While the Zionist lobby grants approval and disapproval of US politicians based on their respective stances towards “Israel,” the yardstick for ADC’s assessment of US politicians is anything but US policy towards Arabs suffering under imperialism.
We were initially pleasantly surprised to see no war criminals listed as guests at ADC’s convention this year. In the past it had hosted Colin Powell, for example, a few months after he presented false evidence of WMD in Iraq to the UN in 2003, and Bill Clinton, who starved and bombed Iraq for eight years and enabled the expansion of Zionist land theft. Having invited Ralph Nader, we thought perhaps ADC had decided to consider the plight of Field Arabs.
Turned out it was too good to be true. Jennifer Loewenstein, Faculty Associate of Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote recently in Counterpunch (emphasis ours):
“Halfway through his speech, Nader [keynote speaker at the ADC] noted that President Obama had been the original choice of the ADC as the keynote speaker. When I asked Dr. Safa Rifka, Chairman of the ADC’s Board of Directors, if he would verify that President Obama had been invited to address the audience that evening, Rifka responded in undisguised contempt, “Absolutely; and you can mention my name as well.” He said he himself had sent the invitation and that the White House hadn’t even bothered to reply.”
ADC obviously felt comfortable enough with Obama’s abhorrent policies to invite him. For some mysterious reason, Obama’s Cairo speech must have somehow whitewashed Obama’s crimes both abroad and domestically. If Obama’s Cairo speech was intended as propaganda, it certainly worked on the ADC. As Malcolm X told us, the whip isn’t the only tool that the slavemaster uses to subjugate the slave. The slavemaster clothes, shelters and feeds the slave. Those slaves who live in the house get impressed and feel grateful. ADC’s “undisguised contempt” surfaced only when it was given the (predictable and somewhat deserved) cold shoulder. Had Obama accepted, ADC would have received him with the same red carpet that met Clinton and Powell before him.
The ADC’s “undisguised contempt,” we hope, was not accompanied with surprise. One could say Bush tried harder than Obama to win over Muslims. Obama, after all, has had the burden of disproving he is a Muslim. On the other hand, nothing prohibited Bush from making mosque visits, dancing with Saudi kings, Keith Ellison was sworn in, and the first congress to be opened with an Islamic prayer happened during his presidency.
The way ADC decides who to invite as keynote speaker is puzzling. We would denounce Palestinians of ’48 who invite Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni or Ehud Olmert because those are Zionists leader who have killed and dispossessed innocent Arabs and stolen Arab land and resources. How exactly is the US occupation of Iraq any less criminal than the Zionist occupation of Palestine?
Can’t ADC see the futility of prostrating itself to the White House? Why does ADC subject itself to this kind of humiliation? Hasn’t Obama already made his anti-Arab, anti-Muslim politics clear enough? When will ADC learn that defiance is more useful than subservience?