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June 1998
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CO-OPTING THE MUSLIMS

Jim Zogby Takes Aim At Muslim Organizations

MER - Washington - 24 June:

Co-opting of Muslim organizations in Washington is now well underway. And Jim Zogby and his "Arab American Institute" (AAI) -- the same agent of the Arab regimes who has been such a nemesis to the Arab American community, has also been sent to do what he can to keep the new crop of Muslim organizations in line and under control.

Things "Islamic" are of growing concern in Washington these days. The reasons are not hard to understand going back to the Iranian Islamic revolution, the growth of Hamas in Palestine, the trend toward Islamic politics even in crucial countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and now the "Islamic" bomb.

The main Washington-based "Muslim" organization that increasingly works in tandem with the U.S. government is the American Muslim Council (AMC). When government officials need a place to speak, a photo op, or information on what's going on, AMC has set itself up as the place to go.

Abdulrahman Alamoudi is the main person who has built up AMC during the past decade, and he has worked closely with the much-despised Jim Zogby at every step

of the way.

This weekend Zogby will attempt to manipulate and charm the AMC membership -- a constituency even less aware of what is really going on in Washington than the Arab Americans Zogby has so successfully manipulated for so many years now.

Indeed, the first panel at AMC's annual conference, "Assessing U.S. policy in the Muslim World", is chaired by Zogby. And Zogby has invited along many of his good friends, including the former Israeli lobby official he loudly endorsed to become Assistant Secretary of State! How interesting, not even a Muslim among those listed for the Zogby panel -- not to mention its the kind of incestuous and politically mischievous group the U.S. Government itself could have come up with!

The following article about Zogby and the role he plays in Washington was published earlier in the year by MER. Amazingly, it was censored by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) which has also been badly twisted and manipulated of late publishing all kinds of self-glorifying press releases from Arab and Muslim organizations while keeping serious realities hidden from its members.

 


 

JIM ZOGBY - HOW LOW CAN YOU GO

THINK OF ZOGBY AS SAUDI P.R. MAN, OR POLITICAL "MISTRESS",
OR JUST AS "UNCLE JIM" IF YOU PREFER

Note: Jim Zogby and associates have bought-off, co-opted, or frightened most of the Middle East publications, especially the Arab-Americans ones -- he actually pays them to publish his column and not to publish others -- so you won't be reading this information elsewhere.

Always in the public eye, Jim Zogby is one of those who has sold out his community more than any other. He would have made a great land salesman to the Israelis if he were Palestinian, but actually he is of Christian Lebanese origins.

Admittedly articulate with words, Zogby has gained notoriety and wealth in recent years cooperating with the Israeli lobby, the Arab client regimes, and the U.S. government; helping to end the Intifada; and eager to lend a hand to the big push to trap the Palestinians on Bantustans and Reservations - i.e., "the final settlement".

 

MER - Washington - 5/8/98:

The worst of the Palestinians and Arab Americans have come to town again, just in time to help close the trap on the increasingly Bantustanized Palestinians.

It's the now annual Washington gathering of Jim Zogby -- self-appointed "spokesman" for Arab Americans. It's the annual gathering of the "Arab American Institute", a little incestuous (and despicable) affair designed to smooze with whomever has money and power and whomever is looking for (and in need of) gullible, self-serving Arab Americans to use and co-opt at every turn.

Simply said, however much some will object, it's the now annual gathering of the Arab "Uncle Toms" -- "Uncle Jim" in the lead and guys like "Uncle Ray" (that's Ray Hanania) grabbing for every coat-tail.

There he was recently pleading on his Saudi-sponsored TV program on the misnomered Arab Network of America (ANA) that not enough people were going to be attending his Conference even though Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat were eager to give them all a pep talk and flash their smiles for pictures. He was signing up both heavy-hitters and bodies to pretend he has a grass-roots following; when in reality all he has is grass-roots loating.


JUST CALL ME "UNCLE JIM"

 

"I am delighted to call Jim Zogby my friend. We share values and passions... He is also far more willing to meet and work (publicly!) with the Jewish community than many of our leaders are with the Arab American community..."

Rabbi Jack Moline
[Prominent Israeli/Jewish lobby personality]
Washington Jewish Week, 12/19/96


In essence Zogby is essentially a Public Relations hack for the Saudis and other Arab client regimes. Others might consider him a kind of political mistress -- after all a lot of attractive women come to DC and find themselves in such "compromised" relationships; and something similar happens with guys like Zogby whose tongues, rather than bodies, are for sale if the price is right.

And still others take seriously the long-heard rumors of Zogby family ties to the CIA going back some years, including a certain Ghosm Zogby who it now comes out was the first CIA station chief in Beirut in the 50s (though Jim Zogby refuses to discuss the family "connections").

Masquerading with the media as the spokesman for Arab Americans -- Jim Zogby is the Arab for all seasons. He is the darling of the Arab client regimes and they do all they can to push him forward and arm him with money and contacts; the Uncle Tom for American Jews who always call on him to arrange meetings and "dialog" with "the Arabs"; the co-opted Arab contact for the politicos whenever they need a place to give a speech and get their pictures taken...as "Kosher Kitchen" Bill Clinton did last evening.

With substantial financial help from the regimes and their friends, Zogby made himself President of the "Arab American Institute" (AAI) he created a decade ago after getting thrown out on the street from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) when the stench got too great even for them. Zogby just picked right up and rolled right over ADC, which too this day fears him and refuses to challenge him.

Ever since Zogby has been pushed forward by various regimes and political/ financial interests, especially the Saudis who feature him weekly on their cable TV channel that continually propagandizes Arab Americans. Here too remember: just think of Arab Network of America (ANA) as Saudi Cable TV for Arab Americans.

The amazing thing about Zogby is that many Arabs Americans -- even those distant from Washington realities, and even many of those who interact regularly with him -- consider him the biggest Uncle Tom ever. He recently upset even some of his sympathizers when it was leaked in the Al-QUDS AL-ARABI, a London-based Arabic, newspaper that he suggested increasing the sanctions on Iraq instead of the bombing!


''I have a stake in seeing that Israel's aid does not get cut... Anybody who raises the question of cutting aid to Israel puts the peace process at risk.''

James Zogby
Christian Science Monitor - 10/19/98


And it was only a few years ago that Zogby publicly complimented Bill Clinton for his appointments to the White House, National Security Council, and State Department, even though never before in history has an American government been so riddled with former officials of the Israeli/Jewish lobby. He even went out of his way in public to single out Martin Indyk, the man who formerly ran the Israeli lobby think-tank, for compliments, helping consolidate his appointment first to the National Security Council and more recently as Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East!

Gee, there must have been extra checks to "Uncle Jim" for that one! Of course Zogby always says, when cornered, that he was "misquoted" or "misunderstood". But the damage Zogby causes to the political   representation of Arab Americans is immense and continual. Examples are numerous.

Last year, for instance, when the crisis of the Har Homa settlement was escalating the Palestinian "Authority" sent the "minister" of Higher Education, Hanan Ashrawi, to Washington. Zogby held a press conference for Ashrawi; but then dominated it himself. As with other Arab American political events, most of the attendees were Palestinian and Arab American. No attempts were made to invite outsiders or representatives of progressive groups who could suggest insights, solutions, or plans for actions from their own experiences. Zogby dominated the meeting and simply wanted to get his name once more in front of the Arab press. Meanwhile, all he had to offer was the silly suggestion for concerned persons to call the White House to voice their concerns.

And then weekly, on his ANA TV show, Zogby continually gives his highly distorted but always politically-correct versions of Middle Eastern problems. He always presents major issues as simply "disputes" or "misunderstandings" rather than as fundamental and basic controversies.   And of course he never admits, or invites anyone else to even discuss, that the "Peace of the Brave" is really the "Peace of the Weak", the "Peace of the Co-opted". Nor of course does he ever mention the term "client-regimes", or invite anyone else who might; nor ever mention the terrible human rights and political rights abuses going on in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and these days Arafat's "Authority".

To quote an Arab observer of this ongoing political farce whereby it is Jim Zogby, the well-known Arab Uncle Tom, who one continually sees on TV "representing" Arab Americans: "Zogby's show is as serious as a cheap made-for-TV comedy." But alas, alot of people watch, and a lot of people don't know what they are watching.


 

 

 

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