THE ARAB AMERICANS and their "CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS"
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THE ARAB AMERICANS and their "CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS"

May 19, 2001

"While the Palestinians are being butchered in Palestine, the Arab regimes continue their ruinous stranglehold on the Arab Americans, courtesy of the Arab American organizations. Shame on them all."

"The rally held last month was not an improvement over the conference held a year ago or the first rally held back in September. There has been no significant mobilization, just more disorganization. Those claiming to be representing Palestinian demands for justice and recognition are nothing but impotent and misleading."

MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 5/18: There are many desperate and depressed people out there these days, especially among Palestinians, their friends, and the Jewish left that is mortified to awaken to find itself with Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister, the hoped for salvation of the Oslo "Peace Process" destroyed, and one of their false prophets, Shimon Peres, at Sharon's side. It's human nature for many of these people to want to feel they are doing something to oppose what is happening. Hence Palestinians were given a chance to let off some steam by joining the simplistic "Right of Return" march in New York last month. A few well-healed Christian types gather at churchs monthly here in Washington to lament, pray, and once and awhile visit their Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, as they a few weeks ago. And some representatives of what is today a nearly totally confused and demoralized American Jewish left handed out flyers in Lafayete Park across from the White House a few weeks ago as the Zionist youth groups rallied and shouted on behalf Israel --then jetted off to Chicago for the misconceived and disastrous "Jewish unity" conference already commented upon.

We'll have additional articles in the weeks ahead about the sad state of affairs of the Jewish left and also about how the Muslim student organizations have been so badly co-opted and marginalized.

But today serious reflections on why there is no serious and significant opposition to what the Israelis (and the Americans of course) are doing from the huge Arab American community, itself hijacked by a small group of Washington-based "client organizations" that have so little credibility that hardly anyone turned out for the White House demonstration the day Sharon was visiting last month, or the nearly unnoticed Israeli Embassy demonstration a few weeks ago even after months of nothing, or for "Nakba" day just a few days ago.

THE ARAB AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS. SHAME AND FAILURE

By Rageb Damian*

"Oh my nation, do you have among the nations a podium for the sword or the pen?"

Last month in New York City, a coalition of Arab American groups and theirAmerican supporters under the banner of a relatively new group called Al-Awda("The Return" in Arabic) marched down 2nd Ave in Manhattan. About five thousandpeople attended. Since the inception of the idea of promoting the Palestinianright of Return to their historical land, this has been second demonstration. Back in September, about 4 thousand showed up for a similar rally inWashington, DC. The starting point for this particular group has been Boston, where a conference promoting the Return idea was held in Boston University about a year ago.

While rallies and conferences, marches and events could some day form thebasis of serious mobilization to defend Palestinian rights in the US; theserallies by Al-Awda are definitely not a good beginning. Thankfully at least MERhas carried articles, time and time again, pointing out that the real purpose of Arab American organizations is to serve as fronts for the Arab Regimes that support andpromote them, financially and politically.

One has to keep in mind the big picture here. The Arab regimes are essentiallyjail keepers for the US and Israel; and they have to rely on different tools and different groups to control the Arab communities in the Arab world and in the West. The methods of control range from outright repression and terrorism of Arab people (state police, prisons, assassinations) to control of the media and the use of rumormongering and slander to discredit those who dare to speak up exposingwhat is really going on.

ARAB FRONT ORGANIZATIONS

Similar to the West, where courageous journalists who may speak aboutIsrael would be labeled anti-Semites, the Arab equivalent is labeling thosewho criticize the sorry state of Arab affairs as Zionists, Jewish spies, andagents of Israel. Of course, in the West, the Arab front organizations haveno recourse except for deception and misleading their naive supporters tobelieving that these self-aggrandizing groups are really doing somethingimportant. So, in addition to the usual cocktail of conferences and politicalevents here and there, affairs that are largely limited to Arab Americans whodo not realize that non-Arabs should also be told what is going on in theMiddle East, whenever things heat up in the Middle East such as now, we haverallies. Of course, these rallies, hardly a new thing, are not aimed atgathering momentum, educating the American public, gaining allies, or findingways to advocate the Palestinian cause. They are aimed at absorbing whateverenergy Arab Americans may have and directing it nowhere.

Similar to the rally held by Al-Awda back in September, the rally in NY had nostrategy for the participants to debate, no grasp of reality, and no idea ofthe big picture. The rally this time had less speakers compared the past one,which meant thankfully fewer hours of slogans and misrepresentation. Thespeeches were distant from reality, where the Arab Summit that just took placein Jordan was not even mentioned.

Of course the inter fighting among the Arab American groups which always aimto lure the other's supporters to its own, if not working together to incestuously to deceive, continues. We are never told how corrupt the whole scene is, how the Arab regimes pull the strings of these organizations. We are never told how the so called largest of all Arab American grass-roots organizations has been controlled by the Maksouds for so long now (former Arab League Ambassadorand his wife), amidst continual unanswered calls for reform and democracy in the organizations from its members. We are never told that Jim Zogby, a Saudi P.R. flak, manipulates and bribes Arab American press into publishing his columns. We are never told how the "new" addition to ADC, the so called National Arab American Association (NAAA) has been run to ground and bankrupted by KhalilJahshan, who then ran to join ADC to sell himself and his mailing list so he couldkeep a title and make sure those lunch and press invitations kept coming. It is really beyond rational explanation how the Arabs, 300 million in all,could continue in this state of weakness, a laughing stock for the rest of theworld? It brings to mind a rhetorical question put by a modern Arab poet:

Oh my nation, do you have among the nations a podium for the sword or the pen?

In a time when little Israel has a military eight times stronger than all theArab armies combined, the Arab regimes allow the Palestinians to be cut topieces, the Iraqis to die needlessly in a country that has enough oil thatwould have allowed them to have an American middle-class standard of life,one has to wonder what is wrong on the Arab scene. Certainly the politicalcorruption and the social decay of the Arab society are a good start.

THE EDWARD SAID "CRITIQUE"

Another factor, equally important that pertains to the situation here in theUS, concerns the repeated failure of the Arab American groups in failing toorganize for twenty years. After years of disarray, confusion, badleadership, thee is not even an attempt for self-criticism. The leaders ofthese groups are in it for their personal gain. Those who follow are mostlynaive not knowing which end is up. What is most terrible is what Edward Saidcalls the Traison de Clerk, the silence of the Intellectuals, which sadlyapplies to himself as well in his failure to criticize, loudly, the failure of theArab American movements here in organizing for real. Consider this recent writing of his in the Egyptian English weekly, AL-Ahram (which by the wayeveryone knows is government controlled):

Therefore, we now need something that the situation demands, but that all theactors resist, i.e. a real statement of goals and objectives. These have toinclude first and foremost the end of Israeli military occupation and the endof settlements. No other way can lead to peace and justice for Palestinians orfor Israelis. There is no such thing as an "interim" peace (as Oslo had it allalong, to the tremendous detriment of the Palestinian people). Nor are theresome rights for Palestinians, and not others. That is unacceptable nonsense.One set of laws and rights, one set of goals and objectives. On that basis anew Palestinian peace movement can be organized that must include Israeli andnon-Israeli Jews, especially heroic individuals and groups like Rabbis forHuman Rights and the movement led by Jeff Halper to end house demolitions.(Al-Ahram Weekly, 19-25 April, 01)

Agreed. But, the problem with Edward Said, who of course gave a good talk at the NY rally, is that he continually shies away from in criticizing the failure to apply his own ideas. He speaks brilliantly when the topic is Israel, and gives excellent insights on what to do. Surely, he is a gifted thinker, writer, and intellectual. But when it comes to telling the Arab crowd about the manipulation by the Arab regimes of their political organizations in the US, he is very vague.He acknowledges what we all know about the despicable oppressive Arab regimes, but he fails to link the connections between the regimes and the political front organizations they support, and link that to the failure of any attempt by those groups to achieve any political goals. Why did the Arab American groups fail for twenty years in creating a list of demands and objectives? Why don't they have a strategy after years and years of failure? Why can't they even get morethan a handful of people to come to their demonstrations at the Israeli Embassyor the White House in Washington; even when they all say they are uniting?

The answer is that after years and years of disorganizing and demoralizing anddeceiving their supporters, those in charge of the Arab American organizations have nothing to show for all the time and money, and have little credibility even among themselves.

There is no grass roots following, no support from the mainstream media orAmerican politicians, and certainly no strategy. A few individuals who loveto throw conferences for each other run the organizations. And at these conferences they incentuously give awards to each other -- year after yearthe same farce proceeds no matter what else is going on in the world; no matterwhat is being done by the Israelis to the Palestinians.

As I said before, the crowd that is in charge of all these organizations, the ones running them, those in the organizations boards, are essentially the same. A good deal of social and political incest goes on here. Also, as I said before, those interested in seeing for themselves who the interrelations between these groups work, just get lists of the board members and financial backers of these groups, and those who get invited to speak at events, and compare names. What you will find is that that many of the people are pretty much the same. Some pretend they have an organization, which includes only them. Some are on the boards of these groups and are the ones invited for speaking at events held by these groups.

The rally held last month in NY was not an improvement over the conference held a year ago or the first rally held back in September. There has been nosignificant mobilization, just more disorganization. Those claiming to berepresenting Palestinian demands for justice and recognition are nothing butimpotent and misleading. They have failed to gather political clout and rallyany sections of the general public to the Palestinian cause. Furthermore,they have failed to outline the general problems plaguing the Middle Eastwhich surely include the collusion among the Arab regimes, the US and Israel. Predictably, they will not speak up against the Arab regimes at all; and the real reason is because they are the "client organizations" and "client persons" of these regimes.

And so, in these ways, while the Palestinians are being butchered in Palestineworse and worse, the Arab regimes of the region continue their ruinous stranglehold on the Arab Americans, courtesy of the Arab American organizations. Shame on them all.

* Rageb Damian is of Arab background and a student in the US. He can be reached at Rageb@MiddleEast.Org


May 2001


Magazine



FEISAL HUSSEINI - DEAD AT 60 IN KUWAIT
(May 31, 2001)
Feisal Husseini will be buried tomorrow in Jerusalem with great circumstance. However whatever else he was, and many think he was a good and committed man, he was a fairly simple man and he certainly was not a great man.

SHARON SHOULD SURRENDER TO HISTORY
(May 25, 2001)
Like many nation states born out of war, Israel must re-evaluate its past in order to move forward, argues Mark Mazower*

THE GAZA GHETTO/PRISON
(May 25, 2001)
The "Gaza Strip" is a huge ghetto; created of course by the Israelis. In a sense it is also the largest prison in the world as the great majority of those who reside in Gaza are unable to leave and return through any of the handful of Israeli army checkposts which control who comes and goes.

APARTHEID ISRAEL
(May 24, 2001)
"There is a huge gap between us (Jews) and our enemies -- not just in ability but in morality, culture, sanctity of life, and conscience. They are our neighbors here, but it seems as if at a distance of a few hundred meters away, there are people who do not belong to our continent, to our world, but actually belong to a different galaxy."

WATER WARS
(May 24, 2001)
In the end its not really the "settlements" that will determine which civilization will prosper in the once Holy Land now so fought over by the descendants of Abraham. Control and use of WATER is even more at the heart of the conflict between the two competing societies.

CONTINUE THE INTIFADA
(May 23, 2001)
It's a terrible deal for the Palestinians actually -- they expected to give up their very justifiable struggle against the occupier in exchange for another promise to "freeze settlements". Gee...it was just last year that Yasser Arafat was proclaiming ad infinitum that no matter what there would be a Palestinian State by the end of the year!

WHAT THE "MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT" REALLY SAYS
(May 23, 2001)
"Here's your lifeline Yasser, Nabil, Jabril, and all you Palestinian VIPs -- and you better grab it because it may be the last one you get".

THE MITCHELL COMMISSION REPORT -- A LONG SORDID HISTORY
(May 22, 2001)
The big fix is on of course with the "Mitchell Commission Report". Other madmen desperately scampering from one TV studio to the next are "Ambassador" Dennis Ross, now back at the Israeli/Jewish lobby from whence he came, and of course Senator Mitchell, himself retired from the most pro-Israeli political body on the planet ...

ARAFAT AND THE WORLD FORCED TO DANCE TO SHARON'S WAR TUNES
(May 21, 2001)
The Israelis are pushing their lies, schemes, deceptions, and brutality more than ever these days. It's all designed of course to demoralize and confuse the Palestinians, to twist and torture them into submission.

BREAKING NEWS - RAJOUB HIT
(May 20, 2001)
Jibril Rajoub is a favorite of the CIA, the headquarters of which he has personally visited numerous times in recent years on his visits to Washington. His force is the main one trained by the CIA in order to keep the Arafat Regime in power ...

TRUE MARTYRDOM
(May 20, 2001)
Mahmoud Ahmed Marmash -- 21 and now departed -- never knew anything other than Israel's brutal military occupation. He never knew anything other than Arab "client regimes" and the Arafat "Authority". He never knew anything other than a savage Israeli army, fueled by an increasingly racist ideology, armed and financed by America.

ISRAEL - APARTHEID IN THE MIDDLE EAST
(May 20, 2001)
A little trip back in history's lane will result in all kinds of close connections between Israel and South Africa in the days of Apartheid. And during that trip one will discover that Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin were at the top of the list of those promoting those relations.

THE ARAB AMERICANS and their "CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS"
(May 19, 2001)
There are many desperate and depressed people out there these days, especially among Palestinians, their friends, and the Jewish left that is mortified to awaken to find itself with Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister, the hoped for salvation of the Oslo "Peace Process" destroyed, and one of their false prophets, Shimon Peres, at Sharon's side.

SUICIDE BOMB, ISRAELI AIR STRIKES CAUSE NEW CARNAGE
(May 18, 2001)
A suicide bombing followed by retaliatory Israeli air strikes killed 16 people and injured 200 on Friday in one of the bloodiest days since a Palestinian uprising erupted nearly eight months ago.

ISRAEL'S ARMY - A NEW, PERHAPS DANGERSOUS, FREEDOM
(May 18, 2001)
TRIGGER-HAPPY troops set loose? Questions about the response of Israeli soldiers facing Palestinian demonstrators are being asked, and not just by Palestinians. But suspicions about individual behaviour are less relevant than the clear fact that the army, given its head by Ariel Sharon, has made a deliberate decision ...

SEVEN KILLED, OVER 50 INJURED IN SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK
(May 18, 2001)
A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the Hasharon shopping mall in the center of the coastal town of Netanya at around 11.30 A.M on Friday morning. Seven people were killed in the blast, one of them most likely the bomber himself.

ISRAELI ARMY ON THE RAMPAGE
(May 17, 2001)
The Israelis are more and more specifically targeting children, journalists, and Palestinians at all levels. The goal is to create such fear, such intimidation, such apprehension, that ...

MORE BLOOD AND MEMORIES FLOW ON "DISASTER DAY"
(May 16, 2001)
Yesterday was the 53rd anniversary of what the Israelis believe was the start of their independence and the Palestinians believe was the start of their ongoing and tortuous "disaster", the "nakba".

"SCHOLARS, INTELLECTUALS, EXPERTS BETRAY THEIR VOCATIONS..." - MER FLASHBACK
(May 15, 2001)
The recent orgy of 'activism' surrounding the new "Har Homa" settlement has given 'peace groups' and various Arab Americans groups something to do again.

THERE WERE WARNINGS THEN, THERE ARE WARNINGS NOW
(May 15, 2001)
It's 53 years now since Palestine was fractured, a Jewish State was born, the Palestinian refugee crisis created. There were warnings from both Arab and Jewish leaders what would result if a "Jewish State" were declared when the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948.

NO JUNITY, NO ALLIES, NO FUTURE
(May 14, 2001)
Let's get right to the bottom line here first. Those American Jews, and whoever else for that matter have been looking to what is called "JUNITY" (that's "Jewish Unity For a Just Peace" so they say) ...

AN AFFRONT TO CIVILISATION
(May 13, 2001)
I was on my way to Khan Yunis, a desperately poor Palestinian refugee town in the Gaza Strip, when we learned it was under heavy bombardment. Please, urged my Palestinian guides, could I postpone my visit to the next day?

IN MEMORY OF PROF. CHARLES BLACK
(May 12, 2001)
"Against hugh odds...they decline to submit, and instead go out on the streets and pick up stones. They are beaten without let or mercy. They are imprisoned under obscene conditions, after kangaroo trials, or no trials at all.

THREATENING WRITERS AND MORE ASSASSINATIONS
(May 12, 2001)
Of course what the Israelis are doing in so many areas to many classes of people is dastardly and deserves widespread condemnation. The first article details what the Israelis are doing to Palestinian writers who are citizens of Israel; the second to Palestinian activists who are struggling against Israel's occupation.

HASHEMITE COLLUSION AND REPRESSION
(May 11, 2001)
The Hashemite Regime of King Abdullah the Second is running more and more scared; and for good reason. After all, the collusion of this regime with the Israelis, going way back to the beginning of the conflict...

MAHMOUD DARWISH ON 53RD NAKBA ANNIVERSARY
(May 11, 2001)
Next Tuesday, 15 May, is the 53rd Anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba, the "Disaster", and what the Israelis call their Independence. In a very unusual move some 250 Arab Professors and Intellectuals have issued a call for their own countries to finally join in a serious way the Palestinian struggle.

FROM HERZL TO SHARON - STEALTH DISPOSSESSION
(May 10, 2001)
"The removal of Arabs bodily from Palestine is part of the Zionist plan to 'spirit the penniless population across the frontier' by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."

THE POLITICAL PROSTITUTION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN PALESTINE
(May 10, 2001)
We're talking here about political prostitution; for it too is an age-old profession and it too leads to many other vices.

THE POPE GOES VISITING
(May 9, 2001)
With the creation of a "Jewish State" in the Holy Land, in a sense a new era began twisting the modern-day concept of nationality back to one of ethnic and religious identification.

FROM HELL WITH LOVE
(May 8, 2001)
Ironically, in the early years of this ignoble "Peace Process", Dr. Sarraj himself -- a dignified psychiatrist and recipient of the Physician for Human Rights Award -- was arrested three times, tortured, and threatened with death...not by the Israelis but by the forces of the Arafat "Palestinian Authority".

ISRAELIS SEE THROUGH GLOSS OF LIFE AMID ORANGE GROVES
(May 7, 2001)
When the real estate sharks of California began to coax Americans to Los Angeles early in the last century, they stuck oranges on the trees to make the desert more alluring. The oranges are real enough in the groves on the hills around Jerusalem, but the hard selling is just the same.

WE ARE ACCUSED OF TERRORISM
(May 7, 2001)
The incomparable Nizar Qabbani was buried in Damascus earlier this week. "We Are Accused Of Terrorism" was one of his last poems first published a year ago; key excerpts from that poem follow.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR - Part II
(May 4, 2001)
Previously we outlined how the regimes-sponsored Arab American establishment, using the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to try to control everyone as usual...

SHARON'S RISE TO THE PINNACLE OF POWER - HELPED BY THE ARABS THEMSELVES
(May 3, 2001)
Ariel Sharon's becoming Prime Minister of Israel didn't happen overnight. He pursued the job for a very long time and whatever one thinks of his person and policies he carried out a masterful political coup.

GUNNING DOWN ISRAEL SHAMIR
(May 3, 2001)
The worst thing that happened to the people of the Middle East in recent history was the imposition on them by the Western powers of the "Client Regimes" -- those who read MER regularly know what we are talking about...

ARAB REGIMES COWER AND BEG; ISRAELIS CONTINUE TO KILL AND DESTROY
(May 2, 2001)
Shimon Peres runs around the world, especially to the gullible American media, and especially to CNN and PBS, with soothing rhetorical jibberish while his Generals further demolish Palestinian homes making fools of those who believed in the "Oslo Peace Process" and its associated "agreements".

FORMER SHIN BET HEAD TALKS SOME SENSE IN PUBLIC....BUT WHY?
(May 2, 2001)
Motives are of course a very important aspect of life and politics...as is timing. And when it comes to someone who has been head of the Shin Bet, like Ami Ayalon, and who is saying these things now, at this particular crucial and sensitive time, there are good reasons to have many suspicions, and many questions, and many doubts.

EXTINGUISHING THE INTIFADA
(May 2, 2001)
A major effort is underway to somehow smother and snuff out the Intifada, one way or another. Those heading up the effort, in order of importance, are:

ARAFAT'S FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE THE INTIFADA BEGAN
(May 1, 2001)
Yasser Arafat often describes his struggle as a "long march" to the "spires and minarets" of Jerusalem, capital of his Palestinian state-to-be.




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