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June 1998
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GROWING CENSORSHIP FROM ARAB & MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS

 

MER - Washington - 6 June:

Abit more now on the recent censoring of MER by the Muslim Student Association (MSA), even while expanding its distribution of the most self-serving press releases from Arab and Muslim organizations and governments. It has been learned that the new censorship policy was instigated in tandem with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) which has become increasingly anxious to prevent people concerned about the Middle East from finding out how deep and pervasive the political corruption in Washington has become on the "Arab side".

Precisely because of the stepped up efforts at coverup and censorship, MER's occasional focus on these "Washington Scene" issues is being expanded and previous articles are being republished. The following article focuses on the political aspects of last year's ADC Convention.

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Washington Scene:

 

"Most of what I've heard from this panel is BullShit."

First audience comment at ADC annual conference, Part 1

MER - Washington - 8/27/97:

There are many reasons the Israeli/Jewish lobby rules in Washington with hardly any effective opposition.

One of the main reasons is that the various Arab-American organizations that exist are all controlled, manipulated, and usually paralyzed by the political and financial corruption of the Arab world. That corruption and impotence is translated to Washington by Arab ambassadors and the many they employ, most especially by Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, now one of the longest-serving Arab representatives in Washington.

Not widely known, Bandar has actually been working closely and personally with some of the main elements of the Israeli/Jewish lobby for years, even before the Gulf war in 1991. His goal is simple -- use the power and influence of the Israeli/Jewish lobby to perpetuate the rule of the al-Saud family in "the Kingdom" -- everyone else be damned. For many matters involving commenting to the often gullible press, the Saudis use Jim Zogby, a kind of public relations flak masquerading under the guise of the "Arab American Institute" (AAI).

When it comes to the only Arab American organization that has any significant grass-roots, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the situation is a bit more complicated. ADC does a few useful, though always very easy things in the area of discrimination -- indeed, nothing could be easier in America then to oppose discrimination, and actually ADC doesn't really do that very well. But far more importantly, when it comes to the serious and historical political issues of our day, here ADC is worse than a failure, it is pretty much a fraud and a deception -- one largely perpetrated on its own membership.

That fraudulent reality might well have been behind the private and unheeded call a few years ago by ADC founder, former Senator James Abourezk from South Dakota, for the organization to be closed down. Instead, some of the long-time Washington opportunists, with former Arab League Ambassador Clovis Maksoud and wife Hala in the lead, pushed ADC to make a kind of pact with the Arab establishment.

In return for financial support from Arab businessmen closely aligned with the American-sponsored client regimes in the Middle East, ADC would not involve itself in anything politically controversial (i.e., anything important), would support the "peace process" and the Arafat regime (no matter how much corruption and repression), and would not involve itself in any way against the terrible abuses and corruption so rampant in many of the key Arab countries -- most especially Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan.

In short, on matters political and historical, ADC has become a kept woman of the Arab regimes. All kinds of simplistic press releases go out to unknowing ADC supporters around the country touting as grand ADC accomplishments what are really very small, usually relatively insignificant, always easy matters. But when it comes to any major political issues, ADC hardly ever has anything to say and even when it does it is always the tritest of slogans always corresponding to whatever the Arab "client-regimes" are pushing at the time.

This sad reality couldn't have been better demonstrated this summer then what took place at the ADC annual conference which came during the month of the 30th anniversary of the 1967 war, a theme which was in fact one by which the conference was promoted. After 30 years of brutal and crippling occupation, after a decade of the "Intifada", after the catastrophe that befell Lebanon, the 1982 war, the Gulf/Iraq War, and the apartheid-type "Peace process", all that ADC could muster for this 30th anniversary was a dull and self-serving panel of Arab Ambassadors representing the very governments (plus the new Arafat regime) who are historically responsible for what has happened and have every motive to misrepresent it!

Nothing more from ADC! Not a single independent commentator! Not a single important academic personality! Not a single notable journalist! Not a single comment about the subject that couldn't have been written by the Saudi press office! And incidentally, other than their own paid press services, no important media even bothered to come.

At the end of the session, the usually compliant ADC audience had a lot of questions. Right off the bat the first person succinctly indicated that what he had just heard was mostly "bullshit". The next couple of questioners took a similar tone, especially in severely challenging Arafat's representative on the panel (let's not contribute to the deceptions by calling him "Ambassador"). But then, all controlled and planned that way of course, the very short time for questions went by very quickly, and those standing in line with more disenchantment to express faded away as usual.

The kids of Palestine can take on the Israeli army with rocks and molotov cocktails, suffering so terribly in the process. The ADC, after some two decades on the Washington scene, can't even hold an honest and thoughtful session about what has happened.

Bullshit indeed.

 

[In a subsequent article MER revealed how ADC then deleted the most antagonistic questions and comments discussed in this article from the record of the convention! For these and other past MER article go to: http://WWW.MiddleEast.Org.]


 

 

 

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