Will Arabs Learn a Lesson From The Jewish Lobby?
Thirty two Jewish organizations held a meeting in the United States in 1943 to discuss and agree on the best ways and means to support the establishment of a Zionist state in Palestine. A major outcome of that historical meeting was the establishment of “The American-Jewish Congress” which turned into a lobby with much influence on American Middle East policy. The main arm of the lobby in Washington is “The Anti-Defamation League” which consists of extreme elements within the American Jewish Community. The mother “Lobby”, however, concentrated efforts on making Jews open their pockets and deliver votes for candidates who support Israel. But since the Israeli Likud bloc came to power, a new phenomena emerged with the so-called “Jews for Jesus” arranging free or low cost tours of the Holy Land for Christian fundamentalists who believe that only the Armageddon end time- destruction of the world can only usher ‘the Second Coming’. They view the conflict in the Middle East as the last sign before Armageddon battle in which themselves only would be saved and the rest would be annihilated. They were the supporters who formed the republican base that elected former American president George Bush, the son, to two terms in office and who won recent congressional elections in the United States. The same ‘League’ has adopted ‘intimidation tactics’ to prevent anyone from criticizing Israel by painting a picture of him as anti-Semitic. But such tactics are no longer effective in the view of the now well-know colonial/ apartheid policy of Israel.
For the first time, the U.S. has declared that the resolution of the Palestinian problem is “in the very interest of the American national security”. This positive change in American policy, requires we pose a question: Why the hundreds of thousands of Arabs residing in America have so far failed to establish an Arab lobby in Washington similar to the Jewish lobby? Shall we ever see an Arab lobby sometime in the future capable of playing a significant role? Will it be able to learn and gain some of the experience the Jewish lobby has? Will it manage to establish links and bridges with moderate Jewish elements to check the influence of extreme Jewish elements on American policies?
Arabs disunity has negatively affected the establishment of an Arab lobby in Washington that could really influence the American policy in the Middle East. The West in general has been awakened to the reality of the Israeli extreme right which rules Israel now, as an actual threat to Western security and interest. An Arab lobby can work effectively to instill this fact in Western minds which first needs to be understood by the Western intelligence agencies. Single handedly, the Israeli extreme right has transformed millions of Muslims into enemies of the West; especially against the USA over its unconditional support for the colonial apartheid Israeli policy in occupied Palestine!
The success of the Jewish lobby was not only a result of the unity of Jewish organizations, but was also achieved by intellectual and organizational maturity. We, Arabs, can now benefit from a group of intellectually mature American and Western organizations that support the Palestinian cause and are looking for an effective Arab lobby to utilize this conscientious support to end the Israeli occupation.
Yet, and while awaiting an Arab lobby to shape up, support for the Palestinian cause is gaining momentum with more advocacy by movements and organizations in the West including the USA.
‘If Americans Knew’ a research and information institute was established by American journalist, Alison Weir, who visited the occupied West Bank in 2001. She found that realities on the ground were largely reverse of what was reported by the American news media. ‘Stop the War Coalition’ and the ‘Coalition against Israeli Apartheid’ are Toronto based anti- Zionist movements who support the Palestinian cause. In the United States, ‘The US campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’ consists of 180 American organizations in more than 32 states. The group petitioned congress on June 16, 2009 to freeze American assistance to the Zionist entity until “Israel agrees to conditions that serve the American national interest”. Moreover, ‘The International Solidarity Movement’ was established in 2001 by Palestinian and Israeli activists to work together against the Israeli apartheid policy. Their frequent demonstrations against ‘the Apartheid Wall’ in the West Bank are watched on television worldwide. Meanwhile, the’ American Islamic Congress’ a civil rights organization has become a target for Zionist organizations.
All the above organizations have raised the alarm among Zionist circles in the US and Israel. The anti-Defamation League concerned only with defamation against Jews and headed by Abraham Foxman has taken upon itself the task to watch and record activities of all pro-Palestinian organizations in order to find ways and means to stop them. The most recent Zionist group to stem the tide against Israel in the US is ‘The Emergency Committee for Israel’ which has organized a vast coalition of neo-conservatives, and Christian fundamentalists to oppose the Obama administration and support the election of the conservative candidates who support Israel as reflected by the recent elections in the USA.
Thousands of Arabs rank high in the academic and business sectors in the US. Arabs also command trillions of dollars in investments gaining them a clout of humongous proportion. But, will they ever serve Arab causes as the Jewish lobby supports Israel’s interests?