A little-known partner to a U.S.-Israeli project and a brutal dictator is suddenly cast as a source of admiration and pride. Ikhras takes a look at Arab reaction after news broke of actor-celebrity George Clooney’s engagement to British-Lebanese Attorney Amal Alamuddin.
We at Ikhras feel compelled to disabuse Arabs of the notion that Amal Alamuddin, “barrister specialising in international law, human rights, extradition and criminal law” and recent fiancée of actor-celebrity George Clooney, is a source of admiration or pride. The reaction of more than a few House Arabs to her announced engagement to Clooney has been very troubling, and can only be described as symptomatic of an inferiority complex.
Let us put aside for the moment the fawning indulgence often expressed by many whenever an Arab becomes associated with a famous Westerner:
“Tell me when George Clooney will be coming to Lebanon so I can greet him in Moukhtara,” sectarian warlord Walid Jumblatt wrote, referring to his ancestral home in the Chouf mountains. “I will bring a delegation of Druze sheikhs.” It’s unlikely Clooney gave any serious thought to his upcoming marriage to Amal Alamuddin, but whatever little time he may have spent contemplating on the matter he certainly never imagined an entire clerical establishment in Lebanon could be summoned to express its joy over his (latest) escapade with a member of the flock.
Al-Arabiya writes flatteringly of Amal’s mother Bariaa by citing Jihad Khazen, former editor-in-chief of Al-Hayat and one of the Saudi regime’s leading propagandists. “Khazen describes her to Al-Arabiya News as a ‘Roman goddess’, speaking of unmatched beauty during her youth that dazzled many in the Middle East, and an intellect that made her journalism career.”
The article from Lebanon’s Daily Star continues, “Alamuddin has become a source of pride and fascination in her home country after news broke of her engagement to avowed bachelor Clooney.”
Ikhras is not proud, fascinated, enamored or mesmerized by Amal Alamuddin. As an international lawyer “specializing in criminal law” she has instead chosen to become party to a criminal enterprise as well as a criminal dictator.
Her online case profile and appointments include the following:
- Prosecutor v Ayash et al. Member of the prosecuting team in case against four persons accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri (Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague)
- Legal adviser to the head of the UN commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and other terrorist attacks in Lebanon
- Legal adviser to the King of Bahrain in connection with the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry headed by Professor Cherif Bassiouni
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is an international court tasked to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the Feb. 14, 2005 assassination of the late Lebanese premier and billionaire Rafiq al-Hariri. As expected, the STL implicated members of the Lebanese resistance group Hizbullah in the crime. This comes as no surprise as the evidence upon which the tribunal relied largely came from telecommunications data known to have been compromised by Israeli intelligence. Multiple spy rings operating in Lebanon have since been uncovered leading to the arrest of dozens of agents—a number of whom were directly involved in the telecommunication sector. Israeli officials themselves boasted how Hariri’s assassination was to their benefit. Recognizing the political ramifications of the assassination, which undoubtedly motivated the real perpetrators, the resistance leadership took the unprecedented step of releasing drone footage of an Israeli reconnaissance mission the day of Hariri’s murder. The STL project has now gone so far as to subpoena journalists from Lebanese media outlets who dare to question its legitimacy, charging them with contempt and obstruction of justice (this from a court which has covered up bribery of its witnesses).
More egregious than Alamuddin’s work with the STL has been with that on behalf of Bahrain’s monarch, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, to whom she served as legal advisor during the Bassiouni Independent Commission of Inquiry. Although the watered-down report did not come close to fully articulating the extent of repression and subjugation faced by the island’s majority population at the hands of the royal family and their minions, it nonetheless confirmed the regime’s systemic use of torture. The unelected ruling al-Khalifa family, with the help of its largely non-Bahraini, imported security service as well as that of invading Saudi troops, brutally suppressed the democratic aspirations of the people in the wake of the “Arab Spring” as it violently put-down peaceful protests in Manama’s Pearl Roundabout in February – March 2011.
Since then, the government has rounded-up, imprisoned and tortured ordinary citizens, dissidents and human rights activists alike, most notably Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab. Mosques have been symmetrically demolished and the tiny island nation effectively put under martial law. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has been fearless in its meticulous documentation of widespread abuses and subversion of all democratic and reform-minded initiatives.
Again, we remind readers that one of Alamuddin’s alleged areas of expertise is in the field of “human rights.”
Her work with the U.S. and Israeli-backed STL, a court created solely to incriminate Hizbullah members in the Hariri assassination and sow internal discord in Lebanon, as well as that done for an oppressive, semi-literate Mideast tyrant, have revealed her true areas of specialization.
For these reasons, Amal Alamduddin is unworthy of respect or reverence. She is deserving only of our contempt, scorn, and a well-aimed shoe.