Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rusty Sneiderman, Debbie Schlussel, Facial Topography and Reality

If you type the name 'Rusty Sneiderman' into Google, the sixth hit down is a post on Debbie Schlussel's overwrought 'conservative' blog, from November of 2010. It was in that month that an Atlanta businessman, Rusty Sneiderman, was murdered in front of a daycare center by a gunman who, at that time, was unidentified.

A police sketch artist, with the help of witnesses, produced a sketch of the killer, which you can see to your left. Debbie Schlussel, inspired by one of her readers, immediately came up with a theory, based on this sketch. She decided that the killing might have been an act of terror--a jihadi assault on a Jew.

Schlussel is careful in her piece not to say flat-out that she's sure this is the answer, but she is clearly pretty enamored of the theory. What is it based on? Glad you asked. It has to do with 'facial topography'.

Schlussel writes: As reader Joe pointed out, the guy looks like a Muslim, mostly because of his beard and some of the facial features. And the man is described as a White man. Few non-Muslim White men wear the kind of beard in the sketch. And few non-Muslim White men have the kinds of facial topography illustrated in the photo.

I'm going to jump right to the obvious heart of this--'looking like a Muslim' means 'looking like an Arab', which in this case means 'big nose and full lips', just in case you were wondering about that. As for the beard, I must confess that it brings to my mind an Amish guy in a watchcap, although the odds that an Amish person was responsible for a murder in Atlanta seemed pretty long even at the time. But Schlussel explained that it was a special Muslim-style beard, and since I am not an expert on Muslim beards, perhaps she is correct. Anyway, what other proof had Schlussel got? Let's move on.

Sneiderman, a Harvard Business School grad active in several charities, was active in the Atlanta Jewish community and was a member of Or Hadash conservative synagogue, there. Was the guy who gunned him down a Muslim? Was it religiously motivated? Police and witnesses say the execution was clearly planned and deliberately targeted Sneiderman. They believe the killer was a professional hit man. No-one said devout Sunni Muslims aren’t hit men. In fact, on 9/11 we got acquainted with 19 of ‘em. And several more since. Hey, maybe this is the one Amish guy in America who snuffs people out for a living. (He saw “Witness,” and didn’t like Harrison Ford sleeping with the Amish Kelly McGillis and turning her into a lesbian?)

OK, let me see. Sneiderman was Jewish. He was killed by someone who targeted him, and planned the killing. And we know that Muslims have, in the past, killed people. Also, the killer, as I pointed out above, was probably not Amish. With evidence like this...

I haven’t drawn any conclusions, Schlussel goes on, (this may be the funniest line in the piece, actually) and we may never know who murdered Rusty Sneiderman. It may turn out to be your average White dude hitman who has a thing for the Planet of the Ape Men. But again, look at the photo. Sure looks like a follower of Mohammed to me. Although it appears that Sneiderman and his wife were typical Jewish liberals (who generally pander to Muslims and serve as their chief apologists), that makes no difference in global jihad. Liberal Islamo-pandering Jews, like Daniel Pearl, are eagerly cut up like chickens by Muslims, in a New York minute.

By all means, let us interrupt our rather unsubstantiated assumption that Rusty Schneiderman was killed by a jihadi hitman by casting aspersions on the victim, his wife, 'typical Jewish liberals' everywhere, and the late Daniel Pearl. Why the heck not?

Ignoring the facial features and blaring cues in the sketch doesn’t make them incorrect. And we ignore them at our peril. As I noted earlier this year, authorities refused to put out a correct sketch of stabbing serial killer, Elias Abuelazam, a Palestinian Arab who targeted Black people for extinction. The sketch looked like your average White guy in a baseball cap, not an Arab from the Middle East. Had the sketch been accurate, Abuelazam might have been caught sooner and less people might have died at his hands. That nose on the sketch just ain’t your average White guy’s nose. Not even your average White hit man’s nose. And saying so isn’t “bigoted.” It’s intellectually honest and could help catch this murderer sooner.

Elias Abuelazam, an Israeli citizen and stark raving nutjob, did in fact get a rather bad sketch of himself put out, although I cannot say that I buy Schlussel's notion that this was done on purpose. The man in the sketch has a narrower nose and a more angular face than Abuelazam. Unfortunately, sketch artists have to work with what they have, they can't just draw a stereotypical Arab and hope it looks sort of like the bad guy. Honestly. They can't. (I know that Schlussel doesn't entirely believe this.)

(I have to add that this whole essay kind of undermines a common meme among the sort of people who think Schlussel is a deep and important thinker, namely that they can't be 'racist' because 'Islam isn't a race'. This is true, but Debbie Schlussel certainly writes as though it is.)

I will be following this story, though if the killer does turn out to be Islamic, I bet we’ll never hear about it. Schlussel concludes.

You know– it gets in the way of the “religion of peace” meme and all that.

This sort of racially confused, paranoid drivel is par for the course on Schlussel's blog, but I was interested enough to follow the story myself. A few nights ago, I Googled Sneiderman's name again, wondering if the case was ever broken.

Back in January, there was an arrest and indictment in Rusty Sneiderman's murder.

The accused's name is the decidedly Islamic Hemy Zvi Neuman.

He made a shiva visit to the dead man's family.

Oh, and he is a dead ringer for the witness sketch, minus the beard, which is believed to have been fake.

Alas, reader Joe who did in fact pick up on the Semitic features of the sketch, was close but no cigar. That's a g-g-g-g-g-great grandson of Abraham all right--but Joe picked the wrong branch of the family. An understandable error.

And Debbie Schlussel, who didn't get what she wanted out of this case, has not updated her blog to reflect this information.

I am sure that she'd insist her assumptions were quite valid. After all, there are jihadis, and they do target Jews. Therefore, making shit up out of whole cloth, insulting the victim, and feeding her followers' general sense of roiling paranoia about all things Muslim is perfectly valid.

I disagree. I would call this bigoted, dishonest, and self-indulgent in extreme. Is it really necessary to use the callous murder of a father of young children to whip up a little more self-pitying sensationalism and bigotry?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Obama's Iron Dome Support Saves Lives In Israel

Iron Dome, deployed earlier this month, is equipped with cutting-edge technology to stop short-range missiles--such as those that fall on Ashkelon and Sderot.

President Obama's support for this project has been extremely important. The National Jewish Democratic Council reports:

As President, in May 2010, he demanded $205 million in funding for the Iron Dome system—to help make the program a reality. The funding would be included in the 2011 federal budget. As White House spokesman Tommy Vietor put it, “The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to support the production of Israel’s short range rocket defense system called Iron Dome.” Thus, the United States-Israel Rocket and Missile Defense Cooperation and Support Act was sponsored by Representative Glenn Nye (D-VA) in the House and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in the Senate. Following almost unanimous approval by both chambers, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) said, “With nearly every square inch of Israel at risk from rocket and missile attacks, we must ensure that our most important ally in the region has the tools to defend itself.”