Completely oblivious to their panic, Dahlia Mogahed tries to assure the US and Israel that Arab revolution somehow coincides with imperialism and Zionism’s interests. Like Mona Eltahawy, Mogahed somehow missed the unequivocal pro-Palestinian component of the Arab revolutions.
Israel and its supporters in the United States should not fear governments that reflect the priorities of the region’s people. The protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other nations have focused on domestic grievances; corruption, police brutality, and lack of economic opportunity and political rights — not their government’s relationship with Israel.
Statements like that make you think of what M. S. Handler wrote in June 1965 about his meeting with Malcolm X:
[Malcolm] repeatedly cautioned me to beware of Negro affirmations of good will toward the white man. He said that the Negro had been trained to dissemble and conceal his real thoughts, as a matter of survival. He argued that the Negro only tells the white man what he believes the white man wishes to hear, and that the art of dissembling reached a point where even Negroes cannot truthfully say they understand what their fellow Negroes believe.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley. New York: Ballantine Books, 1999, xxvii, emphasis added.
It’s been interesting to observe that the Arab revolution has made House Arabs not only depart from their usual self-humiliating rhetoric, but to also audaciously pretend they were revolutionary all along. The ADC and AAI, not surprisingly, have been among the most stark examples, having hosted Mubarak representatives before his removal from his office. Similarly, Mogahed tries to pretend we didn’t notice her sharing a panel with Sameh Shoukri, Mubarak’s ambassador at the Brookings Institute. We do apologize if we missed news of her throwing a shoe at him or walking out or registering any form of protest whatsoever.
We don’t recall Mogahed’s advising Obama to cut ties with the Mubarak regime either in her (useless) capacity as advisor. Commenting on Obama’s Cairo speech, she had nothing to say in terms of condemning Mubarak’s tyranny:
Mogahed also serves on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which provided input for Obama’s speech. “If I were to convey the three major themes that I think would be important to cover in the speech, they would be the idea of respect, cooperation and a demonstration of empathy,” she said.
It’s remarkable that Mogahed offers assurances not only to the empire, but also to those on the receiving end of its oppression.
Obama’s familial ties to Islam through his father and his experience living in Indonesia as a boy, even though he chose Christianity, make “people believe that he won’t have the level of prejudice that they believe George Bush had,” Mogahed said.
She assures the west and Israel that they need not worry about Arab revolts. And she assures Egyptians and Muslims generally that they need not worry about Obama. An honest cultural ambassador if I’ve ever seen one. Egyptians by and large stand for the liberation of Palestine and even refuse to give interviews to Israeli journalists, but Mogahed undermined her legitimacy by claiming the contrary. Naturally, one cannot serve imperialism and justice at the same time.