One good thing that has come out of the Park51 controversy is that it has showed us just how desperately certain Arab/Muslim-Americans will plead for approval. A politician could give unconditional support for Israel and the US occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and still get House Arabs’ and House Muslims’ gratitude as long as s/he supports Park51.
Zogby’s position of Chairman of National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council must be really important if earning it entails writing lovingly about Zionist, war-mongering politicians:
In the midst of the hysteria that some have created over plans to build an Islamic Community Center in lower Manhattan, comes this powerful statement from Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL). In the calm and thoughtful way that is his style, Sen. Durbin reminds us all of what is at stake in this debate: the values of freedom and tolerance that have made America a refuge for millions of immigrants. His story is the quintessential American story that must never be forgotten
Does this stance by Durbin make him worth our gratitude and support? Quoting his own website, not some spin or paraphrase, his stances indicate he’s far from it. While he was against the war on Iraq in theory, in practice Durbin consistently voted to fund it. It’s difficult to see the morality in claiming to oppose a war while supporting supplying it with tanks and weapons and “consistently voting for funding requests for our nation’s military needs.” It’s like opposing slavery while funding the slave industry.
Durbin also supported the war on Afghanistan. The following excerpt alone should be enough to deserve the denunciation of every Arab, Muslim and peace-loving individual:
My support for Israel is strong, as is my commitment to peace in the Middle East. Israel remains an important U.S. ally in the Middle East and the only stable multi-party democracy in the region. The strong and steady friendship between our two countries is built on a solid foundation of shared values, mutual support, and trust, and is in the fundamental interest of both nations. My actions in support of Israel and peace in the region include cosponsoring several pieces of legislation aimed and halting Iran’s nuclear program and a resolution reaffirming Israel’s right of self-defense and its right to take appropriate action to deter aggression by terrorist groups and their state sponsors. At the same time, I have remained sympathetic to the need to address the concerns of the Palestinian people. I have also cosponsored a resolution in support of the Israel-Palestinian peace process.
But as long as Durbin (like Mayor Bloomberg, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) have read the Constitution and agree that it states that government cannot discriminate on the basis of religion, he gets thumbs up from Zogby. Is this really how little Arabs and Muslims deserve? How much worse does US foreign policy towards Arabs and Muslims elsewhere need to get before Arab/Muslim-American leadership deems lost lives and dispossessed peoples more important than Park51?
Rumor: Zogby to bestow Arab American Institute’s Medal of Honor award to George W. Bush for stating: “Hummus is yummy.” It is yet to be known whether award will be given at a banquet or a gala.