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.
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 is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for April, 2012 is the Lebanese Collegiate Network. This is the first time the Ikhras Shoe is awarded to an organization. The report below explains how and why the LCN earned this prestigious award.
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.
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 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.
[Ikhras Note: Once again the world-renowned cartoonist and artist of conscience Carlos Latuff is subjected to a vicious Zionist smear campaign. Support our Brazilian brother and comrade. Read his response reproduced below and help distribute widely.]
By Carlos Latuff
Nothing new under the sun – More lies spread by the #Israel lobby Inc.
In recent days, pro-Israel blogs have been published articles accusing me (guess what) of being a Holocaust denier. This happened because in 2006 I participated in the Holocaust Cartoon Contest that had been set up by the House of Cartoon in Tehran.
[Ikhras Note: After publishing our list of 10 alternative names our readers and tweeps have sent us their suggestions. We’re happy to add to the list]
The following are ten alternatives for the sarcastically named “Friends of Syria” conference which would be a more honest and accurate description of the American organized, Arab oil-Sheiks funded spectacle in Tunisia.
1. Friends of Israel Conference
2. Balkanization of Syria Conference
3. Colonial Nostalgia Conference
4. Enemies of Syria Conference
5. Iraq: The Sequel Conference
6. Puppets of the Empire Conference
7. Destroy Hizballah Pre-Conference-Conference
8. We All Got Screwed By Russia Conference
9. Join-Us-For-Free- America’s-Barking-Arab Sheiks-Will-Pay-Conference
10. Kofi Annan’s Cameo Comeback Conference.
11. America Al-Qaeda Reconciliation Conference
12. Libya Chaos 2.0 Conference
Having recently converted to Islam in order to acquire some sort of native legitimacy in his mediocre comedic career, Dean Obeidallah has made “humanizing” Muslims a priority. Of course, this became lucrative after the 9/11 attacks; before, by his own admission, Obeidallah was just another white Christian guy from New Jersey. While this photo opportunity with U.S. President Barack Obama will go a long way in advancing his career, it illustrates that Obeidallah does not actually care for Muslims. After all, from 2009-2011, Obama ordered four times more drone strikes on Pakistan than President George W. Bush authorized during two terms, resulting in the deaths of 1,354-2,254 Muslims. This toll does not include casualties of Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan, collaboration with NATO in the bombing of Libya or adventurism in Somalia and Yemen. If Obeidallah sincerely wanted to “humanize” Muslims, he would refuse to attend a White House function in protest of the Obama administration’s wars on Muslim nations and continued detention and torture of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, many of whom have been held without trial for well over ten years. If Obeidallah’s “comedy” was, as he regularly claims, infused with a social, moral, and political consciousness or if he had a minimal personal conscience, those imprisoned, tortured and murdered should merit his skipping a presidential photo-op. Then again, these Muslims aren’t “human” to Obeidallah: “Muslim” is merely a convenient label for a marginal comedian pursuing a career in post-9/11 America.
[Ikhras Note: Palestinian-American Zionist and Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award winner Ray Hanania* continues his inflammatory, offensive rhetoric and tirades against all anti-Zionist activists. In this article, first published on occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com, Sadika Arab responds to his latest attacks on two Palestinian activists.]
It’s always a dilemma. What to do, when people you admire are being attacked by the jealous and hateful? If you respond to it, it sometimes gives them the undeserved attention that they desperately seek. If you stay silent about it, you let baseless smears linger as if they contain some element of truth.
Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for this January, 2012 is Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf. Speaking during his visit to occupied Palestine Feisal Abdul Rauf, a self-declared supporter of Israel, called on Muslims world wide to follow in his own foot steps and take a pilgrimage to the Zionist entity.
“I’d like us religious leaders to call for a sacred month that that will allow people to go on pilgrimage,” he said. If Muslims – including Iranians, who are often keen pilgrims – “felt free to come here for part of their pilgrimage, you would have easily tens of millions of people coming to Jerusalem…The pilgrimage to Mecca has always been an occasion for Muslims to get to know Muslims from other parts of the world,” Rauf noted. “If Muslims could come here, you could create some activity on the sidelines between Muslims and Jews.”
This purely political gesture, complete with quotes of passages from the Quran and absurd analogies to feuding Arab tribes in pre-Islamic Mecca, is intended to serve the interests of the usurping Zionist entity in three ways.
By Guest Writer and Ikhras friend Tammy Obeidallah*
Arsalan Iftikhar, international human rights lawyer, former National Legal Director of CAIR and now author of a book entitled Islamic Pacifism, is yet another stooge making money off “humanizing” Muslims. It seems to be his sincere hope to convince colonial powers that Muslims really are peace-loving and don’t deserve to be obliterated. According to him, the “extremists” engaged in “terrorism” belong to a small minority who have “hijacked” Islam.
Hussein Ibish, the Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), the Washington public relations outfit for the collaborationist Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied Ramallah, continues to speak in the most disrespectful, condescending, and sometimes racist fashion when it comes to Arabs and Muslims especially those among them opposed to US criminal wars abroad and insist on combating and defeating the Zionist colonial project in Palestine. The language of the intellectual godfather of the establishment Arabs has grown increasingly abrasive and crude as he moves further and further to the political right and continues to adjust his unreasonably reasonable stance on Palestine to the demands of the most extreme elements of the Pro-Israel lobby.
[Ikhras Note: Unsurprisingly alleged comedian Dean Obeidallah has failed to digest the irony of someone that launches a career as a nominal Muslim Arab on the far fringe of American pop culture dismissing the dedicated work of an American solidarity activist because she doesn’t share an Arab-Islamic heritage. Ethnicity is a chance of birth and religious persuasion is a personal choice. You don’t have to be a Palestinian, an Arab, or a Muslim to recognize and be part of the struggle against Zionism and injustice in Palestine. Our universal human values should lead all of us to accept and promote a shared global responsibility for fighting against injustice, racism, ethnic cleansing, occupation, imperialism, and war wherever it may exist. In this special guest submission ikhras friend Tammy Obeidallah shares her personal experience with Obeidallah and makes it clear that Palestine is not a punch line for aspiring American comedians, it is a morally compelling cause that has enlisted people of conscience from all backgrounds.]
By: Tammy Obeidallah*
In May 2007, I was working as a staff writer for the Daily Advocate in Greenville, Ohio. While the newspaper is a small-town rag if there ever was one, it served as a forum to write as much about Palestine as possible to a largely conservative “Christian” Zionist community.
One day a message showed up in my inbox at the newspaper’s account from Dean Obeidallah. He had contacted me out of the blue, asking if we were related. I informed him my then father-in-law and his father were first cousins. He offered me free tickets to the upcoming Axis of Evil show in Cleveland, Ohio. Only vaguely familiar with his name at the time, I agreed to go.
[Ikhras Note: The following was a comment by Jeffrey Blankfort.* It’s not just Arab-Americans that reject the political pandering of establishment Arabs. Palestine solidarity activists and all Americans opposed to the US policy in the Middle East have been equally frustrated with Washington Arabs that are busy garnering mainstream media acceptance and clamoring for photo-ops with US officials. Although these opportunistic careerists are unwilling to address the false narratives and assumptions of American officialdom, principled social activists and other Americans of all backgrounds do not hesitate to do so. ]