The notion that this will lessen the "wave of bitterness towards Muslims" by the American extreme right wing led by Palin, Limbaugh and Gingrich is laughable.
After weeks of heated debate over plans for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero - the site of the 9/11 attacks on New York - it seems Muslim leaders will soon back down, agreeing to move to a new site.
The decision follows a high-profile campaign against the project that included advertisements on New York buses showing images of the burning Twin Towers, an iconic landmark razed when al-Qaida terrorists flew packed passenger planes into them in 2001. The New York Republican party is also said to be planning a hostile television campaign.Sources in New York said on Monday that Muslim religious and business leaders will announce plans to abandon the project in the next few days.
But several people familiar with the debate among New York's Islamic activists now claim that the leaders are convinced abandoning the site is preferable to unleashing a wave of bitterness towards Muslims.
They also hope the move will be seen as a show of sensitivity to families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and to the American public generally.
They see Muslims and Islam as the enemy and this victory will only encourage them to be just as spiteful and unprincipled in their next attack.
I find it so distressing that this right wing hate machine actually works. The people in question don't even believe in what they are saying, they are simply searching for wedge issues with which to batter the Democrats, shamelessly pretending that they are standing up for some high moral purpose whilst, in actuality, they are simply engaging in gutter politics.
Make no mistake, the Republicans will not be pleased that this mosque has decided to relocate, no matter what noises they make publicly. They had hoped to milk this for all that it was worth all the way until November. All that will happen now is that they will go in search of another wedge issue. That's simply what these people do.
Harry Reid is showing the spinelessness for which the Democrats are famous:
Maybe it’s because he’s in a reelection fight with a far-right opponent. Or maybe it’s because Harry Reid doesn’t really support the Constitution. Breaking with President Obama, the Senate Majority Leader has, unfortunately, decided to come out with a statement urging that the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero be located elsewhere, according to his spokesperson Jim Manley.
The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else. If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 911, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation.
Despite Reid’s reaffirmation of this right, his response is still weak and indefensible. And it leaves the President hanging after he took a big risk to do the right thing. Obama did not explicitly endorse the decision to build the center. But Obama did say that if the group does proceed with that decision, we must respect that decision, in accordance with American values.
Reid is not willing to say that. Rather, he’s saying, in effect, that even if he supports the group’s right to build the center, he’s not willing to respect the decision to do so. That’s unacceptable, and leaves Obama isolated at a very sensitive moment.
What’s more, it’s unclear why coming out against the plan in the manner Reid did is even good politics for Democrats at this point. Reid basically threw the whole Dem caucus under the bus: With the Senate leader at odds with the president, the media will press every Senate Dem to declare which side they’re on.Reid has rolled over in the face of the Republican hate machine, throwing everyone else under the bus. If the Democrats can't stand up to this nonsense when they are clearly in the right, when can they stand up to it?
The Republican party has veered so much to the right on this issue, and so against their own principles, that even people like Joe Scarborough can't bring himself to defend them.
It really says something when Joe Scarborough has got it right and Harry Reid has it so utterly wrong.
"When I was in Congress in 1994, when I got elected in '94, I was considered to be one of the more conservative guys up there," Scarborough began.
"I am feeling further and further distant from the people who are running my party," he said.
Cardoba House are saying that this Ha'aretz story is false and that they will be issuing a statement shortly.
I am pleased that they are showing more backbone than some Democrats on this issue.
Click here for full article.