WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Army said it had eliminated part of a presentation on extremist threats that lumped together haredi Orthodox Jews with the Ku Klux Klan and al-Qaida.
The grouping was part of a slide, revealed Tuesday in a report by the London Daily Mail, that listed under the rubric of "Religious Extremism" terms such as "evangelical Christianity (U.S./Christian)," "Ultra-Orthodox (Israel/Judaism)," "Sunni Muslim (Iraq/Islam)" and "Catholicism (U.S./Christian)." Also listed were groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorist, including Hamas, Kach and al-Qaida, as well as U.S. groups seen as outside the mainstream because of their racist rhetoric, like the Klan and the Nation of Islam.
A statement provided to JTA by Pentagon spokesman George Wright said the presentation made a year ago to Army reservists was an "isolated incident" and that the slide was used once and then dropped. "The slide was not produced by the Army and certainly does not reflect our policy or doctrine," Wright said.
"It was produced by an individual without anyone in the chain of command’s knowledge or permission," he said. "In the notes, it was clearly stated that the presenter was not a subject matter expert and produced the material after conducting Internet research."
Wright noted that the presenter, whom he does not name, apologized.
"After receiving a single complaint following the presentation, this person deleted the slide and it was never again shown," Wright said.
A separate slide in the presentation defines extremist groups as those advocating "the use of force and violence" and "supremacist causes," and that engage "in efforts to deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights."
Another slide lists prohibitions on soldiers’ participation in the activities of such groups.