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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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April 26, 2012

Norman Finkelstein to Speak at KinderUSA Fundraiser in Long Beach

Norman G. Finkelstein, an anti-Israel academic whose career has been marked by a vitriolic hatred of Zionism and Israel, is scheduled to be the “Special Guest Speaker” at the 10th anniversary celebration of KinderUSA, an organization whose stated mission is to “alleviate the suffering of children and their families in Palestine and beyond.”

The May 5 event in Long Beach, billed as: “A Decade of Giving,” is endorsed by the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). In a press release for the event, MPAC’s Senior Advisor Dr. Maher Hathout said, “I think everyone who comes will walk out informed and inspired as well…you will listen to perspectives that you will not hear on CNN or the official media that is always giving us our narrative. It’s about time to hear the narrative coming from ourselves to ourselves.”

Finkelstein, who is frequently invited to speak on campus about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has a long history of portraying Holocaust education and survivor compensation as a calculated attempt to “immunize Israel from criticism” for alleged human rights abuses.

He frequently evokes offensive comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany. On his website in 2009, for example, he re-posted a collection of images of Jewish persecution in Nazi Germany juxtaposed with images of Palestinian suffering. The title of the Web page is “The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany…”

Finkelstein has also expressed support for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. In an interview with a Lebanese television station in January 2008, Finkelstein said, “I was of course happy to meet the Hezbollah people, because it is a point of view that is rarely heard in the United States. I have no problem saying that I do want to express solidarity with them, and I am not going to be a coward or a hypocrite about it.”

At a speaking appearance at the University of Denver in September 2011, Finkelstein attempted to legitimize Hamas by comparing the group to Gandhi: “Gandhi’s solution is the same as Hamas, word-for-word.”

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