The Debonair And "Brilliant" Ziad With Salam Fayyad
After Ikhras ‘ New Year prediction that Ziad Asali will continue to sign his name to articles written for him by Hussein Ibish, the first article of the year for Asali appeared in the Huffington Post with Ibish as co-author. We thought that was interesting, and mentioned it in a post yesterday with an observation that Ibish adjusts his writing level downward when he writes for Asali.
Today we found (coincidentally?) Ibish touting Asali’s writing on his twitter page:
“Ziad is brilliant and writes many great articles. He isn’t on social media yet (I hope soon), but I tweet them when they come out.”
There isn’t anyone anticipating Asali’s entry into the social media network, and Hussein must realize his patently absurd, and over the top description of Asali as “brilliant” is, to say the least, somewhat exaggerated. This is like describing James Zogby as “radical”, or Ray Hanania as “funny”, or Nihad Awad as “charismatic.” The usually much more measured Ibish may have just gotten carried away in a clumsy attempt to to dispel the notion held by many within the Arab-American community that he’s the ghost writer behind all of of Asali’s articles and speeches.
The tweet delivered with a tinge of patronization by the employee was definitely a mistake on Ibish’ part. He did not help Asali one bit, nor has he changed anyone’s mind about the empty-black-tie-tuxedo he works for at the American Task Force on Palestine. On the contrary, this has only reinforced everyone’s suspicions that the nature of the collaborative writing effort between the two consists of Ibish writing and Asali signing his name or reading the speech.
This tactless tweet was also not helpful for Ibish himself. It served as reminder of why he was hired by the ATFP in the first place. Asali, and the ATFP, the public relations firm of the Israeli-sponsored, Western-funded, American-supervised Palestinian Authority (PA) needed an articulate spokesperson, and a good writer who lives in the United States, and is unburdened by any moral considerations or self-respect.
Ibish’ comical description of Asali may have been well-intentioned towards his much less able employer, but it would have served them both well had he ignored the discussions and suspicions swirling around their joint writing efforts, and directed his thoughts towards the two-man team’s far more serious, but no less embarrassing, and contemptible political collaboration.