Articles by Zachary Lichaa:
LA Jewish Federation Cancels Event Citing Muslim Threats
Citing security concerns that the building might be stormed by Muslim activists, the Federation informed the Zionist Organization of America – which was hosting the event – that the speech would be called off.
“We said, ‘we will pay for additional security so there will be no problems,’” Morton Klein, President of the ZOA, told The Algemeiner. “They rejected that, saying ‘we’re not going to let Pam Geller or any of your people in the building.’”
Klein says the event was posted for months on the Federation’s website and that everything was done transparently throughout the process of scheduling Geller to speak, and that the timing of the cancellation was upsetting.
“If there was a problem, we should have discussed it earlier, but we shouldn’t cancel a talk because of threats and condemnations from the Muslim world,” Klein said.
The Jewish Federation of Greater LA has not returned requests for comment on this story.
Geller, who is a controversial author and activist criticized by some for her beliefs towards Islam, says the Jewish Federation in LA has set a dangerous precedent.
“I think it was a disaster. Zionism is not welcome at the LA Jewish Federation,” she said in an interview with The Algemeiner. “It was almost a historical moment where they would cave to a group who is affiliated with Hamas,” she said, referring to reports that the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has been linked to the terrorist group by the U.S. Congress, was responsible for the event’s cancellation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, CAIR representative Hussam Ayloush says his group will not be affected by people like Geller.
“We will not be affected by the noise of people who hopefully become more and more irrelevant,” Ayloush said. “Unfortunately, outrageous rhetoric gets attention because it’s outrageous, and Pamela Geller knows that very well.”
Suggestions that the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles may have made their decision based on threats from “left-wing” donors, and not Muslim activists, were made to The Algemeiner by numerous sources.
And according to Klein, officials from the Federation have apologized to the ZOA for the cancellation.
“They called and told us they made a mistake,” he said.
“We have nothing against the Federation. They do important work and they help Israel,” Klein added.