Read the following two statements from Hussein Ibish, the Senior Fellow at the now defunct Arab-wing of the pro-Israel lobby, the American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP). Both of these statements can’t be true. Fortunately, those of us who couldn’t care less about election results in the illegitimate, Zionist colonial entity in occupied Palestine don’t need to spend a moment trying to figure out whether Hussein got it right before or after the election.
Hussein Ibish before the election:
“The status quo will live on, whichever way Israel votes…the unfolding Israeli election campaign has produced a series of unexpected developments. But these new forces and factors aren’t likely to produce any major transformations, at least in the short run…probably not sufficient to produce anything truly transformative in Israeli politics or policies, at least for the moment…the essential elements of Israeli policy are unlikely to change.”
Hussein Ibish after the election:
“Devastating blow to hopes for peace…anyone who isn’t shocked at the results and their implications almost certainly doesn’t understand what is at stake and what a significant blow has been dealt to hopes for a better future.”
Hussein Ibish, the Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), which functions as the two-man wing of the pro-Israel lobby, has a habit of lecturing Arabs, Arab-Americans, and Muslims. He’s given us lectures on everything from crackpot realism to political strategy, morality and proper social etiquette. It’s not unusual for establishment Arabs like Ibish to adopt and internalize the racist, condescending, and paternalistic behavior and attitude of the US political class. In his latest exploration of the Arab mind Ibish returns to an old orientalist cliché about the crazy Arabs and their crazy conspiracy theories.
Writing about the Arab public’s response to the declaration of a “Caliphate” by the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS), now renamed simply the Islamic State (IS), Ibish begins by saying:
“One of the most alarming features of Arab responses to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq is a persistent pattern of neurotic denial in the form of conspiracy theories and other escapist fantasies.”
Ibish does not speak Arabic, and has no understanding of Arab politics or culture. His almost daily Neocon bile masquerading as informed opinion pieces reveal that while he’s well-versed in the US State Department’s discourse on the Middle East he has no knowledge or training. The primary Arab response to the declaration of the “Caliphate” has been mockery and ridicule seeing it as a publicity stunt by a crazed, murderous gang of lunatics. And while the Arab world has its share of kooky conspiracy theorists, they do not represent a higher percentage of Arab society than kooky conspiracy theorists here in the US or in any other country or region. Ibish goes on to write:
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Unlike most Arab-American Zionists which collaborate with the “liberal” and “moderate” wing of Zionism, The American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP) is closely aligned with the most extreme right-wing Zionists like AIPAC and The Israel Project. Here Ghaith Al-Omari, one of the three ATFP stooges is seen with Noam Gilboord, the “Director of Community Strategy” at the Israel Action Network (IAN). Gilboord’s responsibilities include:
“strengthening the capacity of local community professionals in combating the assault on Israel’s legitimacy. In this role, he coordinates the activities of the field of Israel advocates throughout North America.”
Al-Omari, who spends more time at WINEP, AIPAC’s “think-tank”, than at the ATFP offices is not as well known as Hussein Ibish and Ziad Asali, but he appears to be the ATFP’s main liaison to the pro-Israel lobby. All three often lash out against Arab-Americans, dismissing their criticism of the ATFP as the Arab-wing of the pro-Israel lobby, but pro-Israel advocacy groups like IAN continue to view the ATFP as a reliable partner that’s making a valuable contribution to their common cause.
Palestinian-American Zionist, anti-Arab racist, homophobe (See “Hanania Emails Scandal”), failed comedian, Radio Talk Show host (but only because he buys his own airtime), former ADC National Board member , former Jerusalem Post columnist, and Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award winner Ray Hanania is calling on Arab-Americans to join the pro-Israel lobby. According to Hanania, J Street, the racist, anti-Arab organization dedicated to the destruction of at least 78% of Palestine, “has given American Arabs who support peace based on compromise someplace to go.” Hanania considers J Street to be the “moderate”, “pro-peace” voice within the pro-Israel lobby which we’re supposed to believe stands in stark contrast to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which Hanania says “has actively opposed peace.” In his typically confused, incoherent fashion, he goes on to invoke the model of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) which he characterizes as the only “major” (it consists of two people and a Washington DC office kept open with generous support from Arab oil-Sheikhs) Arab-American organization “that actively supports the two-state solution” without mentioning the ATFP proudly flaunts its collaborative relationship and alliance with AIPAC. Hanania specifically mentions Ziad Asali, giving the ATFP head a nod of approval. Asali, another recipient of the Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award, joined Hanania on that honor roll after becoming the only Palestinian in the world to celebrate “Israel Independence Day.”
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“For whatever reason”
Whether on his twitter feed or in his never ending churning out of repugnant opinion pieces in the guise of objective analysis, ever since Russia stepped up to play a central role in blocking US imperialist designs on Syria, including a potential Libya-type bombing campaign, the empire’s most dedicated Arab-American Shabih Hussein Ibish has been regularly bashing the government of President Vladimir Putin. Writing in the Hariri family-funded website NOW Lebanon, Ibish begins his latest anti-Russia rant (Russia is no ally for the Arabs) by dismissing those Arabs calling for closer ties with Russia “who are, for whatever reason, fed up with United States.” For the Senior Fellow at the American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP), which functions as a two-man, Arab-wing of the pro-Israel lobby, it always begins with the assumption of a virtuous US government, unlike all other governments, in its pursuit of an altruistic foreign policy. This assumption is not to be questioned or challenged lest you be dismissed as “anti-American”, “extremist”, or, at best, “unreasonable” and “ill-informed.” But for the unreasonably reasonable, politically astute Anglophile on the Potomac it’s simply unfathomable why Arabs may be fed up with US foreign policy. After all, US “interventions”, bombings, and invasions are always carried out in the best interest and for the well-being of Arabs.
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In his uniquely respectful approach to disagreements Hussein Ibish claims we lied when we said he supported the US wars on Iraq. He then proceeded to offer several links which he seems to believe demonstrate his opposition to the first war on Iraq, the subsequent sanctions, and finally, the 2003 invasion. We took the time to go through all of them, and we did not find a single instance of Ibish condemning any war on Iraq. Ibish did offer some polite criticism, all of which was based on US national interests, and restricted to the strictly defined Washington parameters of acceptable discourse.
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Hussein Ibish finally apologizes, but it’s not to those he’s been publicly attacking over the last few years and to whom he actually owes an apology. No he’s not apologizing to the Arab-Americans he regularly attacks in a highly personal and vicious manner. He’s apologizing to a Zionist fanatic for a tweet that doesn’t really require an apology. The Zionist fanatic and what Ibish initially stated and was considered a transgression are not important. What is noteworthy here is Ibish’s willingness to humble himself and offer an apology.
Those that have followed Ibish over the last few years would have noticed an obvious and stark difference in the language, tone, and attitude he adopts towards Arab-Americans compared to his interactions with non-Arabs, US officials, and pro-Israel lobbyists. We’ve covered this aspect of Ibish’s behavior previously. With Arab-Americans Ibish is abrasive, aggressive, condescending, rude, and contemptuous. We’ve also compiled some of his more colorful outbursts which you can find below. In the past, Ibish has also made racist remarks regarding Arabs which he would never direct towards any other group of people.
On the other hand, when it comes to non-Arabs Ibish displays utmost respect, deference, and civility. Ibish has clearly internalized the ideology, sensibilities, and political culture of the ruling class in this country which allows for a certain type of discourse about Arabs and Muslims that remains unacceptable when directed towards any other non-Arab, non-Muslim group. Ibish’s internalization of this political culture and its inherently racist double standards explains his quick reversal and apology to the Zionist fanatic. It also explains why when it comes to those Arab-Americans deserving of an apology from Ibish, no such apology will be forthcoming.
Visit Ikhras To Learn More About Hussein Ibish: http://ikhras.com/tag/hussein-ibish/
: 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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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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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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Zogby with his good friend Martin Indyk on MSNBC
: During Israel’s eight-day onslaught on Gaza a select few Arab and Muslim Americans appeared in the mainstream US media as representatives of the Palestinian side of the conflict or spokespersons for the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities. These groups and individuals do not represent the views of the Palestinian, Arab or Muslim communities in the US, and were certainly not appointed as spokespersons for the Palestinian people under occupation
To our knowledge, during the entire eight days of Israeli air, sea, and land bombardment of Gaza not a single authentic Palestinian-American voice or any neutral, objective expert on the Arab world was invited to appear or write in mainstream television or print media. Instead what we watched was a parade of pseudo-analysts, Arab Zionists, anti-Palestinian ideologues, self-appointed spokespersons of all stripes, and even a couple of comedians. All of them, without exception, were invited to parrot the Israel narrative, or at best, offer polite criticism of Israel in the name of Palestinians and Arab or Muslim Americans.
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Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for May, 2012 is Ziad Asali. The president of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) earned the prestigious ikhras shoe award by attending an Israel “Independence Day” celebration hosted by the Israeli embassy. As the Palestinian people were commemorating the onset of the nakba Asali decided to celebrate the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine by European invaders and the creation of the usurping Zionist entity. Two photos (below) from the event emerged showing an undignified but smiling Asali with Michael Oren, the professional propagandist and war criminal (Oren served in the Israeli terrorist army during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 in which over 20, 000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed) from upstate New York that was handpicked by Benjamin Netanyahu to serve as Israel’s Ambassador to Washington.
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: We found this response to Hussein Ibish after he wrote the article in which he explains why he’s not a Zionist. We’re reproducing it below. Notice how Ibish is described at the very outset. Ikhras was the first to coin the term, but it seems to be gaining traction
House Arab, Hussein Ibish (Senior Research Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine) insists he is neither a collaborator nor a Zionist, in his piece: “No, Of Course I’m Not” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/11/still-not-a-zionist.html :
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