DIMPOOL INTERVIEW SERIES
INTERVIEW WITH JOE KAUFMAN
ABOUT AMERICANS AGAINST HATE
Dimpool: Could you please give us some information about your organization? What kind of events does your organization hold?
Joe Kaufman: Americans Against Hate (AAH) was founded in August 1998. We are an anti-bigotry, terrorism watchdog group. We sponsor conferences, hold demonstrations and give lectures regarding subjects related to bigotry and terror.
RADICAL ISLAM AND TERRORISM
Dimpool: At the web-page of your organization, it has been stated that AAH fights against those who are affiliated with groups involved in White Supremacy, Radical Islam and other violent organizations. In your opinion what is radical Islam?
Joe Kaufman: Radical Islam is a supremacist ideology, which looks to subvert Western society either by violent means or stealth means.
Dimpool: Especially after 9/11 attacks there has been an ongoing nervousness amongst Americans. Do you believe that there is always a possibility of an another attack in the US soils, so the US should be alerted all the time?
Joe Kaufman: 9/11 showed us that America is not isolated from terrorism abroad. What has gone on in Israel for so many years could just as easily occur over here, and following 9/11, there have been documented instances where terror-related attacks within America have occurred and/or have been stopped. So yes, America and Americans should always be on the alert.
ANTI-SEMITISM AND ANTI-ZIONISM
Dimpool: Anti-Semitism is probably one of the biggest problems that Jewish community face these days. Moreover, many people mix anti-Israelism with anti-Semitism. What are your opinions regarding these issues?
Joe Kaufman: Just because someone is criticizing Israel doesn’t mean he/she is an anti-Semite. However, there are those who use anti-Zionism as a politically acceptable form of anti-Semitism, whereby they act to target the entire Jewish community through “the Zionists.” The perpetrators of this are usually the same individuals and groups (Islamist, white nationalist, etc.) who claim that there is too much Jewish influence over the media, political parties and/or banking institutions.
Dimpool: There is an ongoing war between Hamas and Israeli government, and whenever two sides were getting closer to an agreement something violent happens and it prevents the peace process. (For example; The shockingly brutal murder of a sleeping Israeli family on March 11, 2011) Why do you think Palestinian side acted so violently ?
Joe Kaufman: Hamas is part of the global Muslim Brotherhood movement which considers Israel an illegal entity. The group’s charter (and Fatah’s charter, as well) calls for Israel’s complete destruction. So it makes sense for a terrorist group such as Hamas to attempt to derail any type of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S POLICIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Dimpool: How do you define the movements in the Middle East and President Obama’s Middle Eastern policy? As many people in the US are criticizing Obama for being passive in the area and he does not give enough support to the Israeli State.
Joe Kaufman: Regarding the Obama Administration’s Israel policy, the administration should understand that Israel’s importance to America comes on a number of levels: as an economic partner, as a strategic ally, as a western-style democracy, and as a center of biblical heritage and religious freedom. Given all of these things, it would make sense for America to support Israel in a big way.
Dimpool: As far as you know Israeli-Turkish relations has reached a new low after the flotilla incident. But even before that, Turkish government has criticized Israel on every possible area (For example; Davos incident). Moreover Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that “One day, East Jerusalem will be given to Palestine, and we will all pray in those lands. This is not a fantasy – it is a vision”. How do you analyse Turkish government’s behavior toward Israel?
Joe Kaufman: Turkey, once praised for its status as a secular democracy, has more and more been moving towards Islamism. Turkey could have been a model of peace with Israel, for other Middle Eastern countries to emulate. Now, though, the nation has shown that it is just one of the crowd, when it comes to bashing the Jewish state or embracing pro-terror groups such as Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH). The flotilla incident was only the climax to what had been building up for quite some time.
Dimpool: Some analysts in Israel states that “even though Turkey’s aggressive behavior, Israel should not lose Turkey” Do you believe that Turkey is an invaluable ally to Israel ?
Joe Kaufman: I don’t believe so. I think losing an ally – albeit a cold one – like Egypt is much more troublesome to Israel than Turkey could ever be. I think Turkey could have been a friend to Israel but not a threat. Egypt, without Mubarak, with its large Muslim Brotherhood population, and with all of its American-made weaponry and aircraft, is an instant threat to the existence of Israel.
GULEN MOVEMENT IN THE US
Dimpool: There is an Islamic movement raised from Turkey called Gulen movement, it s leader Fethullah Gulen lives in the US, and there are too many different point of views regarding that movement. Some Journalists and Analysts (Claudio Gatti–Dr.Paul Williams–Soner Cagaptay and many others) state that the movement has a secret agenda and it is dangerous. What are your opinions regarding the Gulen Movement ?
Joe Kaufman: It has been reported that Fethullah Gulen made the following statement: “The philosophy of our service is that we open a house somewhere and, with the patience of a spider, we lay our web to wait for people to get caught in the web.”
If this quote did indeed come from Gulen, then how could anyone place their trust in either him or his movement?