Category Archives: synagogues

A fully controlled threat to our freedoms?

When it comes to Jews and politics, Ben White claims to know a fair amount. White often frames his arguments with moral and theological concepts.

White gives talks in churches and theological colleges, and his writing is praised by vicars, archbishops and other prominent clergymen. His book on Israel has received positive reviews on the Ekklesia website, an evangelical blog, and his letter in the Independent on Israel’s 60th birthday has raised his profile significantly amongst Christians.

Christians supportive of Ben White’s attitude towards Israel and Jews would do well to consider the following:

In May, Ben White responded to a news story about the arrest of antisemites plotting to blow up a synagogue, publishing a blog post entitled ‘A fully controlled threat to our freedoms.’ I critiqued this post here, questioning which of ‘our freedoms’ White thought were threatened by the arrest of antisemites (answers on a postcard).

Now a sentence of 70 months in prison has been given to the last remaining plotter involved in this case.

Arutz Sheva reports:

70 Months in Jail for Plot to Attack US Synagogues, El Al

( A United States federal judge in southern California handed down a 70-month prison term on Monday to Hammad Riaz Samana, the fourth Muslim member of an anti-Jewish terrorist cell to be sentenced. Other members of the cell are serving up to 20 years in jail.

Samana and his co-conspirators planned to attack synagogues, the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, El Al Airlines and military bases. They planned to attack on the dates of Jewish holidays in order to maximize casualties.

The Jami’yyat Ul-Islam Is-Shaheeh terrorist cell was headed by Kevin James and included Samana, Levar Haley Washington and Gregory Patterson. They carried out 11 armed robberies on gas stations and used the cash to buy weapons before being arrested four years ago. Investigators in Washington’s apartment found bulletproof vests, knives, Jihad literature and lists of potential targets.

Washington is serving 22 years in jail, while James was sentenced to 16 years and Patterson was sentenced to 12.5 years. Judge Cormac Carney acknowledged that the 70-month jail sentence was lighter than the terms handed to other members of the cell and explained that he took into account the terrorist’s mental condition.

Samana, a native of Pakistan and a U.S. national, had conducted computer research to hit targets and was the getaway driver in at least one of the robberies. He was recruited at a mosque in Los Angeles.

So I’ve said it once before but it bears repeating. How are Ben White’s freedoms threatened by this? If White can understand why some people might be vicious to Jews, can’t he understand why some people might arrest those plotting violent crimes against Jews? Can this be justified logically, theologically, or otherwise?


Filed under synagogues, theology, understanding

Another fully-controlled threat to Ben White’s freedoms?

Here. Perhaps Ben will reassure us that this too is a fake?

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Ben White sees conspiracy in synagogue bomb plot

Update 1: This is now a guest post on Harry’s Place. While you’re there, read Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust on Ken Loach and Ben White’s “understanding” antisemitism.

Update 2: Efrafran Days has more on the oh-so-sensitive Ben White.

Here is Ben White’s take on the alleged plot to blow up a synagogue in New York.

Have a read:

A fully controlled threat to our freedoms
May 21st, 2009
A federal law enforcement official described the plot as “aspirational” — meaning that the suspects wanted to do something but had no weapons or explosives — and described the operation as a sting with a cooperator within the group.

It was fully controlled at all times,” a law enforcement official said.

Ben White thus seemingly admits that those arrested were planning an attack on a synagogue, yet bizarelly titles his post ‘A fully controlled threat to our freedoms.’ So what are ‘our freedoms’ here then? Is this about our freedom to worship in synagogues without fear of terrorist attack, or about our freedom to plot attacks on synagogues so long as we aren’t successful in carrying them out, or don’t actually have explosives? Must the police wait until the crime has been committed before any action is taken?

Surely law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear by the police arresting those demonstrably planning attacks on synagogues. Which makes Ben White’s blog post pretty creepy, does it not?

Perhaps Ben could explain what he meant?

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