The ikhras awards committee is pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award for December, 2014 goes to the former Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), Ghaith Al-Omari. After eight years with the ATFP Al-Omari is leaving to join the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). As is well-known WINEP was founded by AIPAC donors and employees as the research arm of the pro-Israel lobby in order to provide ostensibly objective research that supports the AIPAC policy positions while masquerading as an objective “think tank.”
Those of us familiar with the ATFP’s history and Al-Omari’s role with that outfit are not surprised that after its collapse he would find himself at WINEP. We all know the story of the ATFP by now. It started out as the Washington public relations firm of the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, American-supervised, collaborationist Palestinian Authority (PA) and eventually, perhaps inevitably, evolved into the Arab-wing of the pro-Israel lobby. Even the collaborationist PA eventually had to end its support for the self-described Palestinian-American voice. The ATFP did not hide its relationship with the most extreme, racist Zionist organizations such as AIPAC and The Israel Project or its collaboration with the pro-Israel lobby.
Al-Omari was the least known of the three stooges at the ATFP, the obnoxious Hussein Ibish and ikhras shoe-of-the-month award winner Ziad Asali received more media attention, but he did appear to play an important role as the ATFP’s main liaison to the pro-Israel lobby. In that capacity he’s enjoyed “iftars” at the Israeli embassy, addressed Congress on behalf of AIPAC, and as we pointed out on previous occasions, spent more time at WINEP’s offices than he did at the ATFP headquarters. If you think about it, his migration to WINEP is only natural. Given his role with the ATFP, a lateral move was the only career path opportunity available to Al-Omari. Where else would he go with that CV?
After his appointment at WINEP was made public Al-Omari was immediately welcomed with great enthusiasm by Zionist fanatics, anti-Arab racists, and Nakba deniers dedicated to the destruction of Palestine. On social media the appointment was greeted more like a warm homecoming for an old friend and colleague than merely the latest token Arab to join WINEP.
Among Palestinian-Americans there was very little reaction to Al-Omari’s move to WINEP. The ATFP has never had any presence within the community and we noticed there was hardly any reaction to its demise or Al-Omari’s new appointment.
By now Al-Omari has packed up his boxes at the defunct ATFP headquarters and headed down less than one mile to his new office at WINEP. In recognition of his role at the ATFP the last eight years, appreciative of his willingness to finally remove the fig-leaf, and in recognition of his future efforts on behalf of the pro-Israel lobby, the ikhras awards committee is pleased to award Ghaith Al-Omari with the Muntadhar Zaidi December, 2014 Shoe-Of-The-Month.
Every month Ikhras awards the Muntadhar Zaidi “Shoe of the month” to the House Arab or Muslim individual or organization whose behavior that month best exemplifies the behavior of what Malcolm X described, in the language of his own time, as the “house negro” (see video). The award is named in honor of the brave Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Zaidi who threw his shoes at the war criminal George W. Bush at a time House Arabs and Muslims were dining with him at the White House and inviting him to their mosques. Arab dictators and puppets of the empire are also qualified to enter the shoe of the month competition based on their own subservience to U.S.-led global imperialism. Contest guidelines include the “James Zogby Rule” which prohibits any one individual or organization from winning the award more than 3 times a year.