Tag Archive for ATFP

Asali And Ibish: Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right

It’s been often said among those who follow the activities of the American Task Force on Palestine that the despicable, but capable Hussein Ibish is likely the one who writes all the speeches Ziad Asali delivers at their events and galas.  We also believed that the articles which appear in the name of the empty black-tie-tuxedo were also written for him by Ibish.

A few days ago, as part of our predictions for the New Year, we at IKHRAS tweeted that Asali will continue to sign his name to articles written for him by Ibish before he sends them to the Huffington Post.   The prediction, that they obviously took note of, was only partially correct.  Asali’s first piece in the Huffington Post this year appeared with Ibish as a co-author.   Someone may have concluded this is slightly more believable than Asali writing an article all by himself.

What is even more amusing than their discovery that people have noticed and questioned whose been writing Asali’s articles, is Hussein’s obvious adjustments of his writing level.  In order to present a product which Asali can plausibly claim as his own,  he clearly shifts down several notches (although not enough in our opinion) when he’s writing articles that appear with Asali as sole author.

Disorganized Priorities (as usual)

A number of groups organized a protest today outside the White House to oppose the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen and support Wikileaks. Veterans for Peace, GetUp!, Code Pink, Chris Hedges and Ray McGovern were among the organizers and speakers. Braving snow and very cold temperature, the activists also demanded the release of Bradley Manning and an end to civil liberties erosions.

One wonders why housies* weren’t the groups leading, or simply participating in or even promoting, this effort. What could they have possibly been busy with?

ADC was busy congratulating Qatar on hosting the 2022 World Cup. It also organized another, you guessed it, gala.

Ray Hanania was advocating for the two-state solution on the pages of the Jerusalem Post; an approach that concedes 78% of historic Palestine to Zionist settlers.

James Zogby was tied up promoting his book as well as an upcoming J Street event.

Feisal Abdul Rauf was chatting with the New York Times about his 40-plus year-long career of begging for tolerance from Zionists in the form of interfaith sessions.

Mona Eltahawy was addressing the TEDWomen audience. She spoke about everything there is to know about Muslim women in a nutshell except for the fact that they’re on the receiving end of US bombs and depleted uranium and bear the brunt of oppression under occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine as widows and mothers of shattered, displaced, tortured families.

The American Task Force on Palestine‘s plate was full, hosting war criminal Tony Blair.

David Ramadan’s was too busy advocating for a “a strong Reagan Republican President in 2012” and a “strong US presence and role worldwide.”

Rima Fakih joined World Wrestling Entertainment celebrities to entertain members of the U.S. military at Fort Hood, Texas.

Irshad Manji was discussing the existence of  God on the pages of the Global and Mail.

Zuhdi Jasser’s American Islamic Forum for Democracy was celebrating “the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Nasser Al-Awlaki, father of Anwar Al-Awlaki, represented by Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights” over the use of targeted killing of American Citizens.

Who has time for serious anti-war activism with schedules as busy as these?

* “Housies” is short for House Arabs and House Muslims, equivalent to Malcolm X’s “House Negro” and “Field Negro.”

Hussein Ibish And The Good Old Days

Hussein Ibish took a moment and less than 140 characters to reminisce about his past.  He didn’t want to concede he was thinking about a previous time when he was defending Palestinian rights so he mentioned it in reference to an article where his name appeared along with Ali Abunimah, writer, and founder of Electronic Intifada, and a pro-Palestine activist.  That must have reminded Ibish of an earlier time and a different person than the one he now sees when he looks in the mirror.  In an obvious attempt to redefine the earlier version of Ibish and the basis of his previous collaboration with Abunimah he tweeted those were the “good old, long-lost, days when Ali Abunimah and I used to call out anti-Semites.”  Ibish has been reaching out to the pro-Israel lobby for a while and he now appears to have adopted the tactic of calling all anti-Zionist activists anti-Semites, which he clearly seems to be suggesting here.  Ibish’ newest associates and partners haven’t told him the anti-Semitic card lost its currency long before they became friends.

Who Cares?

The King of “Saudi Arabia” has arrived in the United States for medical treatment.  The official Saudi Press Agency says the 86-year-old monarch was greeted by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and a number of top Saudi officials after landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport on Tuesday.   The Servant of Zionism and Imperialism is to be treated for a herniated disc and a blood clot.   Paid mouthpieces for the ruling family have been reassuring everyone that the King is fine, but no explanation was offered as to why the richest oil-producing country in the world the last few decades does not have adequate medical facilities capable of treating the barely-intelligible ruler of the most oppressive regime in the world.

Arab analysts said that even if “Saudi Arabia” did have adequate facilities and personnel, the ruling family prefers the King be treated in a country where they can find atleast a few Arabs and Muslims who actually care about the health of this ignorant and ruthless dictator.  The only few concerned individuals were found outside the Arab world in Washington DC.  As Abdullah was arriving in New York members of the “Arab and Muslim lobby” in the US canceled all their planned events and rushed to a hastily planned, joint-meeting to determine the appropriate course of action.  What occured after that meeting is the following:

Look Who Was At The ATFP Gala Last Month

What’s An Arab Gala Without An Oil-Prince?  Take a look at the notable guest at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) annual Gala last month.  That’s Turki sitting there among the crowd.  “His Royal Highness Prince Turki Bin Feisal Al-Saud, may god extend his life” is the most popular oil-Prince among members of the “Arab Lobby” enamored with Arab sheiks, royalty and representatives of pro-US tyrannies.

The ATFP Responds To Settlement Expansion: Israeli Leaders Fear Rising Influence Of Arab Lobby In Washington

The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), the Washington public relations firm for the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, and American-supervised Palestinian Authority (PA) in occupied Ramallah, “strongly criticized” plans by the Zionist entity to expand, illegal, Jewish-only colonies in occupied “East Jerusalem”, and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank.

Still “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”: Hussein Ibish Dines With The Israeli Ambassador

Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, the unofficial public relations firm of the Vichy regime in occupied Ramallah, had an “interesting and productive” dinner with the Israeli ambassador to Washington, DC, Michael Oren.  Ibish found the dinner, courtesy of Danny Abraham and Robert Wexler, “most helpful.”

The day prior to the dinner, the polished, professional propagandist from upstate New York who was handpicked by Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, penned an article in the New York Times calling on Palestinians to recognize the legitimacy of Zionism and accept a racist, exclusivist, Jewish state in Palestine.  At the dinner, Oren, who served in the Israeli army during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 in which over 20, 000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed, outlined Israel’s vision for moving forward towards peace and told Ibish and the other dinner guests the following:

  1. In spite of all the “violence and trauma” Israelis had experienced the last decade, it is “extraordinary” that a significant majority of Israelis “still support a two-state solution.”

Between September of 2000 and December of 2009, Israel killed over 6300 Palestinians including almost 1500 children, injured just under 40000 Palestinians, demolished over 24000 Palestinian homes.  Israel also continues to build illegal, Jewish-only colonies in occupied Palestinian land and maintains an inhumane siege on the Gaza Strip which has been turned into a large, open-air concentration camp.  Israel also holds over 11,000 Palestinian prisoners kidnapped from their homes by an occupying army while the Palestinian resistance holds one Israeli POW captured after he was forcibly removed from his tank on the battlefield.  Israel also killed 1500 civilians in its 2006 onslaught on Lebanon.

One Word: Why They Should Ikhras!

An Ikhras.com Exclusive
By Guest Writer Khaled Barakat*

The great masses mobilized by the ATFP

English Follows Arabic

كلمة واحدة
!لماذا يجب ان يخرس هؤلاء
خالد بركات
خاص لموقع ” إخرس”

ربما لا يعرف الكثيرون ان كلمة ” اخرس ” هي الكلمة الاكثر رواجاً وشعبية في مؤسسة القمع العربية ، داخل سجون النظام العربي الرسمي ومؤسساته ، والامر ذاته ، في سجون الاحتلال الاسرائيلي ، فهذه كلمة رائجة هناك.

يتعلم الجلاد الصهيوني هذه الكلمة مبكراً ، وباللغة العربية ، ومع بداية الفصول الاولى لوظيفته كجلاد وقاتل ، يمارس دوره ومهنته العنصرية اليومية في السجون ، يتلذذ بتعذيب الفلسطينيين والعرب وامتهان كرامتهم. والقول لهم : أخرس ، إخرسي، اخرسوا

في الوطن العربي ، كما في فلسطين المحتلة ، كلما إحتج المواطن العربي على واقعه الردئ، يقال له : إخرس.

كلما قالت إمراة عربية حرة انني لست حرة وانني منتهكة : يقال لها اخرسي.

كلما صرخ طفلا في قطاع غزة ضد الحصار والجوع ، ومن اجل مقعد مدرسي ودفتر نظيف ، يقول له ابو مازن: إخرس

كلما بكى طفل عربي على حاجز صهيوني يقول له كل ” المجتع الدولي” وبصوت واحد: لماذا تبكي؟ إخرس!

لكن موقع ” إخرس ” ياتي على النقيض من هؤلاء. وهذا واضح  ولا يحتاج للكثير من البحث والعناء، وهو ليس موقعا الكترونيا خارج سياق إحترام ” الراي الاخر ” ومفهوم ” الديموقراطية “.

لا يحق للانظمة السياسية التي تغتصب السلطة في الوطن العربي ان تتحدث باسم شعوبها او باسم الامة العربية . ولا يحق لسلطة فلسطينية عاجزة وتخون شعبها علنا ان تتحدث باسم الفلسطينيين او تدعي تمثيلهم، لهؤلاء جميعا  يوجد ممثلون وشخوص وهياكل شبيه ،  في الولايات المتحدة ، التي بدورها تقبلهم وتحتضنهم في مؤسستها السياسية والمالية وحتى الامنيه

عصابة عربية في الواقع ، في العاصمة واشنطن ، يقف على راسها : سفراء دول الخليج وممثلي السلطة الفلسطينية ومؤسسة مشبوهة تدعى ( شبكة العمل من اجل فلسطين ) ويتراسها موظف صغير قزم اسمه زياد العسلي. وهذه شخصية غامضة ، اذ لا تعرف على وجه التحديد ان كان عضوا في حزب الليكود او في كاديما، وقد تحتار في امره..

هؤلاء يجب ان يخرسوا، لانهم لا وجهة نظر لهم ، ولا اختلاف طبيعي في الرؤية والموقف ، لو كان الامر كذلك فانه يبقى في اطاره وحدوده العادية وفي اطار تعددية سياسية وفكرية في الجالية العربية ، لكن هؤلاء خارج هذا المعنى ، انهم موظفون وماجورون صغار ويتاجروا في قضية انسانية كبرى. ليخرسوا اذن..

* كاتب عربي من فلسطين

ATFP Organizes Meetings With Zionist Groups: Hussein Ibish, Washington Concierge To The PNA

Fayyad and Zionist Propagandist Mizrahi

The ANTI-PALESTINE Task Force operating under the misnomer American Task Force on Palestine describes itself as an “independent voice for Palestinian-Americans and their supporters…”, but as was clearly demonstrated during Mahmoud Abbas’ recent visit to the US, when he couldn’t find any Palestinian community leader willing to meet with him, the overwhelming majority of Palestinian-Americans refuse to associate with the Palestinian National Authority or the ATFP which operates as the Washington public relations firm for the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, and American-supervised PNA.  During that visit Abbas did meet with representatives of 50 Zionist organizations.

Last week the unelected, American-approved Prime Minister of the PNA met with Pro-Israel, Jewish groups in New York.  The meeting was hosted by The Israel Project, an organization founded by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, and dedicated to defending Israel’s occupation of Palestine and all its war crimes.  Mizrahi defended her meeting with a Palestinian by pointing to the imprimatur Benjamin Netanyahu has bestowed upon Fayyad:  “The prime minister of Israel said that this is his partner for peace,” Mizrahi said. “If the supposedly right-wing prime minister of Israel says this is partner for peace, it is.” Operatives for The Israel Project don’t deny their “recent aggressive outreach — to Palestinians in particular and Arabs and Muslims generally…” which they describe as an indication of “Netanyahu’s seriousness in his direct talks with Palestinian leaders...”  Hadar Susskind of J Street, another extremist Pro-Israel lobbying group formed to provide, in contrast with the obnoxious leaders of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a more polite defense of Zionism, said “You’ve got to welcome anyone who reaches out,” How magnanimous these Zionists must feel when they look across the table and see a smiling Palestinian.

Ibish: “The ATFP also dialogues with AIPAC”

As meetings between PNA officials and members of the Zionist lobby become a recurring feature in the peace process show, and with the ATFP acting as facilitator and organizer, its no surprise Hussein Ibish is found helping arrange the recent meeting between The Israel Project and Fayyad.  The ATFP’s “Senior Fellow” made it clear “his organization sees engaging with the mainstream of the American Jewish community as critical to making negotiations work.”  Ibish did not hesitate to add “The American Task Force on Palestine also dialogues with AIPAC…”  Describing these fanatical Zionists as the “mainstream of the American Jewish community” is first, and foremost, an insult to American Jews, the majority of which are not pre-occupied with Israel and have no emotional or political attachment to it.  It’s also an insult to the intelligence of anyone remotely familiar with the role these extremist organizations play in the U.S., and quite possibly to the leaders and members of these groups themselves who don’t pretend to be anything other than anti-Arab extremists, and fanatical Zionists.

Supporters of the Palestinians should not be bothered too much by these meetings.  On the contrary, they actually highlight the inevitability of the collapse of the Zionist project.  Sure, it’s disappointing when they can find even a single Palestinian or Arab to meet with them, but Palestinians or Arabs that attend such meetings immediately place themselves outside the Palestinian and Arab popular consensus, and lose any legitimacy they may have enjoyed.  Fayyad and Abbas don’t have to worry about that.  Israel and her supporters in this country are caught in a Catch-22.  Such meetings may offer a quisling leader the seal of approval from the occupier, but that also seals his fate making it impossible for him to deliver his own people’s acquiescence.  In the final analysis, the occupying power is denied the legitimacy it seeks through signed agreements with the occupied which are born null and void.

Anwar Sadat and King Hussein were in a far better position than Abbas and Fayyad relative to Israel and they failed in their attempts to force their people to accept the legitimacy of the signed agreements or the usurping Zionist entity.  They continue to consider those so called “peace treaties” signed by unelected dictators null and void.  As these regimes moved closer to Israel over the years they have increasingly resorted to harsher measures in the face of sustained domestic opposition.  In fact, a direct correlation is found between the extent of an Arab regime’s relationship with Israel and the level of brute force and raw power that must be applied by those regimes to maintain their rule. This same dynamic can be seen today in the occupied West Bank with an increasingly repressive PNA security apparatus, acting as an extension of Israeli occupation, and presided over by American General Keith Dayton, with the only distinction being the PNA is a police state without a state.

America’s Favorite Palestinian

In the meantime Salam Fayyad has become everyone’s favorite Palestinian, everyone other than the Palestinians that is.  Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres, known outside of the US for his central role in establishing Israel’s nuclear program which currently includes an arsenal of 200 to 300 nuclear warheads, and the butcher of Qana 1 (There have been so many Zionist massacres over the decades we can no longer refer to them solely by the names of the cities and villages) has described Fayyad as “the Palestinian Ben-Gurion.”  Fayyad himself seems to have taken pride in this description and has on several occasions compared his economic plan for the West Bank to the policies of the early Zionist colonizers in Palestine 48 describing it as a blueprint to eventual statehood.  Tony Blair, another war criminal with Arab blood on his hands, and whose appointment as a “peace envoy” underscores the West’s moral bankruptcy and contempt for Arabs, described Fayyad as “absolutely first class — professional, courageous, intelligent.”

Glowing reviews for someone willing to surrender all Palestinian rights and adopt the American-Israeli vision of peace should come as no surprise to anyone.  Fayyad has signaled (not that it was necessary) his willingness to abandon the Palestinian right of return.  In an interview with Haaretz earlier this year he said “Of course, Palestinians would have the right to reside within the State of Palestine” by which he means three to four, South-Africa style Bantustans he and a small, corrupt gang of  business associates hope to preside over in the West Bank under Israeli auspices. Fayyad has also adopted Netanyahu’s arrogant notion of “economic peace”, and with economic funding from the West, has attempted to repackage it and sell it to the Palestinians as a first step towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The Abbas/Fayyad vision for a future peace that surrenders Palestinian rights, under the empty slogans of “realism” and “pragmatism”, is exactly what Ibish and the ATFP have been promoting in Washington.  This identical framework for a future arrangement with Israel is currently being peddled by Ibish and Ziad Asali through a recently released book by the ATFP leaving no doubt this outfit is the unofficial voice of the PNA.

For those who may be wondering, yes, this is the same Ibish who not too long ago co-authored an articulate defense of Palestinian rights, including the right of return, and was later hired by the ATFP only to argue with equal rigor for the abandonment of Palestinian rights with a special emphasis on the need to abandon the right of return.  Now, as meetings between PNA officials and Zionist organizations become routine business, Ibish has been further reduced to an events organizer tasked with the responsibilities of a concierge for visiting PNA officials.

For some Arab-Americans, morally grounded, and principled activism on behalf of a just cause and an oppressed people simply has no chance against the lure of mainstream media acceptance, hobnobbing with US officials, and galas attended by Arab royalty or the “The Honorables” in Congress.  But the better informed US officials and Israeli leaders are well aware the PNA does not speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.  Likewise, here in the US the ATFP does not represent “Palestinian-Americans and their supporters.”  As long as that’s clearly understood the ATFP may continue with preparations for its upcoming annual “gala” at which Ibish will exchange his professional, concierge attire for a dashing black-tie tuxedo as he, and the debonair Ziad Asali, take the stage together on October 20, 2010 at the Ritz Carlton.

Ibish: Sufism is “squishy”

Hussein Ibish appeared on O’ Reilly and revealed to us just how shallow his knowledge of Islam and Arabs is.

First, Ibish called Park51’s imam “Imam Feisal Ahmad Al-Rauf.” Though Ibish claimed he’d been “watching this guy for a while,” apparently he hasn’t been following him closely enough to know his name is actually Feisal Abdul Rauf (1:28 minutes into the video).

Ibish didn’t need to follow him that closely to know the imam’s correct name. Ibish knows so little about Islam and Arabs that he doesn’t know that there’s no such name as Ahmad Al-Rauf. Rauf, like Rahman and Aziz and Qadir, is one of God’s 99 names. It’s very common to name males one of these names preceded by Abd, which means servant, hence Abdul Rauf, Abdul Rahman, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Qadir.

“Ahmad Al-Rauf,” on the other hand, is a new syntactical rule Ibish added to the Arabic language. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he tripped because was nervous about speaking on national TV. Presumably he must have adequate knowledge of Arabic to be invited to speak on Fox as an expert on these matters.

Then he goes on to blame the victim for the project’s failure. Rather than stating the backlash resulted from anti-Muslim racism, he blamed the mosque’s leadership for failure to present the idea to the American people in an understandable way, failure to clearly condemn jihad, failure to communicate to middle America.

The amusing part was Ibish’s definition of Sufism. There are two things to know about Sufism: 1) it’s spiritual and mystical; 2) it’s “squishy” (at 3:49).

Ibish, do us a favor and take Islam 101 before you discuss it on national television.

Would the ATFP please ikhras

The American Task Force On Palestine issued a press release welcoming the resumption of the peace process charade.  In addition to congratulating Obama on getting the negotiations “back on track”, the  ATFP absurdly equates Palestinian suffering with Israeli suffering, and calls for Palestinains to take “concrete steps” to “instill mutual confidence”. We are not told which sort of measures taken by an occupied and brutalized population would be concrete enough to instil confidence in their occupier and colonizer.

The ATFP also believes that a US regime that sustains the Zionsit colonial regime and is complict in all of Israels crimes “has a crucial role to play in facilitating negotiations that will result in a successful outcome.”  And according to the ATFP a “succesful outcome is an “independent Palestinian state to live side-by-side in peace with a secure Israel — within internationally recognized borders and with normal relations across the Middle East.” In other words, a few bantustans that the Israelis will generously allow the Palestinians to refer to as a state and the Arab world’s normalization with Zionism.

Great News, ATFP Announces Gala Date

For Palestinians in this country and Arab-Americans in general the anticipation is finally over.  The American Task Force on Palestine has announced the date for its annual Gala.  It will be held October 20, 2010.

The American Task Force on Palestine is happy to announce that it has selected a date for this year’s annual gala. The event will be a black tie event.

The American Task Force on Palestine Fifth Annual Gala

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Ritz Carlton—Washington D.C.

Condoleeza Rice and ATFP's Ziad Asali enjoying a vibrant discussion about liberation, defeating Zionism, boycott of Israel, trying US and Israeli war criminals

To begin with, what is it with Arab-Americans and galas these days?  Just as we became accustomed to banquets we now appear to prefer galas although most of us, we at Ikhras included, don’t know the difference.  When did Arab activists become so obsessed with organizing galas?  Is this the new tactic by which we prove how civilized we can be? And this one isn’t just any gala, it’s a “black-tie” gala.  So that means if you’re invited you can’t show up with a traditional Arab Thawb (ثوب) or Dishdasha (دشداشة).  You can forget about a Kuffiyeh (كفية) or a Shmagh (شماغ) on your head.  Even with a black Igaal (عقال), that can never pass for black-tie elegance.

As an Arab, I’m not even sure I would be comfortable at a gala.  We never had galas in the Arab world.  We might have been invited to an evening event that includes dinner, but I never heard of a gala. I wouldn’t even know how to behave, and a black-tie is very uncomfortable for me.  I would, however, be willing to attend a black-tie gala and try demonstrating how civilized I can be if I felt it would help the Palestinians.  But we know that any gala organized by a group of Arabs in Washington DC can never serve the Palestinians or help their cause.

It’s well known Palestinian-Americans do not support the clique that is organizing this event.  Like all Arab lobbying groups, if they can be called that, the ATFP has no grass-roots support among the constituency it claims to represent.  It’s also clear the objectives and aims of the ATFP, which operates as the lobbying arm of the Vichy regime in Ramallah, is to undermine the Palestinian struggle for liberation and the right of return.  As has become customary for all groups within the mythical Arab Lobby, once a year they organize a gala to promote their outfit by demonstrating their ability to kowtow to American politicians and Israel’s supporters.

Organizing galas at the Ritz-Carlton is how these people define activism on behalf of Palestinians.  But Palestinians, other Arabs, and all supporters of the Palestinian cause do not take this handful of sell-outs or the farcical events they plan seriously.  The supporters of Palestine in this country and across the world continue to organize and defend Palestinian rights.  The Palestinians decided long ago their rights are not for sale, and nobody in Washington DC wearing a black-tie, and stuffing his face at a gala is authorized to make concessions or even speak on their behalf.

Also notice that ATFP’s “Honorary Host Committee” is headed by Madeline Albright, whose crimes against Arabs include the strangulating of half a million Iraqi children, as well as the Zionist Senator Carl Levin. While some Arabs, like the fearless Ahlam Mohsen, throw pies at Carl Levin, other Arabs invite and honor him.