Project's 2003 smear campaign, coordinated with the ADL, sought to exclude Arabs and Muslims from developments at Harvard University.

Anti-Sudan Campaigns

The American Anti-Slavery Group, founded in 1994, grew directly out of Jacobs' pro-Israel advocacy. The AASG is based in Boston and works with Christian Solidarity International. The AASG has been filming fraudulent "slave redemptions" and providing bogus testimony to Congress. This campaign to vilify the Islamic Republic of Sudan is a multimedia effort that supplies huge quantities of lurid, both popular and pseudo-academic material. In addition to claims of slavery, Sudan is described as a "terrorist, genocidal" state engaged in a "holy war." Charles Jacobs' carefully designed "PR puff pieces" about "slavery" in Sudan have managed to secure national media coverage.

While pro-Palestine activists have struggled for years to slow the stream of US public funds to Israel, Jacob's dishonest "Save Darfur!" campaign is the quickest divestment success in US history. Sudan divestment resolutions have become law in Iowa and are in the process of approval in 12 states. The David Project with the coordination of the JCRC has further poisoned human rights discourse with this campaign to turn Arab and African Americans against each other.

Conclusion

The furor over the Roxbury mosque within the hub of the most powerful pro-Israel political network in America, has betrayed the coordinated efforts of Israel advocacy groups to pollute discourse on US foreign and domestic policy, which have until now remained mostly invisible to American political scientists.

"While some people might say there is a constitutional backing for what they're doing, it seems that it's more a front for people to disrupt the progress of the Muslim community in Boston," activist Hamza Pelletier said.

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Karin Friedemann is editor of World View News Service in Boston, focusing on the Islamic world. Please visit http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/

ENDS

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