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Obama Advisor: Warm Words for Saudi Arabia, Hizbullah, Al-Quds

John Brennan, top US Homeland Security, official, calls Jerusalem “Al-Quds,” praises Saudi religious tolerance, and is encouraging of Hizbullah.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/23/2010, 12:30 PM / Last Update: 5/23/2010, 12:37 PM

Fox news

John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security, called Jerusalem “Al-Quds,” praised Saudi Arabian religious tolerance, and is encouraging of Hizbullah.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has drawn attention to the above three instances of recent remarks by one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s top terrorism-issues advisors, calling them “outrageous” and “disgraceful.”

Speaking to an apparently Muslim audience at New York University in February, at a forum co-hosted by the White House and the Islamic Center at New York University." Brennan first told a story in Arabic, evoking laughter and concluding with, “Don’t tell the folks who don’t speak Arabic what I said.” He then said that his favorite city in the Middle East is “Al Quds, Jerusalem.”

In the same speech, Brennan also spoke of his time at the American University in Cairo in the 1970s, referring to the common aspirations of his former Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian classmates, including the freedom “to practice our faith freely … In Saudi Arabia, I saw how our Saudi partners fulfilled their duty as custodians of the two holy mosques at Mecca and Medina.”

In another speech before Lebanese leaders who visited Washington recently, Brennan told them, “Hizbullah is a very interesting organization,” and said that it had evolved from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia and now to an organization that has members within the parliament and the cabinet. “There is certainly the elements of Hizbullah that are truly a concern to us, what they’re doing,” Brennan said. “And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.”

The ZOA noted that Hizbullah is actually a Lebanese-Iranian proxy terrorist group that has called continually for the elimination of Israel.

“These comments by John Brennan are as outrageous as they are deeply troubling,” ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “No one refers to Jerusalem in the English language as Al-Quds, unless they have a specific political, anti-Israel agenda - in this case, pandering to Israel’s enemies, who will draw comfort from the use of the term Al-Quds by a senior U.S. government official.”

Klein termed “disgraceful” the fact that “Mr. Brennan’s pandering is taken so far that he speaks of some supposed shared goal of freedom of religious practice, and then immediately refers in complimentary words to Saudi Arabia - a country that is notorious for its harsh denial of freedom of religion, in which even non-Wahhabi Muslim mosques are prohibited, let alone churches and synagogues.”

Regarding Brennan’s comments about Hizbullah, Klein said, “Worse, Brennan give unwarranted legitimacy to the recognized terrorist group Hizbullah, thereby undercutting past U.S. efforts to isolate this murderous outfit.”

Klein sums up: “John Brennan is yet another hand-picked Obama adviser who shows a distinct animus against Israel and partiality for its enemies. It is unsurprising that, when Barack Obama is advised by people like these, quite apart from the President’s own troubling history of friendships with vicious critics of Israel and having belonged for two decades to an anti-Israel, anti-American black supremacist church, the Obama Administration has ignited major tensions in its relations with Israel while not holding accountable and penalizing the Palestinian Authority for continuing terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder.”