Appointment of Salam Al-Marayati to Counter-Terrorism Commission Withdrawn

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 10, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that
many Jewish and Christian leaders have joined Muslims in defending
Al-Marayati’s record on terrorism. Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman, founding
rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, stated: “This assault on
Salam Al-Marayati by a consortium of Jewish organizations is for me,
as a rabbi and as a Jew, an appalling display of ignorance,
mindlessness and arrogance.” Gene Lichtenstein, editor in chief of
the Jewish Journal, has come to Al-Marayati’s defense, along with
Rep. David Bonior (D-Mich), who called Al-Marayati “a person of great
integrity.” Many point to Al-Marayati as a leader in interfaith
dialogue and note that he signed a 1996 statement condemning the
terrorist bombing that killed 62 people in Israel and he also
condemned the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa.


Appointment of Salam Al-Marayati to Counter-Terrorism Commission Withdrawn

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 9, 1999, the Los Angeles Times reported that
House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-MO.) withdrew the
nomination of Salam Al-Marayati to a congressional commission on
counter-terrorism. Gephardt claimed that Al-Marayati would not be
able to gain security clearance in time for him to join the
commission. Gephardt has been under fire from Jewish organizations
ever since he made the appointment. Morton A. Klein, president of the
Zionist Organization of America, accused Al-Marayati of excusing
terrorist attacks against Israel. Al-Marayati has said that his
statements draw a distinction between terrorist acts against Israeli
civilians and military acts launched against Israeli troops in
Lebanon. Although he denounces their terrorist activities,
Al-Marayati has also said that he won’t flatly condemn Hamas or
Hezbollah because they carry out beneficial services, like building
hospitals in Palestinian areas. Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor to
the Muslim Public Affairs Council and head of the Islamic Center of
Southern California, stated: “We feel that it is a very unfortunate
decision, that Congressman Gephardt just responded to pressure from a
very demagogic group that created noise without any proof of their
allegations. It puts us in a very difficult situation.”