Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Anaheim Attorney Akram Abusharar Sues US Over Aid to Israel [KPFK interview]

The Gaza-born Anaheim-based Palestinian-American immigration attorney Akram Abusharar recently filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Abusharar's family lost their home in Gaza, which according to him was bombed by Israel during the recent assault known as Operation Protective Edge. 

He is suing the US government officials over financial support, which makes the US complicit in Israel's killing of his family members.

KPFK's Uprising Radio with Sonali Kolhatkar recently sat down with Abusharar for an interview.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LA City Council Panders to Pro-Israel Lobby

Whenever Israel launches a murmurous "operation" against Palestinians things get sillier than the silly campaign season for politicians and candidates. Most from both sides of the political aisle tend to trip over each other to pander to the pro-Israel Lobby. 

Here's the latest pandering attempt by a body that has nothing to do with foreign policy: the Los Angeles City Council is set to pass a resolution to support Israel's massacre of more than 2000 Palestinians in Gaza, parroting Israel's propaganda machine about the baseless claims that Hamas uses civilians as human shield. 

See the resolution here.  

A group of activists will gather on Friday at 8:15 AM outside City Hall on the main steps and will attend the City Council meeting and sign-up to make public comments.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Social Justice Award given to OC Arab American leader

Dr. Souhail Toubia of ADC received the Nagi Daifullah Social Justice Award at the Flag Day celebration in Orange County hosted by the 72nd Assembly Democratic Alliance.

The late Nagi Daifullah was a Yemeni-American Labor organizer with Cesar Chavez in Northern California. He was killed by a Kern County officer.

This annual award was introduced at last year's Flag Day celebration for the first time, which was given to Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ADC Apologizes for Sexual Harassment by Former Regional Director

In a letter sent to its members today, ADC President Samer Khalaf apologized to the women who were allegedly sexually harassed by former Regional Director in Michigan Imad Hammad.

As we prepare for the upcoming American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee National Convention, we recognize that lingering questions and concerns remain about the ADC’s handling of the sexual harassment allegations. 
The ADC recognizes the magnitude of the events that transpired and, most importantly, acknowledges the impact such actions had on the women who were hurt.  Those that came forward are to be commended for their strength, willingness to speak out, and for bringing this critical issue to the forefront of our consciousness. 
While we believe that, in the end, we came to the right decision, we acknowledge and are troubled that the process adopted caused hurt and undue stress upon our courageous sisters who came forward. Unintentionally, some of the steps of the process may have cast doubt on their narrative. We apologize to these women and to the community for the hurt and stress caused during the process.    
I want you to know that the ADC has taken – and continues to take – steps to directly respond to these events.  While the ADC has always prohibited sexual harassment and unwelcome conduct of any form, it has revised its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies to greatly expand the type of prohibited conduct and institute a “zero tolerance” policy.  Policies, however, are clearly not enough to prevent and deter sexual harassment and we are committed to eradicating it in practice as well.   
In addition to the foregoing, I am committing to you, in this letter and by our actions below, that this is only the first step and that the ADC will continue to work – in the short and long-term – through programming and educational programs to eradicate sexual harassment and similar unwelcome conduct.  
To that end, I have decided to open the convention with a community town hall.  The session will take place on Friday, June 13 at 9:00 A.M. and will be open to all members.  This meeting will provide you an opportunity to hear – directly from us – the steps taken to resolve the issue.  It is also an opportunity to hear directly from you on this important issue.  Also, on the afternoon of Friday, June 13, we will be hosting a session discussing the issue of sexual harassment within the Arab-American community.  As an ADC member and supporter, I ask you to join us in these very important conversations.    
I look forward to seeing you on June 12.  If you are unable to make it, please send your suggestions to me via email to

Sunday, June 01, 2014

OC Weekly on Rohrabacher's Love for Sisi

Following Egypt's recent sham presidential elections in which former army general Abdel Fattah El-Sisi won the presidency with more than 90% of the vote, Republican Congressman Dan Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach shamelessly insisted that the US must support the new president of Egypt in a number of tweets.

Read OC Weekly's Gabriel San Roman's blog post Dana Rohrabacher Tweets His Love for New Strongman Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Rohrabacher with Sisi during his visit to Egypt in January

Friday, May 23, 2014

OC Congressman Rohrabacher Supports Egypt's Al-Sisi

Huntington Beach conservative Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher led a delegation earlier this year to meet with Egypt's former general and likely winner in the upcoming presidential election AbdelFattah Al-Sisi.

He then announced that he will lead a new 'Egypt Caucus' to support Al-Sisi's fight against what he called terrorist groups and said that other Members of Congress are joining him including my own Representative in Congress Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana).

To find out about the purpose of new Egypt caucus I contacted the office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and requested a meeting with her or with a staffer, which was granted within a week. I then joined my colleagues with the newly-established National Alliance for Democracy in Egypt for a meet with the district director of Loretta Sanchez' office in Garden Grove to urge the Congresswoman to refrain from supporting the military dictator, and hold off military aid to Egypt until human rights violations are addressed and concrete steps are taken toward a civilian-led democracy - an unlikely outcome under military rule. 

The district director of the Democratic Congresswoman assured us that the purpose of the caucus is not to support Al-Sisi or any specific faction in Egypt, rather it is simply a caucus that was set up to address developments in Egypt.

However, Rohrabacher later insisted via twitter that the caucus must support Sisi because what he referred to as "Islamofascism" must be dealt with by supporting Egypt's military rulers.  Through a number of tweets responding to Mona Shadia, the former OC Register columnist, and myself, he ignored concerns with Egypt's return to brutal military rule and championed Sisi's position. 

Despite the fact that the current presidential election is taking place while a large number opposing parties, movements, and individuals are either in prison or in exile (including secularists), and the only other candidate has no chance of winning due to the lack of equal opportunity to campaign, Rohrabacher thought the elections were legitimate and free. 

"..when all the dust settles Egypt will be freer than if it would be as Islamic Caliphate," said the Congressman who was the Taliban's best friend back in the 90's

Saturday, May 17, 2014

#ArabsServe LA community at 10th annual National Arab American Service Day

Network of Arab American Professionals of Los Angeles (NAAP-LA) volunteers joined JumpStart at the Dia de los NiƱos event in Boyle Heights during the 10th annual National Arab American Service Day - a nationwide event coordinated by the 10th annual National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC).

Jumpstart's event's purpose was to engage children in a variety of activities and learn about the importance of early literacy. Activities and participating community organizations introduced literacy through the following mediums: Fine Arts, Community Helpers, Health and Fitness, and Family.

Check out tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram photos from service day events nationwide on the hashtag #ArabsServe.