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.”
To learn much more about these and many hundreds of other leftist organizations, visit DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
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).”
Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.