Insane in the Membrane

Anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein will do almost anything to criticize Israel and ignore the existence of Islamic terrorism.

Case in point of the latter: The recent Naveed Haq guilty verdict.

This is what Silverstein had to say:

The Jewish community, including a few, but not all the victims, breathed a sigh of relief at the verdict (since his first trial ended in a mistrial).  But I didn’t.  Here’s why:

The American justice system has an entirely loopy definition of mental illness and mental competency to stand trial.  The defense in this case pleaded insanity.  The prosecution conceded he was mentally ill.  Yet the jury still found him sane.  Go figure:

The prosecution throughout the trial had acknowledged Haq had suffered from mental illness. Symptoms appeared mostly in the form of paranoia and paranoid delusions, Raz said…

“No one ever asserted that paranoia had anything to do with his attack on the Jewish Federation,” Raz said.

Juror John Bennett said the defense was simply unable to convince he and his fellow jurors of Haq’s insanity at the time of the shooting.

“We were waiting with an open mind – waiting for someone to tell us that he was not sane. But there was just never anything to convince us,” he said.

So if you can follow that: he’s mentally ill, paranoid and delusional.  In fact, during the shootings he shouts out nasty comments about Jews hurting Muslims and this is the reason for his actions.  But somehow the paranoid, delusional beliefs that motivate his crime do not constitute insanity.  This is a guy who’s under doctor’s care and taking anti-psychotic medication who goes postal, yet nothing convinced the jury of his being totally loopy.

And what convinced the jury in particular of his sanity?  Jailhouse phone conversations with the killer’s mother in which she tells him his illness made him commit the crime.  He firmly rejects her view and declares his sanity.  That’s it.  He says he’s sane in a convincing manner and that clinches it.  Anyone out there who has a family member or friend who’s battled mental illness can tell you that there are almost no victims of this sickness who readily acknowledge they have it.  In fact, I’ve had almost the same exact conversation with someone close to me that Haq’s mother had with him.  That person swore up and down that there was nothing wrong with him.  That’s part of the illness–to deny it.  It’s the same with addiction.  Who in their right, or even wrong mind would publicly concede that there’s something terribly wrong with them?  Furthermore, many mentally ill individuals can put on a very convincing show proving they are sane.  No doubt Haq was doing precisely this when he spoke to his mother.

Telling a jury to believe a mentally ill man when he says he is not mentally ill is, well, crazy.


As for the Islam-haters out there who are circulating this verdict with glee because you believe it proves there is a Muslim hate machine, think again.  All this verdict proves is that one terribly ill individual fell victim to his personal demons and acted out in a horribly violent fashion.  The motivation for his acting out happened to be hatred of Israeli violence against Palestinians.  But he was no more capable of understanding the full implications of what he was doing than any seriously-ill paranoid schizophrenic is.

Notice how Silverstein is so sure of himself and completely ignores evidence to the contrary such as is outlined here.

It is clear that Silverstein has an agenda – to convince people that Islamic terrorism does not exist, but rather only Jewish terrorism. After all, when describing violent acts allegedly committed by Jews, Silverstein is quick to attribute the acts to religious beliefs and Zionist ideology. Meanwhile, a Muslim shouts Allah Akbar before detonating his suicide bomb in a room full of Jews, and it is because he went crazy after being breastfed by a strange woman. Or something.

Actually, Silverstein is so desperate to advance his agenda, that he even dispenses with the facade of using logic, to make asinine “arguments” such as this:

naveed haq

Well, two can play that game. So I put the same question to you: Does this man look sane to you?

silverstein sarong


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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