Saturday, October 24, 2009

Open Letter to Wadad Abed

This post was gathering cobwebs in the drafts folder. I last worked on it on January 20, 2009. Wadad Abed did not support or attend the Batsheva Dance Company protest.

Dear Wadad Abed:

You joined a group of Zionist Jewish women in a Hasbara operation called Zeitouna. As a result of that experience you rejected your old notion "that the Holocaust was ... used to justify taking away" Palestine and you, instead, embraced tenets of the Holocaust Industry and told the Detroit Jewish News that, as a result, you "now accept[ed] Israel's right to exist."

Perhaps emboldened by your conversion to the Zionist cause, you teamed up with Zionist Aaron Ahuvia, the national secretary of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, as the sole Palestinian in the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice's "Imagine Process" and gave the thugs in the organization's leadership cover to make permanent the "suspension" of its Middle East Task Force and the ouster of the task force Chair, a fellow Palestinian.

In 2007, you became, literally, the voice of Zionist propagandist Laurie White at the Ann Arbor premiere of the Zeitouna movie. In 2008, you were reelected to the Board of Directors of the University Musical Society (UMS), when interviewed on the radio in connection with a concert hosted by the UMS you identified yourself not as a Palestinian, nor as a refugee but merely as "an immigrant [who] came here forty years ago." Shortly thereafter when local activists and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) called for a boycott and protest of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, hosted by the UMS, you were silent and missing-in-action.

After weeks of relentless Israeli bombing in the Gaza strip that has already killed hundreds of people, most of them civilians or policemen, and injured thousands more, many of whom may yet die for lack of medical supplies and facilities, your words and actions have never stung more painfully. And yet, now, you have signed an open letter to Barack Obama where, among other things, you say: "Almost certainly, the only hope of a lasting solution is a single state in Israel/Palestine, committed to the civil and human rights of all peoples within its boundaries, irrespective of religion or ethnicity" and "It is time for constructive disengagement from Israel, financial, diplomatic, military. What worked in the case of South Africa, divestment and pressure, may finally work in the Middle East."

Does this mean that you have trimmed your sails and, for the sake of mere appearences you are acting like you care about the people in your homeland more than friendships with Zionists? Does this mean that, unlike Dr. King, your sense of justice is adjustable to the tenor of the times?

Or does it mean you have finally cast off the blinders that prevented you from seeing or acknowledging the harm you have done to the Palestinian liberation struggle and the people you have hurt? Will you now speak loudly and work conscientiously in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel and in particular, the boycott and protest of the Israeli apartheid Batsheva Dance Company, which is to be hosted by the UMS next month? Or will you find excuses to nurse old grievances and to continue to collaborate with Zionists?

Update: It turns that Wadad Abed also donated $250 to John D. Dingell For Congress Committee on March 24, 2006. This is the same Dingell who has openly bragged: "I yield to no man in my support for Israel. I have voted for hundreds of billions of dollars for it over the years I have served here" and "... during my 50 years in Congress, I have proudly supported more than $300 billion dollars in aid for the State of Israel."

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