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Discover the Arab Lobby network

Woensdag, Januari 17, 2007 / Last Modified: Donderdag, December 15, 2011

By John Perazzo, FrontPageMagazine, January 17, 2007.

As Western civilization faces the threat of a radical Islamic foe that seeks to
annihilate it, the collective self-assurance of the Western psyche continues to
wither under the relentless, low-grade assault of the political Left.

This assault presents itself in the form of constant criticism aimed at America’s
allegedly vast array of societal defects – with the intent of expunging every last
shred of self-respect from the Western mind and heart, and of thereby
convincing Western man that his irredeemably sinful culture is unworthy of his
defense.

The key operatives in this assault are leftwing organizations describing
themselves as defenders of such righteous-sounding ideals as ‘civil liberties’,
‘human rights’, ‘peace’, and ‘social justice’.

Allied with them is a growing cabal of pro-Arab, anti-Israel groups that,
both jointly and independently, characterize the U.S. and Israel in particular as
nations that routinely inflict immense suffering on Arab populations all over the
world.

By portraying Arabs as victims of American and Israeli transgressions,
these groups aim – through their press releases, official statements,
publications, and direct actions – to shape public opinion regarding such issues
as the war on terror and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

While focusing on Arab concerns, by no means is this lobby composed
exclusively of Arabs. The lobby is defined by its ideology, not the ethnicity of
its active constituents. And that ideology tends to be, as noted above, pro-Arab
on the one hand, anti-Israel on the other.

To be sure, the Arab lobby does not speak for all Arab Americans. According to
the Arab American Institute, there are approximately 3.5 million people of Arab
heritage in the U.S. today, about half of them concentrated in five states –
California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.

Nearly 40 percent of these Arab Americans are Lebanese, mostly Christians,
who are largely unsympathetic to the Arab lobby’s anti-Israel perspectives. By
contrast, only about 70,000 Palestinian Americans reside in the United States –
a small percentage of the Arab American population.

But because of their high level of political activism, their views and
concerns have received hugely disproportionate attention from political leaders
and the media alike. Indeed, the Palestinian cause heads the Arab lobby’s list of
concerns.

In an effort to expose the agendas and tactics of the Arab lobby,
DiscoverTheNetworks.org has added a new ‘Arab Lobby’ section to its
ever-expanding database. This section profiles not only those pro-Arab
organizations and individuals (both in the U.S. and abroad) that lobby to affect
specific legislation, but also those that engage in what might be defined, more
precisely, as advocacy on behalf of Arab interests anywhere in the world.

(There is technically a distinction between advocacy and lobbying.
Advocacy is a broader term, connoting efforts to influence some aspect of
society, be it individual behavior, public opinion, public policy, or legislation
passed by elected government officials. Lobbying can be described as a subset
of advocacy, referring specifically to efforts to convince legislators to vote in a
certain way.)

The roots of the Arab lobby in America can be traced back to 1951, when King
Saud of Saudi Arabia asked U.S. diplomats to finance a pro-Arab lobby to serve
as a counterweight to the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs (later
renamed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC).

While the pace of the Arab lobby’s growth was initially slow, there were
nonetheless signs of increased assertiveness. After the 1967 Arab-Israeli war,
for example, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) set up a fund to
present the Arab perspective on the conflict.

In May 1970, ARAMCO representatives warned Assistant Secretary of
State Joseph Sisco that American military sales to Israel would harm U.S.-Arab
relations and jeopardize American oil supplies.

Driven by oil revenues, the Arab lobby’s leverage in affecting American policy
was demonstrated in early 1973 when Mobil published a pro-Arab advertorial in
The New York Times. In July of that year, the chairman of Standard Oil of
California (now called Chevron) distributed a letter asking the company’s
40,000 employees and 262,000 stockholders to pressure their elected
representatives to support “the aspirations of the Arab people.” In a similar
spirit, the chairman of Texaco urged the U.S. to reassess its Middle East policy.

When another Arab-Israeli war broke out in October 1973, the chairmen of the
ARAMCO partners issued a memorandum warning the White House against
increasing its military aid to Israel. Shortly thereafter, the OPEC oil embargo
(enacted in retribution for Western support of Israel) ushered in an era where
the Arab lobby became much more prominent and visible than ever before.
“The day of the Arab-American is here”, declared National Association of Arab
Americans founder Richard Shadyac. “The reason is oil”.

Prior to October 1973 the price of oil had stood at $2.60 per barrel; within
three months the price quadrupled to about $12 per barrel. Since then, it has
risen to more than $60 – for a commodity whose production costs are, at
present, only $1.50 per barrel.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter noted, in his diary, that the Arab lobby had
pressured him mightily while he was involved in the peace negotiations
between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem
Begin. “They [Arab Americans] have given all the staff, Brzezinski, Warren
Christopher, and others, a hard time,” wrote Carter.

Among the more notable individual members of the Arab lobby in recent
decades was the late Clark Clifford (died October 1998), who The New York
Times described as a key adviser to four U.S. presidents, and as an influential
paid lobbyist for Arab sources.

In his memoir, Counsel to the President, Clifford wrote that he advised
his clients: “What we can offer you is an extensive knowledge of how to deal
with the government on your problems. We will be able to give you advice on
how best to present your position to the appropriate departments and agencies
of the government.”

Another key figure in the Arab lobby has been Fred Dutton, former Assistant
Secretary for Legislative Affairs and special assistant to President John F.
Kennedy. On July 19, 2005, The Hill reported that Dutton (a lobbyist for Saudi
Arabia) had worked assiduously to persuade Congress to approve two major
arms sales to that nation.

Axis Information and Analysis (AIA), which specializes in information about Asia
and Eastern Europe, rated Prince Bandar Bin Sultan – a Saudi ambassador to the
U.S. from 1983 to 2005 – as the single most influential foreigner in America.
With links to high-ranking officials in the State Department, Pentagon, and CIA,
Sultan was a key participant in many clandestine negotiations pertaining to U.S.
interests in the Middle East.

According to AIA, in 1990-91 it was Sultan who pushed President
George H.W. Bush to launch the military campaign to drive Iraqi forces out of
Kuwait. Moreover, his father – Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz al Saud – was a leading
figure in the ruling Saudi dynasty. As such, he helped determine the extent of
his nation’s military cooperation with the U.S. in the Persian Gulf.

During a January 1998 U.S. Congressional Delegation briefing in Damascus,
Syria, Congressman Nick J. Rahall (D – West Virginia), who is of Lebanese
descent, said: “Our [Arab] lobby in the United States is growing in its influence
and its participation in political campaigns across the spectrum. Our trip [was]
sponsored by the Arab American Institute – one of those most effective
lobbying groups of the Arab groups in Washington – and a relatively new group,
the National Arab American Businessmen’s Association. [Through] these groups
… we are increasing our influence, and we are increasing our participation.”

Some members of the Arab lobby in America are heavily financed with money
from the Arab world. As Jacob Laksin recently detailed in FrontPageMagazine,
for instance, the Atlanta-based Carter Center (founded by Jimmy Carter in
1982) has been a longtime recipient of Arab funding.

Before his death in 2005, Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd made several large
donations to the Center, including a 1993 gift of $7.6 million. As of 2005, the
king’s nephew, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, had given at least $5 million to the
Carter Center. In 2001 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gave the Center
$500,000. The previous year, ten of Osama bin Laden’s brothers had jointly
pledged $1 million, as did Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman in 1998. The Saudi
Fund for Development has been another major contributor, as has the Kuwait
Fund for Arab Economic Development. And Morocco’s Prince Moulay Hicham
Ben Abdallah has collaborated with the Carter Center on various initiatives.

According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, “Assessing the influence and
breadth of the Arab/Muslim lobby would be a difficult thing to do, since the
metrics for assessing such things are not easily available. The lobby’s real
strength is felt on the local level, where its members receive community
awards, participate in human relations councils, change the local educational
curricula, persuade school districts to give them holidays off, and get local
police and statewide officials to attend their events.

Nationally, their influence is felt at the State Department in terms of their
being invited to briefings, sponsored on road trips abroad, etc. The one recent
time where they actually exacted an influence on President Bush was in
persuading him to drop the use of the term ‘Islamo-fascism’.”

While the Arab lobby has a few friends in Congress today, its effect is felt
mainly as a result of its joint efforts with organizations like the American Civil
Liberties Union to dilute anti-terror measures.

The lobby, says Emerson, “is mainly in the process of building up a
grassroots network around the United States, with the anticipation that, abetted
by growing demographics, it will be in a position of political influence in the
future.”

Following are brief summaries of a number of U.S.-based organizations that
lobby on behalf of Arab interests. Each of these groups is profiled, in greater
depth, by DiscoverTheNetworks.org:

* The American Muslim Alliance is a political action committee that works to
get Muslims elected and/or appointed to policy-influencing positions at all levels
of political governance in the United States. AMA currently has 98 chapters in
31 states, and aspires eventually to have chapters in all 435 U.S. congressional
districts.

* The American Muslim Association of North America is a self-described “civil
rights” group that offers help to Muslims needing guidance in applying for food
stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare. AMANA views the
United States as a nation rife with bigotry and injustice aimed at Muslims and
Arabs. In an effort to confront this allegedly pernicious problem, the
organization’s website features a complaint form where people can report
instances of perceived discrimination they encounter in the housing market, the
business world, or elsewhere.

* The American Muslim Council was once among the most prominent Islamic
organizations in the U.S., though its importance has declined since its founder
and former chairman Abdurahman Alamoudi was imprisoned in October 2003
on terrorism-related charges. In November 2002, AMC publicly urged American
Muslims to give money to Islamic relief organizations to aid refugees who had
fled their homes in response to America’s post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan.
Included in AMC’s list of preferred charities was the Holy Land Foundation for
Relief and Development, whose assets had recently been seized by the FBI and
the Treasury Department because of its activities as a fundraising front for
Hamas. AMC is a member organization of the National Coalition to Protect
Political Freedom, established in 1997 by Sami Al-Arian to litigate against U.S.
counter-terrorism laws, to provide legal counsel to terrorist suspects, and to
help overturn terrorist convictions.

* The American Muslim Union views the post-9/11 anti-terror legislation passed
by the U.S. government – particularly the Patriot Act – as a coordinated assault
on the civil liberties of Americans, especially those of Arab and Muslim heritage.
AMU Executive Director Waheed Khalid has called the Patriot Act “an extremely
dangerous piece of legislation” that, “under the guise of ‘national security,’
tramples on the Constitution.”

* American Muslims for Jerusalem has been characterized by terrorism expert
Steve Emerson as an organization that “routinely involves anti-Zionist
campaigns and has featured calls at its conferences for the killing of Jews.”
AMJ frequently publicizes stories about Christians and Muslims being
discriminated against by Israel in Jerusalem.

* The American Task Force on Palestine blames Israel for most, but not all,
Palestinian suffering, and favors the formation of a Palestinian state. “As
America continues the defense of its citizens and its freedoms in the global War
on Terrorism,” ATFP explains, “a final and satisfactory resolution of the Mideast
conflict, which is the single greatest source of anti-American sentiment
throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, would be an invaluable asset.” “The ill
will directed at the United States by its perceived support for Israeli conquests
and for corrupt authoritarian regimes,” adds ATFP, “has created serious
security risks for our country, as demonstrated so horrifically on 9-11.” ATFP
also asserts that: “As part of any comprehensive settlement ending the conflict,
Israel should accept its moral responsibility to apologize to the Palestinian
people for the creation of the refugee problem.”

* The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee accuses the Bush
administration of seeking to deprive Arab Americans of their civil liberties, and
has depicted most Justice and Treasury Department anti-terror efforts as
manifestations of ethnic discrimination and persecution. Lamenting that the
Patriot Act “fails to respect our time-honored liberties,” and “severely dilute[s] …
many basic constitutional rights,” ADC endorses the Community Resolution to
Protect Civil Liberties campaign, which tries to influence city councils to pass
resolutions of non-compliance with the Patriot Act. ADC also endorsed the Civil
Liberties Restoration Act of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name
of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted
after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Between 2002 and 2005, ADC received more
than $250,000 in foundation and corporate grants. * Americans for Justice in
Palestine exhorts the U.S. government to cut off all economic funding to Israel,
and to help force the latter into a “one-state solution” whereby Israel would
become a secular country called “Palestine-Israel,” or simply “Palestine.” AFJP
was founded by filmmaker Wendy Campbell, a veteran of the 1960s anti-war
movement who contends that suicide bombers’ actions “are taken out of
context” by their critics, and that “one of the reasons that 9/11 happened was
because of the injustices happening in the Middle East, most specifically the
Israeli Occupation.” Characterizing Israel as a “racist country” ruled by an
“apartheid regime,” Campbell calls hopes of achieving a two-state solution
“obsolete.”

* The Arab American Action Network seeks “to empower Chicago-area Arab
immigrants and Arab Americans … [and] to be an active agent for positive social
change.” This organization was founded by Columbia University professor
Rashid Khalidi (the former Director of the PLO press agency and onetime
moderator of the PLO Advisory Committee) and his wife, Mona Khalidi. AAAN
is “committed to speaking out” against what it calls the pervasive “biased
reporting, media stereotypes, and the criminalization of Arabs and Muslims.” In
early 2005, AAAN co-sponsored an art exhibit whose central theme was “the
compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life … under [Israeli]
occupation … home demolition … statelessness … bereavement … martyrdom,
and … the heroic struggle for life, for safety, and for freedom.” AAAN’s hostile
view of the Jewish state is further manifest in the organization’s reference to
Israel’s creation in 1948 as Al Nakba (“The Catastrophe”). Between 2002 and
2004, AAAN received $95,000 in foundation grants.

* The Arab American Institute was established in 1985 to promote “Arab
American participation in the U.S. electoral system” and to advocate for the
“domestic and policy concerns” of that demographic. Toward that end, AAI
developed a strong reputation for organizing “voter-education” campaigns and
acting as a liaison between the Arab American community and the major
national political parties. Following 9/11, however, the tone of AAI’s public
pronouncements underwent a striking change; with ever-increasing frequency,
the Institute denounced its opponents as racists, extremists, and Zionist agents.
According to Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz, the organization “moved from
the center to the extreme left of the American public square.” AAI portrays
Israel as a brutal oppressor of the Palestinian people, and denounces what it
depicts as widespread civil liberties violations directed against Arab Americans
in the post-9/11 period. “The USA Patriot Act and initiatives launched by the
Attorney General in the aftermath of September 11,” says AAI president James
Zogby, “have endangered basic constitutionally protected rights of due process
and judicial review.” Between 2002 and 2005, AAI received more than
$495,000 in foundation grants.

* The Center for Economic and Social Rights identifies “the discrimination and
brutality inherent in the Israeli occupation” as “the root cause” of Palestinian
hardship, calling for “alternatives that recognize and promote equal rights for all
people living under Israeli rule.” Established on a grant of just over $100,000
from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Echoing
Green Foundation, CESR currently operates on an annual budget of more than
$500,000. Between 2002 and 2006, this organization received foundation
grants totaling more than $2.6 million.

* The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine claims that Israeli transgressions
and human rights violations are entirely to blame for that nation’s ongoing state
of war with the Palestinian people. At the organization’s 2003 winter
conference – entitled “Israel’s Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing” – CPAP
Chairman Hisham Sharabi set the tone for the seminar with his opening
remarks: “In the face of relentless Israeli force, the only weapon the helpless
and desperate have is to fling their bodies against the beast. Suicide bombings
are no longer the lone act of desperate fanatics, but have become a conscious
weapon of resistance and war. The culture of death and self-sacrifice is
spreading in many Arab and Muslim countries. With unprecedented force being
unleashed [by Israel] against helpless people, the task of recruiting hundreds, if
not thousands of men and women willing to die has become a routine
organizational matter in the resistance process.”

* The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy seeks “to contribute to the
promotion of democracy, good governance, freedom, and human rights in the
Arab and Muslim world.” “Most of CSID’s Muslim personnel are radicals,”
wrote Islam scholar Daniel Pipes in March 2004. One such individual is CSID
fellow Kamran Bokhari, who, according to Pipes, “also happens to have served
for years as the North American spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun, perhaps the
most extreme Islamist group operating in the West.” Some CSID Board
members are agents of the Saudi Arabian government, which spends enormous
sums of money to spread Wahhabism, a radical and intolerant form of Islam, all
around the globe. One of the Center’s founding directors was Taha Jabir al
Alwani, a founder of the Council of the Muslim World League in Mecca,
perhaps the most influential distributor of Saudi Arabian money on earth.

* The Committee for Justice in Palestine, based at Ohio State University,
opposes what it calls Israel’s “occupation” of “Palestine.” The organization’s
ongoing Divestment Campaign exhorts university officials to sever all financial
ties to Israeli corporations and interests. In July 2006, CJP co-signed a letter to
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which stated: “[T]he inexorable march of
Israeli human rights violations continues with renewed savagery. … [Israeli]
forces continue illegally to arrest and detain thousands of Palestinians,
confiscate Palestinian land, demolish homes, impose a deadly economic
blockade, and build an annexationist Apartheid wall. … We therefore call upon
the United Nations to intervene to defend the Palestinian people …”

* The Council for the National Interest enumerates among its organizational
goals the “total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territory”; “American
recognition of a totally independent state of Palestine”; and “an elimination of
all unaudited U.S. aid to Israel.”

* The Council on American-Islamic Relations is the preeminent Arab lobby
group in the U.S. today, describing itself as “similar to a Muslim NAACP.” CAIR
was co-founded in 1994 by Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad, and Omar Ahmad, all
of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine, which was
established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook and functioned as
Hamas’ public relations and recruitment arm in the United States. CAIR opened
its first office in Washington, DC, with the help of a $5,000 donation from the
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which the Bush
administration shut down in December 2001 for collecting money “to support
the Hamas terror organization.” Today CAIR receives considerable funding from
Saudi Arabia. Writes Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz: “CAIR should be
considered a foreign-based subversive organization, comparable in the Islamist
field to the Soviet-controlled Communist Party USA, and the Cuban-controlled
front groups that infiltrated ‘Latin American solidarity’ organizations in the U.S.
during the 1980s. It has organized numerous community branches and has had
immense success in gaining position as an ‘official’ representative of Islam in
the U.S.” From 2002 to 2005, CAIR received more than $230,000 in
foundation grants.

* Focus on American and Arab Interests and Relations was established by two
Iraqi expatriates, Mohammed Alomari and Muthana al-Hanooti, “to promote fair
policies and a better understanding of the issues pertaining to the Arab World.”
Alomari authored a book titled The Secrecy of Evil: The Qabala and Its
Followers, which denounced Jews and their alleged scheme to create a New
World Order. He has also charged that the U.S. and Israel “organized” the 9/11
attacks.

* The Free Palestine Alliance is a pro-Hamas organization that supports the
dissolution of “the racist Apartheid State of Israel” and the “unconditional
liberation” of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in Israel proper. It is a
member of the International ANSWER steering committee, and its contact
information is identical to that of Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center.
Many individuals involved with FPA are also members of the Marxist-Leninist
Workers World Party.

* Grassroots International (GRI) states that it “was born out of a commitment to
justice for Palestinians.” Since its founding in 1983, it has disbursed at least
$20 million to its partner organizations and engaged in what it characterizes as
“campaigns for positions on equality, development, independence, and
self-reliance.” In 2004, GRI was a signatory – along with more than 200 other
leftist groups – to a letter exhorting members of the U.S. Senate to oppose
Israel’s construction of an anti-terrorist security fence in the West Bank, a
barrier that GRI condemns as an illegal “apartheid wall.” Between 2002 and
2005, GRI was the recipient of foundation grants totaling nearly $750,000.

* If Americans Knew describes itself as a “research and
information-dissemination institute, with particular focus on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. foreign policy regarding the Middle East, and
media coverage of this issue.” The organization was founded in 2001 by
freelance journalist Alison Weir to counter what she perceived to be a pro-Israel
bias coloring U.S. media coverage of Mideast events. Calling for an end to U.S.
aid to Israel, IAK states: “Empowered by American money, Israel is occupying
land that doesn’t belong to it, is breaking numerous international laws and
conventions of which it is a signatory, and is promulgating policies of brutality
…”

* The International Solidarity Movement describes itself as “a Palestinian-led
movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.”
Though professing a commitment to nonviolence, ISM members openly
advocate the “liberation” of Palestinians “by any means necessary,” including
“legitimate armed struggle.” Led by Palestinians working closely with American
recruiters, ISM invites American volunteers to travel to the Palestinian territories
and disrupt the actions of the Israeli Defense Force, which is engaged in
anti-terror operations in the region.

* The Islamic Assembly of North America was created in 1993 to spread the
“correct knowledge of Islam” and “to serve the Islamic presence in North
America.” In February 2003, four individuals associated with IANA were
indicted for illegally sending millions of dollars to Iraq through a Syracuse, New
York charity called Help the Needy. According to court papers filed by Idaho
prosecutors in 2003, IANA’s mission included the “dissemination of radical
Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of
members, and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism.” In National
Review Online, IANA has been described as a “glorified al Qaeda recruitment
center.” According to a New York Times interview with former IANA Director
Mohammed al-Ahmari, approximately half of the organization’s funding derives
from the Saudi government, and the other half from mostly Saudi private
donors.

* The Islamic Circle of North America strongly condemned the Oslo accords
which sought to establish peace between the Palestinians and Israel. In a joint
statement with a number of other Arab/Muslim lobby groups, ICNA charged
that Israel’s creation in 1948 “had involved the unjust and illegal usurpation of
Muslim and Christian lands and rights,” and declared that “to recognize the
legitimacy of that crime is a crime in itself, and any agreement which involves
such recognition is unjust and untenable.”

* The Islamic Society of North America calls itself the largest Muslim
organization on the continent. Its annual convention draws more attendees –
usually over 30,000 – than any other Arab or Muslim gathering in the Western
Hemisphere. ISNA devotes much of its energy to providing Wahhabi theological
indoctrination materials to some 1,100 of the approximately 2,500 mosques in
North America. Many of these mosques were recently built with Saudi money
and are required, by their Saudi benefactors, to strictly follow the dictates of
Wahhabi imams. Through its affiliate, the North American Islamic Trust – a
Saudi government-backed organization created to fund Islamist enterprises in
North America – the Saudi-subsidized ISNA reportedly holds the mortgages of
between 50 and 79 percent of all mosques in the U.S. and Canada. Thus the
organization can exercise ultimate authority over the mosques and their
teachings. * The Israel Policy Forum describes itself as “a central clearinghouse
for policymakers seeking to more effectively engage the United States in the
resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” IPF has consistently urged the U.S.
government to press Israel into making ever-greater concessions to Palestinian
militants – in the belief that such a course of action would help bring peace to
the region.

* The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace believes that security for Israel
“can only be achieved through the establishment of an economically and
politically viable Palestinian state, necessitating an end to Israel’s occupation of
land acquired during the 1967 war and an end to Palestinian terrorism.” At the
heart of JAJP’s efforts is its call for the evacuation of Israeli settlements in the
Occupied Territories, and for the withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the
West Bank. Whereas some Arab lobby members in the U.S. demand divestment
from Israel and the withholding of monies from that country, JAJP instead
advocates giving such funds directly to the Palestinian people.

* Jews Against the Occupation describes itself as “an organization of
progressive, secular, and religious Jews of all ages throughout the New York
City area advocating peace through justice for Palestine and Israel.” Says
JATO: “We … reject the Israeli government assertion that it is ‘necessary’ to
subjugate Palestinians for the sake of keeping Jews safe”; “[t]he Israeli military
fires bone-crushing rubber bullets and live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian
civilians engaged in peaceful protest, failing to distinguish between peaceful
and violent resistance”; “[t]he U.S. government provides more aid to Israel than
to any other country – the vast majority of this is for military purposes. … [t]his
aid must end”; “t]he Israeli government has attacked the Palestinian economy
…”; and “[t]housands of Palestinians were driven out of their houses and off of
their farms during and after the creation of Israel. They must be allowed to
return to their homeland.”

* Jews For a Free Palestine is composed of nominally Jewish activists who
support what they call “Palestine liberation solidarity efforts.” In conjunction
with its partner organization, Renounce Aliyah, JFFP says: “[W]e denounce the
continued racist and inhumane policies of the Israeli government. There can be
no safety for Jews internationally as the Israeli government continues in the
role of occupier and oppressor, while falsely claiming to represent us all.”

* Mercy Corps provides humanitarian assistance to people living in regions
beset by war, internecine violence, and natural disasters. From 1981 through
2006, this organization provided $1 billion in assistance to people in 82 nations.
With regard specifically to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mercy Corps places all
blame for Palestinian poverty and suffering directly on Israel.

* The Middle East Children’s Alliance claims that since its inception it has
“brought over $8 million of much-needed relief to besieged communities in Iraq
and Palestine through emergency medical aid and direct aid to families and
communities.” “Our work in the United States,” says MECA (which accuses the
U.S. of “purposefully” targeting civilian areas), “is centered … on educating
North Americans about … the role of U.S. policy in maintaining and perpetuating
instability and conflict in the Middle East. … We stand in solidarity with the
Palestinian people as they seek freedom from oppression and we support the
right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.”

* The Muslim Alliance of North America was founded in February 2001 by Siraj
Wahhaj and Ihsan Bagby. MANA is part of the American Muslim Task Force on
Civil Rights and Elections, a national coalition of some of the largest Muslim
organizations in the U.S., whose common objectives are to “[m]ainstream the
American Muslim community” and work for “the empowerment of [that]
community and for the protection of its rights.”

* The Muslim American Society (MAS) describes itself as “a charitable,
religious, social, cultural and educational, not-for-profit … Islamic organization.”
In May 2005, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross reported in The Weekly Standard that
MAS is a U.S. front group for the Muslim Brotherhood and, as such, wishes to
see the United States governed by Sharia, or Islamic law. MAS is described by
Stephen Schwartz, author of The Two Faces of Islam, as “a major component”
of the “Wahhabi Lobby” that channels money from, and advances the policies
of, Muslim-fundamentalist Saudi Arabia.

* The Muslim Public Affairs Council’s traditionally centrist public image
unraveled after the September 2000 launching of the Second Palestinian
Intifada, when MPAC severed its ties to the Jewish community and issued
one-sided condemnations of Israel’s response to the Arab violence. The Council
also actively opposed President Bush’s military incursions into Afghanistan and
Iraq, as well as his “excesses” in the war on terror. In July 2002, MPAC
National Director Ahmed Younis stated that “if Thomas Jefferson or Madison or
the like were alive today, they would go to [Attorney General] John Ashcroft’s
house and just shoot him.” MPAC asserts that Hezbollah “could be called a
liberation movement” similar to American “freedom fighters hundreds of years
ago whom the British regarded as terrorists.” According to MPAC: “Israel was
established by terrorism”; its founding “involved the unjust and illegal
usurpation of Muslim and Christian land and rights”; and it is a “racist,
chauvinistic and militaristic” state that is prosecuting “a war to steal land from
Palestinians, to decimate their leadership, to humiliate the Palestinian people.” A
few hours after the 9/11 attacks, MPAC co-founder Salam Al-Marayati told a
Los Angeles radio audience: “If we’re going to look at suspects, we should look
at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think
we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts
attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can
go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.”

* The Muslim Students’ Association of the United States and Canada currently
has chapters on some 150 college campuses across North America. According
to Stephen Schwartz, MSA is a key lobbying organization for the Wahhabi sect
of Islam. From its inception, MSA had close links with the extremist Muslim
World League, whose chapters’ websites have featured not only Osama bin
Laden’s propaganda, but also publicity-recruiting campaigns for Wahhabi
subversion of the Chechen struggle in Russia. MSA once solicited donations for
the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, whose assets the U.S.
government seized in December 2001 because that organization was giving
financial support to the terrorist group Hamas. Charging that U.S. foreign policy
is driven by militaristic imperialism, MSA steadfastly opposes the American
military incursions into both Afghanistan and Iraq. The organization is also
harshly critical of Israel’s allegedly oppressive policies vis a vis the Palestinian
people residing in the West Bank and Gaza.

* The National Council of Arab Americans is a consortium of grassroots
organizations professing a desire to help Arab Americans assert their “national
presence as a community from coast to coast.” “Our belonging in the United
States,” says NCAA, “can only be complete if our Arab heritage, culture, and
identity are fully respected and cherished.” The Council’s 2003 anti-war
manifesto calls for the immediate, unilateral withdrawal of all American troops
from Iraq, and exhorts the U.S. to renounce its “militarism and colonial
expansions.” This manifesto is also decidedly hostile to Israel – advocating the
suspension of all forms of economic, political, and military support for that
nation, and demanding that Palestinians be granted a full “right of return”
without further delay.

* The National Council of Churches claims a membership of 36 Protestant,
Anglican and Orthodox Christian denominations, and some 50 million members
in more than 140,000 congregations. Of the seven human rights criticisms the
organization issued from 2000-2003, Israel received four, the United States
two, and Sudan one. NCC was a signatory to a November 1, 2001 document
ascribing the 9/11 hijackers’ motives to alleged social injustices against which
they were protesting, and calling on the United States to begin “to promote
fundamental rights around the world.” Citing the counsel of the New Testament
– “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”
(Matthew 5:9) – NCC played a central role in opposing the first Gulf War in
1991, claiming that the risks of such an action were “out of proportion to any
conceivable gain.” Its assessment of the second Gulf War was identical. In
February 2005, NCC declared that “[t]he crushing burden of Israel’s occupation
of Palestinian territory contributes to deep anger and violent resistance, which
contributes to fear throughout Israeli society.”

* The New Israel Fund’s mission is to “strengthen Israel’s democracy and to
promote freedom, justice and equality for all Israel’s citizens.” From its 1979
inception through 2005, NIF granted over $120 million to more than 700 Israeli
organizations that share its political and social objectives – which focus heavily
on the redistribution of wealth and the radical transformation of an allegedly
oppressive Israeli society. Between 2002 and 2005, NIF received foundation
grants totaling more than $37 million.

New Jersey Solidarity: Activists for the Liberation of Palestine demands “an
immediate end to the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian territories, the
recognition of the full, non-negotiable human right of return for all Palestinian
refugees, and full political, social and economic equality under law for all people
in historic Palestine.” Moreover, it condemns “the existence of the apartheid
colonial settler state of Israel, as it is based on the racist ideology of Zionism
and is an expression of colonialism and imperialism.”

* The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund states that its founders were “concerned
people in the U.S. [wishing] to address the medical and humanitarian crisis
facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East.” Considered a “Partner
Organization” of Al-Awda, PCRF is headed by Stephen Sosebee, who depicts
Israelis as murderous terrorists that Palestinians must resist by means of “armed
struggle” (i.e., suicide bombings). Sosebee charges that the U.S. government,
citizenry, and media are manipulated by a “Zionist lobby” and “Zionist
influence.”

* Palestine Media Watch seeks to “help media outlets [gain] access to
pro-Palestinian points of view and voices for interviews, op-eds, or background
discussions.” The organization aims to minimize media references to Palestinian
terrorism and corruption, while promoting images of Palestinians as victims of
Israeli oppression.

* The Palestine Solidarity Movement is the North American student arm of the
International Solidarity Movement. In 2002 it adopted a resolution affirming
unreserved support for the Palestinian Intifada: “We, the national student
movement for solidarity with Palestine, declare our solidarity with the popular
resistance to Israeli occupation, colonization, and apartheid.” PSM members
demand that their respective colleges and universities “divest from Israel all
financial holdings until Israel ends its system of occupation and apartheid in
Palestine.” Moreover, the organization calls for “ending U.S. aid to Israel”;
supports “the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees”; and endorses
“education, public demonstrations and rallies, and non-violent direct action for
the purpose of encouraging awareness of Palestine issues and of the above
campaigns.”

* Partners for Peace is a Washington, D.C.-based, Palestinian-allied nonprofit
group that generates publicity for Palestinian causes. PFP President Jerri Bird
wrote in 2002: “It may come as an unpleasant surprise for many of you to learn
that for over 30 years, Israel has repeatedly detained, tortured and incarcerated
Americans of Arab origin, without suffering any sanctions or even a public
reprimand from Washington. Of course the Palestinians have been suffering this
torture for 35 years on a scale that is truly unimaginable.” Key PFP officials
include Adam Shapiro, who also heads the International Solidarity Movement,
and George McGovern, the former Democratic presidential candidate.

* Students for Justice in Palestine originated on the University of California,
Berkeley campus in 2001. Since then, SJP cells have spread to some 25 major
campuses throughout the United States. The organization’s mission is to pursue
“freedom and self-determination for the Palestinian people,” a goal predicated
on ending “[t]he Israeli military occupation, with its daily humiliation, abuse and
brutal violence”; ensuring “[t]he right of return and repatriation for Palestinian
refugees of war and ethnic cleansing”; and “[t]he cessation of settlement
activity and the dismantling of settlements built outside of Israel’s pre-1967
border.” Toward the advancement of these objectives, SJP demands
“[d]ivestment … from companies that invest or do substantial business in Israel,”
and an “end to U.S. tax-funded aid to Israel.”

* Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now (SUSTAIN) describes itself as “a
non-hierarchical, grassroots organization committed to supporting and
sustaining the Palestinian movement for justice, human rights and
self-determination.” “We are committed to building a campaign against U.S.
military and economic aid to Israel so that U.S. tax-dollars do not support the
[Israeli] abuse of human rights,” SUSTAIN asserts. Two weeks after the 9/11
attacks, SUSTAIN organized a “Global Justice Intifada” in Washington, D.C. to
condemn “U.S. imperialism,” and to demand justice on behalf of “Palestinians
resisting Israeli occupation” and “Iraqis fighting genocidal sanctions.”

* The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a coalition of groups
working together “to change those U.S. policies that both sustain Israel’s
occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem, and deny equal rights for
all.” In November 2002 the Campaign published an article titled “Seeing Clearly
Through a Veil of Blood,” which asserted that Israel owed Yasser Arafat and
the Palestine Liberation Organization a debt of gratitude for their supposedly
invaluable “support for a two-state solution.” The article further stated that
much anti-Jewish hatred “is fueled by the injustice of Israel’s occupation of
Palestine.”

* The Union of Arab Student Associations describes itself as “a student-based
organization that seeks to connect and unify local Arab-American university
groups and educat[e] the Arab community and the general public about the
culture, language, and history of the Arab world while promoting vital issues
that pertain to Arabs in the United States.” The Union currently has several
thousand members representing more than 40 universities across the United
States. In 1999, the UASA website directed its viewers to visit the website of
its affiliate “Students for Palestine,” which featured a map of Israel completely
covered by a Palestinian flag.

* The United Association for Studies and Research is an Islamic think tank
professing a commitment to “the study of ongoing issues in the Middle East,
such as the Arab-Israeli conflict.” It also promotes the ideology of Hamas.
Mohammad Salah, a Hamas operative who the U.S. government identified as a
“specially designated terrorist,” was an employee of UASR in the early 1990s.
In 1993 Salah revealed that UASR served as the base for the political command
of Hamas in the United States, and he identified Hamas official Ahmed Yousef
as UASR’s Director. “UASR is a front organization for a terrorist group,” says
George Mason University professor Peter Leitner, President of the Higgins
Counterterrorism Research Center. Leitner calls UASR “part of a shell game of
international terrorism – phony organizations that are really terrorist cells [and]
part of the international terrorist network.” Former CIA operative Brian Fairchild
asserts that “organizations like UASR” can advance the global terrorist agenda
by “recruiting new members, raising funds to support international terrorism,
and … actually support[ing] a terrorist attack in the U.S.”

* Wheels of Justice is a bus tour that canvasses the United States with
activists who give “eyewitness accounts” of the suffering they have witnessed
during visits to Iraqi and Palestinian villages. They identify Israeli and American
militarism and oppression as “the root injustices” that give rise to such
phenomena as the Iraqi insurgency and Palestinian terrorism. From 2003
through 2006, WOJ activists addressed audiences in hundreds of cities and
thousands of venues, including more than 1,500 middle schools, high schools,
colleges, and universities. WOJ charges that virtually every social, economic,
medical, and spiritual ill afflicting the Palestinian people can be attributed to
Israel’s policies of “colonization, occupation, displacement, [and] apartheid.”
With regard to the war in Iraq, WOJ asserts: “The cultural, political and
economic institutions of Iraq belong to the Iraqis, not to Washington; the
hijacking of Iraq’s culture and resources by a foreign power exacerbates and
prolongs the consequences of the … U.S.-led war …”

* The World Assembly of Muslim Youth is headquartered in Saudi Arabia but
maintains satellite chapters in 55 additional countries and is affiliated with some
500 other Muslim youth groups on five continents. WAMY is one of the
vehicles through which the Saudi Wahhabi government funds Islamic extremism
and international terrorism. WAMY was co-founded by Kamal Helwabi, a former
senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and by Osama bin Laden’s
nephew, Abdullah bin Laden. WAMY raises funds for Hamas, and in October
2002 made Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al an “honored guest” at a Muslim
youth and globalization conference held in Riyadh. WAMY also helps finance
the Kashmir insurgency against India, characterizing it as a “liberation”
movement. A Saudi opposition group reports that WAMY disseminates literature
encouraging “religious hatred and violence against Jews, Christians, Shi’a and
Ashaari Muslims.” As WAMY puts it, this literature is expressly designed “to
teach our children to love taking revenge on the Jews and the oppressors, and
teach them that our youngsters will liberate Palestine and Jerusalem when they
go back to Islam and make jihad for the sake of Allah.” Islam scholar Stephen
Schwartz calls WAMY “the Saudi equivalent of the Hitler Youth: a
hate-mongering, ultra-extremist group preaching, among other niceties, that
Shia Muslims are not real Muslims, but products of a Jewish conspiracy.” The
website Militant Islam Monitor characterizes the organization as “part of the
Saudi Wahhabist ‘Jihad through conversion’ drive.”

Sources:

Mitchell Bard, “The Israeli and Arab Lobbies,” Jewish Virtual Library.

Maurice Ostroff, “The Arab Lobby.”

Jacob Laksin, “Jimmy Carter and the Arab Lobby,” FrontPageMagazine.com
(December 18, 2006).

Arab American Institute, “Arab Americans: Population.” Dave Eberhart,
“Carter’s Arab Funding May Color Israel Stance,” NewsMax.com (April 29,
2002).

“Transcript: U.S. Congressional Delegation January 7 Briefing in Syria” (January
8, 1998).

DiscoverTheNetworks.org, “Arab Lobby (Groups).”

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