Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Action Alert from the WCUSP Campaign

The Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (WCUSP) campaign of US WILPF encourages you to read the action alert from the Arab American Institute regarding the racist billboard campaign of the Coalition for Secure Driver's License and either write your own letters or use their online action center to express your outrage.

3 Comments:

  • I am surely outraged by stereotyping and bigotry but I also look to the Arab community to see signs of leadership in educating their people against violence and hatred prevalent against women, against Jews, against Americans.

    In reviewing the Arab American webcite I see nothing in that regard. Complaints about discrimination while true are not enough. More is needed from that community. Much more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 AM  

  • The following comment is from Barbara Taft, Speakers Bureau Coordinator of the WCUSP Campaign:

    Arab American Institute, like many other Arab-American organizations, does not need to work on issues of feminism, as they are already an organization with a high percentage of women in leadership positions. They work within the U.S. for the betterment of the political process and the use of the process to better the lives of Arab Americans, which includes inclusiveness and education for all Arab-Americans. This translates into a good example for the Arab States from which members come.

    By Blogger C.J. Minster, at 2:02 PM  

  • This article doesn't address all of your concerns, but it might explain a bit more about why you may think the Arab community is against jews. It's a little dated, but it's still terribly relevant. I'll include excertps below:

    http://www.zmag.org/cohenmideast.htm

    US Policy, anti-Arab Racism and Israeli Arrogance May Be Greatest Obstacles to Peace

    OR

    What Americans need to Know - but probably won't be told - to Understand Palestinian Rage

    By Eduardo Cohen

    ....American papers and American news networks offer Americans little opportunity to understand how much racism remains as one of the greatest obstacles to peace.

    I experienced some of the frustration that Palestinians must be feeling when I interviewed numerous Jewish-American settlers in the West Bank during the Persian Gulf War. Many of those I spoke with were from New York and, talking about Arabs, spouted some of the most hateful, racist diatribes that I had ever heard.

    I was reminded of the racism against Black Americans that I witnessed growing up in the American South.It is comparable to the difference between the hatred of Black Americans by Southern white racists during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the hatred many Black Americans felt towards whites as the result of the racist oppression they experienced. It is an important difference.

    The images, often broadcast on American networks, of Palestinians chanting `death to the Jews' have given many Americans the impression that Arab hatred of Jews may be the greatest obstacle to peace. But that could be a wrong and dangerously misleading conclusion.

    In spite of those chants, my experiences in Gaza and the West Bank gave me some interesting insights into how deep those feelings go in at least some Palestinians who would be described here as fanatic or extremist.

    Clearly there are virulently racist elements within the greater Palestinian community... but I found a real difference between Israeli racism against Arabs, based on a feeling of racial superiority, and Palestinian hatred of Jews which is an understandable Palestinian response to the policies of the Jewish government of Israel and a continuing Jewish occupation.

    It is comparable to the difference between the hatred of Black Americans by Southern white racists during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the hatred many Black Americans felt towards whites as the result of the racist oppression they experienced. It is an important difference...

    ...Israelis need to examine their own racism and their arrogance in using their military superiority to wring yet more concessions from a people who are struggling to keep a mere 20% of what was formerly Palestine. They must realize that in forcing humiliating concessions on the Palestinians they are only planting the seeds of continued resentment, hatred and violence.

    Above all, Israelis need to realize that the creation of an economically, politically and geographically viable Palestinian state is inextricably linked with any prospect they might have of a peaceful and secure future. The Israelis' apparent inability or unwillingness to recognize this basic truth may be the greatest single obstacle to a just and lasting peace.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:44 PM  

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