In 2007, David Yerushalmi urged the United States to declare “WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful.” When that didn’t happen, he did his best to start one himself.
Yerushalmi practices what he calls “lawfare”— a multi-platform attack on Muslims’ freedom, staged by pushing anti-Shariah bills in state legislatures and filing aggressive lawsuits against supposed enemies of free expression and America’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage.
So far, he’s been disturbingly successful. At least three states have passed laws based on his model “American Laws for American Courts” legislation, created for the explicit purpose of outlawing Islamic Shariah law. More states will consider it this year. In addition to serving as general counsel to Frank Gaffney’s (see profile above) paranoiac anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, he’s represented Pam Geller’s Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and the Koran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones.
Yerushalmi began his campaign in 2006 by founding the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), an anti-Muslim organization devoted to promoting his theory that Islam is inherently seditious and Shariah, or Islamic religious law, is a “criminal conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government.” He equates Shariah with Islamic radicalism so totally that he advocates criminalizing virtually any personal practice compliant with Shariah — in his view, only a Muslim who fully breaks with the customs of Shariah can be considered socially tolerable. Ideally, he would outlaw Islam and deport its adherents altogether.
Muslims aren’t the only group with whom he has a bone to pick. Yerushalmi, an Orthodox Jew, also rails against liberal Jews and the “progressive elites” he says they influence. He’s described blacks as “the most murderous of peoples” and reportedly once called for undocumented immigrants to be placed in “special criminal camps,” detained for three years, and then deported.
Together with Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian Right law firm with which he has repeatedly collaborated, Yerushalmi in early 2012 formed the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC). Touted on its website as “the first truly authentic Judeo-Christian public interest law firm,” AFLC’s declared mission is “to fight for faith and freedom by advancing and defending America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation through litigation, education, and public policy program.” Within weeks of its creation, AFLC had filed a challenge to a federal health care mandate that would have required most employers to cover birth control and a “friend of the court” brief in defense of S.B.1070, Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law.
Geller, Islamophobia’s most vulgar mouthpiece, couldn’t be more thrilled. “This is great news and the dawning of a new era,” she said of Yerushalmi’s newest venture. “[G]oing on the offense against who would crush our freedoms.”