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Letter sent by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein to Daily Pilot and copied to us here.

I was very disappointed with your coverage of the speech yesterday at UCI [Islamic Head Blasts] You simply rehashed his propaganda, except now for a wider audience and included clearly false information.

The title of the entire article is not factual because he is NOT a leader.  You wrote that Al Asi is the leader of The Islamic Center in DC – which he is clearly not.  Rather he is a marginalized radical that was kicked out of the mosque in DC nearly a quarter century ago! By his own admission, he is not the Imam of a mosque, and prays outside.

Since the speaker repeatedly called for an end to Israel, and that Israel will be wiped off the map, I was surprised that this was not the headline.  After all, calling for genocide is a serious crime.  Calling on the US to stop supporting Israel is his right—calling on Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to wipe out Israel is horrendous and deserved mention in your article.

In addition, the annual week of events that vilify Israel and the Jews was called “Holocaust in the Holy Land” last year, and has a different name each year.  Your article said it was the annual “week of seminars, “Israel: Apartheid Resurrected,””  which is simply not true.

In addition, your article had only one symbolic quote from a member of the Jewish community, when there were plenty of Jewish students and leaders in the area to interview, some with Kippahs.

In addition you write, “the strife between Israel and Palestine has led to conflict at UCI recently, with the federal government and Hillel Foundation of Orange County both investigating allegations of anti-Semitism on the campus.”  This is also false.  The federal government is investigating whether the civil rights of Jewish students have been violated. Not visa-versa.

Please immediately print a retraction of the mistakes in the article.

I hope that in future articles you will have a chance to utilize more critical investigation of the subject matter;  that you will recognize the clear-cut references to genocide, mass-murder and support for outlandish conspiracy theories; that you challenge them on the the content of the propaganda speech we heard yesterday replete with misinformation and lies.

Rabbi Yonah Bookstein


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