Pamela Geller's War

Eleven years ago, Pamela Geller declared war on savages who were trying to take over the world. This November, she admits she lost.

"They say I'm a racist, Islamophobic, anti-Muslim bigot," she complains to me, about me, about the liberal media.

"So where would you consider yourself on that spectrum?" I start.

"What I've always said," she explains, bristling. "I'm anti-jihad." Jihad is Arabic for "struggle," though Muslim extremists and their enemies alike have taken its usage in the Koran to mean "holy war."

Pamela Geller/atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com

"They've never described me that way. Ever. They've never described me as anti-jihad. They say I'm anti-Muslim. I'm not anti-Muslim.

"I don't see how anyone could say I'm anti-Muslim," she says. "I love Muslims."

Geller's war started on a Tuesday. It was beautiful outside, so, naturally, Geller, a rich housewife and a mother to four daughters, was on the beach on Long Island's South Shore. She was staring to the west, toward Manhattan. A skyscraper was burning.

She ran inside her house and turned on the television. Anchors were reporting that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. She ran back outside, mouthing the same thing millions of Americans were echoing across the country. "What moronic . . ." Then she saw the second plane hit. That's when she knew what was happening, when Geller's world fell apart.

Before 9/11, Geller's life was uneventful. She was the quintessential New York trophy wife: She grew up traveling to and from the city, moved there after dropping out of Hofstra, worked in the city, married rich, had kids, and retired to Long Island to raise her children. She passed the days reading Details and studying up on music, art, and fashion. A few years later, she would have been perfect material for The Real Housewives. (She would receive close to $10 million after divorcing her husband in 2007 and collecting life insurance from his death in 2008.)

The terrorist attacks traumatized her.

"My premise was false," Geller says. In a single morning, America's façade of invincibility was shattered. Geller stood by, useless and helpless, as nearly 3,000 innocents were slaughtered. She was so out of touch she'd never heard of Osama bin Laden before.

Two planes hit the towers, and one hit the Pentagon. A fourth, United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco, was hijacked as well and steered toward Washington, D.C. But the passengers fought the jihadi terrorists, and the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Forty-four people died, including the four hijackers, but the passengers saved hundreds of lives in the process, maybe more.

"The idea that those passengers on that plane all got together—that was a distinctly American response," Geller tells me. "They didn't need anyone to save them. They tried to save themselves."

"Do you think that was distinctly American?" I ask.

"Yes," she says. "I do."

"You don't think someone in"—I pick a random country—"Brazil or something would have done the same?"

"I don't know," Geller says. "But to me, it's an exemplar of American exceptionalism. It's not an elitist thing. American exceptionalism is individual exceptionalism. It's the exaltation of the individual. If you give an individual the freedom to be free, this is what they will do.

"America was the first moral government in the history of the world based on individual rights," she says. "There were definitely mistakes made—the idea of slavery—but if you go back and read the establishment of the United States . . . the problem was you couldn't get those Southern states to go along," she says. "That's why compromise is not necessarily a good thing. Because in any compromise between good and evil, evil profits."

The 9/11 attack was the most evil thing Geller could imagine. She felt we were at war with a group of people who played by a different set of rules. Savages.

She had to do something. So she learned about Islam, jihad, and sharia, the religion's code of law. Growing up, she was largely apolitical but always championed women's rights. She was particularly disturbed by women under sharia who were treated as second-class citizens. She read about women and young girls alike being beaten, raped, murdered. But the more she studied the religion, the more social issues took a backseat to her belief that Islam itself needed to be defeated.

"All these other issues are luxuries. I mean, if you ain't got your head," she says, "what's abortion gonna do for you?"

America slowly healed, but Geller had fundamentally changed. She says she was reborn. Along with it came a visceral fear.

"It's not some jingoism," she says. "It's your country. Where you gonna go? You won't like what comes after America."

She began to read and comment on conservative blogs, especially Robert Spencer's. Spencer is an anti-Muslim author decried by many as a bigoted mudslinger. In 2004, a fellow commenter sent her a template for a blog.

"They said, 'Start blogging.' And I was like: 'Blogging? I don't know anything about blogging,'" Geller says. "Then I remembered this: 'Shut up and start writing.' That's what I did. I shut up and started writing." A self-professed capitalist, Geller named it Atlas Shrugs after Ayn Rand's book. "And I've never stopped. I've literally never taken a day off."

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94 comments
Cassidy
Cassidy

The very idea of  modern Israel has always been creepy: we're Jews, we're just like everybody else -- except when it comes to everyone else's dirty heathen foods and customs -- but everyone hates us, so we need a place of our own, because something is clearly wrong with everybody else, we could never live among them since non-Jews are ready to murder Jews at any given moment....

Sounds like a friggin' cult to me!

fountain_penmj
fountain_penmj

@DebbiAlmontaser And she still comes off as deranged.

iamourhaj
iamourhaj

One correction: you write about the Khalil Gibran International Academy (public school) "They didn't close the school, but they were able to pressure the would-be school principal to resign. It was a small victory, but it was a victory nonetheless." My colleague Debbie Almontaser was told to resign by the Bloomberg Administration after she was manuevered into a phone interview with the NY Post which distorted what she answered about the intifada and conducted a sustained front page attack on her and her so called plans to create a Jihad factory in the public school system. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vindicated Debbie in finding the Department of Education discriminated against her in its pressuring her to leave.

With such media and political partners, Geller is able to set in motion far reaching cycles of abuse and intolerance.

iamourhaj
iamourhaj

Besides being a colorful person, inspired by some cartoon version of Ayn Rand, Geller promotes hate and helps mobilize thousands of Americans to hate filled frenzy.Though the Right Wing nativist movement is international, and well funded, last week there were two violent hate crimes in Queens, directly aimed at Muslims, similar to gay bashing. There were also a rash of mosque burnings and vandalism across the nation before the election. What's next, burnng crosses on the lawn? If elected officials and media parrot the conflations and confabulations of folks like Geller and Spencer, and some of them do even in NYC, hate crimes (and blanket civil liberties restrictions) result-- hardly the America we should be fighting to protect.I note that both the NY Times and the Voice take the "personal profile" approach to reporting about Geller-- which tends to minimize her menace. The Voice's profile is spicier, however.

jmarks09
jmarks09

Geller does not represent Jews or Israel. She is a dangerous, paranoid hatemonger who should be watched closely by the FBI. They should take her threats against President Obama seriously. This is a dangerous woman. She is mentally unstable. And shame on you Greg Howard and the Village Voice for giving a voice to this bigot. She makes Israel and America less safe.

NURREDIN
NURREDIN

Doesn't this idiot know that Khalil Gibran was a Lebanese CHRISTIAN?

mrpoizun1
mrpoizun1

Wonder if it bothers her that all the people who follow her hate Jews just as much as they hate Muslims?

DarranS
DarranS

Why is paranoid schizophrenia the new norm?

R_Jerusalem
R_Jerusalem

“Israeli spy” is a loaded misnomer. He was one of 6 fellow Palestinians who was accused of collaborating with Israel and was publicly executed without trial in a brutal and humiliating way in order to make a point to Palestinians that there is no way but Hamas’ way. And this is Hamas’ way: Savage terror against all who are imagined to stand- or even think or speak- against them.

I am not a Pamela Geller fan. But she’s not crazy. Next time you’re in Jerusalem, look me up and come to visit. The rabid jihadism she is afraid of is mainstream where I live, in the Middle East. It saturates the consciousness of the people of every Islam-devoted state (and the non-state of Palestine) surrounding Israel.

You may think Israel “earned” this seething hatred because of something it did. That lets you separate what happens to Israel from what could ever happen in America. But no, friends. This insane and violent religiously inspired and perpetuated hatred has nothing to do with anything Israel did (except reclaim its historical homeland as declared by the UN, that is, exist) just as 9/11 had nothing to do with anything America did. It was because that free and glorious country (of my birth) exists. Ms. Geller is not crazy, but she will be treated like Cassandra, because America still doesn’t get it. Alas.

Rachel in Jerusalem

ls11559
ls11559

I'm amazed that you published this article plain and straight forward with no bias. Amazing for the Voice. Now we can come to our own conclusions as to what she represents. Come to our own conclusions? Is that heresy? 

Nunya
Nunya

Geller needs to move to Israel where they all collectively hate all things Islam.  I am sick and tired of this racism and psychopathy that waves the Zionism flag and feels justified to spew hate and incite war.

Budbear
Budbear

"New York Post admits Pamela Geller is right,"...

Now, there's a reputable endorsement.

CheapShit
CheapShit

Love to see Pam eating out Palin's nasty pussy. 

brendan.macwade
brendan.macwade

The American Right Wing blogosphere helped create a Norwegian terrorist. Fact.

I'm torn as to how to judge young Mister Howard's piece. I know Geller would never meet with a well known investigative journalist. So I guess I'm happy she showed up to an interview? 

But then again, why has she been on my TV and Internets for ten years?

andrewsu
andrewsu

Pamela Geller is the Jewish female Al Sharpton.  I have no love for her but I support Jews having their Sharptons, Jacksons, Wrights, Farrakhans, Jeffries, Tony Martins, etc. Farrakhan speaks at the invite of black and Muslim groups all over this country, including UC Berkeley and Howard U.  Where are all the protestors?  Where is the backlash? Yet a Jewish person says 2 words about either group and freedom of speech comes to a halt.  Geller is like Gandi compared to Farrakhan.  Yet his hate literature is taught in black studies departments all over this country and promoted by the NAACP, Jermiah Wright, Tavis Smiley, etc.  If blacks and Muslims can dish it out they need to stop crying when they get a little taste of their own medicine.   Both groups are hateful to Asians, Jews, women and gays yet go bezerk over any slight what so ever.  I could just imagine the insanity that would insue if someone talked about either group with the same hatred both groups spew towards others freely. When people harrass Geller, Spencer, and Bachman while ignoring Farrakhan, Jermiah Wright, and Marion Barry it shows this has nothing to do with stopping racism but only about making sure a few select groups never have their feathers ruffled.

rmp2011
rmp2011

 Your jihadi "colleague" Almontaser was forced to resign because she approved the sale / distribution of shirts endorsing the murder of jewish women in children by the so called "intifada".


Screw her for trying to brainwash New York's children into supporting the extermination of the only Jewish state on the planet, just so that savages like you and Almontaser can turn "palestine" back into the muslim-trashed dunghill* it was before the modern Jewish state was reborn. (search for pictures on how the ottoman turks allowed the Dome of the rock to be overrun with weeds, the land became nearly infertile, and when the Jordanians controlled the Old City of Jerusalem after the '48 war, they turned the Jewish plaza in front of the Western Wall into an open air latrine, and dragged and destroyed Jewish tombstones from the Mount of Olives ; this was where Jews had worshipped for MILLENNIA before mohammed should have run down his father's leg...)

Ironically Israeli was reborn with the offer to share the land with arabs; unfortunately, your precious koranic sharia law FORBIDS the sharing of land with Jews... or Christians, or Buddhists, or Hindus, (thats why the muslims killed over 80 MILLION HIndus)...or even secular Americans here in America...

Which is why Geller is correct, islam IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH AMERICA.

mdfine1
mdfine1

@jmarks09 She represents this Jew. She's an American who supports Israel. Me too. If that warrants FBI surveillance, they're gonna need a whole bunch more agents. By the way, re: that paranoid, dangerous, mentally unstable thing you really ought to explore the root cause of those feelings. Seriously, seek some help. 

rmp2011
rmp2011

Tell it to the idiots who were going to let  Almontaser teach jihad and intifada against Jewish and non-muslim American women and children in that school.

Larry
Larry

@NURREDIN There are way too many sand niggers,chinks and spics in America. These savages walk into shul asking for food. You can't walk around New York without seeing them on their bikes delivering food or driving a cab.

ChuckGlenn
ChuckGlenn

@mrpoizun1  

why would you say such a thing? That is the furthest thing from the truth. Israel is a shining light of democracy and decency and the only civilized country in the middle east. You as an American can go to Israel and will be completely welcome and made to feel at home. Try doing that in the non state of palestine.

mdavid9
mdavid9

@mrpoizun1 Instead of spouting crap, why don't you read her blog, you fool!

brendan.macwade
brendan.macwade

@ralph4america That link seems like a parody to me. A memorial to the Irish famine is somehow linked to radical jihad and the Jesuits. As a relative of a Jesuit, one who would die for democracy and justice in the Caribbean and Central America, it is just plain silly.

zlitny
zlitny

@R_Jerusalem you stupid woman, america provoked that attack and israel is provoking the rockets. stay in Jerusalem you stupid woman

kalpal
kalpal

@Nunya Ignorance suits you rather well. I guess it feels warm and cuddly like a blanket.

kalpal
kalpal

@andrewsu If someone declines to hate who you love to hate it is obvious they are defective, right?

NURREDIN
NURREDIN

@Larry @NURREDIN  What does that idiotic post of yours have to do with the fact that Khalil Gibran was a Christian?

ChuckGlenn
ChuckGlenn

@Larry @NURREDIN  

It's very apparent that you are a lefty saying that to stir up s**it.  Obviously to make those of us who understand what Islam is up to look bad.  Not working.

rmp2011
rmp2011

@zlitny @R_Jerusalem You stupid jihadi analinguist, America did NOTHING to provoke 9/11, and Israel was getting hit by thousands of rockets from land THEY GAVE TO MUSLIMS.

You are a filthy lying piece of shit who should be dragged thru the streets like Hamas did to those poor souls.

rmp2011
rmp2011

@Nunya @R_Jerusalem R Jerusalem spoke the truth. The KORAN is the lie, and your marxist defense of it is  a disgrace. Marxists are MORONS, as they they think they can stand with the jihadis and then "work it out" at the end. The muslims will put your heads  on spikes and shit down your throats the day they are done with you.

Nunya
Nunya

To hell with Geller.  She is a racist warmongering ignorant plastic surgery contrived face for the hell wards that have spit on American values to promote their agenda or war and hatred .  If that's what attracts you, birds of a feather will flock together, but your tribe are the scales of a snake that will eternally writhe in the darkness instigating peoples of the world to hate each other the way you hate goyim.

Nunya
Nunya

@kalpal @Nunya  You're going to have to work harder to convince me you're human if you side with Geller.

Larry
Larry

שװאַרצע

Stevart
Stevart

@Nunya @Stevart @R_Jerusalem I AM goyim stupid.  Does that make you an anti-Semite?  Re karma...my advice is to "ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." In other words Instant Karma's gonna' get YOU!

Stevart
Stevart

@Nunya @R_Jerusalem You'll soon be sick of terrorism in American also.  AND you won't be able to argue with limbs, digits, eyeballs etc. that decided to take a hike off your body.  Soon...then you'll know the threat we face and then you'll long for long lost world of US dominance. 

Nunya
Nunya

@R_Jerusalem @Nunya  Don't hold such a high opinion of yourself.  What I said is absolutely on point.  Keep your poison in Israel.  We are sick of it in America.

 
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