Category Archives: OF PUBLIC RECORD

Of Public Record


“Some entertainment for the next generation of Mujaheddin…#ISIS.”

Caption for two photos, posted on Twitter by one Abu Bakr Al-Janabi, of a child wielding a knife and acting out on a doll the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley


“Having rehabilitated themselves against considerable odds in a minute corner of the earth, the descendants of powerless people who were pushed out of Europe and the Islamic Middle East have become what their grandparents were—the pool into which the world spits. The Jews of Israel are the screen onto which it has become socially acceptable to project the things you hate about yourself…  The tool through which this psychological projection is executed is the international press.”

Journalist Matti Friedman, a former AP and Jerusalem Report correspondent, who has filed from Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Moscow, and Washington


“This war was unprecedented.  Words can’t describe this victory.”

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah after emerging from his bunker, where he had been hiding for many weeks, to survey the death and destruction his group visited upon Gaza


“In Gaza we are dealing with the enemies of Allah, who believe that the matzos that they bake on their holidays must be kneaded with blood. When the Jews were in the diaspora, they would murder children in England, in Europe, and in America. They would slaughter them and use their blood to make their matzos… They believe that they are God’s chosen people. They believe that the killing of any human being is a form of worship and a means to draw near their god.

Sheik Bassam Ammoush, a member of the Jordanian Senate, in a sermon aired on the official Jordanian TV channel


“We don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or college; we don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford.”

British Parliament member George Galloway


“Jewish Ritual Murder”

The name of a Facebook page that was taken down for one day but then reposted, after the company decided that it was an acceptable offering. A recent post asserts that “Naturally, the Jews aren’t the only group who have practiced (and might still practice) ritual murder”


“The cure for depression is jihad.”

British national “Brother Abu Dara al-Hindi,” speaking on a video to Muslims in the West who are dissatisfied with their lives, and encouraging them to join ISIS

Of Public Record

“If you go to an Orthodox synagogue, even if you don’t look Jewish, they kind of assume there must be a reason that you’re there. At a Reform synagogue or Conservative synagogue, which is what I converted to, they’re just very suspicious because there are so many people who go to shul and aren’t religious; a lot of them don’t even want to be there themselves unless it’s the High Holidays.”

Korean-American author and Conservative convert Euny Hong


“There are young black men that commit crime. We can argue about why that happened — because the poverty they were born into or the school systems that failed them or what have you— but if they commit a crime, then they need to be prosecuted.”

President Barack Obama, inter alia, on the protests over the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black youth by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri


“Here in Egypt, we respect human rights. I ask you to respect human rights too… We should send Egyptian observers to monitor these demonstrations.”

Egyptian TV host Osama Mounir, commenting on the killing of Mr. Brown, and protests that ensued



A recent hashtag, tweeted nearly 12,000 times


“At this time there is no indication of this being a hate crime.”

Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez, about the murder of a bearded Orthodox rabbi, Joseph Raskin, who, a witness said, was killed by two men who walked away from the killing smiling. Mere weeks earlier, an Orthodox synagogue was vandalized, spray-painted with swastikas and the word “Hamas.” A couple of days later and nearby to the original incident, two cars were smeared with cream cheese and eggs, and on one of them, the words “Jew” and “Hamas” were written


“The journalists who entered Gaza were fixated on the notion of peace and on the Israeli narrative… [and were intent] “on filming the places from where missiles were launched. Thus, they were collaborating with the occupation.”

Isra Al-Mudallal, the head of foreign relations in Hamas’s Information Ministry. The Israeli army reports that large numbers of rockets fired into Israel over recent weeks were launched from residential areas, including schools, mosques and residences


“The security agencies would go and have a chat with these people. They would [unsuccessfully] give them some time to change their message, one way or another.”

Ms. Al-Mudallal, explaining why some journalists were deported by Hamas from Gaza



Part of an e-mail received by the parents of James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by members of the Islamist group ISIS


“a cancer”

President Obama, describing ISIS



FBI Director James Comey’s choice of word for ISIS members


“The popular will was exercised throughout our occupied land, and culminated in the heroic operation by the Al-Qassam Brigades in capturing the three settlers in Hebron.

Senior Hamas official Salach Al-Aruri, admitting (after earlier official denials) that his group was indeed behind the murders of yeshiva students Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.

Of Public Record

“ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name.”

Senior Dutch Justice Ministry employee Yasmina Haifi, explaining things to the world


“The time has come to say very clearly that if a woman or child is killed in Gaza , then the Jewish board of deputies [sic], who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye. The time has come for the conflict to be waged everywhere the Zionist supporters fund and condone the war killing machine of Isreal [sic].”

Tony Ehrenreich, the leader of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape province and one of South Africa’s more important political voices.


“The destruction is not important, the importance is that we kill Jews and capture them.”

Gazan resident Mahmoud Barbah, 28, keeping his eye on the evil ball as he surveyed the wages of Israel’s retaliatory bombings of Gaza


To have scratched out of rock this incredibly vibrant, incredibly successful, wealthy and powerful country is a testament to the ingenuity, energy and vision of the Jewish people. And because Israel is so capable militarily, I don’t worry about Israel’s survival… 

President Obama.  His words were represented by some as showing his lack of concern about Israel’s survival


“I think the question really is how does Israel survive. And how can you create a State of Israel that maintains its democratic and civic traditions. How can you preserve a Jewish state that is also reflective of the best values of those who founded Israel. And, in order to do that, it has consistently been my belief that you have to find a way to live side by side in peace with Palestinians.”

President Obama, in the same set of remarks.  His words were cited by the same people as evidence of his lack of concern about Israel’s survival


“Did you ever think, you killed all the funny people?”

Recently deceased comedian Robin Williams, asked several years ago by a German reported why he thinks there is not much comedy in Germany


“We want to return to the era of swords and fight. We don’t want your submachine guns, your pistols, or your RPGs. Let the Arab peoples use these swords… I am certain that the Arab and Muslim… will march with their swords. If you find a single Zionist in Israel after that, get back to us.”

Political activist and Jordanian “Future TV” channel owner Husam Al-Abdala, as he waved a sword live on air

“We are seeing the beginning of the end of Jewish history in Europe… Apart from the ultra-Orthodox who will keep their identities, all other Jews who don’t have that connection to Israel will assimilate.”

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky

Of Public Record

“It’s a lack of appreciation of how Israeli discourse works.  It’s your average Jewish Friday night family meal, taken to the hundredth power.”

Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, explaining the nature of differences between the U.S. and Israel, which some media have characterized as a rift between the two nations  


“Count [the Jews] one by one and kill them to the very last one… turn their food to poison and make the air they breathe blazing hot.”

Entreaty to Allah by Sheikh Abd Al-Barr Al-Rawdhi in a sermon at Al-Rahma Mosque in San Donà di Piave, Italy.  The Italian Ministry of the Interior later announced that it was expelling the sheikh for “seriously disturbing the peace”


“We need peace with the Jewish people, good relations, not war”

Raghda Hejazi, a Gazan mother of five, in a refreshingly realistic, if atypical, comment to a reporter


“The only thing we gained is destruction.”

Fouad Harara, a Gazan laborer, in another realistic comment


Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn,”

Headline of an advertisement featuring the words of Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, which appeared in the New York Times and other papers but which The London Times refused to run.   The reason given was: “the opinion being expressed is too strong and too forcefully made and will cause concern amongst a significant number of Times readers”


“It is one organization with two wings or two departments.”

Mousa Abu Marzook, senior Hamas political leader, offering unconvincing “clarification” about  why his declared willingness to negotiate with Israel as part of a Palestinian “unity government” will prevent Hamas’ military arm from continuing to attack Israelis


“Maybe it’s not 1939, but it may be 1934.”

Historian Deborah Lipstadt, about the explosion of anti-Semitism in parts of Europe


“The virulent reaction around the world to Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza is making rethink that argument.”

Forward editor Jane Eisner, referring to her long-held assumption that global anti-Zionism isn’t necessarily anti-Semitism


“The Arabs were not very nice [at Israel’s founding] and it led to problems.”

Filmmaker Woody Allen, offering a brief and understated history lesson after expressing his pain at the “tragic and terrible” situation in Gaza


“Wolf, Wolf, Wolf, Wolf, you have to be fair. You can’t end that – I must end that because you asked me and I want to answer.”

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan, to CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer, who had asked Mr. Hamdan if he was prepared to retract his public claim that Jews use Christian blood for matzos.   Mr. Hamdan failed to do so, instead offering the less-than-satisfying defense that “This was said by everyone. I was saying they are part of what was being said”


“At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?”

“Ever wonder what would happen if the KKK had F-16s and access to a surplus population of minorities? See #Israel and #Gaza.”

“[Journalist] Jeffrey Goldberg’s story should have ended at the pointy end of a shiv.”

Tweets by Virginia Tech associate professor of English Steven Salaita, who had been offered a job by the University of Illinois, which subsequently withdrew its offer.


“unflinching support”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, characterizing the United States’ stance in a recent U.N. General Assembly session, offering thanks to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry


“I don’t see any attention from the rest of the world. In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, ‘Save Gaza, save Gaza!’”

A member of the minority Kurdish ethnic/religious community Yazidi in Iraq, lamenting murders committed by ISIS, the “Islamic State.”  The group recently hoisted some of its victims severed heads on poles 

Of Public Record

“It’s not strange that they have been so frequently expelled. What is surprising, is that they persist… The Jewish People could have done much good for mankind” but “it is as though they were not made to coexist.”

Award-winning playwright and author Antonio Gala, in an op-ed published by the Spanish daily El Mundo


If you are revived after, say, 100 years, your new life will in no way resemble your old one… existence as you knew it will have been irrevocably discontinued. And unless key members of your social circle froze themselves with you, you’re going to be very lonely.

Author Judith Shulevitz, inadvertently channeling Choni Hame’agel, in an essay about the prospect of freezing dying people to later revive them.


“We reviewed your report of “Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews” [Facebook page name]. Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the Page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”

Initial response by Facebook administrators to a complaint.  The company later removed the page at issue.


“We all remember how the Jews used to slaughter Christians, in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos. It is a fact, acknowledged by their own books and by historical evidence. It happened everywhere, here and there.”

Osama Hamdan, top Hamas representative in Lebanon and a member of the Hamas political bureau, in a television interview  


“Your governments always say they don’t pay. When you go back, I want you to tell your people that your government does pay. They always pay.”

An Al Qaeda guard to a kidnapped Italian woman.  An investigation by The New York Times found that Al Qaeda and its direct affiliates have taken in at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008


“You have to wonder w the shelling how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.”

Nick Casey of the Wall Street Journal, in a tweet that was quickly deleted, although he was still put on a Hamas list of journalists who “lie/fabricate info for Israel” and “must be sued” – although Hamas has resorted to less legal means of revenge.


The belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy… The fact you are unwilling to examine the philosophical foundations of what you do does not mean those foundations are not there; it just means they are unexamined.

Physicist George Ellis, considered one of the world’s greatest cosmologists, in an interview


“Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she’ll get rid of the pain.”

A Belgian physician manning a medical hotline in Flanders, responding to the son of a Jewish woman who had fractured a rib.  Health ministry officials were “looking into the incident”


“Jews are a litmus test of what’s going on. It’s not only Jews who will leave the country. It’s not only France who will go down the drain, it’s not only Europe, it’s the entire Western world, including the United States.”

Dr. Richard Prasquier, former president of France’s national Jewish association, on the implications of rising anti-Semitism in his country and other European nations


“I’m sure that people who bring their kids to Maimonides find the case is never probed. Maimonides is very dependent on the Haredi community.”

Rabid anti-charedi blogger Shmarya Rosenberg, quoted in The Daily Beast, sharing his belief in a conspiracy theory to hide instances of disease in Jewish babies.


“That Mayor de Blasio has stepped back from Bloomberg’s position is outrageous—he is in essence saying, ‘Go kill your infants as long as you vote for me.’”

“Activist” Ben Hirsch, quoted in the same article, on his conclusion that New York’s new mayor may not seek to regulate the practice of metzitza bipeh as his predecessor did.


“These haredi get in at 8 and work till 5, they don’t move… When they work, they really work.”

Liat Mordechay, co-founder 24me, an iOS calendar lifestyle application, on why she employs “the ultra-Orthodox”


“It is very difficult to identify Hamas because they don’t have uniforms or any visible insignia; our photographer hasn’t even seen anyone carrying a gun.”

Eileen Murphy, the New York Times’ vice president for corporate communications, responding to an inquiry about why, among the many Gaza photographs the paper has published, none depict Hamas members.


“I acted as a doctor through to the very end.”

French physician Nicolas Bonnemaison, who, at least seven times, ended the lives of comatose patients in his care without permission from their families.  A Paris jury acquitted him of all charges.

Of Public Record — quotes culled from recent days’ media

“I lied.  Like they do”

Ron Dermer, current Israeli ambassador to the U.S., as a college undergraduate, responding to his mother when she asked him how he had managed, on his professor’s demand, to argue persuasively that Israel should be condemned for its treatment of Palestinians


“We are like brothers.  We can fight, and we can reconcile.”

Ayed Thawabteh, a Fatah activist from Hebron, on his current support for Hamas, despite its murder of hundreds of his compatriots.


“For the first time in the history of the abhorred country, the state of Israel, sirens are heard around the clock and over three million people flee to their hideouts. Schools, governmental departments, and airports came to a halt. When have we ever heard of such things? This is the beginning of good things to come.”

Sheik Tareq Al-Hawwas, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, in a Friday sermon on Qatar TV


Nie Wieder Juden-Hass” (“Never Again Jew-Hatred”)

Front-page headline in Bild, the largest circulation paper in Germany


“They are not shouting ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris. They are screaming ‘Death to the Jews’ ”

Roger Cukierman, of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France


“arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world”

American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen, describing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and demanding the return of a “Profile of Courage” award the group gave Mr. Erdoğan in 2004


“But I have no doubt in my mind that along with all of them, Birthright shares some measure of the blame.”

Slate senior editor Allison Benedikt, opining on the death in Gaza of an American-born oleh serving in the IDF  


“Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not, under any circumstances.”

A sign, in Turkish, in a Belgian café, which was eventually removed by police


“Kill Jews” “Hitler should finish you off”  “Baby killers”

Phrases shouted at 22-year-old Samantha Hamilton, who was among six Canadian supporters of Israel attacked by a 100-strong mob in Calgary.  Her brother, she said, had a Star of David shirt ripped off, and was bitten and stomped on, suffering a concussion.  Her mother was punched in the stomach and knocked to the ground.


“… I would just like to remind you of the ruling by the Israeli rabbis, who have instructed the soldiers to knead the [dough for] the bread that the Jews eat with the blood of Arab and Palestinian children.”

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab

Of Public Record — quotes culled from recent days’ media


“It’s not like I was some social outcast… like I was an anarchist or somebody who just wants to destroy the world… No, I was a regular person.  And mujahedeen are regular people too.”

Canadian-born ISIS terrorist Andre Poulin (who in fact had a “violent threat” arrest record in Canada), in a video promoting jihad.  Mr. Poulin was killed in Syria last year at the age of 24.


“There’s a climate change establishment and I’m not in it.”

John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, on being shunned by his colleagues for contending that predictions of future global warming are greatly overstated.


“[I just like] those funny, funny names”

Joram Kamau, the owner of a matatu, or minibus, in Kenya, on his choice of “Hitler” as the name of his vehicle (painted on the windshield in 7-inch-high letters and stitched into every seat).  Mr. Kamau said he had never heard of the Holocaust.


“I have ‘chai’ tattooed on my body.  I will always hold Jewish traditions near to my heart.”

Cliff Freid, who has opened a restaurant in Manhattan that serves food made from, or with, ants, worms and other insects, on the disconnect between the fare he offers and Jewish law.


“I kind of phased things in. I started with keeping kosher and keeping Shabbos, but the dressing came about 10 years later.  I think I really did see it the way I’d say most people who are outside the Orthodox world look at it: ‘Why should I give up summer clothes?’ And I was very surprised to find out when I made the changeover that it’s nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be.  It’s not about making yourself ugly, it’s about focusing on the inside, not the outside.”

New Jersey lawyer Janette Frisch, who began to undertake Jewish observance in college, on how dressing modestly on hot days ceased to be an issue for her.


“You cannot read the Hebrew Scripture without encountering the idea that there’s a very strong covenant between G-d and the Jewish people,”

Pew Research Center director of religion research Alan Cooperman, in an understatement, on Evangelicals’ particularly high regard for Jews, revealed in a recent poll that showed Jews are the “best liked group” in America.  (Atheists and Muslims were the least liked.)


“I did not leave Morocco for France to be confronted by Morocco again in France,”

An unnamed Casablanca-born Jewish doctor, to French journalist Michel Gurfinkiel



Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, offering his judgment of Israel’s bombing of missile sites in Gaza, a judgment Armenians would, and accurately, apply elsewhere.


“We don’t need statements of regret from Israel.”

Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch, after Israel apologized for civilian casualties in Gaza.  He didn’t indicate whether or not Israel needs rocket attacks on its citizens.