Ikhras

The Arab Reaction to Chavez’s Death and What it Tells Us

GAZ05_PALESTINIANS-CHAVEZ-_0307_11By: Ikhras Co-Editor Thabit Al-Arabi, This article first appeared in Al-Akhbar English March 12, 2013.

Outside of Venezuela and Latin America, there was no greater outpouring of support and sympathy for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez than in the Arab world.

Comparisons to the great Egyptian president Gamal Abdul-Nasser began immediately. Many even declared Chavez himself an Arab based on his anti-imperialist policies and support for Palestinian liberation. Political commentators, at least those not on the Saudi and Qatari payrolls, emphasized his public support for Palestinian rights and Iran’s right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, as well as his opposition to the wars on Iraq, Libya, and most recently the proxy war on Syria.

Ikhras Supports Columbia SJP

sjpIkhras fully supports Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine and all SJP chapters across the United States.  SJP branches nationwide have been one of the leading organizations in the Palestine Solidarity Movement in the US.  Columbia SJP’s misguided and divisive decision to sponsor an event featuring Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi as a guest speaker at what was dubbed a “Syria Solidarity Event” served as a distraction and did not help advance the mission of SJP.  Our criticism of this controversial decision stems from our deep appreciation for this organization and the critically important role it plays on US campuses.  SJP represents one of the most successful organizations working in the most hostile environment for any Palestine solidarity activism anywhere in the world. We trust Columbia SJP will learn from this mistake and remain focused on its mission as it continues its invaluable work in the future. As it does so we will continue to support Columbia SJP and all SJP chapters on their respective campuses across the country.

Long Live Palestine Arab and Free From the River to the Sea!

p.s. No Zionist should take any comfort in whatever disagreements that may exist within the Arab world or among Palestine solidarity activists.  When it comes to justice in Palestine we are all unified and will continue our unrelenting struggle for the liberation of Palestine and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees to their homeland.

A Response To Nihad Awad’s Request For Correction

Nihad Awad With George Bush Jr (2000)

After posting a photo of Nihad Awad from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with George Bush Jr on our twitter feed with a comment (السفاح الذي قتل اكثر من مليون عراقي هو الذي تقف الى جانبه لتآخذ صورة تذكارية) about his willingness to attend a White House photo-op with the butcher of over one million Iraqis Mr. Awad sent us the following message:

لا مانع ان يكون لك رأي مخالف لكن لا تدعي ما لا تعلم. هذه الصورة أخذت في عام 2000 م. فأرجو ان تتحلى بألجرأة وتصحح خطأك.لم التقي ببوش بعد 2001

There is no problem with you having a different opinion, however, do not make assertions about what you don’t know. This picture was taken in the year 2000 so I hope you would have the courage to correct your mistake. I did not meet with Bush after 2001. [Translation by ikhras]

Yes Mr. Awad, we have no problem correcting any “mistake” you can plausibly claim we may have made. We did not indicate the date of the photo, but since we were clearly criticizing your willingness to attend a Bush White House photo-op, we’re willing to point out this photo was taken prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. But this then presents a question for you which we also hope you have the courage to answer honestly. Are you implying that you would have declined an invitation to a Bush White House event after 2003 in protest of the criminal invasion of Iraq? Your own political “activism” and CAIR’s almost 2o-year record of continuous and uninterrupted working relationships with successive US administrations would suggest otherwise.

Gaza & The Cowardly Blathering Of Arab & Muslim Americans

Zogby with his good friend Martin Indyk on MSNBC

[Ikhras NoteDuring Israel’s eight-day onslaught on Gaza a select few Arab and Muslim Americans appeared in the mainstream US media as representatives of the Palestinian side of the conflict or spokespersons for the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities. These groups and individuals do not represent the views of the Palestinian, Arab or Muslim communities in the US, and were certainly not appointed as spokespersons for the Palestinian people under occupation.]

To our knowledge, during the entire eight days of Israeli air, sea, and land bombardment of Gaza not a single authentic Palestinian-American voice or any neutral, objective expert on the Arab world was invited to appear or write in mainstream television or print media. Instead what we watched was a parade of pseudo-analysts, Arab Zionists, anti-Palestinian ideologues, self-appointed spokespersons of all stripes, and even a couple of comedians. All of them, without exception, were invited to parrot the Israel narrative, or at best, offer polite criticism of Israel in the name of Palestinians and Arab or Muslim Americans.

Arab Students’ Disgusting Behavior At University of Pennsylvania

Arab students at the University of Pennsylvania have joined with pro-Israel campus advocacy groups to invite a token Syrian from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) to speak on the their campus.  Undoubtedly this Syrian will come to University of Pennsylvania to speak on behalf of the neoconservative and Zionist agenda in Syria.

The event is being sponsored by, among others, the Pennsylvania Arab Student Society (PASS), Penn Friends of Israel, and StandWithUs. Penn Friends of Israel “is a student initiative-led and student-run Israel advocacy group on Penn’s campus” which “acts as an open and supportive forum for Israel advocacy.” StandWithUS is a pro-Israel campus advocacy group that is proudly “supporting Israel around the world.” It is dedicated to spreading Zionist lies and propaganda with a special focus on whitewashing the crimes of the Israeli terrorist army and seeking out token Arabs willing to work with them.

Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award Winner – September 2012

Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for September, 2012 is Dr. James Zogby. The omnipresent, self-appointed representative of Arab-Americans earned this prestigious honor for his disgraceful behavior at the Democratic National Convention (DNC).  Although rarely is there a month in which Zogby is not the front runner for this award, the quintessential careerist and cheap propagandist for the State Department and Arab oil-Sheikhs beat out all other nominees for the September, 2012 ikhras shoe award before the convention even started.

Voices Emanating From The Embassy: An Ikhras Review Of James Zogby’s “Arab Voices”, What He’s Saying To Us And Why It Doesn’t Matter

[Ikhras Note: The following is a belated publishing of an Ikhras book review of James Zogby‘s Arab Voices: What They are Saying To Us And Why It Matters. It was written shortly after Zogby launched his book tour with a party and reception at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington in October, 2010.]

James Zogby couldn’t have picked a more appropriate setting to launch his new book than a party and reception at the Washington embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The event was hosted by “H.E.” Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, and, true to form, the following day Zogby slavishly  thanked the Nahyan family representative: “I was so gratified by last night’s reception. Ambassador al Otaiba’s hospitality, his kind words of introduction and the great work of his staff provided Arab Voices with such a wonderful launch.”

Zogby And “H.E.” At Book Launch Party For “Arab Voices” At UAE Embassy.

The book is titled “Arab Voices: What they are saying to us and why it matters.”  In explaining the objectives and motivation behind the book Zogby saysI wrote the book for two reasons…One [reason] is because the stakes are so high. We’re in real trouble in the Middle East…it’s not getting better”…The second reason, he explained, was to “shatter” the myths Americans have about Arabs.”  Zogby, of course, is not going to shatter any myths or change any false perceptions.  This is one of those grandiose claims he often makes about his ability to influence public policy and popular perceptions in the United States (US).  As the omnipresent, self-appointed representative of Arab-Americans sets out to “paint the most accurate picture of the Arab people, explaining who they are to the American people”, we ask which Arab voices has he been listening to cocooned up in Washington since the 1970’s?  Which Arabs is Zogby most familiar with?  And is he qualified, and capable of candidly and accurately explaining the Arab world to the American public?  For reasons we discuss below we believe Zogby is not only unable to do so, but is probably the last person in America who can explain indigenous Arab voices to a US audience.

Ikhras On Vacation: Will Return In September

IKHRAS ON VACATION: WILL RETURN IN SEPTEMBER

We will resume publishing in September with a feature article on Maysoon Zayid, a belated review of James Zogby‘s book “Arab Voices”, and a look at the Arab American Institute’s promotion of Lebanese-American buffoon David “GO GOP” Ramadan along with full coverage of House Arab and Muslim behavior during the 2012 presidential campaign.  In the meantime, you can still follow us on twitter, and we continue to accept nominations for the Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award.

Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award Winner – May 2012

Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for May, 2012 is Ziad Asali.  The president of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) earned the prestigious ikhras shoe award by attending an Israel “Independence Day” celebration hosted by the Israeli embassy.  As the Palestinian people were commemorating the onset of the nakba Asali decided to celebrate the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine by European invaders and the creation of the usurping Zionist entity.  Two photos (below) from the event emerged showing an undignified but smiling Asali with  Michael Oren, the professional propagandist and war criminal (Oren served in the Israeli terrorist army during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 in which over 20, 000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed) from upstate New York that was handpicked by Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington.

Ikhras Turns 2

This week ikhras celebrates its two year anniversary.  We would like to thank our readers, supporters, contributing writers, and all those who helped make ikhras a community voice.  The response we have received over the past two years has been overwhelmingly positive and surpassed all our expectations.  Ikhras is proud to have become the long overdue response to those that became an embarrassment to our community, and a detriment to better understanding and increased solidarity among Arabs, Muslims and other citizens of this country, and the world.  Over the past two years House Arabs and House Muslims that grew accustomed to engage in outrageous behavior as self-appointed representatives of our community without any accountability have responded with bullying tactics, smear campaigns, and numerous threats to initiate law suits, all of which have failed.  By now they have learned we will not be silenced or intimidated.  They should also have no doubt that as ikhras enters its third year we will redouble our efforts to expose and shed light on the behavior of all those that hijacked our collective community name in pursuit of false prestige and petty personal ambitions. To our Arab and Muslim-American community, fellow Americans, and all international citizens we, once again, pledge to remain an uncompromising, progressive, anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist voice that will always place truth, justice, and universal human values before any other consideration.

Petition Demanding Resignation Of Ziad Asali

A petition has been posted online to demand the resignation of American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP) President Ziad Asali.  This came in response to Asali’s participation in an “independence day” celebration organized by the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

We at Ikhras have decided to not sign the petition.  To begin, Asali’s attendance of the Zionist entity’s “independence day” celebration is not the first time Asali or the two other members of the ATFP have engaged in such outrageous conduct.  Such appalling behavior by the ATFP is nothing new.

Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award Winner – March 2012

Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for March, 2012 is Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. The well-known public activist, former candidate for the presidency of the collaborationist Palestinian National Authority, and head of the Palestine National Initiative earned the prestigious ikhras shoe award by traveling from occupied Ramallah to Washington, DC to attend J Street’s 2012 annual gala.

The Spirit Of Ikhras & Why We Do What We do

"We Will Not Recognize Israel", Photo by Ashraf Shakah

[Ikhras Note: The following article, reproduced below, was first published in The Palestine Telegraph this past January and forwarded to us by one of our readers with a note saying he felt it precisely expresses the opinions, objectives, and spirit of the ikhras website. We are living during a time when “normalization” and “peace” with the Zionist entity is openly advocated as a moral and pragmatic option and when the liberation of Palestine is dismissed as an unattainable goal and empty slogan of a moribund ideology.  In reality, the Zionist project is quickly heading towards its inevitable collapse.

In the meantime ikhras will continue to express the views which any informed, objective observer of the Arab world will recognize represents 99.9% of Arab public opinion.  Aside from a small clique of Arab-Americans in Washington with no connection to the Arab world, and the paid mouthpieces of authoritarian, illegitimate Arab regimes reliant on the imperialist powers to maintain their rule, the Arab people continue to reject the existence of Israel just as strongly as they did in 1948. There is near unanimous agreement and continued support for the three “No’s” of Khartoum: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”  Arabs should have no qualms about openly saying they do not recognize Israel or that Israel has no right to exist. Our struggle is not against an occupation of a part of Palestine, the struggle is against the very existence of the Zionist colonial project on even one square kilometer of Palestine.

This article offers a reminder of what the struggle for Palestine is really all about, and reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of Arabs both within the Arab world and among Arab communities abroad including in the United States.  One important point the article makes which we, for obvious reasons, found delightful was the call to not ignore those within our own community that advocate for “peace” and “normalization” with Israel. Although these defeatist and colonized minds remain no more than a handful of outcasts making it tempting to simply dismiss them, it is imperative, given the disproportionate attention they receive, as this article points out, to not ignore them. We at ikhras were thrilled to read this article as it goes directly to the ikhras mission which has always been to confront these debased, unrepresentative voices.]

Anti-Zionism in the 21st Century: the struggle continues.

London, (Pal Telegraph) – The essence of the Palestinian struggle is the battle against Zionism. It is a battle against its racism, against its murderous war crimes, against its insatiable territorial hunger, against its disdain for non-Jewish human rights, and against its devoted attempts to destroy Palestinian national identity. As voices of normalization are on the rise, and social media is invaded by paid pro-Zionist bloggers, there is an increased need for anti-Zionists to draw attention to the crimes committed by ‘Israel’, and to speak up against the ongoing media silence and the apologist activities of those misleadingly portraying themselves as ‘peace doves’.

Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award Winner – February 2012

Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for February, 2012 is Lebanese-American buffoon David “Go GOP” Ramadan.  Imad, his real name, earned this month’s prestigious honor by joining the anti-Sharia movement.  Anyone who’s observed the public behavior of the most immensely grateful immigrant in the country will not be surprised to learn that as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates he is now advocating for passage of an anti-Sharia bill in the general assembly.