: Given Hussein Ibish’s
lack of credibility and seriousness among Arab-Americans, his inability to have the slightest impact on Arab-American thought or debate, and the almost total lack of response his writings elicit from the community we have revised our previous post and substituted “Arab-Americans that do not share his political views
” for “his critics
In our previous post, “Hussein Ibish: “We Should Disagree Respectfully” we incorrectly referred to Ibish “disagreeing respectfully” & engaging in “polite, calm & reasoned conversations” with “his critics.” We should note that several of the names mentioned are actually not critics of Ibish at all. It would be more accurate to say that the remarks we collected and published below serve as examples of the way Ibish himself disagrees with people of whom he is the critic. Columbia University ProfessorJoseph Massad, for example, has never mentioned him in any article, spoke of him in any public forum, or engaged him in any online interactive medium. Likewise, Palestinian-American author and activist Ali Abunimah has also never been a critic of Ibish and we were unable to find a single instance in which Abunimah mentioned him in any article or public forum. As for California State University ProfessorAs’ad Abukhalil we did locate a single blog entry from 2006 in which Professor Abukhalil does reply to Ibish. It’s the only time we’re aware of that Professor Abukhalil mentions him, and to us it appeared he did so only in the context of making a larger point about the “Myth of the Arab lobby.” We do recommend reading it, not only does it provide yet another example of how Ibish wears civility like cheap makeup that quickly disappears with the slightest challenge, but it’s also very funny.
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[Ikhras Note: The following does not exhaust the many examples of Hussein Ibish "disagreeing respectfully" with Arab-Americans that do not share his political views. Readers are welcomed to submit more examples of Ibish's past "polite, calm & reasoned conversations" or the ones he will inevitably be having in the future for continuous updating.]
Ibish on Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad
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[Ikhras Note: As we continue to advance the ikhras mission and critique "ikhras responds" will be a recurring feature in which we respond to House Arabs & Muslims commentary and views, if they can be called that, on current events and issues of importance to the community. This feature in our ongoing coverage of the establishment Arabs and Muslims will serve to highlight their subservience and ignorance, counter-defeatist tendencies, and promote discussion that goes beyond the strictly defined parameters of mainstream US political discourse. We are launching this feature with a response to an article titled "Time For Honesty About Dialogue With Israel" by anti-Arab activist and Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, Hussein Ibish.]
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“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” George Orwell
“The destruction of culture is the only clear outcome of the phenomenon of the petrol “patronage” of culture.” Mahmoud Darwish (1982)
The Ikhras editors are pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-of-the-Month Award for October, 2013 goes to UAE-based tweeter Sultan Alqassemi. In an audacious article that generated heated debate on social networking sites, Alqassemi presented the ludicrous suggestion that Arab culture has moved from its traditional capitals, Beirut, Cairo and Baghdad, to the Gulf region, specifically Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai and Doha. Alqassemi offers the laughable idea that “in almost every other sense [Gulf cities have] far outstripped their sister cities in North Africa and the Levant.” While some political commentators, like the Angry Arab, have addressed the absurdity of this premise on a domestic level, it is noteworthy to highlight Alqassemi’s glaring omission of the Gulf countries’ monstrous foreign policies towards life, art and culture in the Levant and North Africa.
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After cancelling its annual gala last year without any explanation, the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) 2013 gala appears headed for failure. Unlike previous years, the two-man organization’s flagship event hasn’t generated much buzz this time around, and with only one month to go the keynote speaker remains a mystery. Previous ATFP galas in the heyday of the peace-processing industry became, along with James Zogby’s “Gibran Gala”, among the premier yearly events of the Arab-American establishment complete with US officials as “honored guests” and high-profile, war criminals as keynote speakers. This year the mood surrounding the preparations for the gala is subdued and the vapid ATFP President Ziad Asali along with his more articulate side-kick Hussein Ibish haven’t had much to say about next month’s event.
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[Ikhras Note: Maysoon Zayid’s simultaneous refusal to support BDS or any Palestine solidarity activism considered "controversial" by American mainstream standards while continuing to use the Palestinian cause as a punch line in pursuit of a mediocre career on the margins of American pop culture has led to a community backlash. Her ongoing support for the American Task Force on Palestine and her latest role as Liberal Zionists’ token Palestinian at Open Zion has reinforced the belief that for Zayid Palestine is nothing more than a personal vanity vehicle. In response to her increasing isolation from the Palestinian-American community and its supporters Zayid has resorted to fabricating a busy schedule of “comedy” shows, gigs, and tours from Ramallah to Hollywood that almost always never take place or end up being something very different than what she initially claimed. In this special guest submission ikhras friend and Southern California-based activist Tammy Obeidallah reports on Zayid’s recent visit to tinseltown.]
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Zayid At An ATFP Gala With Ziad Asali: Zayid boasts she has “never missed an ATFP gala.”
[Ikhras Note: Maysoon Zayid's refusal to support the BDS campaign against Israel or any Palestine solidarity activism considered "controversial" by American mainstream standards along with her support for the American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP) has led to a community backlash. In this special guest submission an ikhras reader and community activist highlights her support for the ATFP and the questions swirling around the US-backed "comedian."]
On twitter Maysoon Zayid explained why she cannot publicly comment on BDS due to the fact that the Israeli government would ban her entry to Palestine in order to work with the kids of her namesake charity, “Maysoon Kids”. For those who are not familiar with Palestine, entry to historic Palestine or West Bank is via Israel. If your destination is Gaza the entry points are Israel or Egypt—the latter is complicit with Israel so it is the same as applying for entry into Gaza from Israel.
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[ Ikhras Note: An ikhras reader and friend sent us the following letter in response to the awards committee's decision to present the July 2013 Ikhras Shoe Of The Month (see previous post) to the group of Muslim-Americans that attended the White House iftar. Ikhras continues to welcome all feedback and encourages our readers to continue submitting their nominations for the monthly award.]
In the light of the ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, the nasal forced feedings of the striking Guantanamo prisoners to the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance programs, this award represents poetic justice for those attendees of the White House iftar—slavish and complacent– who accept a few Hansel and Gretel crumbs before standing up to the United States’ record of human rights and civil rights violations.
However, there are exceptions to persons who might disagree with U.S. foreign and diplomatic policies and do not have the time to protest openly , but daily perform good deeds on behalf of the Muslim community that far outweigh any shortcomings in activism.
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Their names do not appear on the American President’s “kill list”, the list of individual’s from exclusively Muslim or Muslim-majority countries singled out for extra-judicial assassination, and whose murder requires pre-approval by Barak Obama personally. Nor will their names be found on the US Government’s “no-fly” list or the FBI’s most wanted. These carefully selected Muslim names appeared on the invitation list for the White House Iftar Dinner on July 25, 2013. They included those you would normally expect such as American politicians and government officials and the ambassadors or representatives of Muslim-majority countries with regimes approved by the empire. But the guest list also included a handful of American Muslims described as “grassroots leaders” within the American Muslim community. They were invited to Obama’s iftar as ostensible representatives of an American Muslim community that doesn’t know them and has never heard of them. Although the ikhras awards committee was unable to determine the identities of these individuals, we are pleased to announce they are the collective winners of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for July, 2013.
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Maysoon Zayid is currently in occupied Palestine and she’s trying very hard to let everyone know it. She highlights these trips in an attempt to bolster her claims to pseudo-native authenticity and expertise which the government-backed “comedian” thinks she can use as a gimmick to promote her career on the margins of American pop culture upon her return back home to New Jersey. On this trip she’s claiming to be booked for several “comedy” shows in various “West Bank” venues (She will not be performing in Gaza because supposedly she’s banned from there, doesn’t tell us by who) but nobody has seen any brochure, advertisement, or announcement in any form from anyone in Palestine sponsoring or organizing these alleged shows. In the past her “comedy” shows in the Arab world were sponsored and organized by the US State Department. Nobody in Palestine outside her immediate family would’ve heard of Um-Zohan, and since the State Department isn’t sponsoring any shows this year her alleged performances, if true, will likely be nothing more but a brief appearance in front of a few bewildered school children she invited herself to visit. More importantly, Um-Zohan will not be telling the few Palestinians she may speak with about her activities back home in the United States.
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The American Task Force On Palestine started out as the Washington lobbying arm of the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, American-supervised Palestinian Authority, and naturally evolved into the Arab-wing of the pro-Israel lobby. A two man outfit, its run by the vapid Palestinian-American Ziad Asali and his more articulate sidekick, Hussein Ibish. Ibish was hired when the ATFP failed to find a single Palestinian capable of writing a simple press release willing to join the organization. The ATFP has been shunned and condemned by virtually the entire Palestinian-American community. It has, however, enjoyed the support of US-backed “comedian” Maysoon Zayid. Zayid, who’s turned Palestine into a punch line pursuing a mediocre career on the margins of American pop culture, is a regular at ATFP galas and events. Even before photos of Asali embracing Israel’s Ambassador at an Israel “Independence Day” celebration hosted by the Israeli embassy emerged, earning him the Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award, the ATFP had long lost any semblance of being a Palestinian-American lobby. Zayid, who’s also known as Um-Zohan for her role in the racist, pro-IDF film of the same name, describes Asali as a “good friend” and refers to him as “Ziyaaaaaaaaaaawd.” To this day she has refused to comment on the scandal and continues her support of the ATFP.
The Ikhras editors are pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for May, 2013 is the Al Jazeera English website. The website earned this month’s shoe after deciding to remove an article, The Last Of The Semites, by Palestinian-American academic & Columbia University Professor Dr. Joseph Massad. The article’s criticism of Zionism as inherently anti-Semitic and its focus on the historical relationship between the Zionist movement and anti-Semitic European leaders and governments (including Nazi Germany) and their shared vision and objectives was more than the present day Zionists would tolerate. The article was first published on May 15. After an uproar by Zionist fanatics and pro-Israel lobbyists including Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish, Aljazeera bowed to the pressure and the article was removed on May 19. After a backlash from Aljazeera insiders and free speech advocates the website restored the article two days later on May 21, but not before dealing a severe blow to the credibility of the English-language sister channel and website of the already thoroughly discredited Arabic-language network.
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Two Arab-American women, Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib and Rana Abbas, a former member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) in Michigan, have accused Imad Hammad, the ADC regional Director and Senior National Advisor for Public Affairs of sexually harassing them and several other women. The allegations stretch back to 1999, and apparently a formal complaint submitted to the ADC National Office in 2007 went ignored.
Sexual harassment is the most pervasive form of workplace harassment and takes several forms. According to Tlaib & Abbas, Hamad engaged in aggressive verbal and physical sexual harassment over an extended period of time. Such behavior should never be tolerated, and the failure of the ADC to investigate these allegations immediately after they were brought to the attention of its leadership is as alarming and troubling as the sexual harassment itself.
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The Ikhras editors are pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for April, 2013 is the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR earned this prestigious honor for its reaction to Boston marathon bombings that killed three and injured more than 200 on April 15. The competition was stiff this month as the predictable buffoonery, expressions of moral outrage, and calls for the always ridiculous “interfaith meetings” commenced immediately after the bombing and continue as of the time of this writing. One community clown who recently discovered his Islamic heritage after the age of 40 as part of a new career path actually began a CNN segment with “I’m a Muslim and I despise terrorism.” April was a month in which we regret we have but one shoe to throw and we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) were among the finalists. After an initially strong showing the ADC fell behind when it was reported that the suspects were Muslims, but not Arabs. The ADC is only responsible for the potential transgressions of 350 Million Arabs. Like CAIR, MPAC also assumed responsibility for about 1.5 billion Muslims and earned the dubbing Muslim Public Apology Center. However, after careful consideration the ikhras awards committee determined that the response of CAIR’s far more extensive network to the Boston bombings was the best illustration of the house behavior this award was established to recognize.
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In a previous post (see Ikhras Shoe Of The Month March 2013 below) we pointed out Lebanese right-wing journalist Octavia Nasr began her journalism career in Lebanon at the LBC network, the propaganda arm of the fascist Lebanese Forces established by Bashir Gemayel with the help and support of Israel before moving on to spend 20 years with CNN. Ikhras has confirmed that CNN was informed of Nasr’s work for the Lebanese Forces when she was first hired. Not only did this not raise any red flags for CNN management, but apparently working for a fascistic organization responsible for some of the ugliest massacres witnessed in recent history makes one an ideal employee at the unofficial US regime network. The following is from Lebanese-American Professor of Political Science Dr. As’ad Abukhalil. We cite with his permission.
When she [Nasr] was first hired I called Bernard Shaw, who was the chief anchor and I knew him some from DC and he interviewed me many times. I told him that she worked for the Lebanese Forces militia station, and he was shocked. He told me that they were under the impression that LBC is the state TV station of Lebanon. I spoke to him at length and he asked me to wait to take notes. He said that he would bring it up with management but nothing happened. I also mentioned I remember that her English was pretty weak.