The ikhras awards committee is pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award for March, 2015 goes to the euphemistically described Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid. Eid earned the prestigious award for his participation in the StandWithUs Anti-BDS Conference 2015. Eid, who played the role of that rare “good Palestinian”, was touted as one of the two most notable speakers along with Alan Dershowitz, the high-profile, “liberal” pro-Israel Harvard Law Professor that has advocated torture, the demolition of Palestinian homes and eradication of entire towns. Eid has made a name for himself among a select few by traveling around the world as a pro-Israel advocate. His travels, itineraries, and speaking engagements have been organized by Zionist lobbying groups that apparently have assigned him the task of undermining pro-Palestine solidarity activism with a special focus on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns.
In 2005 Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights:
The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007. BDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.
Since that call was issued a movement in Europe and the US among Palestine solidarity activists has emerged and continues to grow. In the US, the most hostile environment for Palestine solidarity activism, the BDS movement has garnered support and scored significant victories on US campuses, virtually the only space left for Palestine solidarity activism in a country in which support for Israel is deeply ingrained in the political and popular culture and institutions. In response to this limited but significant success Israeli-sponsored Zionist and student groups have countered with a hasbara campaign against all BDS initiatives and activists. The loony Harvard Professor that appeared at the conference with Eid has regularly engaged in outlandish attacks on the growing BDS movement, but finding a Palestinian willing to adopt and parrot the same hysterical, anti-Palestinian ranting makes Eid a particularly valuable asset for racist, Zionist organizations dedicated to undermining Palestinian rights. Eid has willingly and wholeheartedly embraced his lucrative role as a token Palestinian working not only to undermine Palestinian solidarity activism, but also advocating for the continued colonization of Palestine and mitigating the responsibility of Israeli leaders for their massacres and war crimes.
During last summer’s massacre in Gaza Eid claimed the Palestinian self-defense and resistance forces were to blame. For Eid, “HAMAS needs these deaths in order to claim victory. Death of its own people empowers Hamas, enabling it to accrue more money and more arms.” Eid went on to blame the Palestinians in Gaza for the massacres and war crimes committed against them by Israel. “The residents of the Gaza Strip had the responsibility to rebel against Hamas rule”, he said, and went on to add “we abdicated our own responsibility to ourselves.” In other words Gaza residents themselves are responsible for their own massacre at the hands of the Israeli occupation army because they failed to rebel against Hamas and thus invited and justified the Israeli massacre.
Eid reminds us of Ziad Asali, the president of the now defunct American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) which functioned as the Arab wing of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington before its recent collapse. That three-man outfit, of which only two were Palestinian, claimed to speak for the “reasonable, peace-loving” element among the Palestinian people, adopted the most extreme, right-wing Zionist positions, and had a close working relationship with AIPAC. The vacuous ATFP president, the only Palestinian in the US to celebrate Israel “Independence Day” at the Israeli embassy, may now be available to join Eid as he tours the world on behalf of the usurping Zionist entity.
“As A Palestinian”
Like Asali and the ATFP Eid appears fully aware his value lies in his role as an ostensible Palestinian voice in pro-Israel activism and hasbara campaigns which is why he constantly reminds everyone what he’s about to say or write is coming from a Palestinian. “As a Palestinian, I must acknowledge: I am responsible for some of what has happened. As a Palestinian, I cannot deny my responsibility for the death of my own people.” This tactic is not unlike Muslims working in the Islamophobia industry that always speak “as Muslims” and utilize the first-person, plural personal pronoun “we.” But its unlikely Eid himself or his sponsors are unaware his views are well outside the Palestinian consensus. In fact, and again like Asali and the ATFP, it’s his total irrelevance within and alienation from Palestinian society that allows him to unabashedly advocate the same outlandish, anti-Palestinian, not to mention racist and immoral, positions as the loony Harvard Professor he appeared with at the StandWithUs Anti-BDS Conference.
The Zionist colonial regime in Palestine, its lobbying groups, and hired propagandists are losing their total dominance of the narrative even in the US. The success of BDS activism especially on US campuses has grown increasingly troubling for pro-Israel advocates and hasbarists, and their reliance on shunned Palestinian outcasts like Eid is evidence of desperation. As for Palestine solidarity activists, they should find satisfaction and feel reassured of their very real impact when the only type of Palestinian pro-Israel advocates used in hasbara campaigns are parodic figures like Eid. It is on behalf of these Palestine solidarity and BDS activists, and in recognition of their hard work and success that we are pleased to present Eid with the with March 2015 ikhras shoe of the 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.