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August 21, 1987 - Image 112

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



American Arabs 'Free Speech'
Contest Is Used To Bash Israel


Special to The Jewish News


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FRIDAY, AUG. 21, 1987

campaign to organize
the 2.5 million Arab-
Americans, ostensibly
to encourage their greater
participation in the American
political scene and give them
a bigger voice in American
foreign policy decisions, is
cynically making use of the
bicentenary celebration of the
Constitution to convince
American collegians that
Jewish influence threatens
free speech in this country.
The Constitution-free
speech project is generously
funded to the extent of several
million - dollars by 12
businessmen from Saudi
Arabia, a country which has
no constitution, no freedom of
speech and no guarantee of
other human and civil rights.
It is being presented in adver-
tisements which have ap-
peared in 260 college
newspapers across the coun-
try announcing "The NAAA
Foundation Essay Contest"
as an effort to warn the na-
tion that American Jewish ef-
forts in behalf of Israel are a
threat to free speech here.
According to Jeffrey L.
Pasley, a writer for The New
Republic, the advertisement
described the contest as
"sponsored by the NAAA
Foundation, a charitable
organization which carries
out educational programs on
Middle East subjects!' The
sponsor is not otherwise iden-
, tilled. Contestants are re-
quired to submit a 2,500 word
essay. There will be 200 prizes
of $10,000 each, and the ten
national winners will each
receive an additional $4,000.
The subject designated for
the competition is "The
Development • of American
Middle East Policy: Is Free
Speech Threatened?" It is,
Pasley points out, "an odd jux-
taposition of subjects. The ex-
planation is that NAAA
stands for the National
Association of American
Arabs, though the organiza-
tion made NAAA its legal
name a few years ago."
He quotes David Sadd,
NAAA president, as defen-
ding this tactic by asserting
that "the lack of identifica-
tion in the ad was very pur-
poseful. As Americans
operating here, we reject the
idea that we have to stand up
and say, 'We're Arabs! " Sadd,
the reporter says, sees
nothing incongruous about
identifying Benjamin

Franklin and George
Washington with opposition
to Jewish influence in
American foreign policy.
"We're wrapping ourselves in
the flag on purpose," he told
Pasley. "You know that some
of the Founding Fathers were
very anti-Semitic!' •
The advertisement, which
warns that "today, the
freedom of speech, which is
the hallmark of our Constitu-
tion, may be threatened,"
cites former Rep. Paul
Findley, who was one of
Israel's sharpest foes in the
House, as an authority on this

"We're wrapping
ourselves in the
flag on purpose.
Some of the
Founding Fathers
were very anti-

threat. It recommends that
contestants read Findley's
book, They Dare to Speak Out:
People and Institutions Con-
front Israel's Lobby, in which
he blames his election defeat
on the Israel lobby, assails
American Jewish political ac-
tivities in behalf of Israel and
denounces the Israel lobby's
alleged power over Congress.
Pasley describes the
Findley book as "mainly a
laundry list of incidents in
which Jewish groups
pressured or sought to defeat
or discredit political op-
ponents!' In_ other words, he
says, "the book describes a
group enthusiastically exer-
cising its rights under the
First Amendment, not deny-
ing these rights to anyone
Tom Braden, Washington
columnist and TV personali-
ty, one of the two "honorary
chairmen" of the contest, in-
sists that contestants can
take either side of the free
speech issue. "Students can
argue one side or the other of
this essay topic: free speech is
threatened, free speech is not
threatened," Braden told the
writer. Sadd, however, points
out that his group wants
students to "think about the
implications" of the Israel
lobby's power.
Pasley concludes that
students counting on some of
that prize money for next
year's tuition "might be well
advised not to take the spon-
sor's claim of neutrality too
seriously." He pointed out

that "if NAAA wanted to
make the case that there is
widespread discrimination
against Arabs and the Arab
viewpoint in American socie-
ty — without the pompous in-
sistence that this raises con-
stitutional questions or the
ugly insinuation that an all-
powerful Jewish lobby. is
behind it — the group would
be on firmer ground!'
Both Braden and his co-
chairman, Carl Rowan, a syn-
dicated Washington cor-
respondent, who was a White
House assistant press
secretary in the Kennedy Ad-
ministration, are well-known
as Critics of Israel and of
American aid to Israel. In one
column last year, Rowan
assailed the U.S. policy of
refusing to deal with the
Palestine Liberation
Organization. He warned
that "we are doubly wrong to
think that if we could just
find a pretext for killing
Qadhafi, there would no
longer be bands of Arabs, of
angry Palestinians, who
would volunteer for suicide
missions against Americans
and American installations!'
At the time of the Senate
fight over the sale of AWACS
to Saudi Arabia in 1981,
Rowan quoted unnamed
sources to the effect that "the
Jews have a majority of the
Senate in their pockets!' He
also warned American Jews
of the "lifting of the level of
public resentment of the
`Jewish lobby' and of anti-
Semitism in general!'
Rowan, Pasley reports,
"will get $5,000 to make a
speech and hand out the
checks at the contest's awards
ceremony in Washington in
September. Braden serves for
free out of devotion to the

NEWS 1'1'

Help Ethiopians

Washington, D.C. — The
Chicago Jewish Federation
recently presented to the
American Association for
Ethiopian Jews the first of
two donations totaling
$25,000. The funds, to be us-
ed toward the cost of the
AAEJ's CHAI family
reunification program, will
enable at least eight Ethio-
pian Jews to be reunited with
their relatives in Israel.

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