With American Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?


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When the former officers of the Holy Land Foundation who had served as Hamas’ fundraising arm went before the US Court of Appeals– there weren’t many organizations willing to file an Amicus brief. But the American Friends Service Committee was first among them.

The American Friends Service Committee had good reason to be worried. It had worked with Life for Relief and Development, an Islamic charity also accused of being a Hamas front. Its concern over the criminal prosecution of charities that passed money along to terrorists was even more pressing because it has a substantial presence in Hamas-run Gaza.

When Israel stopped the blockade running Gaza flotilla, the AFSC statement in response said that the “continuing refusal by the U.S. to deal with the winners of this election [Hamas] has led to a tightening of the blockade” and urged, “the U.S. government to reverse its support for this flawed, failed policy approach and take all effective steps to end Gaza’s isolation.”

Dealing with the winners of the election would mean dealing with Hamas, but that was no obstacle for the AFSC, whose General Secretary, Mary Ellen McNish, had no doubt discussed this policy when she visited Hamas’ backer in Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In the United States, the AFSC is a familiar presence alongside the usual Marxist and Islamist groups on posters advertising anti-American and anti-Israel rallies. While its bulletins still make some effort to mention “non-violence” in all the right places as a tribute to the group’s pacifist roots, it is enmeshed with violent and totalitarian groups.

The AFSC’s unnatural interest in Israel goes back to the devil’s bargain that Quakers made to keep their institutions operating in the face of Islamic pressure, replacing their American and European officials with locals at the time of Israeli statehood and the war that followed. This takeover of Quaker institutions tipped them into the terrorist camp. The bigoted revolutionaries who now headed them up were Quakers in name only. Their inner identity was allied with the terrorist campaign against Israel.

Khalil Totah, the head of the local Friends school in Ramallah, toured America and the UK at that time calling for an end to Jewish immigration and the destruction of the embryonic Jewish state. Totah had been described as the most active member of the Washington Arab Office, an organization that the Anti-Nazi League claimed was under the control of the Mufti of Jerusalem– an ally of Hitler.

At the time, Totah was more radical than the AFSC leaders he encountered. But the AFSC today denounces Israel at every opportunity, demands an end to the embargo of Hamas run Gaza, and under the influence of its radical Pacific Mountain Region wing is approaching a total boycott of Israel. The AFSC’s name has already appeared on flyers calling for a boycott of Israel and the AFSC lists events staged by the boycott, divest, and sanctions movement on its site.

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  • Pathena

    See Gunter Lewy, Peace and Revolution, about how traditional peace groups had become supporters of violent revolution. Also, see H. D. Kirk's monograph, Friendly Perversion.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      yup all worthwhile

  • keoke888

    According to the Truth Prevention Specialists at AFSC, Francois Genoud is an oppressed freedom fighter, and non-Muslims in the Middle East is violence?

  • effemall

    One should welcome such organizations, as AFSC, shedding non-violence because that makes them fair game for counter-violence which is what they deserve and which is what they will eventually meet.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      They still remain behind the camouflage of violence, like most of the Western left, they rely on Muslim and south of the border Marxist terrorists to do the violent part for them.

    • mlcblog

      I was saddened and somewhat shocked in the 1960's to learn up close in meetings that the AFSC was frankly and totally procommunist, more so than many other organizations by far. So it does not surprise me to see them taking up with another anit-American force, terrorists of any type.

      Perhaps their roots were once noble, as in conscientious objection to war and helping victims of war back in WW1 (1917) but they sure strayed, or did they? They are still presenting themselves as the Society of Friends.Ever so objective, ever so innocent and trustworthy. I think not. It may have always been a front.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        Their roots leaned socialist then, they just discarded the pacifism. Like a lot of the religious left, they're just a pro-communist, pro-terrorist group that puts on a self-righteous act.

  • tanstaafl

    "Evil exist because good people do nothing." – Edmund Burke (I think).

    • UCSPanther

      I think it's "Evil only prevails when good men do nothing"

      • Daniel Greenfield

        There are variations all loosely derived from a different Burkean phrase.

  • Brujo Blanco

    His group has been supporting the enemies of our country since Viet Nam. The writer is correct: they are Quakers in name only. When are we going to start taking action against our true enemies?

  • Questions

    At one point in his movie, "Sleeper," Woody Allen's character joked that he was a peaceful man — that he was once beaten up by Quakers. Unfortunately, at the rate the AFSC is going, such violence one day may be real.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Not just one day, I suspect when some of these people show up at rallies they get fairly angry.

  • curmudgeon

    when pennsylvania was under attack by various western tribes, the quakers sided with the tribes, and did everything they could to prevent the pennsylvanian government from defending its citizens from slaughter. however, when misguided but vengeful whites undertook to murder the peaceful christian conestogues, the quakers did nothing to help the victime of genocide. do not place your trust in quakers, history asserts. nonviolence sounds good, until it meets muslims, who will slap that other cheek, and cut the throat for good measure. it would be ok if it was just the quakers getting their throats cut, it might be a learning experience for them. unfortunately, they dont mind watching their friends get their throats cut, or get locked up in a building and burned to death.

    • curmudgeon

      btw, the pennsylvanians who were ostensibly trying to protect the connestogues first disarmed them, before letting the extremists lock them in a building and burn them to death. that disarming thing…………does it sound a little familiar? our benevolent government would love to disarm its peaceful citizens. they dont even have a plan for disarming the criminals.

      • curmudgeon

        first disarm, then murder. it didnt end in pennsylvania. when the mormons beset the wagon train from arkansas at mountain meadows and beseiged them for 5 days, the mormon peace talkers promised them safety, but only if they gave up their arms. then they murdered the disarmed travelers. when someone smooth talks about taking away your arms for your safety, start shooting.

        • mlcblog

          amen, brother

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Yup this is an important piece of history that most don't reference, kudos for mentioning it.

  • tagalog

    What micblog says, and curmudgeon, are absolutely true. The American Friends Service Committee is undoubtedly pro-Communist, or at least they were during the Vietnam War era, as they spent considerable time and resources on a program for Quakers and Quaker sympathizers to donate blood to the North Vietnamese, avoiding donating blood in any organized way to our own soldiers. For a time I worked as a draft counselor at the Boston Draft Resisters' Guild and I had to quit in disgust over that. The Quakers had my respect as committed and courageous pacifists before that blood drive thing, but I lost it at that moment and have never regained it. The Quakers I have known have a quiet way of letting you know that their social ideas are far superior to yours and there's no point in trying to talk to them.