I’m sure you know that Disneyland is the “Happiest Place on Earth.” What I’m sure you don’t know is that just two or so miles away from the park this March a Hotel will be transformed for a night into “The Most Israel-Hating Place on Earth.” Well, at least in the U.S.
The Embassy Suites Hotel in Garden Grove, California will be the scene of an event featuring presentations by both Helen Thomas and a propagandist that the ADL has reported has “employed a wide range of classic anti-Semitic images, commentary and ugly stereotypes.”
On Saturday evening, March 12, 2011 a group called The Palestinian American Women’s Association of California will be “honored to have Ms. Helen Thomas (as) our keynote speaker at our annual International Women’s Day” program. Also speaking at the event will be a man named Khalil Bendib who is an editorial cartoonist. The Anti-Defamation League states that Bendib has “disseminated anti-Semitic English language political cartoons since the 1980s.”
At least we know Helen and Khalil will no doubt get along fabulously…
See the organization’s website at http://www.pawasca.org/pawa_news.htm for the full event information.
Here’s an important excerpt of the ADL website’s file on Bendib:
“Bendib expanded on the anti-Semitic and conspiratorial messages in his cartoons during a September 2010 radio interview with Kevin Barrett, an anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theorist. During the program, Bendib described the U.S. as a plutocracy where Zionists and Jews control the government, the media and big money. He argued that despite ‘some tendency toward democracy’ the U.S. has gone the other way because ‘Zionists…have such incredible power that they are able to galvanize all the forces of evil [who] will really commit genocide after genocide’.”
Bendib has authored cartoons for The Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNIF) a shadowy anti-Israel group based in Washington, D.C. CNIF leaders have appeared before the Institute for Historical Review (the largest Holocaust denial organization in the U.S.) and met with Hamas and Hezbollah.
The group describes itself as “a not for profit, community-based organization working to enable Arab American Women to be productive, contributing members of society by promoting self-esteem, self-confidence, leadership development, personal and social growth for Arab American Women. PAWA works towards the emancipation and empowerment of Arab American women to enhance the quality of life and development of our community. Furthermore, we advocate for freedom, equality and justice.”
Nothing in the above mission statement can be considered anti-Israel or anti-Semitic at all. And that is what should alarm us the most. Even the most seemingly benign organizations in the Arab-American community fail to see the difference between legitimate criticism of Israeli policy and incendiary hate speech. Or maybe they do perceive the difference and just don’t care.