Pamela Geller: The Bête Noire of Progressive-Left Jewry

Anyone who follows the American Jewish press knows that gadfly Pamela Geller was recently disinvited to give a talk on the subject of Sharia at Great Neck Synagogue on Long Island.  The reason for this is because progressives constantly tell one another that Geller is a racist.  And if the progressive-left despises Geller as a racist, no one on the planet despises Geller more than progressive-left Jews.  Your average progressive Zionist, i.e., your average left-wing Jewish pro-Israel activist, despises Geller far more than he or she despises even the most genocidal of Israel’s enemies.  They quite literally loathe Geller more than they do Muhammed Morsi, who has compared Jews to apes and pigs, and they hate her more than Hamas which calls quite clearly for the genocide of the Jewish people.

How is this possible?  It’s possible, although still wrong-headed, for progressive-Zionists to despise Geller more than even Hamas because they believe, and constantly tell one another, that Geller is an “Islamophobe” that spreads hate speech toward Muslims.

David Wood has some words on the matter that I would recommend people give a listen to.

For myself, I have tended to be a rather reluctant supporter of Geller.

The reason that I find myself a reluctant supporter of Geller is because I am not so familiar with the body of her work that I know that her critics are entirely wrong.   What I do know for certain is that there is nothing the least bit racist or bigoted in the subway advertisements that her group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, put up last year.

There is nothing racist or bigoted or “Islamophobic” about the sentiments in the above ad.  By “savage” she is not referring to Muslims, in general, but to those within the Muslim population who believe that they have a theological obligation to kill Jews and to spread an Islamic caliphate across the planet.  She is referring to the people who committed 9/11.  She is referring to the people who slaughtered the Fogel family and chopped the head off of their three month old baby daughter.  She is referring to those imams in the mosques throughout the Middle East who continually and perpetually call for the murder of the Jewish people wherever we may be found.

Excuse me, but are those people not savages?

Furthermore, when Geller says “Defeat Jihad” she is obviously not referring to the tradition within Islam that Jihad refers to the personal struggle for greater spirituality and relations with the deity.  She is not referring to the notion currently being spread in the United States, within a series of advertisments, that Jihad can refer to jogging or efforts at weight-loss.  Rather, she is referring to the the tradition within Islam that Jihad refers to Holy War – the kind with actual blood.  When the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad decided to name itself Islamic Jihad they were not thinking of prayer, nor the building of bridges through friendship, but of the blood of the infidels.

Ironically, and mister Wood points this out in the video linked to above, it is not Pam Geller who is the bigot, but her detractors who tend to be because they suggest, or imply, that violent Jihadis represent all Muslims.  If Geller calls out the violent Jihad, and her detractors claim that this is an insult to all of Islam, and therefore an insult to all Muslims, this can only mean that her detractors conflate Islam with the violent Jihad.

Now that truly is racist because it implies that Muslims, in general, are no better than the worst terrorists in Hamas, which is to suggest that Muslims are savages.

If Pamela Geller is a racist I have yet to see the evidence.  What I see is a much maligned woman standing up to the enemies of the Jewish people and to the enemies of the infidel west.  What I also see are a whole bunch of moral cowards who defame this woman even as they turn a blind eye to the rise of political Islam throughout the Muslim Middle East.

The rise of political Islam during the Obama administration may be the single most significant geo-political event in world history since the demise of the Soviet Union.  The Muslim Middle East is moving from a period of secular-authoritarian nationalism, as exemplified by people such as Gamal Abdel Nasser, to a period of rising theocratic-authoritarianism in the name of Islam.  This, it should be emphasized, is not an improvement.  On the contrary.  While Hosni Mubarack may have been a dictator he, at least, did not believe in some Allah-given right to slaughter Jews and he did not set himself up as an enemy of the United States and the west.

This is what the Muslim Brotherhood has done and it is precisely what Geller opposes.

Of course, it should be something that anyone who believes in secular democracy should oppose, but they don’t.  Mainstream media throughout the United States and Europe largely pussy-foot around political Islam despite the fact that it represents everything that the secular west allegedly opposes.  Devotees of political Islam (or “radical Islam” or “Islamism”) oppress women, hang Gay people from cranes, and promises the slaughter of the Jewish people and they do so in the name of Allah.  What’s not to like?

Ask Pam Geller, she’ll have some words.


Mike Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at