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Head of ACT! for America snags spot on UN anti-Semitism panel

Imagine 2050 Staff • Sep 23, 2014

On September 8, Brigitte Gabriel, who heads the virulently anti-Muslim group ACT! for America, was a keynote speaker at a United Nations event titled, “Global Anti-Semitism: A Threat to International Peace and Security.” Why Gabriel would be considered an authority on such matters given her own well-documented history of bigotry, especially toward Palestinians, is anyone’s guess.

The focus of the event was to discuss the phenomenon anti-Semitism worldwide, its history, and how it pertains to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. During the event, Gabriel proceeded to claim the only way to combat anti-Semitism is to provide unwavering support solely for Israel, shifting all the blame for the conflict towards Palestinians.

But speaking maliciously about Palestinians is nothing new for Gabriel, which proves why she is unqualified to be consulted by any reputable institution. For starters, during a 2007 speech at Duke University, Gabriel controversially referred to Arabs as barbarians, saying the difference “between Israel and the Arab world is the difference between civilization and barbarism.” Later in 2012 during an Accuracy in Media podcast, Gabriel further denigrated Palestinians by charging they “have no compassion towards children.”

And in July of this year, Gabriel told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly the reason that more than 300 Palestinian children have been killed this summer as a result of Israeli missile strikes was because “The Palestinians do not value the lives of their children” and are willing to sacrifice them “in the cause of jihad.”

“The Palestinians do not value the lives of their children” and are willing to sacrifice them “in the cause of jihad,” Gabriel said.

And so, the anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim undertones that were prevalent throughout Gabriel’s UN speech came as no surprise. During it, she warned that Israel was not the only country threatened by “Islamic terrorism…authored and perfected by the Palestinians,” and that the entire world is their target.

“Israel and the United States are not separate targets of Islamic terrorism,” she stated. “The whole world is their target and the world better learn this lesson, and learn it fast.”

Gabriel’s rhetoric was perhaps best described in The New York Times 2011 profile of her and her work: “She presents a portrait of Islam so thoroughly bent on destruction and domination that it is unrecognizable to those who study or practice the religion.”

Gabriel slated to return to UN in November

Even more bemusing, Gabriel will perhaps speak in front of the UN soon. Recently during ACT!’s 2014 national conference, the group’s executive director, Kelly Cook, mentioned that Gabriel has been recommended to speak in front of the UN’s General Assembly in November. Cook then, of course, extended an invitation on Gabriel’s behalf, requesting that all those ACT! members in attendance join her in New York City for the occasion.

Cook also revealed that Gabriel has been recommended for such speaking engagements by a member of British Parliament, although which member exactly is not known to Imagine2050 at the time of writing. Reportedly, that same MP was responsible for her appearance on the aforementioned Sept. 8 panel. Gabriel seems to maintain a rapport with such individuals overseas. For example, in Gabriel’s bio on the ACT! webpage, the group claims her “expertise” is sought after by “members of The British Parliament” and “House of Commons.”

Gabriel did speak at the UK House of Commons in 2007. Her book Because They Hate provides additional insight about this trip and how audience members were “receptive” to her claims that London’s alleged spike in anti-Semitism is a “direct side effect of the rise of Islam.”

It was right for the United Nations to feature a panel highlighting the ever present threat of anti-Semitism. Working to combat hate and striving for a more inclusive society remains as important today as ever. But by featuring an individual such as Brigitte Gabriel, who aims to use the persecution of the Jewish people to provoke hatred toward others, is as unacceptable as it paradoxical.

If the UN is serious about combating hate, it should not legitimize those who work to promote it.

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