Middle East studies in the News
Georgetown's Jihad [on the upcoming Palestine Solidarity Movement conference at Georgetown University]
by Lee Kaplan
Never let it be said that the American college educational system ever missed an opportunity to promote the aims of terrorists and their allies when it came to money. Stop the ISM has received notification that the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM), the name the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) uses for its member groups in the United States, is going to have its fifth annual conference at a major American university-this time Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
The following announcement was put out to ISM activists in the United States:
A quick call to President George DeGioia of Georgetown University netted no response or comment from his office or staff about the event. Another call placed to the campus office of communications to verify the event was actually scheduled was also met with no response. According to Fabiola Joubert in the campus Office of Communications, she could not confirm or deny the event and said she had no idea where to find a schedule of campus events for the Washington campus. She referred this reporter to Eric Smulson, campus press officer, who was "in meetings" and "unavailable."
The Palestine Solidarity Movement has held national conferences on major university campuses four out of the last five years, first at UC Berkeley, then U Michigan, Ohio State and Duke University. At the last conference held at Duke University in 2004, Huwaida Arraf, one of the PSM's main organizers, admitted that the Palestine Solidarity Movement works with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, all illegal terrorist groups per the US state department. That particular event was also found to be an anti-Semitic hate fest which also produced articles in the campus newspaper later attacking Jews in America as a "privileged class." At the earlier event at U Michigan, chants of "Kill the Jews" were heard among the attendees. Divestment from Israel is a major theme, an attempt to hurt the Israeli population and force it to capitulate to PLO demands; in other words, an extension of the Arab boycott against Jews in the Middle East for having their own country. Public reaction to the 2004 Duke event no doubt made finding a venue for another conference difficult which might explain why there was no such conference held at a major university in 2005.
The organizers at the Duke conference had planned to stage their 2005 event at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where the PSM's head organizer, Fayyad Sbaihat, is based along with other key organizers, Mohammed Abed and Nasser Abufarha of the Alternative Palestinian Agenda(APA). Sbaihat would appear to be a professional student since he has been a senior majoring in chemical engineering at U Wisconsin for more than three years. U Wisconsin may have decided to pass after word leaked out and due to the bad press the Duke University event generated.
In addition, information has come to light since the Conference held at Ohio State that Fayyad Sbaihat's brothers are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). APA's platform follows the platform of the PFLP, that all of Israel must become Palestine ruled under a Socialist Arab Muslim majority. The PFLP was founded by the Christian communist wing of the PLO.
For one thing, the area is headquarters for many of the PSM's big players and activists like Fadi Kiblawi, a PSM leader and activist, who once wrote an article about his desire to be a suicide bomber and who is now a law student at George Washington University. Fatima Ayub, another major PSM organizer, is based nearby at Johns Hopkins University as a student at the School of Advanced International Studies. At an earlier PSM Conference at Ohio State, she tried to prevent this member of the press from attending and praised the "freedom fighters" fighting US soldiers in Afghanistan. Adam Shapiro, an apostate Jew and one of the originators of the International Solidarity Movement with the cooperation of Yasser Arafat in December, 2000, is a graduate of Georgetown and a doctoral student at nearby American University.
Georgetown's Arab studies department has always had an anti-Israel slant due to wealthy Saudi and Palestinian Arab donors. Middle East Studies professor John Esposito, who frequently speaks as an apologist for militant Islamic groups, is based at Georgetown. He heads Georgetown's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. That fits nicely with the new theme of the PSM: instead of just falsely accusing Israel of being an apartheid state as in the past to urge divestment, PSM activists are now trying to deconstruct Christian support for a Jewish homeland.
Muslim persecution that exists in the Middle East against Christians is to be twisted at Gerogetown to portray Arab Muslims as friends of Christians, and the Jews of Israel as their persecutors. The goal is to dupe American audiences that the PLO is holding this event at a predominantly Christian private college in order to work with anti-Israel Christian groups around the country that have joined in on urging divestment from Israel. The simple fact is that Christian Arabs are persecuted by the Muslim majority in the Middle East and the conference will serve as a propaganda tool to negate the truth. This complete reversal of facts, sanctioned and promoted at Georgetown, a college founded by Jesuits, is a disgrace.
One of those Saudi donors to Georgetown is the omnipresent Prince Alaweed Bin Talal. Bin Talal was the Saudi sheik who accused Israel of "slaughtering the Palestinians" as he offered a ten million dollar check to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuiliani at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center disaster. Giuliani refused to accept the check. Bin Talal is one of the major financiers of Hamas, having contributed over 400 million dollars to date to the terrorist organization.
That Georgetown would look the other way comes as no surprise. One of Bin Talal's "gifts" to Georgetown University was the second largest one in the University's history-20 million dollars. No doubt after Duke, the PSM had trouble finding an American university willing to host such a venue again, but money talks and Georgetown listens.
Organizers at these conferences try to pass themselves off as being intellectuals who are trying to find a peaceful solution to the Israeli conflict with the Arabs. But at each conference, attendees are advised they must agree unconditionally to the "right of return," a euphemism for overwhelming Israel's Jewish population with five million additional Arabs to ultimately dismantle the Jewish state. "Strategy sessions" include lectures on how to infiltrate and defraud Jewish organizations in America to pay for ISM activists' trips to the West Bank and Gaza to interfere as human shields against the anti-terrorist operations of the Israeli army, hardly an academic enterprise. To that end, the press is always prevented from attending and reporting what really goes on.
And what goes on is intellectually sanctioned support for terrorism. The PSM/ISM couches this by stating as a policy of the conference that as a solidarity movement it is not their place to criticize the tactics (that is, suicide bombings and terrorism) of the Palestinian Arabs. And lying and deception are still in full force as part of their credo, "By any means necessary." A follow-up announcement by PSM spokesman Nadeem Muadi stated, "Bringing the annual conference to our nation's capitol is a natural step for our movement, and one that expresses the fact that divestment from Israel has become an issue of national prominence. Because Palestinians, like all people, are an equal component of international civil society, they deserve to live free of subjugation to a state sanctioned and institutionalized system of apartheid. Our aim is to realize this goal by calling attention to both Israel's discriminate policies and the non-violent channels through which they may be overcome."
The last PSM conference erupted into cheers when a resolution to condemn suicide bombings was defeated. This PSM conference will try to deceive the American public, while terrorist group attendees lobby and strategize for Hamas, PFLP, and Iraqi groups killing US soldiers.
Given that Israel is the only democratic state in the region that does not practice apartheid, as the Palestinian Authority does against non-Muslims, holding such a conference on a university campus in America uses the American college system not as a learning environment, but as a sounding board for totalitarian regimes in the Middle East. Shame on Georgetown.
As mentioned, the University would neither confirm nor deny the event for February. But then again, Duke University also followed this pattern. And you can bet with so much of Bin Talal's money flowing around on campus, the administration will probably look the other way no matter what goes on. Nevertheless, write to Georgetown President DeGioia's office and ask him why Georgetown is hosting an organization that admits it works with terrorist groups: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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