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November 1998 
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 Washington Scene:

J U S T C A L L I T " A D C - G A T E " or A D C = B U L L S H I T (Part 2)

"Most of what I've heard from this panel is BULLSHIT." First audience comment at ADC annual conference earlier this year in Washington.


MER - Washington - 11/6/97:

A few months ago we reported how the organization claiming to be the most representative one in the Arab-American community -- the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) -- enraged even its own supporters at its recent annual conference. That article with details and background follows below for easy reference.

Many naive but well-meaning young Arab Americans get involved with ADC at one point or another. They have nothing else; they know no better; they have no one to fill them in on what ADC really is allabout; it's long history of misrepresentations and mediocrity; its weak, ineffectual, and terribly self-serving staff.

The best and the brightest of them become disenchanted the soonest; the more they find out, the more they become dispirited. The more they become aware of what's really going on, the more they end their involvement and someone new replaces them. The more they find out the reasons why, the more they become demoralized.

This same story is repeated over and over again, year after year, student activist after student activist. And in the end of course there is no honest, effective or even serious Arab American representation in Washington at all to realistically counter thevast panoply of Jewish-Zionist organizations that make up the extendedIsraeli/Jewish lobby.

In some easy areas ADC does a few marginally useful things now and then -- hardly ever anything difficult, sophisticated, or of any great consequence. But overall, when it comes to the serious and important issues of the day, ADC's record is one of either bumbling along orselling-out -- time after time, issue after issue.

Of course ADC's incestuous interaction with other far worse organizations that make up the Washington scene is also an important part of this overall story -- and for background in this area see the article at http://www.MiddleEast.Org/adc1.htm.

This is the overall context in which earlier this year ADC arranged the pathetic panel for the 30th anniversary of the 1967 war -- that was what "Part I" was all about.

As for the "Part II" aspect to all this, not only has ADC sold its political soul -- well-illustrated by the way ADC dealt with the 30th anniversary of the 1967 war -- but it appears it has jettisoned its remaining integrity as well.

Remarkably, ADC even had the tape of the convention -- which is sent overseas to benefactors and sold to members and the press -- doctored to remove some of the very audience comments and exchanges that we wrote about in the original article!


(Original article first published last August) A D C = B U L L S H I T . "Most of what I've heard from this panel is BULLSHIT."

First audience comment at ADC annual conference

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 paralyzedby 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 flakmasquerading under the guise of the "Arab American Institute" (AAI).

When it comes to the only Arab American organization that has any 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 either. But farmore importantly, when it comes to the serious and historical political issues of our day, here ADC is worse than a failure, it is a fraud and a deception -- one largely perpetrated on its own membership.

That fraudulent reality might well have been behind the private andunheeded call a few years ago by ADC founder, former Senator JamesAbourezk 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 alignedwith 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 goout 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 evenwhen 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 themonth 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, allcontrolled 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. [For additional information about Arab American organizations in Washington see http://WWW.MiddleEast.Org/adc1.htm. Previously published articles provide considerable additional information about Prince Bandar and Saudi control in Washington and can be found at the MER website.]




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