Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe of the Month Award for September, 2012 is Dr. James Zogby. The omnipresent, self-appointed representative of Arab-Americans earned this prestigious honor for his disgraceful behavior at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Although rarely is there a month in which Zogby is not the front runner for this award, the quintessential careerist and cheap propagandist for the State Department and Arab oil-Sheikhs beat out all other nominees for the September, 2012 ikhras shoe award before the convention even started.
Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for March, 2012 is Dr. Mustafa Barghouti. The well-known public activist, former candidate for the presidency of the collaborationist Palestinian National Authority, and head of the Palestine National Initiative earned the prestigious ikhras shoe award by traveling from occupied Ramallah to Washington, DC to attend J Street’s 2012 annual gala.
Mona Eltahawy who takes pride in being “the first Egyptian journalist to live and to work for a western news agency in Israel” was a big hit at this year’s J-Street gathering. This is a video of her opening remarks at the racist, Zionist group’s 2011 conference.
Eltahawy, unlike Ray Hanania and James Zogby, two other Arab-Americans who enthusiastically promote J-Street, does speak Arabic with native ability and closely followed the Egyptian revolution. Therefore, when she told the audience “not one anti-Israeli or anti-American sentiment was expressed” during the uprisings in Tunisia, and Egypt (11:40), she was knowingly making a false statement. While the immediate demands of the Tunisians and Egyptians were naturally focused on domestic issues, the tyrants’ relationships with the Zionist entity, and American support for these autocrats were on the minds of the millions who took the streets to demand not only an end to dictatorship, oppression, and poverty, but also subservience to the West and collaboration with Israel. This was clear to everyone who followed the uprisings, listened to the chants, read the signs, and paid attention to what people in the streets were saying. This is especially true in Egypt where American sponsorship and support for the regime was directly linked to the regime’s alliance with Israel which is a complete anathema to the Egyptian people. The suggestion Egyptians were unaware of American support for their tyrant or failed to understand the nexus between Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorial rule, and the regime’s relationship with the US and Israel is to assign them a level of naivete verging on contempt.
James Zogby continues to promote racist, Zionist groups on his website. This isn’t the first time Zogby has promoted or worked with J-Street, but it is another example of Arab-Americans trying to prove they’re not “radicals”, “fanatics”, and “anti-Semites” by reaching out to anti-Arab bigots, and promoting self-described supporters of Israel.
The fictional Zionist narrative must be accepted by all Washington Arabs as the point of reference for the Arab-Israeli conflict before being granted permission to hover around the fringes of Washington officialdom. The narrative which we’re all familiar with presents Israel as a small, democratic, civilized state that seeks only to live in peace in a tough neighborhood. Unfortunately for Israel, it’s surrounded by a sea of hostile Arabs and Muslims driven by a violent religion and culture, and determined to “push the Jews into the sea.”
Beginning with this narrative as a starting point, establishment Arab-Americans then move on to prove their civility, opposition to racism, and non-violent disposition by reaching out solely to Israel’s supporters, and ignoring everyone else including anti-Zionist Jewish-Americans. The Arabs’ view of the illegitimate, Zionist entity in Palestine is then evaluated to determine if the Arab is violent, fanatical, and anti-Semitic, thus placing him/her beyond the pale, or, on the other hand, a reasonable, peaceful, and moral person worthy of acceptance among the “civilized” members of humanity.
It’s only within this context that Zogby’s promotion of J-Street can be explained. And it’s not just Zogby. The formation of J-Street was a source of great celebration among members of the “Arab Lobby.” Finally, after spending decades ludicrously claiming they are on the verge of supplanting AIPAC as the premiere lobby (the actual and sometimes exaggerated role of AIPAC in US foreign policy making is beyond the scope of this article) in Washington, they quickly threw themselves into the arms of the new “moderate Zionists” that would help them provide a counterbalance to the power of AIPAC. Never mind that J-Street is committed to the colonial Zionist project, and the “legitimacy” of the racist, exclusivist state in Palestine. J-Street provided an opportunity to cling onto a “new” type of “good Zionist”, and provided a fig leaf to justify their relations with Zionist organizations. Of course, this was not even necessary for the two-man outfit at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). The empty tuxedo Ziad Asali, and his ghost writer and tutor Hussein Ibish never had any qualms about dealing with AIPAC.
At the end of a Washington day, it doesn’t really matter anyway. This is all about proving they’re one of the “good Arabs”deserving the right to pursue comfortable, air-conditioned careers on the outer fringe of the US political establishment. Given the definition of what makes a “good Arab” we clearly do not fall in that category. We maintain Zionism is a racist, illegitimate, colonial project that must be defeated. Just in case that’s not clear enough, Israel has no right to exist in Palestine. We also don’t make any false distinctions between “good Zionists” and “bad Zionists”, and consider the notion of a “moderate Zionist” as ludicrous as that of a “moderate fascist.”
Zogby and the other self-appointed representatives of Arab-Americans in Washington do not speak for the Arab community, or even a segment of the community. More importantly, the legitimacy that Israel so desperately wants the indigenous population of Palestine to bestow on the Zionist project does not derive from anyone in Washington, and the acceptance it seeks from the Arab world can’t be provided by anyone in the United States.
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?
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.”