Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ray Hanania released the following statement regarding Ikhras, the racist hate site:

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Ray Hanania released the following statement regarding Ikhras, the racist hate site:

Ikhras has been attacking me by publishing false quotes, taking sentences out of context and accusing me of being "anti-Muslim" even though I have spent my life defending Muslims because most Americans believe I am Muslim. They have made up false claims, few are creative or imaginative but driven by racist hatred and, I believe, because I am a Christian Palestinian who supports compromise and peace based on non-violence and the exchange of land. They would never write the same trash about a Muslim activist, which is an example of their vicious anti-Christian attitude that many Christian leaders and activists have shared with me.

They have launched this hate campaign because they can't handle the issues I address, so instead of addressing the issues, they attack me. It is typical of racist hate sites that can't deal with issues so they have to attack the individual.

Most people who have emailed me say that Ikhras is a ridiculous, typically extremist site that waste a lot of energy attacking other Palestinians, like KabobFest, because they have nothing positive to contribute to the fate of the Palestinian People or the cause of the Arab World. They are ignorant and uneducated, and most of all, like KabobFest, poor writers.

They distort facts because they can and because their small following of extremists celebrate racism and hatred. They use the suffering of the Palestinian People as a political football in order to achieve their agendas, and they don't care about helping the Palestinian Refugees at all.

I want the refugees to have better lives, Ikhras wants them to wallow in the hardship of the camps endlessly because it suits the political agenda of Ikhras.

I want to thank all of the people who have emailed me. Ikhras has served one purpose and that is to showcase the ignorance that exists in the Arab community, an ignorance that has been used before to stifle public debate, that is intolerant of thought engagement, and that has helped to both oppress the future of the Palestinian people while also enabling extremism and fanaticism that provides cover for Israel's oppression of our people.

I understand, though, because Ikhras represents the tragedy of a segment of the Palestinian people. Depressed, defeated, uneducated and incompetent, Ikhras focuses its energies on the only thing it can do, bash other Palestinians, the typical ailment of the victimization mentality of some small segments of the Palestinian people.

You can't understand or recognize hope until you see the ugly face of racism, hatred and defeatism which is what Ikhras represents. They are anti-Christian, anti-Jewish and even anti-Muslim. Pathetic.

-- The Maklooba Man

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation consequences of the Arab-Israeli conflict

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Vacation consequences of the Arab-Israeli conflict

As a Palestinian, I have lawn mower fights
and the dividing line is more vague than the Green Line.

As a Palestinian, I have this need to control and protect land. It includes battles with my neighbors over where my grass ends and their grass begins. We have lawn mower fights and the dividing line is more vague than the Green Line. I’ve been like this all my life and it has consequences.

But it’s not just maintaining a well-manicured, Malibu- lighted, dark greentrimmed carpet-of-a-lawn that my “Palestinian-ism” has impacted. It goes far beyond, including even when I go on vacation.

Yes, I don’t go on vacation to relax. I go there to sharpen my Palestinian skills.

Every morning at dawn, while on vacation in places like Punta Cana or at a resort along the Cayman Island’s famous Seven Mile beach, I find myself compelled into a “possession jihad.”

I don’t get up and walk to the beach at six in the morning simply to enjoy the sunrise or the pristine coral sand.

My first concern is staking out beach-front lounge chairs or a palm cabana with an idyllic view of the ocean.

Sounds like a strange way to start off relaxation, but it’s an ugly world out there. You have to stake your claim early, or be occupied and oppressed for the entire trip. Eventually, a mass of like-cultured people stampede to the vacation resort shores to lay claim to their own lounge chairs.

As a Palestinian, I just have to be there first.

THERE IS a methodology to the whole process that I have fine-tuned during 30 vacations over the last decade. It’s called “ownership documentation.”

I position the lounge chairs perfectly, spacing them out for comfort.

I push other lounge chairs away that look to be “too close.” I neatly wrap three beach towels on the three lounge chairs. Then I go back for a second round of claims, and on each, I lay down something of “apparent value” but that is really valueless.

On one chair, I place a copy of Chelsea Handler’s many books – I wish they had more pictures and less writing of her sexual exploits. That will scare anyone away.

On another, I pile plastic sand toys, shovels and buckets, shamelessly exploiting my nine year old in my obsessive behavior.

Who can steal a lounge chair location from a child? But for those who consider theft, I provide an offering to the icon of unethical vacation- goer criminality – a copy of Sarah Palin‘s hardcover book. If there are beach thieves, chances are they are tightly wound Republicans who would grab the book thinking it a prize and run. I even faked her autograph on the inside cover: “To Ray, with passionate love. If I were not exploiting racial fears to become president someday, I might become your fourth wife, my olive-skinned Rudy Giuliani. All my GOP Love, Sarah Palin.”

Of course, it’s not enough to just prepare the beach lounge chairs like the crescent of a Mayan sacrificial pyramid.

I sit there and smoke a cigar with my look of conquest, a macho scrunch of thick brows and confidence.

Like the young Michael Corleone shouldering-up to protect his father – who was the target of assassins at a New York Hospital – in the movie “The Godfather.”

And I watch as the others do the same as me, grabbing their perfect spots, except many minutes later.

By 8:30, we’re all sitting in our conquests, staring each other down – until a beautiful topless woman jogs by and steals our attention.

By that time, the cigar is but a smoldering stogy. The imagined tension with the other men at the beach who also claimed their spots finally dissipates. And right about then, my wife and son meander along as if there were no worries in the world.

But before the sun goes down, I am already scheming to repeat the whole process again the next morning.

Until, that is, I leave this resort and return to Chicago.

The writer is an award winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jerusalem Post: American Jews often come to the defense of Muslims

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American Jews often come to the defense of Muslims

Recent example involves the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ where
the leading Jewish defenders were passionate in their defense.

When was the last time leading Arabs or Muslims came to the defense of Jews? I say that because a phenomenal thing happened in America last week. American Jews were divided, but still led the national debate on whether or not a mosque should be allowed within blocks of “Ground Zero,” the spot where the Twin Towers collapsed under a terrorist assault on September 11, 2001.

Although the Anti-Defamation League flip-flopped on the issue, supporting it on principle and then later opposing it on emotional grounds, it did so with attempted gracefulness.

The ADL noted the intense emotions aroused and said that Muslims seeking to build the mosque should recognize the feelings of those who lost family, relatives and friends in the al-Qaida terrorist attack.

Yet the ADL was just one of the American Jewish voices addressing the controversy; the leading Jewish defenders were not only passionate in their defense but stubborn about the principle involved.

Among those voices was one of the country’s leading Jewish politicians, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose eyes welled up with emotion while he declared that Muslims have every right to build a mosque, just as Christians and Jews could build a church or synagogue nearby.

Bloomberg was consistent in May when he declared: “I think it’s fair to say if somebody was going to try to build a church or synagogue on that piece of property, nobody would be yelling and screaming.

The fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too.”

Bloomberg remained principled on August 3, when he insisted: “Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors mourned with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values – and play into our enemies’ hands – if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave in to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists – and we should not stand for that.”

ONE OF America’s leading Jewish American writers, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, expressed shock at the ADL flip-flop, and unhesitantly defended the right of Muslims to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

Steinberg concluded a column addressing the issue, saying: “I expect more from the ADL.

Given the history of Jews being tarred as an evil foreign presence, I thought we’d be not quite so fast to condemn others based on the same non-reasoning. There are lots of Islamic terrorists, sure, but there are also lots of Jewish bankers. Both are still offensive stereotypes, still slurs, and I can’t see how what one group of 19 Muslims did in 2001 should prevent another, completely separate group of Muslims from building a religious center in 2010. How is claiming that any different from saying I can’t join your country club because the Jews killed Christ? The ADL thinks the Islamic center spoils the healing process? Well boo hoo – the Jewish kids spoil the Christmas pageant too, but they aren’t forced to stay home. That’s how America works. We adapt. I thought the Anti-Defamation League understood that, but I guess I was wrong.”

Steinberg also asked the question many may have asked quietly. If two blocks is too close to Ground Zero, how far away would be acceptable? Six blocks? One mile? Ten miles? These were but a few of the principled and courageous voices raised in defense of the Muslim American community as the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy raged. These voices stood in stark contrast to the hysteria of mainstream Americans who packed the media with assertions that Islam is “evil” and that all Muslims support terrorism.

I hope to one day hear Arab and Muslim voices speak in defense of the Jewish people as powerfully as the Jewish community has spoken in defense of Muslims.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is a tragedy that keeps both sides on “politically correct” guard. But it doesn’t mean that Arabs and Muslims can’t be principled, moral or ethical in defending what is right when it comes to anti-Semitism.

Arabs and Muslims should not allow themselves to be consumed by what we think is wrong. Sometimes we need to step outside of the conflict and remind others and ourselves that we also believe in what is right.

The writer is an award-winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Everything points to the Middle East conflict

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Everything points to the Middle East conflict

How a simple conversation turned into a
complicated discussion on the Israeli and Palestinian narratives.

It all started when I turned on the television set and started watching an old rerun of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” a sitcom about an American-Italian family’s everyday humorous challenges.

(I’ve always wanted to produce my own TV show called “Everybody Loves Abdullah,” about an American-Arab family and their everyday humorous challenges, too.)

The topic of that particular episode was about Raymond who was asked by his wife to explain the whole issue of sex to their young daughter.

That’s when my wife turned to me and said, “Maybe you should have that talk with Aaron.”

“Are you asking me that because my name is Raymond?” I began facetiously.

“I’m being serious,” she said.

“You want me to have the ‘talk’ with Aaron?”

“Yes. I want you to talk to him about sex. He’s old enough to know.”

“Sex? Me? Why me?”

Alison gave me that look. You know, the way a border guard looks at an Arab entering Ben-Gurion airport.

“Fine,” I huffed. “I’ll do it.” I know better than to challenge my wife, or any woman, on any issue.

Not that Aaron – who I call Abdullah when my wife isn’t around – had asked about sex.

SO I sat Abdullah down and I asked him if he’s ever heard of sex. I winced as I anticipated the possible response, “Sure, dad, what do you want to know?” He just looked at me like was I annoying him and said: “Sex is that thing I’m not supposed to talk about.”

“Well, that’s right.”

“So why are we talking about it? Are you trying to get me in trouble?” he asked.

I just started yapping. Going into detail: “There are boys and there are girls, Abdullah. Boys and girls are different. In order to make babies, they have to come together and have, you know, sex. They get together. Then badda bing, badda boom. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Yaani [like, in Arabic] this and yaani that. Kol ma sheh ze lokeah [whatever it takes, in Hebrew]. Whatever. Everyone’s happy. And they have a baby. It’s simple. Any questions?”

“Why are boys and girls different,” he asked?

“That’s just the way it is.”

“You mean the birds and the bees?”


“What do birds and bees have to do with sex?”

I knew this wasn’t going too well. “Well, ah, I don’t know. Maybe birds are boys and bees are girls. It doesn’t matter. It could be anything.”

THAT STARTED a whole series of difficult questions. “Do insects have sex?”

“Not all of them.”

“Do girls have stingers?”

“No, but they can cause you a lot of pain if you are married to them and you don’t listen to them; which is what’s going to happen to me if this conversation about sex doesn’t produce results.”


“Why? Because G-d made people that way.” Whenever I can’t explain something, I always blame it on G-d. “G-d made us all different.”

“Why? Is that why you are Arab and mommy and I are Jews? Why did G-d make us different? Why are they killing each other?”

“Arabs and Jews are basically the same. We’re both human beings. People. We just believe in different things.” I told him mommy and I have an armistice agreement, which was harder to explain than sex. “Mommy is the boss in our family, but I make all the decisions.”

“So, Arabs and Jews are fighting because they believe in different things?” he asked. “How about sharing? Mommy tells me to do that all the time. If you and mommy get along, why can’t Arabs and Jews get along?”

How did a simple conversation about sex turn into a complicated discussion about the Middle East conflict? That made me realize the problem we have in the Middle East. This is exactly what happens to Arabs and Jews. No matter what the topic, it always turns to the Middle East conflict. We can’t escape it.

Talk about sports turns in to a debate about why the Arabs opposed two states in 1947 when the UN proposed it and used violence to get it all back. Talk about technology turns in to how Israelis are slowly controlling and censoring social networking sites like Facebook and BlogTV. Farming? A debate on who owns what land.

Before I know it, I’m giving Abdullah the Palestinian narrative and then my version of the Israeli narrative, which are different, of course.

“There was this country, Palestine. The Jews lived there. Then the Arabs lived there. Then Jews came back. Then they started to fight over who owns the land. Both sides did bad things to each other and everyone just got madder. Sometimes, one side is tougher and stronger than the other, but the other won’t give up.

Then badda bing, badda boom. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Yaani this and yaani that. Kol ma sheh ze lokeah. Whatever. It’s simple. Any questions?”

Right about that time, mommy decided to poke her head into the room and ask, “How’s it going?”

“Great,” I said.

“Yeah mommy,” my son said. “Daddy says you’re the boss but he makes all the decisions.”


The writer is an award winning columnist and Chicago radio talk show host.