Center for immigration studies briefing

Federal News Service
May 4, 2004 Tuesday





MARK KRIKORIAN: Good morning. My name is Mark Krikorian. I’m
executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. We’re a
think tank here in Washington that examines and critiques the various
impacts of immigration on the United States. All our work, by the
way, is online — including Dr. Steinlight’s paper, that I’ll
describe briefly in a second — at our website,

President Bush noted in April, his proclamation of Jewish Heritage
week, that this year marks the 350th anniversary of the first
permanent Jewish settlement in the United States in what is now New
York. Since that time America and its Jewish population have grown
and prospered together. In fact, it wouldn’t be too much to say that
American Jews have been a kind of leading indicator of important
social developments in our country.

One such area is immigration policy. Although there were many factors
at work at the time, Jewish organizations did play an important part
in the 1965 immigration law changes that ended the discriminatory
national origin quotas that had been passed in the ’20s. But as the
forces unleashed by that reform have spun out of control, American
Jews are beginning to reassess their customary support for open
immigration and for loose borders. As Daniel Pipes recently said,
“American Jewry’s golden age may actually be coming to an end with
the arrival of large-scale Islamic immigration.”

Despite exaggerated claims by Islamist groups in this country,
Muslims do not yet outnumber Jews in the United States, but if
current immigration policies continue, they almost certainly will
within a relatively short time. In fact, already in Canada the 2001
census showed that Muslims have surpassed Jews in number; one of the
consequences of which is the recent announcement of Ontario that
Sharia will now have the force of law in some disputes regarding

To discuss these issues we’ve brought together an illustrious panel.
Let me just start with a disclaimer with regard to myself. I’m not
really part of the illustrious panel, but one might ask why a Gentile
is telling Jews what to think about immigration. Let me only note
that as an Armenian I’m a Bris away from being Jewish as it is.

MR. : We accept you.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you.

The starting point of the discussion will be Dr. Steinlight and his
new Backgrounder from the center, which we have there on the table,
entitled “High Noon to Midnight: Why Current Immigration Policy Dooms
American Jewry.” Dr. Steinlight is a fellow at the Center for
Immigration Studies and also a fellow at Yale University’s Timothy
Dwight College. For more than six years he was director of National
Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, and two subsequent years he
was a senior fellow there and worked on domestic policy issues such
as immigration, but also church-state relations, civil rights, inter-
group relations, public education and the like.

He’s coeditor of, unfortunately, the book I don’t have at hand. I
don’t have anybody’s books with me. Sorry, David, and sorry, Steve.
Steve’s coeditor of a new book, “Fractious Nation: Race, Class and
Culture at the End of the Century,” from the University of California
Press. Before joining the AJ Committee he was at the National — what
was then the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and before
that with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He was a
professor of English for 20 years — which I’ll forgive him for, not
having a good time in English classes — but taught at the University
of Sussex in England, in Paris, SUNY Plattsburgh, and at NYU.

After Dr. Steinlight’s presentation we’ll have two respondents. David
Frum will be known to many of you. He’s the resident fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute, a former speechwriter for President
Bush — George W. Bush. He’s also a best-selling author, having
published two books in two years. I’m having trouble finishing one
book in nine years, but the most recent book is “An End to Evil: How
to Win the War on Terror,” and before that, “The Right Man: The
Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush.” He writes frequently for
National Review and elsewhere, as well as — in this country as well
as for the National Post in his native Canada, and was recently named
to the board of fellows of the Jewish Policy Center.

Our second respondent will be Joseph Puder, director of a new
organization called Interfaith Taskforce for America and Israel,
which Joseph may tell us a little more about during his comments. He
was raised in Israel, came here to attend Columbia University, where
he got his Master’s in international relations and has another
Master’s from Seton Hall in Judeo-Christian studies, had a radio show
for some time at WMCA in New York and has held a variety of jobs in
Jewish community organizations, including being director of Americans
for a Safe Israel.

I’ll start with Stephen and then we’ll move to David and Joseph and
then we’ll take some Q&A.


STEPHEN STEINLIGHT: Okay. Good morning and thank you for coming.
First things first: I’d like to express my gratitude to Mark
Krikorian, the staff and board of CIS, for publishing the new
Backgrounder and organizing this panel. My indebtedness to Mark and
CIS goes a good deal further.

My thinking about immigration, or rather unthinking acceptance of
Jewish organizational orthodoxy on this question was first challenged
internally by Sam Rabinove, of blessed memory, for many years the
Legal Affairs director of the American Jewish Committee and a giant
in the struggle for civil rights. Sam’s amicus brief was the one most
cited in the Bakke decision. Upon leaving a typically disconcerting
meeting of the National Immigration Forum where I was posted as
National Affairs director — my most unfavorite assignment — Sam
turned to me and said, “What on Earth are we doing in this
coalition?” Sam was an intellectual and moral touchstone for me on
matters of public policy and more. He was my mentor at AJC, and this
rather surprising comment, so remarkable and breathtaking in its
simplicity and candor, started wheels turning — reluctantly and
slowly, I confess, in the beginning.

It was Mark Krikorian, however, who bested me in debate after debate
on immigration policy — I confess — doing so in the most civilized
and human manner. He put flesh on the bones of Sam’s disquiet and
made me a convert to the cause of immigration reform. There is no way
to overstate Mark’s prescience and understanding how our irrational,
chaotic immigration policy threatens the future of American Jewry, or
to overstate his support for my efforts over the past three years in
the field where I have addressed some 60 congregations on this
subject. I can’t say enough, but I can say, at least, thank you.
Thank you for being such a wise and patient teacher, supporter and

I’m going to speak about a great danger that faces the Jewish people
across the globe today and its relationship to mass immigration and
immigration policy. It’s the same danger that is threatening the
American people as a whole and the future of Western civilization
itself, though we Jews are once again the classic miner’s canary whom
history has chosen to feel the full effect of the toxin first. I wish
to share some salient facts with you, tell you where I think these
facts are taking us, and I hope discuss with you what we can do to
meet this clear and present danger. I have a list of some
recommendations and I’m sure people on the panel have as well, and we
can get into these as we discuss things.

We are witnessing the rise of a form of anti-Semitism right now as
virulent and remorseless as that which we experienced in the 1930s.
In the 20th century the most monstrous forces on earth singled out
the Jews for annihilation — Nazism and Stalinism — and now in the
21st century the most monstrous force on Earth, Islamism, has done
the same. This totalitarian religious and political movement has many
names: political Islam, Salafism, Jihadism, Wahhabism, Islamfascism,
and the more generic fundamentalism. The nomenclature counts for
nothing; its essence is identical where everyone encounters it, and
one encounters it everywhere, including in the heart of Europe and
increasingly here in the United States. And it is the same whether it
is being advanced by Sunni Muslims or Shi’a Muslims.

Its goal is world domination and the imposition of the harshest and
most inhumane incarnation of Islamic law on all nations and peoples.
Will it achieve its goal of world domination? Almost certainly not,
at least by military means, provided the United States remains
steadfast in its determination to defeat — as well as advance an
alternative vision of the humanistic civilization of democratic civil
society and of economic opportunity and freedom within the deformed
and dysfunctional universe that spawns it, and if the other nations
in what we used to think of as the Western alliance come to their
senses, abandon cynicism and appeasement, and recognize that it is
the threat of Islamism that ought to be motivating them rather than
feelings of jealousy regarding American global power.

While they chastise us and seek to spirit away the issue and make a
devil’s bargain for the short-term financial and economic gains it
bestows and buy what they believe will be a brief respite for what
resembles the Sitzkrieg, the Phony War, more than anything else,
their own societies are undergoing a metamorphosis that are making
them unrecognizable and in ways they will come to bemoan, perhaps
when it’s too late to undo it. They also risk engendering the violent
nationalist reactions on their own soil as their dominant culture
groups begin to strike back. They are conjuring the ghost of Oswald
Mosley, or at least Enoch Powell in places like Britain.

Having stated the ultimate goal of Islamism is arguably delusional
does not mean that defeating it will come quickly or easily. To the
contrary, the military campaigns and the larger global kultur kampf
will prove extremely costly. It will take much time, great patience
and persistence, and enormous economic and military resources. Let us
remember it took us 40 years after the complete defeat of Nazi
Germany and Japan to take those two fascistic, genocidal nations and
transform them into democracies.

Before it is consigned to the dustbin of history, or at least
successfully quarantined — and it will be — Islamism is capable of,
and will almost undoubtedly succeed in, committing a great many
enormities that will shake and dishearten us. We must remember that
the victories over Nazism and Communism did not come quickly or
without tremendous sacrifice, nor could those victories bring back to
life the millions annihilated in their names, including one-third of
all the Jews on the face of the Earth.

It is also crucial to note that while Islamism is incapable of
achieving its victory through military means, it has another
enormously potent weapon in its arsenal that is silent but deadly:
demography, the conquest of nations through immigration. This is the
critical nexus, the one that links immigration reform to the struggle
and makes it utterly central to victory over this adversary. The
reform of immigration and national security are indissoluble.

Only a few weeks ago, as I’m sure you all read online, the London
Daily Telegraph reported the work of demographers, who predict with a
good degree of confidence that within 30 years France will have a
Muslim majority. We are not now talking about the fringe of Europe,
we are not talking about Macedonia or Kosovo; we are talking about
the historic heartland of Europe. I’m sure everyone present read the
front-page story in the New York Times on Monday, April 26th, quote,
“Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam.”
This piece vindicates the predictions those of us who have been
writing and speaking about this movement have been making over the
past decade. I’m afraid that history again and again has a way of
outrunning Jewish paranoia.

Islamism pursues its agenda through a variety of means: selective
assassination of dissenting Muslim intellectuals — and I would like
to say parenthetically that by far the greatest number of the victims
of this movement are independent-thinking Muslims — mass murder,
terrorism on an unprecedented scale, brainwashing, the manipulations
of big lies, pie in the sky theology — you know, the Playboy mansion
one goes to after one blows oneself up. And on occasion, when it
suits its purposes, as in Bangladesh when it declared its
independence from Pakistan in 1971, it is willing to employ genocide.

Islamism embodies the politics of what my old professor Fritz Stern
called the culture of despair, reflecting the failure of every other
movement in the Arab and Muslim world to bring power and prestige to
the Islamic patrimony, especially the failures of secular nationalism
and pan-Arabism to take root in the ’60s, not to mention the
humiliating defeats the Arab nations suffered at the hands of Israel,
something which has focused them in a kind of obsessional way. And
not only power and prestige, but also simply acceptable living
conditions. Though the heart of this movement is religious, it is
also the case that living conditions within the Islamic world provide
a sea of misery that’s helped to sustain it. Three out of four of the
poorest people on earth live in Islamic societies. I have a plethora
of statistics on this, which I will not bore you with as I suspect
most of you are aware of them, but just a few — just to throw out a

Not a single Arab nation or nation in North Africa is without a
falling GNP and GDP. Even the wretched economies of Latin America
have managed a 1 percent growth rate. Despite their oil wealth, not a
single Arab nation is in the top 38 world economies. Education and
literacy are spreading but with incredible slowness. Sixty percent of
the population in Pakistan is illiterate, and in most of the other
nations that comprise the Islamic patrimony we talk at best of a 66
percent rate of literacy. The region is filled with young men who are
given a kind of superficial rote education but there are no
positions, no jobs to avail them when they finish, and so we have
conditions of unemployment ranging from 50 to 70 percent across this
world, which, by the way, produces the highest rates of birth right
now on earth and which has the highest numbers of young people in its
populations anywhere on earth. Some 50 percent of the population in
Iran, Pakistan and the Arab world is under 20 years of age, and as
historians have shown again and again, youth bulges in populations
tend to track very well with violence and very poorly with stability.

We could go on talking about the nightmare of urbanization in these
societies, the ecological portents which are terrible. The coastal —
global warming is dropping the coastline of Bangladesh, which is
going to produce enormous suffering and misery. The water table in
the Middle East is dropping. Right now they have one-seventh of the
oil that we — water that we have; they will have even less as time
goes on.

But let me repeat: the impetus for this movement is religious. It is
not identical with the classic liberation struggles of the oppressed
and impoverished. It does not focus on things like the redistribution
of wealth or social equality or political freedom, but on ridding Dar
al Islam, especially Arabia, of infidels; on liberating Jerusalem
from the Jews; on demanding ever-stricter interpretations of Islamic
teaching. It seeks a restoration of the caliphate or something like
the Ottoman Empire and return of all the lands that once belonged to
them. It indeed has no economic theory at all, which makes it closely
resemble the European fascism that played so profound a role in
delineating the outlines of the writing of the key Islamists in the
1920s and ’30s.

It’s not only religious in its impetus but it’s imperial in the old
fashioned sense.

This is one reason why intellectuals on the left are so bad at trying
to understand it. They don’t find themselves able to comprehend at
all movements that don’t resonate with the poor over their own
beings, and as they are not by and large religious, and are
embarrassed by patriotism rather than feel moved by it, they fail to
understand the two most powerful forces in the world today: religious
fervency and nationalism. Thus, they need to know, for example, that
the bombing in Madrid had virtually nothing to do with the paltry
Spanish contribution to the war in Iraq but a great deal to do with
the fact that Muslims regard Spain as Al-Andalus, a part of the
Islamic patrimony.

I have a friend and colleague sitting in the audience, Barry
Shaquette (ph), who listened to remarks by the ex-chief rabbi of
Britain, Rabbi Sachs, who was asked the question, is there such a
thing as a moderate Muslim? And he said, well, I thought I had found
one, and I went to him and I thought I’d just pose one question, and
I posed the question, I said, do you accept the legitimacy of the
government of Spain? He said, of course not.

The Islamist movement represents a danger to modern civilization, one
could even say enlightenment civilization because it despises and
wishes to destroy everything we most cherish in those traditions in
terms of social and political ideas. It hates pluralism, individual
rights, freedom of conscience, secular civil society, the separation
of religion and government, the rule of law as we understand it,
women’s rights, the rights of religious minorities, Christianity, the
West in general, and the United States in particular. Most of all it
has identified Jews and Israel as its foremost enemies and describes
both in a kind of metaphysical, totalizing, paranoid language that
were used by Hitler and Joseph Goebbels in their writing and

In fact, many of you may have seen I thought a brilliant piece by
Omer Bartov in the New Republic that takes Mahathir Mohammed’s speech
and compares it to the kind of writing — to Hitler’s writing in his
second book. One need only think of that speech by Mathathir —
wildly applauded, I should add, by the heads of some 52 states and
President Putin — or the maunderings of Osama bin Laden about
Crusaders and Jews, or that of a legion of fanatic Muslims.

How big this movement is is a subject of debate. I know Daniel Pipes
says it’s about 100 million. I’ve heard the estimate 300 million.
It’s hard to know. Right now the situation is worst in Western Europe
and certainly worst in France, but the United States is not going to
long remain immune from a contagion that is born by mass immigration,
the mass immigration of Muslims. And we have an immigration system
that is utterly out of control, making a mockery of the rule of law,
of national security, of national sovereignty. The simple fact is
today that in Western Europe and the United States mass immigration
is conterminous with the importation of mass anti- Semitism; because
of this Jews have to reconsider the nostalgia and embrace of certain
myths about the immigrant experience, look back at the past with open
eyes, and become a little tougher on this issue.

Once again we need to recognize, as we have usually when we have come
to our senses in the 350 years we have been on these shores, that’s
what good for the Jews is good for America and vice versa. Unless we
can fix this broken system before it is too late and have Congress
legislate some kind of cut off mechanism, we are going to be engulfed
and drowned by a tidal wave of unregulated immigration and of Muslim
immigration that will overwhelm us demographically, and much sooner
than anyone else imagines. And at the same time, equally, we need to
enact measures to safeguard the nation. The 9/11 hearings describe a
country that is still incomprehensibly vulnerable.

I’m thinking right now of the nexus between immigration and national
security. For those of you who read the Washington Times piece only
yesterday about this insane policy that is operating in the diversity
lottery, and that is, of course, a system which allows people from
countries that are not high on the list of sending nations to
participate in the lottery which enables 55,000 individuals to get
green cards. And they get the green card immediately, which allows
them, of course, unprecedented freedom. They can enter and leave the
United States.

Countries on the terrorist watch list are allowed to enter this
lottery, and as a result — and Steve Camarota of the Center for
Immigration Studies was one of the people quoted in this article, and
quoted eloquently — we have now some thousands of people from places
like Syria, the Sudan, and Iraq who have gone through virtually no
checks at all, who have extraordinary freedom. This is one of the
most fraudulent systems imaginable. People apply — send in multiple
applications under multiple names. It is a boon for terrorists to get
into the United States.

If current immigration patterns remain constant and the engines that
drive it remain in place — and the engine which is most troubling
from our point of view is extended family reunification. That is
where you start out with an individual who gains citizenship and over
a period of time can not only bring his entire nuclear family but his
extended family, and then they in turn, in a kind of unbroken chain,
can bring their extended families. Where we start out with one
individual and we end up with a West Bank village living in Dearborn;
or we start out with a village, a rural village in Mexico and we have
that entire village now living somewhere in the United States. We are
going to see Muslims outnumber Jews within 20 years, perhaps sooner.
Some demographers point to the next census in 2010 as the next
possible date.

I don’t have to tell you what Muslim ascendancy in Europe — the
Islamization of Eurabia as it’s now being called — has meant to
Jews. It has proved catastrophic, and not merely in terms of making
European culture unrecognizable. And it’s not only that European
policy on the Middle East conflict has metamorphosed from one which
is approximately even handed to one which has become lopsidedly
pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab, even to the point of embracing and
accepting anti-Semitism, it is also the case that Jewish communities
in those societies are subject to physical threat, a situation we
have not seen in Europe since the Weimar Republic.

And it is clear where violence comes from. You may remember that the
European Commission authorized one study to be done by the German
Technical University. That study came out with findings that said
these assaults on Jews and Jewish institutions are coming from poor,
disenfranchised, alienated Arabs — young Arabs influenced by Wahhabi
mullahs. That report was labeled racist. It’s always the phenomenon
of shoot the messenger.

And so they commissioned another report and — which concluded rather
like a — I guess it was done rather like — the famous lines of
Claude Rains in “Casablanca,” “Round up the usual suspects.” And they
rounded up the usual suspects: skinheads, the followers of —
(unintelligible) — and so on and so forth. But the fact of the
matter is that there are 12 violent assaults on Jews a day in Paris;
20 synagogues have been burned to the ground in the last two years.
Religious schools are being set on fire. This has become a
commonality in France, a country where the Jewish population once
counted for something, once mattered, which is now outnumbered 10 to
1. And when you’re outnumbered 10 to 1 in France, and the Jews in
Britain are now outnumbered 10 to 1, what do you think politicians
are going to do? They are going to placate the majority of the
population, and that is exactly what is happening. And what do you
think is going to happen in the United States when the Muslim
community outnumbers the Jewish community? The same is going to

There’s a great deal more to say but I don’t want to take up all of
our time. Let me focus on one point that I think is very important,
and that is to talk about what is really a very profound distinction
between the West and the Islamic world that touches on the issues of
immigration, acculturation, that really falls into the kind of clash
of civilization thesis. Islam represents a vast religious and
cultural community that with notable exceptions sees the very concept
of the nation-state as foreign and ephemeral. The world is divided
between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb: the world of Islam and the
faithful and the world of war, the world of the infidel.

The faithful are now attempting their third conquest over the West in
Islamic history. The first was stopped at Tour — or Poitiers,
depending which historian you read — by Charles Martel. That
invasion was ultimately reversed by the reconquista of Spain. And
then they were stopped once more at 1683 at the walls of Vienna. And
now they are back and the weapon is demography. As was noted by Mark
previously this last May 14, we have a situation in Canada where the
Jewish population is now outnumbered by 75 percent.

It is essential also to know that Islamism is here in the United
States and flourishing. We don’t have exact numbers on size of the
Muslim community. I’ve heard lowball figures by Newark (ph) at
University of Chicago coming around between 2 and 3 million.

The Islamist organizations place the number at 7. Most of my lapsed
Muslim friends who I tend to trust and work with very closely put the
number around 4. That number is certainly sufficient, given extended
family reunification and birth size, which is high, to guarantee
within a generation that Muslims will outnumber Jews. That 4-million
strong community is led by a host of vile Islamist political
organizations with ties to Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, and al
Qaeda, among them CAIR, ISNA, AMC, AMA. There is literally only one
clean Islamic organization that I know of in the United States of
America, the Islamic Supreme Council of America, a Sufi organization
under Sheikh Kabanni that has some 200 mosques but the Sheikh has
been threatened with death so many times that he basically lives in
the Caucasus to stay alive.

To give you some sense of what the organized Muslim world is like you
need to remember that some 70 percent of all Muslim charities have
been closed by the FBI in the wake of 9/11, and the Senate Finance
Committee and the FBI are investigating the remainder, including the
mother of them all, the Holy Land Fund, centered in Texas, as
organizations that serve as fronts and conduits of money for Islamic

It is also important that Jews understand a couple of very simple
facts: 275 million American Christians can manage the rise of a
Muslim community, I think, with relative ease, but what about Jews?
Jews have struggled hard to obtain political influence. And some
people think that Jews are obsessed with political influence, and I
plead guilty to that, but for a very good reason. We lost a third of
our people in living memory because we were politically powerless,
and we learn from that lesson that we could never afford to be
politically powerless again. That obsession is rooted in reality and
in tragedy.

We look at the situation right now and we look at a rising entity
which hates us theologically, which hates us politically, which, if
you read their websites, has — and they stated the goal of
outnumbering us so they can destroy American support for Israel. They
have endless supplies of money coming from the Gulf and coming from
the Saudis. In a good year, the American community contributes
something like $600 million to Israel. That is what Saudi Arabia
spent last year in Bosnia. Saudi Arabia spends $7 billion a year on
Islamization programs. They are right now heavily investing in
Bangladesh, a country they’ve also suspected because the Bangladeshis
have some respect for religion-state separation.

The fact is that American Jewry is already experiencing a profound
change in its sense of security, and one is aware of this fact if one
simply goes and visits any Jewish institution in the city of New
York. Every high profile Jewish institution, whether it’s a national
organization or a major synagogue, is surrounded by concrete barriers
to prevent car bombs exploding too close to the buildings. If you go
through the lobbies into those buildings you have to pass metal
detectors and double-doors of bulletproof glass. You are then frisked
by security guards, mostly retired New York City police or Israeli
agents, and then are scanned again with metal detectors.

What is truly comic about this — were it not an instance in the
theatre of the absurd, and were it not so appalling an indication of
the kind of mass denial that is still governing major American Jewish
organizations, including the one I used to work for that’s currently
meeting across the street — is that the staffs of these
organizations pass the car bomb barriers, go through the double
bulletproof glass lobbies, get frisked, then go upstairs into their
offices and spend their days talking about the threats posed by
evangelical Christians or — (laughter) — how they can increase
publicity for Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of Christ,” or how they
can castigate Mormons for converting dead Jews. If there ever was a
non-issue in the history of the world it is the battle over the
Mormon conversion of dead Jews. In fact, I have a number of my living
relatives that I would like to offer up for — (laughter) —

We have a real problem with a Jewish leadership that is stuck in an
old posture, one by the way that I’m glad to say, through survey
research and my own experience on the ground — and I have the
distinction of talking to more living Jews about this issue than any
other human being in the United States — the data on the ground is
that American Jews are getting it, grassroots Jews get it. The
majority of them want immigration lowered, 70 percent support the
introduction of a biometric national identity card, a position that
would have been unthinkable say 10 years ago.

What is holding Jewish leadership back? Part of it is nostalgia for
an immigrant experience that never really was — Jewish experience is
suey (ph) generous; it was really the experience of refugees and
asylees, not the experience of immigrants — also a habit of
political correctness which is dying only very slowly, and also fear
about offending Latinos over this issue. There’s a great fear of
offending Latinos, and what I have said in meeting after meeting with
such leaders is that right now this is not a problem. The great
majority of Latinos who are immigrants are here illegally; they do
not naturalize and they do not vote. More Jews voted in Los Angeles
County in the last presidential election than Latinos.

I tend to believe in Occam’s razor. You go to the problem that’s most
obvious and you deal with the most obvious issue and you find the
most obvious solution. We need to deal with the immigration of
Muslims. We need to raise national security concerns. That Latino dog
may bark one day but it’s not barking yet. That giant may awaken from
its slumber but while it’s sleeping I don’t want to allow America to
become Islamized in the meantime.

And I know, and we know, that — the final point here is that
American Jews have fallen victim in a way to the propaganda of their
own organizations, and I belonged to that world for eight years and I
know the way it works. We convinced the American Jewish community
that we are geniuses and that we win our battles on Capitol Hill —
APAC (ph), the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish
Congress, all the other organizations — because we are so bloody

The truth is that we have won virtually all of our battles by
default. Once the anti-Semites, the real anti-Semites, the Forrestals
and the Marshalls and the Dulleses left the State Department, and
after ’67 when the U.S.-Israel relationship became close and most of
the Arabists’ influence began to recede — although, as we see in
those recent rather pathetic impotent letters being produced in
Britain and the United States, they’re trying. Apparently old
Arabists not only don’t die, they don’t even fade away but they come
back and they try. So they’re trying. I’m glad to see — the list, at
least in this country, is a list of anonyms.

But the problem is, again, we’ve won the battles by default, and it
was easy to run up and down the field and score touchdowns when
nobody else was on the opposing team. Well, that’s no longer the
case. There is a rising Muslim constituency and rising PACs, and
James Zogby is no fool, and we understand politicians well. I mean,
I’ve worked through AJC and before that when I was at the National
Conference on the Hill on and off for about 15 years — and most of
you have more experience than I and you know the truth about
politicians. And Ira always comes up with this wonderful line that
the one thing that these people know how to do terribly well is
count. They can count votes and they can count dollars, and when they
could get Jewish money and there was no cost, boy, they took it, and
when they could get Jewish votes, that was great. And even if you had
no Jews in your district you could always get out of state money from
Jewish organizations.

Well, that era is over. There is a new team on the field; it’s
growing stronger and stronger. And this is the only country that
matters. The catastrophe for Israel if we lose the United States and
the catastrophe for world Jewry is indescribable. Israel has only
three other friends that I can think of: the Marshall Islands,
Micronesia, and Costa Rica. I mean, they’re all lovely places but
they really can’t fill the bill, and so we really need to look at
this issue and, as I’ve said, I’ve basically laid out the problem.
I’d love to talk with my colleagues and with the audience about some
of the practical things that we might to do to confront the issue.

Thank you.


MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you, Stephen.

Now, David and then Joseph will offer some comments sort of in
reactions as well as some of their own thoughts and then we’ll take


DAVID FRUM: Thank you. I too would like to pay tribute to Mark’s
work. I found — I had the experience recently of working on a book
with Richard Pearl about the terrorism problem.

It had to be produced at very high speed because the world was
changing so rapidly, and in the section on domestic security and the
connection between America’s vulnerability to terrorism and America’s
lax enforcement of immigration laws, the center’s work was very
helpful and I’m grateful to him.

I want to also salute with some surprise Steven’s work. It is very
provocative. He reminds American Jews — Jews generally often tend to
take a rather nervous attitude toward controversy. I’m sure you know
the story of the two Jews who are sentenced to death by firing squad
and when the commander of the squad came over he tied the blindfold
over the eyes of one of them and then moved to tie the blindfold over
the eyes of the other and the second one spat in his face and the
first one said why must you always make trouble? (Laughter.)

I personally respond with more optimism to some of these issues than
Steven does. I’m reminded of a wonderful line of Tom Wolfe’s; he was
debating Gunther Grass at Princeton in 1969 and Gunther Grass, the
German novelist, stood up and very theatrically waved his hands and
said — this is ’69, it’s the Vietnam era — the dark night of
fascism is falling in the United States. And Wolfe replied the dark
night of fascism may be falling in the United States but it always
does seem to land in Europe.

But there are a number of extremely practical immediate problems that
we face in connection with terrorism, with — and immigration laws
that need prompt addressing. As the center’s pointed out, although in
the immediate aftermath of 9/11 it was said the 19 hijackers were in
the United States legally, that’s not exactly the case. That of the
— of those people who have been apprehended in Islamic terrorist
plots against the United States since 1993, about half were in some
way or another in trouble with the immigration authorities. They had
either violate — they were either out of the status at the time, had
been out of status in the past.

More, events offered American authorities a number of opportunities
to intercept the 9/11 hijackers, in one case, even within 12 hours
before launching the attack when one of them was stopped on the
highway on the way to the airport. Many of these people were carrying
fraudulently obtained drivers licenses, which functions as the
equivalent of an American national ID card. One of the things Richard
and I advocate in “An End to Evil” is a national ID card, and this
gets a lot of objection from people with strong libertarian
sensibilities. I share those and I understand them, but it’s
important to remember that the United States does have a national ID
card system, it’s just one that’s extremely easy to forge. And while
there might be a case for having no identity card of any kind, I
think there is no case for allowing people to use state drivers
licenses that can be obtained with the most gross of

I know here in the District of Columbia, for example, if you want one
and you walk into the drivers office and you say look, there’s been a
flood, I’ve lost of all of my documentation, I need a card. They’ll
say, well, can you prove who you are — the person you say you are?
And if you can bring a lease and a utility bill you can get a drivers
license. You can also get registered to vote.

I think I have the distinction of being the only person on this panel
who is simultaneously an immigrant, a child of immigrants, the
grandchild of immigrants, and the great-grandchildren of immigrants,
which reflects my family’s inability to make up its mind between the
United States and Canada. (Laughter.) But at the time I came to D.C.
I was a Canadian citizen. I was also offered a chance to enroll — to
register as a voter. Now, I think if I’d said I want to register as a
Republican they might have looked at me with a little bit more

But these documents are very powerful, and you can get onto an
airplane with them, you can get into the White House with them. If
you go to the White House gates they will ask you to produce photo
ID. You can produce that D.C. drivers license that you get with the
lease and the utility bill and you can be admitted into the building,
and that, I think, constitutes a rather breathtakingly lax attitude.
And that is why — because we have these cards we need one that
works, and there’s a very direct relationship between this and the
enforcement of immigration laws in an effective way.

One of the things that Mayor Giuliani proved in New York was that if
you want to enforce the laws, the right thing to do is to enforce
them all, and there was a spectacular vindication — one of the
earliest spectacular vindications of the Giuliani approach to
policing was a stabbing that occurred on Park Avenue soon after Mayor
Giuliani took office. There was a woman there who owned a drycleaning
store, a loved neighborhood fixture. She came to the store early,
7:00 in the morning, to open it up. She was accosted, robbed —
attempted robbery, and stabbed to death and left to die in her blood
on the step. The neighbors were, of course, horrified but — the
police retrieved the weapon but they didn’t recognize the
fingerprints. The person who had stabbed her had no previous criminal
record, at least no previous arrest record.

Unsolvable crime, or so it would once have seemed, but under the new
Giuliani policies of enforcing all laws New York had begun the policy
of enforcing laws against casual smoking of marijuana. Two, three
days later police in Washington Square park arrest somebody who is
smoking marijuana in public. They book him, they fingerprint him and
the fingerprints match the knife. The point — this is a murder. When
people say, why do we care about people smoking marijuana in the
park, the answer is, well, that’s — is you sometimes find murderers
that way. If you stop the people who jump turnstiles, every one of
them, you will find a lot of guns and knives and you will get them
off the streets.

Well, in the same way, if you had an effective national ID card —
now, nobody wants to see an America where an officer of the law has
the power to call on an unoffending citizen to show his
identification. American liberty means you don’t have to answer
questions from the police if you don’t want to. But if they’re
stopping you anyway, if you violated a speeding limit, if you have
committed some other infraction of the law, if you are applying for
some kind of benefit from the state — whether it’s student aid or
welfare benefits and the state then because it’s offering you
something has acquired a right to ask you questions. If you’ve given
the state the right to ask you questions you should be able to prove
that you are legally the person you claim to be, and that the state
has the right to ask you to confirm that you are.

If that system were backed up with the Giuliani attitude — which is
when we arrest you for speeding, we check, of course, if there are
any outstanding warrants for you. That happens now, at least, within
that one state jurisdiction. We check whether you’re valid to drive,
whether you’re allowed to drive because that’s obviously relevant. At
the same time, we check that you are the person you say you are and
that you’re entitled to be in the country and if you’re not something
should be done about it.

Now, a number of states and localities refuse to cooperate with the
federal government in enforcing immigration laws, and this brings to
mind the beginning of wisdom on a lot of immigration questions which,
of course, comes from the singer and comedian Sonny Bono. I once had
the experience of meeting the international global celebrity Bono and
we talked for a little while and I kept calling him Bono and after
somebody explained to me why this was a — I mean, I said well,
should he care? People call me David Froom (ph) all the time; it
doesn’t bother me. He said, no, no, no, the fact that you called him
Bono indicates that you believe in your innermost heart of hearts
that Sonny Bono is a bigger celebrity than he is. And I have to
admit, I do. (Laughter.)

But when Sonny Bono ran for Congress, the first time he was asked his
position on illegal immigration, he responded, “What can I say; it’s
illegal,” which is both the dumbest possible answer and the smartest
possible answer to this because if we really believed that illegal
immigration were illegal we would want to do something about it. I
mean, nobody says that there’s this tremendous problem of illegal
withdrawals of money from institutions of deposit by men with guns
and that’s just part of American life that that happens. You enforce
the laws against illegal withdrawals of funds; you say you can’t take
them. You enforce laws against people driving over the speed limit.
These are laws and they’re enforced. Well, in the same way, if you
have immigration laws, you enforce them and that would have a
tremendously powerful effect on enforcing the nation’s security.

Now, let me say one thing that is somewhat more radical and that I
have learned from some of the work of the Center for Immigration
Studies. My own past attitude on immigration has always been that you
need — that there are two questions and two unrelated questions. One
is, what immigration laws you should have? And then the second
question is how those laws — should those laws be enforced? And,
obviously, whatever the limit — whether it’s half a million a year
or three-quarters of a million a year, a million a year, whatever
that limit is, nonetheless that’s the limit and the law should be
enforced. And I always thought that was a clear fact — distinction.

As I had been thinking about this issue I have come to appreciate
that maybe it is not so clear-cut in that just as a blurry attitude
toward illegal immigration tends to foster outright conspiracy and
plotting — makes it possible — and that while obviously the vast
majority of the illegal immigrants in the United States ask for
nothing more than the right to cut somebody’s lawn or do other kind
of work for less than the stipulated wage and only an infinitesimal
minority of them are engaged in plots of violence against the United
States, so it’s true that the existence of the first population makes
possible the existence of the second.

The question that I think a lot of us have to grapple with is, does
the casual attitude toward legal immigration — is that ultimately
responsible for tolerance of a massive illegal population in the
United States? I have not come anywhere close to finishing my
thinking on that subject, but it is a subject I do think about and I
thank the center for its work and I think Steve Steinlight — (audio
break, tape change) — certainly true that always what is good for
America is good for the Jews. I mean, it’s good for the Jews to ban
Baby Jesus from the local city. I’m not sure — local city park. I’m
not so sure it’s good for America. But the other way it certainly is
true, and what is good for America is effective enforcement of these
laws because Jews are the target. It’s not just in New York City.

One of the things I’m going to be doing this afternoon is driving up
to a suburb of Washington to pick up my children from their Jewish
day school. It’s surrounded with anti-bomb devices. It’s got
pollards. It’s got a policeman. A synagogue here in — I live in
Washington — in suburban Maryland, as sleepy a place as you can
imagine, the synagogues on holidays have a couple of squad cars; on
ordinary Saturdays they have a squad car there. And the threat to
national security is going to be a threat to Jewish institutions as
well. We saw that in the sniper case, when everyone had to wonder
when, how would he target the Washington area Jewish community. As it
happened, he didn’t. I still don’t quite know why he didn’t but the
next one very well might.

And so I thank you for this important work and I thank the center for
its stimulation to my own thinking.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you, David.


JOSEPH PUDER: Well, it’s tough to follow these two guys. I think that
Stephen for sure covered every angle I wanted to touch on, so I’ll
try my best. And I wanted of course to thank Mark for inviting me.

In 1991, right here in Washington, I was privy to a meeting at the
home of — (unintelligible) — Sheldon, and next-door, on Capitol
Hill, the president was delivering the State of the Union,
celebrating the end of the Cold War. I was a chutzpadik Israeli at
that time and I said, the Cold War may be over but the hot war with
radical Islam is just beginning. And of course is you look back at
’91 it didn’t seem possible that we are going to face the real war of
the 21st century. But there were many, many indications, and I’m not
going to go into it at this point, maybe later.

I want to add to what Stephen has already said. In his new book, “Who
are We: The Challenges to America’s National Identity,” Samuel C.
Huntington identifies bilingualism, dual citizenship, religious
diversity, and multiculturalism as risking the American creed that
includes, among other things, the promise of freedom and opportunity.
In Huntington’s very credible analysis as to why immigration should
be limited, he argues that the ordinary Americans are more
nationalistic than the liberal elites and suggests that if a
referendum were held today, a majority would support a strong and
effective enforcement of borders and stringent tests for citizenship.

He points out that among those immigrants arriving today, there are
many who refuse to share the American cultural identity and in fact
consider American culture criminal. He warns that unless the U.S.
insists that immigrants accept America’s cultural identity, which is
unlikely. Given business priorities and the multicultural fantasies
of the liberal elites, America will suffer the fate of Rome.
Huntington’s analysis does not, however, touch strongly enough on
national security as a factor for limiting the immigration of the
inassimilable and those who deliberately seek to undermine American
values and creed.

In the post-9/11, most Arab Muslims are clearly those who would view
America as criminal, evil, and satanic, and see it as a holy mission
and duty to undermine the Judeo-Christian values and transform
America into an Islamic state, as Stephen already alluded to.
Constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of religion and
press would evaporate, as would women’s rights and the separation of
church and state.

CNN reported on December 3rd, 2003, quote, that, “The U.S. Arab
population is surging.” Citing Census Bureau figures, the piece found
that 1.2 million Arabs in the U.S. in 2000 compared to 860,000 in
1990 and 610,000 in 1980. Moreover, while earlier Arab immigrants
included a majority of Christians, new arrivals are Muslims. Almost
half of the Arabs in the U.S. live in five states: California, New
York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Florida — exactly the same states
Jews enjoy electoral weight. Interesting.

Interestingly enough, Arab-American organizations say that their
population is larger than reported by the Census Bureau because they
are reluctant to fill out government forms, either because they are
illegal or because they came from countries with oppressive regimes.
Well, the illegal part I readily believe. Last October, seven out of
eight Democratic presidential candidates attended the Arab American
Institute national leadership conference in Dearborn, Michigan, as
did leaders of both parties. Pollster John Zogby, himself an Arab
American, pointed out that these days, quote, “Anything that moves
votes one way or another by the thousands can have an impact on

Finally, let me cite the survey by Worldview 2002, which recorded 76
percent of Americans saying that, based on the events of 9/11, U.S.
immigration laws should be tightened to restrict the number of Arab-
Muslim immigrants. Also, 77 percent said that they favor restricted
immigration in order to combat terrorism.

The bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, is whether we wish to die
upholding our political correctness at all costs, as the liberal
elites would have it, or insist that the government, by the people
and for the people, practice what it preaches about democracy and
legislate and enforce and end, or severely restrict, Islamic

I want to relate to you my personal — like David, I’m an immigrant
myself, but I came from an environment where the society that I lived
in, namely Israel, was so Americanized that basically coming to
America wasn’t much of a transformation. I spoke the language, I knew
the movie stars, I even knew the politicians and the states, and it
is pretty common. But now contrast that for a moment with Islamic
immigrants. And in some way I have a certain sympathy. You have to
understand that in the Islamic states there is no separation of
church and state. There is also a sense of women are really to be at
home and not to in the streets and Congress. They should be in the
kitchen raising the kids. For them it’s a shock to see American
freedoms. And it’s another way of basically looking at America as a
deviant society.

Another factor in Islamic immigration, difficulties in assimilating
to this society, is the fact that there is a sense that America has
basically insulted the sensitivities of the Islamic world, and there
is a sense of revengism. As Stephen alluded earlier, they can’t beat
America, or for that matter the West, through military means of
political means, but they can do that through demographic means, and
in fact, Europe is proof of that. In Spain, the number of illegals —
millions. And clearly, legal or illegal, they constitute a growing
factor in Spanish life, and indeed, in 20 or 30 years we might find
that it is going to be called Al-Andalus rather than Spain. And Spain
is just one of the countries. Of course France is now close to
between 6 and 7 million Arab Muslims who do not assimilate. And
clearly, this cloud called Islamic demographics is struggling across
the Atlantic. It’ll get here sooner or later — again, as Stephen
alluded to.

Bob Guzzardi, who’s here from Philadelphia — he’s the chairman of
the Interfaith Taskforce — said to me in a conversation we had, “I
wish the Jews read the map in 1943 when Hitler wrote his “Mein
Kampf.” Ten years later, that’s when Hitler came to power.

Today we’re also talking about 20 years’ time. And again, it seems
unrealistic or perhaps unbelievable, but, yes, at some point in time
— you’ve got to remember you have a 1.2 billion reservoir of
oppressed, poor Muslims that would love to come here. These societies
— I should say the people in these societies are imbued with a sense
of hate for America and for what it stands, and there are in fact
encouraged to come here and start militating for an Islamic state in
largely the realm of Dar al Islam.

And then there is of course — something that I’ll finish with — a
quote by a great journalist, Oriana Fallaci, who, in her book, “The
Rage and the Pride,” has written, “I accuse us in the West of
cowardice, hypocrisy, demagogy, laziness, the stupidity of the
unbearable fad of political correctness. If we continue to stay
inert, the radical Islamists will become always more and more — they
will demand always more and more. They will vex and boss us always
more and more until the point of subduing us. Therefore, dealing with
them is impossible; attempting a dialogue, unthinkable; showing
indulgence, suicidal. And he or she who believes to the contrary is a
fool” end quote.

Unfortunately, in the year 2000 I wrote to the two presidential
candidates, wanting their opinions or asking them for their platform
on immigration. And, would you know it, none of them responded. It
shows you how serious political elites are about immigration.

Thank you.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you, Joseph. I’ll take the prerogative of the
chair and ask the first question, and this is something that — and
this is for anybody. I experienced this at a closed panel discussion
with a major Jewish organization, a committee within that
organization, reassessing their immigration policy, and there were —
I was one of several people on the panel, and frankly — unusual that
I was there; I was lucky to be there. But one of the members of this
taskforce of the organization, a very liberal woman, who stood up and
said, I’m proud of my organization’s advocacy for high levels of
immigration and — I mean, she put it as generous immigration and et
cetera — but why don’t we just not let any Arabs in? And I would ask
a similar question. In other words, can immigration policies really
focus just on Arabs or Muslims or people from the Middle East, or
however you want to describe this, or is there in a sense a sort of
broader reform, a more kind of across-the-board change that’s
necessary that would go beyond simply looking at people from Saudi
Arabia or Egypt or what have you?

MR. STEINLIGHT: Let me just jump in briefly and pass it along to my
other colleagues. I mean, politics is the art of the possible and we
have to advocate proposals that can fly, and fly on Capitol Hill and
be translated into legislation. And it is clear that there would be
no support in the present American society and on Capitol Hill for a
return to anything resembling the National Origins Quota Act. So it’s
a nonstarter.

I think that there have to be across-the-board cuts. We have an
immigration policy that is, generally speaking, out of control. We
have vast numbers of people violating our borders. We have the threat
of a presidential amnesty that could amnesty up to 15 million
illegals, which would then send a green light to 15 million more that
there are no consequences to violating felonies in the United States;
in fact there are rewards.

But having said that, I do think that we have to recognize the fact
that the dangers represented by Islamists within the Muslim community
— and they are a minority but, of course, all political movements
are run and generated by minorities and with either the tacit or
active support of majorities — they represent a specific threat. And
I think specific measures need to be taken; maybe heightened measures
around Islamic immigration but which I would extend to all
immigration. And that is for — I mean, and there are many, many
things that can be done.

For one thing, we do not have — one of the things that has come out
of the 9/11 hearings and in a lot of the books that I’ve read that
led up to the 9/11 catastrophe, we have not only a toxic and
dysfunctional relationship between the CIA and the FBI, but we have
an FBI that clearly cannot handle terrorism. We need to do what every
other Western democracy has done; we need to have a domestic security
service. If this sounds like fascism, they have it in Sweden, they
have it in Canada, they have it everywhere — they have it in
Holland. We don’t have it. We need something like the MI-5 or the
Shin Bet. That’s one way.

We also don’t bother checking people coming into this country
anymore. At some point we adopted a kind of McDonald’s-8-billion-
served mentality. In Saudi Arabia we handed over the questioning of
visa seekers to travel agencies. This was an act of insanity. I mean,
there are numbers of specific things we can do. Reporting
requirements — I lived in Britain for seven years. I did my graduate
work there and then stayed on and taught. Every year on a number of
occasions I had to report to the local police department and let them
know where I was, whether I was meeting the terms of my visa
requirements. I did not think I was living in a fascist state. I was
the guest of the British nation; they had a perfect right to know
where I was and what I was doing. So reporting requirements are

I would also say, and this is critical, that if a person — that
Muslim immigrants to this country or potential visa seekers have to
be asked searching questions about their political and religious
affiliations. Not to do so is simply to ignore the 800-pound gorilla
in the room. And if that offends against some of the aspects of
political culture that prevail today, so be it. But we need to know
if they have affiliations, if they are attenders of mosques with
radical mullahs. Do they belong to Islamist political parties? Are
they fellow travelers? Are they recipients of publications by these
political parties? We can do some of the checking in cooperation with
the security agencies in friendly countries where there are at least
nominally friendly regimes — Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, I can go down
the list. But we need to vet these people in very particular ways.

So special vetting, a national domestic security service, reporting
requirements, a national ID card without question. Some of these
things will affect all, some of these things need to be more targeted
to Muslims — that is where the threat is. I just have to say
parenthetically I will never forget an interview with Tim Russert and
Secretary Minetta in which they were talking about, quote, unquote
“racial profiling” of Arabs. And the fact is, if you concentrate on
young Arab men between the ages of 19 and 40 who attend radical
mosques, you can very quickly correct your policing and focus it
where the policing needs to be done. That’s how the German police
broke up multiple cells in Germany once they shifted to that model.

I will never forget Norman Minetta saying to the question by Tim
Russert — Tim Russert said, let’s imagine a scenario in the airport.
You have two people. You have a woman — we’re in the Twin Cities
airport, you have a Norwegian grandmother with six suitcases
surrounded by great-grandchildren, grandchildren kissing her goodbye.
She’s paid for her trip in advance to get a cheap flight. She stayed
in the country. She has family here for several generations. She’s
going back. And you have a Jordanian — someone traveling on a
Jordanian passport, a young man of 22. He has no luggage. He has just
paid for his ticket in cash. He’s made a few statements that sound
reasonably questionable. Who do you check? He said we check both

Now, that is political correctness gone insane, so I would say across
the board because national quotas and things will not fly, but let’s
use intelligent policing and security methods on populations that
represent special threats. And, clearly, out of this population we
have special threats.

MR. PUDER: I just wanted to make a short comment. Well, perhaps
there’s a distinction here. If Latino Americans or Mexican-Americans
pose a threat, an ultimate threat to the character of America, it’s
perhaps turning the Southwest of the United States back into Mexican
— part of the Mexican patrimony. On the other hand, the Islamic
immigrants — if they indeed do come en masse; and eventually they
will, as we heard today, unless of course they’re curbed — they will
overturn the entire United States and our entire culture and
civilization. So you’ve got to size up threats from these two
different groups. Although, currently the Latino Americans come in
greater numbers, they don’t pose that imminent threat, as do the
Islamic immigrants to the United States.


MR. FRUM: Well, what I think I would have said to that woman at your
meeting was to remember that many of the people who come from the
Arab world are precisely coming because they object to the way things
they are there, and one shouldn’t lose sight of that. There are many
people who have had to flee and some — there are now, I understand,
five times as many Lebanese Christians living outside Lebanon as live

This actually — I will long remember an experience I had with
someone that sort of sums up both the promise of America and why it
has trouble in its effective counterterrorism work. I recently had to
give a lecture at Rutgers University. I was met at the train station
by a big car and a driver who was one of those people when you talk
— lecture a lot you see the people who want to talk and then the
people who are bursting to talk. And I usually try to squelch the
people who want to talk but the people who are bursting to talk
usually have something to say. So what did he want say?

He owns the company. He owns 12 cars and he wanted to see me. He’d
read the book. He’s a big supporter of President Bush’s. He loved
what Richard and I were advocating; he wanted to talk to me about it.
And he had a Middle Eastern accent and — not Iranian obviously, not
Israeli obviously. I couldn’t quite place it, and finally it emerged
he was an Egyptian Copt and he had come here as a refugee in 1975,
and he just — what he wanted to know — the reason he was here, he
wanted to know what could he do to help in the war on terror. And I
said, “Well, that’s fantastic.” I said, “Do you have children?”
“Yes.” “And how old are they?” “They’re in their early 20s.” “Well,
they should be involved in the national security of this country.
There’s a lot they can do. Do they speak Arabic?” And he said with
enormous pride, “Not one word!” (Laughter.)

But, I mean, I don’t think — first, I don’t think you can do
immigration by singling out ethnic groups. That would be illegal. It
would also be politically unwise. And I think that raises a lot of
problems with racial profiling. I think that is a very dumb argument
to have. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to say that you’re dumb, your point
of it is very powerful, but it is foolish to get drawn into an
argument where black Americans who are very security conscious start
seeing effective anti-terrorism enforcement as a throwback to racial
discrimination, especially because the terrorists are going to be
able to recruit people of all kinds, who look all kinds of ways and
have all kinds of passports. There are going to be in the future
fair- skinned people with British passports and Anglo-Saxon names
imbued with this ideology. There are going to be such people: Johnny
Walker Lindh, Richard Reed, Jose Padilla –

MR. : Ibrahim Hooper

MR. FRUM: What?

MR. : Ibrahim Hooper.

MR. FRUM: Yeah, that’s right. They can — it’s an ideology; it’s a
set of ideas. It is like trying to defeat communist espionage by
racially profiling Russian immigrants. So you catch Solzhenitsyn and
miss Alger Hiss.

MR. STEINLIGHT: Can I mention an observation then?

MR. FRUM: Yeah.

MR. STEINLIGHT: And that’s this — I mean, I work at something called
the Center for the Strategic Studies of South Asia. All of my
colleagues are South Asians. They are all lapsed Muslims; not a
single one practices Islam. You mentioned Coptic Christians. I think
you’re begging the question. My friends are free thinkers. They have
abandoned Islam and the Rafat (ph) was against them and many have had
to live in safe houses. What about Americans who come — what about
people who come here and practice Islam, and the fact is that
contemporary Islam — the concept of jihad has taken over the five
pillars in wide stretches of Islam. Yes, there are Muslims — people
from the Islamic civilization who have come here to escape that but
they don’t call themselves Muslims anymore. Most call themselves free
thinkers or they’re Copts or they are lapsed.

MR. FRUM: Well, here’s where I will agree with you and here’s where I
disagree. It is inconceivable to me that American immigration law
could ever say to somebody on a visa form are you a Muslim?

MR. STEINLIGHT: I understand that.

MR. FRUM: If so, you can’t stay. However, you were referring to the
question of screening and I think this is important. When, for
example, student visas — when someone applies for a student visa,
that since the 1950s it has been the policy of the United States to
try to detect people who believe in extremist ideologies. In the
1990s this was redefined to say look, if you’ve committed violent
acts you may not enter the United States, but if you are the
president of the local Hezbollah association and you have nothing in
your record then that’s fine; you can come get a student visa to an
American university.

And, just as during the Cold War when you were looking at people who
wanted a visa to the United States you looked at things like did they
belong to a Communist party, which wasn’t a very good way to judge
but it was sort of a crude proxy for what you’re interested in. So it
would make sense to me that when you are allocating student and
business visas and other kinds of things you ought to look, does a
person have associations that suggest a proclivity for terrorist
sympathies. That is — because you’re not dealing — not yet — with
the Soviet Union. You don’t have people who are doing things as
sophisticated as creating deep penetration agents and creating
legends. There may be — I mean, one of the things that is sort of
startling about the terrorism of the 1990s in retrospect was how
crudely it was done.

One of the things that misled a lot of people in the intelligence
service into believing in an exaggerated role for Iraq in the 9/11
attacks was they thought if they defeated us they must have had good
tradecraft. And we know that al Qaeda doesn’t have good tradecraft,
therefore, they must be sponsored by Iraq or Iran. And then, as you
look more carefully, they defeated us but they had lousy tradecraft.
I mean, it was — they might as well have been walking around with
sandwich boards that said I am a terrorist.

And that is a great advantage that we have and it should be possible,
when you look at things to say you have some questions, and the local
consulates and embassies should be involved in this. And one other
thing: this is not law enforcement exactly but there is a sensibility
in both — in a lot of parts of America and in outreach toward the
world that Tom Wolfe described — to quote him again — in
“Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers,” where you believe somehow that the
more radical the people are the more authentic they are. So when
Americans abroad — diplomats, and the State Department’s public
diplomacy, when they want to engage in the Islamic world they will
look for moderate Islamists because there’s no point in talking to
the lunatics but there’s also not much point in talking to the
liberals. So go look for the people who hate you a little bit and go
talk to them.

And we really ought to be making a serious effort to engage friends,
and there are friends in this — sometimes they are people who are
local minorities, like Coptic Christians, like Kurds. Sometimes they
are environmentalists and women’s organizations who have an interest
in an open — and such people do exist, and those are the people we
ought to be engaging; we ought to be looking for people who actually
buy into American values, and they can be found. And that should be
something — when you’re thinking about visa allocation that should
also be part of it.

MR. PUDER: Let me just a point that the Copts actually are Christians
dominated by a different culture, a different kind of species. I
mean, these are people that have been persecuted by Muslims. They’re
happy to be in the United States. So I would distinguish between
Copts and Muslim Egyptians, for instance.

But, also there’s another problem that needs to be looked at and that
is the Muslim immigrants that come here and already are in America,
radicalized in schools — in Muslim schools and by imams in the
mosque who basically are funded by Saudi and other Gulf money.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Let’s take some questions from the audience. You
first, sir, and then you, Ira.

Q I’d like to ask Mr. Steinlight the following. Your diagnosis is
catastrophic. You’re diagnosing that lethal — I don’t want to use
the word cancer because it doesn’t really sound good, but your
diagnosis of this is really catastrophic. Yet, the remedy that you’re
offering for what is the catastrophe, a zero sum game, is maybe a
little more than an aspirin. I don’t know to what extent immigration
contributes to the demographic increase of Muslims in America but at
some point they will surpass Jews and even if immigration is stopped.

My question to you is what do you suggest as a remedy or a strategy
for the Jewish community to deal with that — with the fact that
Muslims will become a stronger — in America a stronger minority than
Jews are today?

MR. STEINLIGHT: Well, actually I have a strategy and I’ve written a
paper about this and I’ve begin to speak about it and I’m not the
only one who’s been talking about this. Professor Dershowitz has been
talking about this as well. There are really two methods. One is that
need — to the extent possible through a variety of institutions and
non-governmental organizations and foundations — to work with more
moderate Muslims and others to try to quote, unquote “Americanize”

I have hopes, for example, that Warad Mohammed (ph) and the
African-American component within the Islamic community may be a
strong ally in this. I have spoken to him at Yale. The African-
American component within conventional Muslims — I’m not know
talking about the Nation of Islam which is a crazy, fascist cult —
but he believes — he will not accept Wahhabi money and he believes
American Muslims should be patriotic. And black Americans are
Americans and they have American values. So I think that working
through African- Americans who have become Muslims is a very
potentially rich approach.

In terms of Jewish numbers — and this is something that’s a very
interesting discussion and we could take a long time and have it.
Obviously, Jewish fertility is below replacement level and there is a
so-called crisis of Jewish continuity. I think the answer for that is
very simple: that Jews should go back to doing something that Jews
always did traditionally before the Emperor Constantine made it
punishable by death. Jews should seek proselytes from among lapsed
American Christians. Jews should be converting and aggressively out
there converting people to Judaism.

Given the fact that mainstream Protestantism is dead as a doornail,
and given the fact that the scandals with the Roman Catholic Church
have caused many people to back away, and many Americans — this
remains, by the way, the most spiritual society in the world except
for India — who are looking for spiritual answers. I would suggest
that there is a role in Judaism — something the Jews have not
pursued but I think there’s a historic moment here. Jews have not
really pursued since the 2nd century — when, by the way, 20 percent
of the Roman Empire was Jewish by conversion — to move towards a
conversion strategy.

So, yes, you’re right. I mean, even if we — even if we could hold
the door closed for a period of time — I think the two strategies
have to be to try to Americanize Islam and I believe, for example,
that there are forces within Islam — and I know many progressives
who would like to see a kind of reformation, if you will, within
Islam. If it’s going to happen anywhere it’s going to happen here. I
think the African-American component is extremely important, and I
think Jews need to think — rethink very strongly their historic
antipathy to evangelizing and should go out and do what Jews always
did. There’s nothing in the Torah or the Talmud that speaks against

Q Can I just follow-up? It will be really short.

MR. KRIKORIAN: No, we don’t have a lot of time and we need — let me
take two questions and then sort of two more, sort of batch them.


Q I’m just really — this is addressed more to David than anybody
else. I know you don’t speak for the administration, but obviously
you have connections and ties. Maybe you can give us some insight
into their thinking. In your presentation you mentioned that, you
know, most of the illegal immigrants in this country just want to cut
our grass for a few dollars less. Now, leaving aside the fact that
you add in all the social costs — education, health care — you’re
not getting it for a few dollars less; you’re getting it for a lot

But even if it were cheaper, why is the prospect of having your grass
cut a little more cheaply so seductive to this administration that
they would ignore the obvious national security implications that are
attached to it? And, you know, even after September 11th they’re
still continuing to do this, and it’s unfathomable to me and to many
other people and I was hoping you might have some insight.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Go ahead –

MR. FRUM: Okay, I happen to be on a book tour for “An End to Evil,”
like in the second or third week when the administration’s
immigration proposal came out, and it was like being there on the
first day of the Sommes when the machine guns opened; I mean, every
show you did, every question. And I made a few calls and said, this
is obviously not anything statistical or reliable but there’s a
problem up here — (laughter) — in Americaland; the Americans are
unhappy about this.

And I think one of the things you can never underestimate is just how
administrations divide up their policy into — their areas of policy
into working groups where interests come together and sometimes they
make hideous errors. So, in this one it just seemed to people here
was a way to take an actual constituency in the Republican Party,
which is employers, and a hopeful constituency of the Republican
Party, which is conservative Catholic Latino immigrants, and meld
them together to solve the problem of the decay in the Republican
party’s voting base over the past 15 years. The Republican Party’s
not as an institution as it was in the middle — in late 1980s.

And it was just — and what they lost sight of was how — the impact
this was going to have on the kind of the upper-working-class,
American who is sort of the institutional bulwark of the party. The
voting bulwark, not the institutional but the voting bulwark of the
party, and who saw this as, one, an attack on his wages, but even
more — even more an attack on his values because, one, it violated
his sense of fairness, and it also — the great problematic question
for Republicans is that pollster’s question, cares about the problems
of people like me. And that — whoever designed this proposal was
clearly not thinking about the problems of people like the people who
were calling my stations and yelling at me.

So, I think it was just bad — this administration — if you read
Paul Krugman you get a sense of this Machiavellian, cunning, scheming
immigration — administration filled with polls. They know exactly
what they’re doing. It’s really — they’re not. I mean, they just are
gripped on to a political dynamic that they think is fundamentally
hostile to them in a way that the Reagan people did not, and they are
looking for answers and they make a lot of errors.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Let’s take three questions and then everybody will
sort of have a chance to kind of answer them and kind of wrap up.
Quick questions.

Casey (sp).

Q I just wanted to say — Stephen’s comment about the paralysis of
the Jewish community, partially because of the fear of offending the
Latinos’ vote and stuff like that. I just — for five years I was
deputy director to Dan Stein at the Federation for American
Immigration Reform. We had a number of occasions where Dan would
debate representatives of the Mexican quasi-governmental institutions
like the Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce and many others. And I
was struck sometimes in their off-camera comments there would be this
virulent anti-Semitism that would come out, and I just wondered — I
said, what on earth could this explain this in the history of Mexico?
I mean, Maximilian wasn’t Jewish as far as I know, and things like
that. I mean, I just couldn’t understand it.

But if you look at some of the things, like Vosta (ph) Islam, the
official mouthpiece of MEChA on the Internet, you can’t — the
virulent hatred towards Jews and anti-Semitism is oftentimes
expressed by an Arab on the Internet. So I’m wondering is this
something that is just my perception or is this something that is
shared? And is this — this kind of willful just neglect of this
issue just something that is also a potential peril to the Jewish
community? I’m thinking about — and the American community too. I
mean, the chants at the Mexico City soccer game of Osama, Osama at
the U.S.-Mexican soccer match recently. I mean, that’s just sort of
been swept under the rug, but this is — it seems to me that is also
a threat to the Jewish community in the United States.


Let’s take two more. You sir, and then you and then we’ll let
everybody answer in turn.

Q You claim that what’s good for Jews is good for American
immigration — (off mike) — the reason why Jews have promoted
immigration is, one, due to the fact that they believe that they’re
safer in a — (off mike) — less homogenous community. Do you agree
with that?

MR. STEINLIGHT: Do I agree with the notion of a less homogenous –

Q No, that the reason why Jews have historically supported
immigration has been that they view a less homogenized community as
safer. And if that’s true then — (off mike) — in Jewish, and I
guess, quote, unquote — (off mike) — interests when it comes to

MR. KRIKORIAN: Okay, and then you, sir, and then we’ll let each of
the people respond.

Q I just have a comment. (Off mike) — anecdotal, if you will,
affirmation for what you really laid out very eloquently in your
paper, and the insidious, if you will, implications of having an
anti- Semitic Islamic majority here in the U.S. And since I actually
lived for many years in Iran under — (off mike) — I appreciate that
and I just wanted to share that.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you. Okay, well, let’s let Steve have the last
word, so I’ll start with Joe and then David, if you have any
responses to the questions or anything else, and then Steve will
wrap- up.

MR. PUDER: Well, let me try to answer the gentleman here from a
theological point of view. Vatican II and — (inaudible) — was slow
to come into the pews in the Latin — in Latin America and Mexico as
well. And this is reflected in the kind of teaching you still have in
most of Latin America. It really did not incorporate the new — and,
of course, Latin America is Catholic. It did not incorporate the new
way of teaching that the Vatican has actually proposed. That, as I
said, is reflected in the pews. It’s going to take time. I think that
there are Mexicans that live in the United States — and especially
those who, for instance, convert to evangelical movement.

Protestant — that is Protestant relations are somewhat differ in
terms of their — or in terms of their feelings towards Jews. So I
would say that this is one of the factors in Latin anti-Semitism.

We had a question about the Jews homogenized — that they want a less
homogenous Christianity in this country and that’s why they support
— well, to a degree it’s true. If you look at Jewish history,
clearly, Jews wanted to have a protective umbrella. That’s why Jews
flocked into socialism and, to some degree, to Communism. That large
umbrella gave them protection. Suffering from persecution for
thousands of years, or certainly since the destruction of the temple,
or slightly before that, Jews always went for universalist movements.

But insofar as immigration, the kind of reservoir of immigrants that
is available, and in the future would flood America, is clearly from
the Muslim world, and that is not very complementary to letting the
Jews continue live in freedom the way they have lived here in the
United States. So I think that that is somewhat the picture.

MR. FRUM: I’m going to shamelessly ignore the questions and pick up
on one thing that Joe said and one thing that Stephen said and put
them together as a practical answer.

One of the questioners — there was a question about Americanization
and then a question about the preaching of hatred in many American
Muslim institutions. One of the things that Richard and I suggested
in our book is look, when Bob Jones University wanted to put a ban on
interracial dating they were told it’s a free country, university can
do what it wants but you can not get a tax receipt if you promote
such policies. Seems fair. It seems to me that if a building has a
man in it who incites people to murder, that it ought not to be
regarded as a bona fide educational or religious institution. The
rule in America is you can do that unless it’s in a situation where
it’s likely to cause an immediate commotion. On the other hand, it
ought not to be tax deductible.

And I think one of the ways — one of the most powerful tools against
the incitement of hatred is the Bob Jones precedent and the use of
the income tax code. That would be a practical suggestion for
something that would make, I think, a lot of difference and spur

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you, David. Steve, just quick last comments.

MR. STEINLIGHT: Yeah, let me just answer a couple of things — my
friend from — (inaudible). Yes, there’s a lot of awareness of the
problem of anti-Semitism among Latinos. I mean, I did a study for
NCCJ some years ago. It was the largest inter-group study ever done.
We found levels of 47-plus percent. There are a number of things that
cause that. There’s no history of residential commonality the way
there was, certainly, with African-Americans. Jews lived in the same
neighborhoods for many years when they were poor. And Vatican II and
post-Vatican II teaching has barely penetrated Latin America.

Also, Latin American immigrants — of 60 percent from Mexico and
Central America — tend to see Jews simply as the most privileged of
white Americans with the additional virtue of having killed their
God. (Laughter.) So this does not make for a good stew, but my guess
is — this is hardly, by the way — I am not a supporter of illegal
aliens from anywhere. But I am more hopeful that — as Joe I believe
was saying, that within probably two generations the same way Polish
peasants came to this country and loathing Jews — and I can point to
many other East-Central European peoples who were theologically
educated and politically educated to despite Jews — because
essentially Americanized and ceased to have those attitudes.

I believe, for what it’s worth, that Latinos — Latino anti- Semitism
is not fundamental to their worldview as their worldview shifts and
their Catholicism shifts. I mean, the most hopeful inter- religious
work probably in the last 40 years has been in Jewish- Catholic
relations, primarily in this country and with the Vatican. So I see
great promise there for those who will be legal and will stay. But
the problem now is — you are pointing out a genuine problem.

In terms of the point that was made a moment ago, I think there’s no
question but that pluralism and secular liberalism were almost
created by Jews in the first two decades of the 20th century. Think
about people like Horace Kallen and others. I mean, that whole
culture — that whole intellectual culture was basically a Jewish
construct to shift America from being essentially a Protestant
society where the public schools were basically Protestant common
schools to open the doors to greater multiplicity. And, in fact, I
say with pride that the first legal case the American Jewish
Committee ever did was the Pierce case in 1924 to defend the rights
of Roman Catholics to go to parochial schools. That took place in the
— (audio break, tape change) — their presence as part of a hostile
takeover to which they’re Koranically commanded to do. Jews have long
been devotees of, and the model — in fact, if anything the model
group that underwent patriotic assimilation.

So, I would say that yes, in the beginning there was that — but I
think Jews are very weary about groups unwilling to undergo patriotic
assimilation. I think Jews struck a very good balance between a sense
of group identity and a larger sense of national belonging to the
United States. I think we are weary of groups that don’t strike that
balance and are — we have grave concerns over the Muslim community.

In terms of the — the only issue — I quite agree with that to the
extent that tax dollars and tax codes can be used to regulate
behavior, I’m all in favor of it. I think the problem with the
madrassas is that they will remain entirely immune from that because
the funding can come from outside the country. There is unending
funds and the madrassas system, if anything, you can count on growing
exponentially in this country and no amount of tax dollars or tax
write-offs will affect that.

In terms of my friend here who emigrated from Iran, I very much
appreciate his comments. Jewish communities have suffered intolerably
in these societies. It’s one of the stories that no one wants to talk
about. Everyone is focused on Palestinian refugees. Most people have
lost of the millions of Jews who were essentially thrown out or
reduced to beggary or to fifth-class citizenship or held hostage by
Islamic regime after Islamic regime after the advent of the state of

I would also just like to add as a footnote that the Muslims with
whom I work — and I work with many, many Muslims; again lapsed
Muslims — they are on our side in terms of reducing immigration, and
particularly reducing the immigration of devout Muslims because they
know their very lives will be endangered. So when I talk to someone
like Tashbe Said (ph) or Jamal Hassan (ph) or Halid Duran (ph) or
others, they say, we are with you 1000 percent. We don’t want having
come into America groups of people who actually seek our death
because we are apostates according to the most benighted kind of
Islamic views of the world. We will find friends among progressives
who came from the Islamic world.

MR. KRIKORIAN: Thank you Steve, and David, and Joseph. Thank you all
for coming. Again, Stephen’s paper — and his earlier paper from
2001, which I failed to mention was a Backgrounder for the center —
are all on our website, along with all of our work at And I
think at least some of the panelists will be willing to be accosted
by further questions, but I’ll let people go now.

Thank you very much.