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Friday, June 30, 2006

A MOMENT OF PRIDE

VOICES of APAAM is a patriotic periodical that profiles the contributions of Arab Americans in the US Armed Forces. For media contact email admin@apaam.org, and find out more about us at www.apaam.org A MOMENT OF PRIDE
Guest Column by: Mahmoud El-Yousseph,
Tech Sergeant, USAF (Retired)
27 June, 2006 As I sat watching the "Miami Seven" alleged terrorist cell arrest unfold on national TV, I held my breath, hoped, and prayed that they were not Middle Eastern. I thanked God when I learned that the seven suspected terrorists were neither Muslims nor Arabs. This group never worshiped in an Islamic mosque, and there is no affiliation whatsoever between them and any Muslim or Arab group. In fact the seven were a 'bunch of losers' with only gangster affiliations. Sources in Miami confirmed that it was with the help of an "Arab Speaking" contact in Miami, who presented himself as an Al-Quaeda operative that these would-be terrorists were arrested. The man was actually cooperating with the authorities. Why doesn't our government and the media spell it out? Simply state the obvious: it was a Muslim or an Arab who infiltrated the "Miami Seven" terror cell in order to protect our homeland security. America's Arab and Muslim communities are always questioned for their reaction only when violent or tragic events take place here and abroad, thereby equating them in people's minds with violence instead of positive contributions. Let's face it, would our government have been able to catch these thugs in Miami had it not been for the Arabic-speaking "under-cover" person? Of course not. But concealing this fact was a moment of pride denied to America's Arab/Muslim communities. All this brought to mind, Christa Mcauliffe who was chosen to be the first teacher in space and who perished in the Challenger disaster in 1986. Sadly, no one knew she was of Arab background until years later, and by then it was too late. Why are Arabs only spotlighted as criminals? What about our Arab American heroes? Why are they never mentioned? Regardless of whether America's Arab/Muslim community are recognized for their contributions or not, our government, news media and the public at large should take more seriously the efforts of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Arab American Institute, and The Arab American Anti-Discrimination committee in this area. CAIR National Board Chairman, Parvez Ahmed said it best the day after the Miami arrest,"The American Muslim community stand with local and national law enforcement bodies in seeking to keep our nation safe and secure."
Mahmoud El-Yousseph Technical Sergeant, USAF (Retired)

1 comment:

Mahmoud El-Yousseph said...

A Challange to Nancy Pelosi


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A Challange to Nancy Pelosi

By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Al-Jazeerah, December 21, 2006



Newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should heed former President Jimmy Carter's leadership in crafting a Middle East policy toward a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Instead, she lashed out at the former president even before his new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid made it to the stores. Mrs. Pelosi stated, "Carter does not speak for the Democratic party on Israel." I beg your pardon! It was this former president who negotiated a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt at Camp David in 1979.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've agreed with Nancy Pelosi on any issue, but her attack on Jimmy Carter goes beyond poor judgment.

During the last mid-term election, Mrs. Pelosi stated repeatedly that the single most important accomplishment of the Twentieth Century is the formation of the state of Israel. Gee whiz, does the moon landing mean anything? What about the invention of the internet, nuclear energy and advancement in medicine? After all, the formation of Israel came at the expense of creating the largest and longest refugee problem in history. Among the 750,000 Palestinians forced out of their homes in 1948 were my parents and older brother. Mrs. Pelosi doesn't speak for all Americans on Palestine.

In 2001, Mrs. Pelosi told a pro-Israeli conference that the real issue surrounding the Palestinian/Israeli problem is not the occupation, but Israel's right to exist. She added that the occupation argument is "nonsense".

Mrs. Pelosi did make history, but she needs a tutor on the subject. The truth is occupation is evil and repugnant. It creates terror and resistance, be it in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Palestine. In 1776, America fought for its freedom and independence. Why condemn others when they do the same?

United Nation resolution 242 of 1967 called upon Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab land. Forty years later, Israel has not complied. For nearly 60 years, Palestinian refugees have neither been allowed to return to their homes nor receive compensation from Israel as stated by U.N. Resolution 164. Additionally, U.N Resolution 273 of May 1949 grants Israel membership to the U.N. with the stipulation that Israel agrees to comply with U.N. Resolution 164.

Both Prime Ministers of Israel and Iraq addressed a joint session of Congress last May and July, respectively. Mrs. Pelosi rounded up her troops to welcome the Israeli Prime Minister who came to thank the lawmakers for passing legislation against Iran and the Palestinians. By contrast Mrs. Pelosi threatened to boycott the Iraqi Prime Minister's speech unless he retracted his remarks on Israel over its bombardment of Lebanon. Geez Louise! Aren't legislators supposed to make laws rather than conduct foriegn policy? I am not surprised that Israel has honored Mrs. Pelosi by naming a soccer field in Haifa after her family's name.

Finally, Mrs. Pelosi shamelessly remained totally silent over the vicious attack on newly elected Keith Ellison [D-MN]. He is the first Muslim lawmaker who plans to use a Quran for the ceremonial swearing-in, following the official swearing in ceremony on Jan.4th.[No religious texts of any kind are used in the group ceremony]. So much for party loyalty. Thanks to the ADL and American Jewish Committee who came to his defense.

Since Mrs. Pelosi is so concerned about America's tarnished image abroad, she should stop pandering to the powerful pro-Israeli lobby. Maybe we can have a genuine and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. All she needs to do is to call the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Jimmy Carter, for help. The Jewish Voice for Peace group already did.

Mahmoud El-Yousseph
TSGT-USAF [Ret.]
Reeders Feedbac: elyousseph6@yahoo.com




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