Al-Jazeera shown the door by local US democracy

Despite what some on Left may want us to believe, average working class, right-leaning American is neither xenophobic, anti-Semitic or intolerant

On Thursday night I came to a Golden, Colorado City Council meeting to ask them to consider our request to place a menorah in downtown Golden this coming Hanukkah. But a much larger controversy was boiling.


Only 20 minutes drive from Democratic National Convention host city Denver, al-Jazeera had asked Golden City Manager, Mike Bestor, if he could help them meet and interview Golden residents. With the support of Golden Mayor Jacob Smith, a special barbeque celebration was arranged for al-Jazeera reporters at the home of Golden City Manager Mike Bestor.


This created an outcry from Golden residents who were opposed to the perceived preferential treatment given to al-Jazeera journalists. There was standing room only at the Council Meeting last night. Grown men who had served in the US armed forces choked with emotion as they described how al-Jazeera’s reporting had helped to embolden our enemies and serves as a propaganda machine for the likes of Osama Bin Laden, Hamas and other terrorists who kill American citizens.


United States army and navy veterans and others stood up one after another demanding that al-Jazeera not be given what they termed as “red carpet treatment” by the City of Golden.


Of course there were some who felt that it was a good idea to treat even those who blatantly help the enemy of the United States with more love than is offered to our allies.


After every one had finished talking the Golden City manager, Mike Bestor, had his turn to explain his position, amazingly he told the audience that he had made a mistake and would therefore be withdrawing his barbeque invitation to al-Jazeera. There was loud applause when he finished speaking. The people had spoken and the elected officials were forced to listen and back down.



This was an amazing example of how the silent majority in the United States have the ability to show laser sharp moral clarity. This was a moment where the average person was galvanized to stand up and say that we will not allow privileges to be given to those who aid and abate terrorists.


But what I found even more insightful was the following. Those at the meeting who supported the al-Jazeera barbeque invitation insinuated that their opponents were bigoted and intolerant of others different than themselves. One speaker even called the veterans and those who agreed with them xenophobes.


But if that was the case one would have assumed that they would have opposed my request to place a menorah in Golden City Center. But instead, after I had finished my speech before the council asking them to consider placing the menorah in Golden, the loudest applause came for the United States army veterans. And after the meeting was over many who had spoken against the al-Jazeera barbeque approached me and voiced support for the menorah proposal.


For me the greatest moment of the night was not just the amazing display of local democracy in action. The most heartening part of the entire evening was the reaffirmation to me that , despite what some on the Left may want us to believe, the average working class, right-leaning American is neither xenophobic, anti-Semitic or intolerant.


Thankfully however, they are on the whole very realistic about the threats posed by the likes of al-Jazeera and the terrorists which they help and support. It is this American realism that gives me hope in the face of the potential Iranian nuclear threat and the ongoing terrorism threat posed by al-Qaeda, Hizbullah, Hamas and others.


Rabbi Levi Brackman is executive director of Judaism in the Foothills , and is the author of 

"Jewish Wisdom for Business Success"



פרסום ראשון: 08.22.08, 11:13
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