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Florida "peace" group on the attack

May 19, 2005

Kaufman: Florida "peace" group on the attack

A provocative new piece from Joe Kaufman:

Middle East expert Dr. Daniel Pipes is being attacked for his acceptance of controversial measures taken in response to acts of terrorism, but look who's attacking him!

Pipes writes, in his December 28, 2004 column Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters, "For years, it has been my position that the threat of radical Islam implies an imperative to focus security measures on Muslims." He further states, "…especially in time of war, governments should take into account nationality, ethnicity, and religious affiliation in their homeland security policies..."

With respect to this, Pipes cites and lauds one author's defense of internment camps.

Evidently, this was not taken well by some. These individuals and/or groups have gone out of their way to malign Pipes for what they call his exhibiting hatred towards Muslims. One of the most recent attacks has come from a South Florida entity that goes by the name of JADA or Jewish Arab Dialog Association.

On January 27, 2005, a piece entitled An Open Letter to Mr. Daniel Pipes, written by JADA co-founders Souheil Elia and Jack Lieberman, was published "for JADA" by the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA).

In the article, Elia and Lieberman describe Dr. Pipes with severe terms like: "racist," "warmonger" and "hatred promoter." They write, "Mr. Pipes, in his blind hatred for Muslims and Arabs, does not realize the fact that both the Arab and Muslim communities in the US, according to police records, boast an enviable record as to absence of violence."

And then Elia and Lieberman go that much further and equate Dr. Pipes' views with that of a Nazi. They write, "The only possibility for Mr. Daniel Pipes' ideas to find acceptance in the US is for America to repudiate its constitution of liberty and justice for all and develop a mirror image of Hitler's Nazi regime."

An attack such as this doesn't make much sense for a group like JADA with its declared mission to "engage all relevant parties in frank and honest discussions aimed at finding resolutions to the Middle East problems, through dialog and exchange of ideas, rather than through violence and wars."

But then again, past statements and affiliations made by the members of JADA totally contradict every bit of its mission!

As the group's name implies, JADA is comprised of both Jews and Arabs. Notwithstanding this group's outward appearance of all inclusiveness, JADA is nothing more than a mouthpiece for radical Islam.

An Open Letter to Mr. Daniel Pipes is not the only article AMANA has published. In one entitled The Call for the Unity of Religions – A False and Dangerous Call, it is written, "The Christians and Jews want the Muslims to be like them. That is why they support this deceptive call for ‘unity.'" And in another entitled Homosexuality is not O.K., it is written, "Whenever you find in a society the act of homosexuality you will find disease and death… [If homosexuals don't try to ask for forgiveness], they should keep low profile about their abnormal human activities."

This is important not just because Elia and Lieberman chose to have such an organization publish their material, but because AMANA is actually headed by a Board and Steering Committee Member of JADA itself. His name is Sofian Abdelaziz-Zakkout, and he is credited with having been the past Vice President of the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP), a group affiliated with the HAMAS front, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). HRCP was closed down, shortly after it was brought to light that the group had admitted to raising funds for "shuhada" (i.e. suicide martyrs).

In addition, Abdelaziz-Zakkout showed up in support of Adham Amin Hassoun, at Hassoun's August 2002 court hearing. Hassoun was indicted by the United States government "with seven charges stemming from a scheme to conceal from federal officials his activities in recruiting fighters and raising money to support global jihad." At the hearing, Abdelaziz-Zakkout stated, "They don't have anything against him… The guy is clean."

Souheil Elia or S.E. Elia, as he is more widely known, co-founded JADA with Lieberman in the summer of 2003, yet his journey on the subject of the Middle East started long before then.

In an article published by the Miami Herald, dated November 1, 2003, entitled A quest for peace in Mideast, Elia relates a story about how he and his family became refugees in Lebanon, in 1948. He talks of a massacre against Arabs and states that "his parents became frightened of the escalating violence," so they left Israel for Lebanon. "They thought we would be gone for two weeks," he said.

This is indicative of the fable that many in the Arab community have created concerning why they left Israel in 1948.

As stated in Samuel Katz's BATTLEGROUND: FACT & FANTASY IN PALESTINE: "The Arab refugees were not driven from Palestine by anyone. The vast majority left, whether of their own free will or at the orders or exhortations of their leaders, always with the same reassurance – that their departure would help in the war against Israel… Their victory was certain, they claimed, but it would be speeded and made easier if the local Arab population got out of the way. The refugees would come back in the wake of the victorious Arab armies and not only recover their own property but also inherit the houses and farms of the vanquished and annihilated Jews."

When Souheil Elia reached adulthood, he sought higher education in the United States. He later returned to Lebanon to teach at American University in Beirut (AUB). Elia then made his way back to the States in the early to mid eighties, around the time when Hezbollah terror fighters kidnapped one AUB president and murdered another, and scores of American military and U.S. Embassy personnel were being blown up by Hezbollah in Beirut.

This most probably had an influence on Elia's life, as he would, in 2001, help found the South Florida chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a national organization that has had a number of statements made record of in support of Hezbollah, from June of 1996 through June of 2000. This includes a May 2000 quote by ADC spokesman Hussein Ibish to the Los Angeles Times. Ibish stated, "Everywhere Hezbollah fighters, derided by the Israeli and U.S. governments as ‘terrorists,' conducted themselves in an exemplary manner... [They are] a disciplined and responsible liberation force."

The ADC has a record of making numerous anti-Jewish statements, as well.

Elia would serve as the Chairman of the local chapter.

The two groups, ADC and JADA, have worked together in the past, most recently co-sponsoring a November 2004 event held at Nova Southeastern University, in Ft. Lauderdale. The event ("THE PRESENT HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY TO USE NON VIOLENCE FOR THE RESOLUTION OF THE ISRAELI – PALESTINIAN CONFLICT") included panelists Sofian Abdelaziz-Zakkout [see above] and Altaf Ali, the Executive Director of CAIR-Florida. CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was created by the IAP [see above] and has been cited for having numerous other ties to radical Islam. The ADC and JADA also both participated in a CAIR sponsored ‘Interfaith Press Conference,' that took place in May of 2004.

At a previous JADA event ("Road Map to Peace – Reality or Illusion?"), held in Miami on October 2, 2003, which also featured Abdelaziz-Zakkout, Elia made a number of disturbing statements concerning the subject of suicide bombers. He stated, "They have turned to suicide, because we have robbed them of every reason to live." Making the point that suicide is the Palestinians' only means to defend themselves, Elia said, "They don't have Apache helicopters or tanks. Their bodies are the only weapons they have." And "We have nothing to fight with, except with our lives."

He echoed this feeling about suicide bombers, in the November 2003 Miami Herald article. He is quoted as saying, "You have to give them a reason to live. You don't want to give them a justification to die."

The other co-founder of JADA is Jack Lieberman, a man best known for being the former president of the Southeast region of the American Jewish Congress.

To compliment his fellow comrades in JADA, Lieberman is an honorary member of the anti-Israel far left.

In August of 1999, Lieberman was named to the board of directors of Americans for Peace Now, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-religious group that advocates giving up large parcels of Israeli land with the intent of creating a Palestinian state.

To prove his allegiance to the principles of Peace Now, he signed a petition created in May of 2003 by Brit Tzedek v'Shalom – Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace to throw Israeli Jews out of their homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Or as Brit Tzedek v'Shalom put it, "to remove a major obstacle to peace." The petition (‘A CALL TO BRING THE SETTLERS HOME TO ISRAEL') goes on to solicit contributions from the European Union, the United Nations and others, for the express purpose of a "massive relocation effort, irrespective of whether the Israeli government is ready to participate."

In February of 2004, Lieberman had the dubious distinction of having his name placed on Masada 2000's ‘SELF-HATING and/or ISRAEL THREATENING LIST.'

Besides being anti-Israel, Jack Lieberman is also anti-war. Under his alter-ego "Jolly Jack," he has posted numerous messages to the internet calling on persons to join protests against the war in Iraq.

Through the Broward AntiWar Coalition, Lieberman participated in "regular monthly protests against the war." According to him, one of the protests was held in New York City "against the Republican National Convention and the whole Bush agenda!"

Furthering his war against the "Bush agenda," in November of 2004, Lieberman posted his phone number to the internet calling for volunteers to assist MoveOn, the ultra-left group which was working to get Senator John Kerry elected President of the United States.

Lieberman has, in the past, posted his political commentaries on Marxist websites. In one post of a letter he had written to convince people to help free imprisoned Haitians, he addresses his readers as "Comrades and Friends."

Jack Lieberman, with all of his posting, has also found time to be a bit of an entrepreneur. In March of 1997, he used a Marxist site to sell computer software featuring audio commentaries, video footage and essays of and/or by convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Lieberman described it as an "excellent CD ROM program" and an "excellent educational program."

Today, the term "peace" has become synonymous with those persons and/or groups that disagree with the way we fight against the enemy. This allows a group like JADA to profess its ‘peacefulness,' while striving towards the complete opposite. JADA members' statements and affiliations prove this to be the case.

Elia and Lieberman's attack on Dr. Daniel Pipes does not represent a "frank and honest discussion" at all or any type of "dialog and exchange of ideas." At best, it represents a close-minded, disrespectful attitude towards those that take positions that stray from their own. At worst, it assists the enemy and gives furtherance to the enemy's cause.

Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the host of The Politics of Terrorism radio show. Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

Posted by Robert at April 23, 2005

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