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.
Ibish has not hesitated to make anti-Arab racist comments in the past like this one directed against Iraqis for which he hasn’t apologized. Ibish, like all the Arabs and Muslims in this country that consider their conditional acceptance by the white man to be an affirmation of their civility and humanity, adopts and internalizes the same racist political culture in which he (and others) seek to immerse themselves as a means to achieving their cherished acceptance and approval. One of the most obvious manifestations of this behavior is their embrace of the same discourse that dehumanizes not only Arab rulers, but groups with broad popular following.
This can be seen by comparing the language, descriptions, and tone with which these Arab-Americans discuss someone like Mouamar Qadhafi with their language, descriptions, and attitude when speaking of US Presidents like George W. Bush. This is not to defend any Arab ruler, but the dehumanization of Arab rulers is part of a broader dehumanization of an entire Arab culture. War criminals and mass murderers like Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, or Dick Cheney are always treated with deference by the establishment Arabs. Even those Arabs that ostensibly criticize their war crimes maintain all criticism within the bounds of permissible criticism and always with the utmost respect. War criminals are not only treated with deference but get invited to address galas as keynote speakers. Ibish’s ATFP invited Tony Blair, (watch this ikhras video of the empty-tuxedo Ziad Asali introducing him), Condoleezza Rice and Gen. James Jones as keynote speakers at their annual flagship event. In his ongoing efforts to undermine the struggle for Palestinian rights Ibish routinely invokes stale and disingenuous arguments about International law yet if we lived in a world governed by laws all the keynote speakers at the ATFP galas would be sitting in jail.
Those who would deny the dehumanization of rulers and groups in the Arab world is part of a broader dehumanization of Arabs and Arab culture should remember anti-American dictators and groups in other parts of the world are never denigrated and dehumanized in the same fashion as Arabs. One only needs to look at the contrast between Western officials’ past descriptions of Eric Honeker, Gustav Husak, and Nicolae Ceaușescu with their descriptions of Qadhafi, Saddam Hussein, or Bashar Assad. We can also compare the language used to describe HAMAS and Hizballah with that used to describe non-Arab, non-Muslim armed groups which have been designated as “terrorist organizations” like the IRA or ETA. Again, this is not to defend any Arab ruler, regime, or group but to highlight that the stark contrast in language is part of a broader dehumanization of an entire people and culture.
This same mentality and language when adopted by the likes of Ibish often becomes even more striking and openly racist than the original version. Ibish not only harshly condemns all real and American-fabricated crimes about Arab rulers, but he also makes it a habit to denigrate, mock, and ridicule any Arab or Muslim ruler or leader not approved by the US government. Pro-Washington Arab tyrants, of course, are never criticized, and their Ambassadors in Washington can also be found as “honored guests” at their galas, another manifestation of hypocrisy and racist double standards when it comes to the human rights of Arabs and Muslims.
The denigrating and condescending language also extends to political parties and groups with broad popular support in the Arab world. The HAMAS resistance organization in occupied Palestine is a perfect example. Part of Ibish’s assignment at the ATFP is to promote Salam Fayyad and the PA while maintaining a constant barrage of attacks on HAMAS. We don’t wish to get into internal Palestinian politics in this article, but would rather highlight the latest example of the racist language and mentality Ibish has internalized.
In a tweet about HAMAS Ibish described members of the organization as “a gang of repulsive imbeciles.” Could anyone imagine Ibish referring to the war criminals he dines with as “imbeciles”, let alone “repulsive”? Would Hussein refer to an American political party that enjoys the support of at least half the American people with such language? After the mass-murdering war criminal Bush invaded Iraq on instruction from his own god, over 55 million Americans voted for him: Would Ibish dare describe them as “repulsive imbeciles”? And we all remember how polite Ibish was during his “debate” with a Zionist settler fanatic. At one point, he even walked across the stage to hand him a bottle of water.
The issue here is not HAMAS, and although we recognize the legal and moral right of the Palestinian people to resist the Zionist colonial occupation, this recognition extends to all Palestinian resistance groups regardless of political persuasion or ideology. This is also not about any Arab tyrant (See Ikhras FAQs page #6 to learn where we stand on Arab regimes). What this is about is the dehumanization of the Arab people and culture evidenced by the language employed in discussing Arab politics and describing various Arab rulers, leaders, and groups. Ibish and the rest of the Arab-Americans that adopt this language are the truly repulsive imbeciles lacking all self-respect and dignity.