How Do We Know al Qaeda Wants to Kill Jews?

The Goldblog inbox overfloweth. This e-mail is from David Smith of Fort Lauderdale, in reference to my post on the motivation of people who mail bombs to synagogues from Yemen:

How in the world can you presume to know their motivation? Are you just able to sense from thousands of miles away that someone, whom you know nothing about, just wants to kill Jews because they're Jewish?
They may well have wanted to kill Jews purely because of Israeli policy toward Palestinians and for whatever reason found these Chicago synagogues opportunistic targets.
Do you have any idea how tired you are screaming anti-semitism every fucking week, almost always at the most nebulous of targets? It's like you have no reason for existing, other than to call people anti-semitic, no matter if there's any support for it or not. And taking on a nutcase like Pamela Geller. Is that supposed to absolve you and make your unsupportable allegations about anti-semitism valid?
Angry, angry!

Here's another one, from someone who identifies himself as Cliff from New Mexico:   

Goldberg, you must be kidding! Do you really think the occupation of Palestinian land by the Israeli army and settlers is irrelevant to al Qaeda actions? Israeli occupation is the main reason al Qaeda exists! If the Israelis had let the Palestinians have a state 20 years ago, Arabs wouldn't feel a need to join radical groups the way they do today! Watch al-Jazeera, the occupation is all they talk about!

And this one, from a person identified only as "Simpson":

It is important for Zionist propogandists such as yourself to argue that al Qaeda is antisemetic, but it is no more antisemetic then Hezbollah. They are not culturally prejudiced groups, but they are political, and politically what they stand against the most is the Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories. Read their own literature, if you dare.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


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