Conservative blogger Pamela Geller says L.A. federation nixed her speech


(JTA) — Conservative blogger Pamela Geller is lashing out at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for what she says was its decision to cancel her appearance.

Geller, a fiery critic of Muslims, liberals and mainstream Jewish organizations, took to her blog, Atlas Shrugs, to blast the L.A. federation, comparing modern-day Jewish leaders to those who did not do enough to protest the Nazis in the years leading up to the Holocaust.

“This is tragic. Imagine, without so much as firing a shot, they’re caving in to a Hamas front group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,” Geller wrote.

CAIR had issued its own statement criticizing the L.A. federation for agreeing to allow its space to be used for Geller’s appearance on Sunday. The scheduled talk, sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America, was titled "Islamic Jew-Hatred: The Root Cause of the Failure to Achieve Peace."

Geller gained national attention by leading the efforts to stop the development of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero and has been a leading voice in warning against what she describes as a campaign to impose Islamic law on the United States. She is the author of "Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance" and "The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America."

The Anti-Defamation League, which also opposed the Islamic community center, has accused one of Geller’s organizations of promoting “a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam” and seeking “to rouse public fears by consistently vilifying the Islamic faith."

Geller has lashed out at the ADL and other mainstream Jewish organizations. She sounded a similar note in attacking the L.A. federation.

“Shame on our cowardly leadership for throwing one of our own under the bus,” Geller wrote Sunday. “We expect that from kapos, not from proud Jews who should hold the freedom of speech as a fundamental Jewish value.”

As of press time, the L.A. federation could not be reached for comment.

In its own statement, the ZOA said the L.A. federation cited security concerns in canceling the event.

“We believe that the Jewish Federation has succumbed to political pressure by Muslim and left-wing Jewish groups not to let a rational voice of criticism of Islam and its war against Israel be heard on its premises,” the ZOA said in a statement, as cited on Geller’s website. “These Muslim and Jewish groups have blown up the blogosphere with lies about Ms. Geller and harsh criticism of the ZOA for hosting her at the Jewish Federation.”

ZOA said that such an approach “effectively shuts down free speech.”

Supporters of ZOA have faced similar criticism for their efforts to block communal organizations from providing space to the liberal group J Street and speakers critical of Israeli policy.

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