Michael Collins Piper's address at the Zayed Centre

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Saturday September 20, 2003

Why Do Arabs Help Zionist Media Campaign?



Al-Sirhan made his comments in the famed Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, a sister publication of the Saudi-based Arab News
"MEMRI and ADL consider me an 'extremist' and if the title refers to one who has dared to challenge the power of the Israeli lobby in America, then I cheerfully plead guilty.."


By MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER

WASHINGTON — I was saddened to learn that Saudi writer Saad ibn Salih Al-Sirhan allegedly made disparaging comments about my capabilities as a journalist in the Sept. 1, 2003 edition of Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News.

His remarks came in a commentary regarding the demise of the Abu Dhabi-based Zayed International Center for Coordination and Follow-Up, the target of a heavy-handed media campaign by the pro-Zionist Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith. Al-Sirhan (like the two pro-Israel groups) cited me — among others — as being somewhat sordid in character and effectively not fit to bear the title of “scholar” or “intellectual”. I was one of the “controversial” speakers who had appeared at the Zayed Center in recent months, much to the distress of MEMRI and the ADL.

It is true that MEMRI and ADL consider me an “extremist” and if the title “extremist” refers to one who has dared to challenge the power of the Israeli lobby in America, then I cheerfully plead guilty to the charge. In fact, I have spent my entire career as a journalist documenting the activities of the Israeli lobby, and I have done so knowing full well that I would be subjected to smears from pro-Israel partisans.

It does surprise me, however, to find that an Arab writer would now lend aid and comfort to MEMRI and the ADL by joining them in describing me in less than flattering terms.

Not only have my writings on the subject of the Israeli lobby been widely circulated in the United States over the past 20 years or more — providing perhaps millions of Americans with a point of view that they would not normally find in the American media — but in recent years at least one article I wrote was picked up and re-published by Arab News and also, reportedly, by Asharq Al-Awsat.

My writings have also been used by Washington-based correspondents for Arab world newspapers and have provided the foundation for corresponding articles published in distinguished Arab world media. And I’m proud of that.

I find it ironic that I now find myself not only condemned in the American and Israeli press but also in the Arabic-language media. My only “crime” — the reason I have been declared an “extremist” — has been that I have dared to speak out against the Israeli lobby and in favor of a US policy that takes the concerns of the Arab world into consideration.

It was particularly disturbing to see Al-Sirhan effectively condemn the thesis of my book “Final Judgment”, which documents — to the satisfaction of many people worldwide — the strong likelihood of a role by Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Al-Sirhan’s remarks were particularly stinging since, among other things, my book has been published in Arabic by the distinguished Beirut-based firm of Dar El Ilm Lilmalayin, and even more so because I learned some years ago — after my book was published — that Gen. Mustafa Tlass, the highly-regarded longtime Syrian defense minister, had made public statements to the effect that it was his opinion that there was in fact a Zionist role in the JFK assassination.

In addition, in 1992, former US Congressman Paul Findley (R-Ill.), who has been an outspoken advocate for the Palestinian cause — and who suffered Zionist lobby’s retribution as a consequence — published an article in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in which he stated: “It is interesting — but not surprising — to note that in all the words written about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s Mossad has never been mentioned. And yet a Mossad motive is obvious. On this question, American reporters cannot bring themselves to cast Israel in an unfavorable light — despite the obvious fact that Mossad complicity is as plausible as any of the other theories.” And I can tell you here — publicly, for the first time — that it was Findley who directed me to a French intelligence source who provided me very crucial information regarding the Mossad connection to the JFK assassination conspiracy.

What’s more, a number of other prominent Americans, including retired Pentagon official Col. Donn De Grand Pre — the chief Pentagon liaison to the Arab world during his career — has publicly endorsed my thesis of Mossad involvement.

Likewise, Dr. Herbert Calhoun, a former high-ranking US State Department official in the realm of arms control, has also endorsed my thesis and offered words of support. So while Al-Sirhan may not be prepared to endorse my thesis, some big names have attached their names to the theory — Al-Sirhan’s concerns about my purported “extremism” notwithstanding.

My own address to the Zayed Center, by the way, was largely devoted to the topic of what is no secret in the Arab world: The fact that a tightly-knit conglomeration of families and financial interests, all of them with close ties to Israel, dominate the American media. In the United States, it is true, it is “extremist” to say these things, but I am appalled that an Arab intellectual such as Al-Sirhan would call me an extremist in the same manner that the Zionist lobby in America does.

I should mention, for the record, that purportedly anti-Semitic statements I made in my address to the Zayed Center — as cited by the ADL — were direct quotations from the book “The Sacred Chain” by Dr. Norman Cantor, an American Jewish academic.

I deeply regret that my appearance at the Zayed Center may have given ammunition to the Zionist lobby in its campaign to destroy that institution. However, I regret even more that Zionist pressure has reached such a pinnacle that it could achieve the evisceration of the very think tank established under the auspices of the Arab League.

What it boils down to is this: Israel and its American partisans have no problem whatsoever with Arabs meeting with and talking to other Arabs. However, when institutions such as the Zayed Center dare to reach out and make contact with non-Arabs who have an empathy for the ill-treatment US and Israeli policy has accorded the Arab peoples, the line is drawn in the sand.

What I said at the Zayed Center was the following:

That the Israeli lobby in America will not be satisfied until the Arab world is subjugated under a new imperium dictated by Israel’s so-called neoconservative partisans whose influence reaches through both major political parties in America.

I encourage the people and leaders of the Arab world to extend their hands of friendship and support to those independent-minded journalists and media voices who do dare to speak out. I look forward to further opportunities to speak and share ideas with the people and leaders of the Arab world — despite what MEMRI and the ADL and Al-Sirhan might have to say about it.

Source: Arab News - www.arabnews.com

 

 

UPDATE: US Senator Santorum's Attempts to Stifle Critics of Israel on American Campuses

 

Proponents Trying to Refute Story of

Santorum-Brownback Ideological Diversity Scheme

 

By Michael Collins Piper piperm@lycos.com

Exclusive to American Free Press americanfreepress.net

 

Self-appointed Thought Police who want to impose so-called 'ideological diversity' onto American college campuses as a way of preventing open discussion of Israeli misdeeds 'in the name of "fighting anti-Semitism"' are squirming now that their news about their plan has been revealed to a national and international audience.

On April 29, Hillel, which amounts to a national network of self-appointed pro-Israel 'campus police', complained on its website that newspaper 'namely American Free Press' and web pages such as Rense.com , which picked up an advance copy of the American Free Press story, and the Palestine Media Center, among others, are trying to 'distort' the intentions of those who participated in the Capitol Hill meeting where 'ideological diversity' legislation was discussed.

The entire original American Free Press article follows below.

Hillel claims that American Free Press and the other media that picked up the American Free Press story 'are promoting a bizarre version of the meeting' that was held between various U.S. Senators 'led by Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Sam Brownback (Kansas)' and a variety of pro-Israel lobby groups including Hillel, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America and the American Jewish Committee.

Rather than directly addressing the specifics of the American Free Press article, Hillel instead takes a shot at American Free Press and makes accusations that the paper is 'anti-Semitic' which, of course, is precisely the specter that is raised any time any one on any campus anywhere even dares to criticize Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

However, whether American Free Press or any other source is 'anti-Semitic' has no real bearing on the fact that the meeting did indeed take place and that Republican Senate conservatives are 'or, at least were' planning to introduce legislation to deny federal funding to American colleges that are found to be in some way permitting freedom of speech which is deemed to be 'anti-Semitic'.

Hillel now claims that the meeting of the Republican leadership was arranged to discuss campus anti-Semitism, not to combat anti-Israel groups.

However, this is disingenuous at best. First of all, the American Free Press account was largely based on the material that appeared both on the Hillel website and in the article in the very proudly and unabashedly pro-Israel neo-conservative daily, The New York Sun And, for the record, the Sun article (dated March 27, 2003) stated flat out that:

'By the end of the meeting yesterday, Mr. Santorum was talking about introducing legislation that could cut federal funding to colleges where anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments are prevalent' or more generally, where "ideological diversity" is lacking'.

So Hillel is indeed being disingenuous when it denies that 'anti-Israel' sentiments were not at issue during the meeting with Santorum and other Jewish organizations. Indeed, anti-Israel sentiments were at issue.

Aside from this, there is no critic of Israel on any college campus anywhere in America who is not fully aware of the fact that virtually all mainstream media accounts of criticism of Israel on college campuses have regularly quoted sources such as the ADL and others who equate criticism of Israel with 'anti-Semitism', however unfounded the accusation may be.

Hillel says that the intention was 'not to suppress free speech but to address hatred against Jewish students'.

However, as anyone who has participated in campus protests against the war against Iraq and/or against Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians can attest, those who have participated have been regularly tarred with the label of 'anti-Semitism'.

So Hillel's attempts to refute the American Free Press article fall very flat. In the end, all Hillel can do is allege that some groups are using the 'noble objective' of fighting 'hatred against Jewish students' 'to fuel their theories of international conspiracy'.

 

THE TEXT OF THE ORIGINAL EXPOSE OF THE SANTORUM-BROWNBACK SCHEME FOLLOWS:

 

Republican members of the Senate are planning to introduce police-state-style

'thought control' legislation designed to prohibit criticism of Israel on American college campuses.

By Michael Collins Piper

The third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, conservative Rick Santorum (Pa.), plans to introduce so-called 'ideological diversity' legislation that would cut federal funding for thousands of American colleges and universities if those institutions are found to be permitting professors, students and student organizations to openly criticize Israel, which Santorum considers to be an act of 'anti-Semitism'.

Santorum wants to rewrite the federal funding formula under Title IX of the Higher Education Act to include 'ideological diversity' as well as sexual equality in education as a perquisite for federal funding.

Joining Santorum is another Senate conservative GOP stalwart 'and a leading pro-Israel ideologue' Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) who has his own scheme to call for a federal commission 'critics call it a "ribunal"' to be established under Title IX to 'investigate' anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses.

This is no 'conspiracy theory'. It's a fact but not one that is getting much attention except in a few high-level circles.

Although the average American student or college professor has not heard of the Santorum-Brownback scheme, Wayne Firestone, director of the Center for Israel Affairs for the Hillel Foundation, says that 'Everywhere I go, this is the lead topic. This is drawing a lot of interest'.

In fact, it was Firestone's organization, Hillel 'which has units on campuses across America' that first leaked word of Santorum's scheme. Further details appeared in a circumspect report on April 15 in the small-circulation New York Sun, a stridently pro-Israel 'neo-conservative' daily published in Manhattan.

Hillel told its supporters that Santorum, along with several other members of the Senate, had invited representatives of a number of powerful Jewish organizations to attend a private meeting on Capitol Hill in order to discuss the senators' concerns about growing criticism of Israel on American college campuses.

The senators in question 'all Republicans' were: Santorum, Robert Bennett (Utah), Sam Brownback (Kansas), and newly-elected Norm Coleman (Minnesota). In addition, Senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), and his GOP colleagues, Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) sent staff representatives.

Jewish organizations represented at the private meeting were the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee and Hillel, represented by the aforementioned Firestone and his college Jay Rubin, Hillel s executive vice president.

Louis Goldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, represented the Bush administration.

During the private Senate session 'of which there are no transcripts available to the taxpayers who footed the bill for the enterprise' an ADL representative reportedly claimed to the gathering that the ADL's 'annual audit' of anti-Semitic activity in America had detected an increase by 24% of anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses in the year 2002.

That 24% increase 'even by the ADL s own admission'constituted only 21 actions.

However, the ADL definition of 'anti-Semitism' is so broad that it largely includes even the mildest criticism of Israel that doesn't happened to be framed in the particular parameters that the ADL determines to be acceptable.

In the meantime, word of the Santorum-Brownback initiative is spreading among leaders of the educational community.

However, spokesmen for universities and educational organizations are being quite circumspect about commenting too quickly or too loudly, recognizing that they, too, could be accused of encouraging 'anti-Semitism' if they dare to speak out against the thought control mechanism that Santorum, Brownback and their allies want to set in place.

Santorum is rapidly emerging as one of Israel's leading Senate spokesmen. He is one of the chief co-sponsors of the so-called Syrian Accountability Act that accuses Syria of supporting terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction and demands that Syria withdraw from Lebanon. Forces now clamoring for war against Syria are using these allegations as the foundation for launching a war against the Arab republic.

 

 

 

 

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