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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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.
Obama posters crossed out in occupied Ramallah.
As part of an effort to construct and promulgate a public relations narrative in preparation for Barack Obama’s visit to the Middle East, the White House summoned a group of Arab-American “leaders” to a meeting. Overcome by the lure of being invited to the White House and being part of the mainstream these groups and individuals sacrifice intellectual honesty and personal integrity while adopting all the false pretenses of the American imperial project.
Barack Obama met with several so called leaders and organizations that allegedly represent Arab and Muslim Americans ahead of his visit to occupied Palestine. The “Arab-American” groups that attended the meeting were the same unrepresentative, Washington-based cliques that are usually called upon when American politicians need submissive token Arabs to perpetuate the fiction the US government is taking all views into consideration. The groups included the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the two-man American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP), and James Zogby’s one-man shop, the Arab American Institute (AAI).
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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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A petition has been posted online to demand the resignation of American Task Force On Palestine (ATFP) President Ziad Asali. This came in response to Asali’s participation in an “independence day” celebration organized by the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.
We at Ikhras have decided to not sign the petition. To begin, Asali’s attendance of the Zionist entity’s “independence day” celebration is not the first time Asali or the two other members of the ATFP have engaged in such outrageous conduct. Such appalling behavior by the ATFP is nothing new.
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Ziad Asali’s favorite night of the year is here again. On October 19 the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), the Washington public relations front for the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, American-supervised Palestinian (illusory) Authority (PA) will hold its annual gala. The black-tie event brings out the dapper and debonair version of Ziad as he dons his black-tie tuxedo and prounces around a Washington hotel ballroom bowing before US and/or Arab officials. Ziad must be thrilled Salam Fayyad will be the gala’s keynote speaker this year. The last time Fayyad attended the ATFP’s annual event Ziad’s tuxedo wasn’t draped around him as tight as he was around the American-appointed Prime Minister of the PA. Hussein Ibish will also attend the gala in his own tailored tuxedo, feigning intellectual honesty and wearing urbanity like cheap makeup.
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The ADL’s Abe Foxman considers Ziad Asali “highly respected.”
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Ghaith Al-Omari, who recently represented The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) at the Iftar dinner hosted by the Israeli Ambassador, will be discussing the UN Palestine vote along with David Makovsky from the Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP), the “think tank” of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Although the stated objectives of the ATFP is to work for peace between two peoples all it seems to have achieved is a close working relationship between the three individuals that run this shop and the various components of the pro-Israel lobby. The only individuals with whom the ATFP collaborates or maintains friendly relations are pro-Israel extremists whose views not only fall outside the scope of any reasonable debate, but are clearly beyond the pale.
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The Palestinians, frankly, are a ragtag people, many who barely speak English. And whatever they say is often offensive and then used against them.
Ziad Asali, President and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, 1 August 2007.
The clowns at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), James Zogby, and the other careerists posing as Washington’s “Arab Lobby” can learn something from the leaders of Egypt’s revolutionary youth when it comes to dealing with US officials.
The Coalition of the Youth of the 25 January Revolution rejected an invitation to attend a meeting with Hillary Clinton. The coalition of six youth groups that emerged from Egypt’s revolution refused to meet with Hillary in protest of the United States’ strong support for the ousted tyrant. The group said it did not welcome Clinton’s visit to Egypt and demanded that the US administration make a formal apology to Egypt’s people for its foreign policy towards the country in the past decades. It also added “the Egyptian people are the masters of their own land and destiny and will only accept equal relations of friendship and respect between the people of Egypt and the people of America.” One of the youth leaders told Aljazeera the decision was based on US policies including “US support for regional dictators and the Zionist entity.”
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Palestinian-American Zionist and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) board of directors member Ray Hanania is once again defending the horrific Saudi regime:
Once again, when America needs help, Saudi Arabia is there front and center — and they are still attacked in US media
Of all the problems with the mainstream US media including functioning as a propaganda arm of the US Empire, corporate dominance, ignorance, anti-Arab bias, and sensational, entertainment-driven coverage of current events and non-events alike, it is criticism of the Saudi regime that bothers the clown of Cicero. The most repressive, obscurantist, reactionary regime in the world and the American-appointed representative of the Arab people and Islamic world has always been the establishment Arabs favorite regime. Most of these pro-Washington Arabs were not born in the Arab world and were raised in the US on traditional orientalist clichés. An Arab prince in traditional Arab garb is an exotic sight, and when combined with oil-money contributions to an organization with no grassroots support, and the US government’s approval of the regime, takes on a tantalizing lure difficult to resist.
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Hussein Ibish gives his imprimatur to Ziad Asali for praising the appointment of a Zionist as US Ambassador to Israel.
ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali joins others in praising appointment of Dan Shapiro as new US Amb. to Israel. I strongly agree.
From As’ad Abu Khalil’s blog:
“Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine, welcomed Shapiro serving as US ambassador to Israel, though he stressed that no official announcement had been made and his comments were based only on the possibility that he would be named. “Dan will make an excellent ambassador. He has a grasp of the complexity of the game and knowledge of all the main players, and is committed to a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” Asali said. “Dan will make an excellent ambassador
A source that wants to remain anonymous sent us the following message:
In general, Ibish thought Asali knew nothing about nothing – he did not feel he should be in a position working “for” Asali… After one meeting, in which as usual Asali talked a lot, said nothing, and listened even less (barely noticing when others spoke) – back then, I’d compare him somewhat to Qaddafi going on and on…. anyway, leaving the meeting Ibish was quite angry (you know Ibish likes to be in the center and talking, and he is not a big fan of just listening) :) so he was angry and fuming, and if I remember well as a direct quote, he vented: “you can’t have a discussion with THIS guy! [Asali]“