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March 28, 2014

MPAC Steps Up Involvement In Anti-Israel Activity

The Muslim Public Affairs Council, one of the leading American Muslim advocacy organizations in the U.S., has shown increased involvement in grassroots anti-Israel activity this month.

On March 30, the group will co-sponsor presentations by anti-Israel activist Mazin Qumsiyeh at two churches in California. The presentations, titled “The Importance of Palestine in Middle East Politics and The U.S. Citizen’s Role,” will be delivered at All Saints Church in Pasadena and St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach.

Qumsiyeh, a professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities and former professor at Duke and Yale Universities, has a long record of engaging in extreme campaigns against Israel, including advocating for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel, and participating in “nonviolent” protests against Israel in the West Bank that often turn violent.

Al Marayati at IAW Loyola

Salam Al-Marayati posting at Loyola Marymount’s mock “apartheid wall.”

After the Boston Marathon bombing last April, Qumsiyeh wrote a post on his blog deriding the “Zionist spin” of the story, which he claimed was trying to hold Muslims responsible for the attack but ignored “past false flag operations by the Israeli Mossad.” He has previously accused Israel and its supporters in the United States of being responsible for “wars on Arab and Muslim countries.”

In addition, last week, Salam Al-Marayati, president of MPAC, participated in the first Palestine Awareness Week at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The event was organized by the newly formed chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on campus. On his Facebook page, Al Marayati posted a picture of himself standing near the mock “apartheid wall.”

Although MPAC expressly supports “a just and comprehensive two-state solution,” its cooperation with and participation in events that support BDS and a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict raise serious concerns about the organization’s stated platform.

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February 7, 2012

Israeli Apartheid Week Video Legitimizes Violent Resistance

A newly released promotional video for this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) contains the type of provocative message that is often promoted at anti-Israel events, including IAW programs in recent years.

About 20 seconds in, the video depicts a Palestinian with a keffiyeh covering his face and aiming a slingshot. The text reads, “When a people fight the occupier, it is not terrorism. It is resistance.” 

Similar messages, which deliberately downplay the ongoing threat of terrorism faced by Israelis, have been expressed at past IAW programs. For example, during the IAW event at Yale University in 2011, Mazin Qumsiyeh defended Palestinians’ right to resist by any means. Speakers at other IAW programs have described Hamas as a “resistance” organization and chants of “Long live the Intifada,” which celebrate a violent uprising against the State of Israel, have marked IAW rallies.

Since its inception in 2005, IAW has served as an annaul platform for anti-Israel activists to focus on ways to demonize and isolate Israel, including through BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns.

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