New York State Independence Party leader Lenora Fulani stirred up a media firestorm last April with her refusal, during an interview on NY1 News, to repudiate a 1989 statement in which she had called the Jews "mass murderers of people of color." Fulani's IP, the state's third largest party, is closely allied with Mayor Bloomberg and has been courted for its ballot line by Chuck Schumer, Eliot Spitzer, Joe Bruno and dozens of other elected officials.
The controversy over Fulani's remarks did not prevent Bloomberg from accepting in late May the IP's endorsement of his re-election bid. A senior campaign aide to the mayor stated, "You don't hold 90,000 [party members] responsible for one person's comments."
Articles in respected newspapers, however, have reported how control of the IP resides almost completely in the hands of an extremist political cult led by psychotherapist Fred Newman, who numbers Fulani among his closest disciples. A 1995 Anti-Defamation League report accused the Newman cult, not just Fulani as an individual, of "repeatedly bombard[ing] its members with anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist rhetoric."
In late April, New York City Councilman Lew Fidler (D., Brooklyn) began circulating a draft resolution to condemn Fulani's "mass murderers" libel. Fulani's lawyer, Harry Kresky, responded with a letter to City Council Speaker Gifford Miller threatening a lawsuit if the resolution should pass, while Councilman Charles Barron (D., Brooklyn) predictably came to Fulani's defense by suggesting the resolution should also condemn alleged bigoted remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
To support Fidler's resolution, I compiled a list of 179 pre-trial deposition questions that the Council's attorneys could ask Fulani in the unlikely event that she files her lawsuit. The questions cover not just anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist statements (the focus of the selection below) but also how Fulani and Newman obtained an $8.5 million tax-free loan from the city for their All Stars youth charity, the nature of the psychotherapy they practice on teenagers and small children, and their cult's alleged stockpiling of weapons. The complete list of questions can be found at www.lyndonlarouchewatch.org/fulaniquestions.htm.
1. Ms. Fulani, in your April 13, 2005 interview on NY1 News, you were asked about a statement you made in 1989 calling the Jews "mass murderers of people of color." You told the interviewer that you still today don't regard this statement as anti-Semitic. I wish to ask you what you think about a 1985 statement by your associate and leader Fred Newman, as quoted in an Anti-Defamation League report in 1990. The quote is as follows: "The Jew, the dirty Jew, once the ultimate victim of capitalism's soul, fascism, would become [after World War Two] a victimizer on behalf of capitalism; a self-righteous dehumanizer and murderer of people of color; a racist bigot who in the language of Zionism changed the meaning of 'Never Again' from 'Never Again for anyone' to 'Never Again for us--and let the devil take everyone else.'" Do you regard this statement as anti-Semitic?
2. In your NY1 News interview you replied to a question about your controversial statement by asserting that "it's raising issues that I think need to be explored." Are Mr. Newman's statements about "the dirty Jew" and "dehumanizers" examples of the issues that you think "need to be explored"?
3. Can you think of any justification for the use of the term "dirty Jew" by Mr. Newman? Are you willing to state for the record that Mr. Newman was wrong to use that term?
4. In the same piece quoted by the ADL, Mr. Newman said that "Israel's right to exist is actually capitalism's might-makes-right to create whatever the hell it needs." Do you agree with that statement? Do you believe that Israel has no right to exist?
5. Ms. Fulani, who paid for the trip of you and four other members of your New Alliance Party (NAP)--the predecessor of your current Independent Party faction--to Libya to attend Col. Gadhafi's "Peace Gathering" on April 12-14, 1987?
6. Ms. Fulani, you were quoted in the April 24, 1987 National Alliance as saying "It was so extraordinarily moving, so powerful to be part of an entire nation's demonstration against U.S. militarism and racism." In the light of the Gadhafi regime's mass murder of 270 persons (189 of them your fellow Americans) in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing on Dec. 21, 1988, are you willing to reevaluate your statement? Do you have regrets over participating in the Tripoli conference? Would you be willing to issue a public apology to the families of the victims of Pan Am Flight 103 for your support of Gadhafi?
7. Ms. Fulani, you appeared at a Nation of Islam function in Chicago in November 1987 in honor of Abdul Akbar Muhammad, an aide to Louis Farrakhan. Speaking as the "national spokesperson" of the New Alliance Party you made the following remarks: "I had the honor of being in Libya with Brother Akbar as part of an international peace delegation. During that trip I often thought of the words of Malcolm X who responded to charges that he advocated violence by saying, 'We are not a violent people. We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us. But we are not nonviolent with people who are not nonviolent with us.'"
Consider the context, Ms. Fulani. On Dec. 27, 1985 Palestinian terrorists sponsored by Libya launched attacks with grenades and automatic weapons on airports in Rome and Vienna that resulted in the deaths of 16 people, five of them Americans (including an 11-year-old girl). On April 5, 1986 the Libyans orchestrated a bombing attack on a Berlin disco frequented by U.S. servicemen, killing two of our soldiers and wounding 79 of them along with over 100 non-Americans. The U.S. government then bombed Libya later that month. On the anniversary of that bombing you went to Libya to protest against the U.S. attack while remaining silent about the prior Libyan actions, and toured the bombing sites. Can you see why a reasonable person might interpret your quotation of Malcolm X as an expression of support for further Libya-sponsored attacks against the United States?
8. Was the blowing up of Pan Am Flight 103 an example of what you meant about Libya being "not nonviolent" in the spirit of Malcolm X?
9. Was the blowing up of UTA Flight 772 between Brazzaville and Paris on September 19, 1989 (a crime for which a French court found six Libyans guilty, sentencing them to life imprisonment in absentia) an example of what you meant about Libya being "not nonviolent" in the spirit of Malcolm X?
10. Ms. Fulani, please cite EVEN ONE passage in the writings and speeches of Malcolm X where he EVER advocated terrorist attacks on tourists in airports, the killing of 11-year-old girls, or the bombing of jetliners filled with civilians.
11. Ms. Fulani, in April 1989, four months after the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, your Castillo Center hosted a reception in New York to show "support for the Libyan people and their revolution." According to your National Alliance newspaper, you invited Dr. Ali A. Treiki, the Libyan government's permanent UN representative, to this event. Did the Castillo Center, NAP or any other entity of your "development community" receive financial compensation from Libya for holding this event?
12. Ms. Fulani, at the Castillo Center reception, Fred Newman urged "unconditional support" for the Gadhafi regime. How would you today, as a state official of the Independence Party, explain Mr. Newman's statement to the parents of the 35 Syracuse University students from upstate New York who died fiery deaths on Pan Am Flight 103?
13. Ms. Fulani, when the terrorist Abu Jihad, the mastermind of the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, was finally slain by the Israelis in 1988, your newspaper published an "In Memorium" article which stated that "the international progressive community" was mourning "the loss of one of its greatest political-military tacticians." Ms. Fulani, do you believe that the killing of innocent civilian athletes is an example of legitimate political or military tactics? Would you explain just what you think is "great" about such an action?
14. Ms. Fulani, in a September 15, 2001 letter published on the web site of your Independence Party's think tank, you complained that in the four days since the September 11 terror attacks "virtually no one [had] raised a single question about whether any of our policies led to this calamity." Among the policies you cited was "U.S. support for intensified Israeli aggression against the Palestinians." "America is made vulnerable," you said, "by the combination of our government's aggression and arrogance." Do you still stand by these statements?
15. Ms. Fulani, in your letter on 9/11 you closed with a quote from Martin Luther King: "To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world." Why is it, Ms. Fulani, that when Americans are killed you quote Martin Luther King but when Libyan or Palestinian terrorists are killed, you quote Malcolm X? Are you willing to admit that your support for Libya being "not nonviolent" was inconsistent with your more recent advice to your fellow Americans?
16. Ms. Fulani, considering that the Libyan government has acknowledged its guilt in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing by agreeing to pay restitution to the families of the victims, are you now willing to condemn Col. Gadhafi as a "mass murderer of people from upstate New York"?
17. Are you willing to condemn Osama Bin Laden as a "mass murderer of downstate New Yorkers"?
18. Are you willing to condemn the government of the Sudan as "mass murderers of people of color"?
19. Are you willing to condemn President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (a great friend of your supporter on the New York City Council, Charles Barron) as a "murderer of people of color who oppose his rule"?
20. Are you willing to condemn Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah as "mass murderers" of Israeli civilians?
Mr. King is the author of Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism (Doubleday, 1989) and Get the Facts on Anyone (Macmillan Reference USA, 1999). His website, www.lyndonlarouchewatch.org, provides in-depth coverage of the unfolding controversy surrounding the Independence Party and its top leaders.