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              Guests For  MONDAY DECEMBER 15, 2008


                              (Originally aired: Dec. 1986)

                                 DAVID SHIPLER


                                  Journalist  / Writer



         "Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land"

                          (Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction 1987)


                                 ABDEEN JABARA



                               Civil / Human Rights Attorney

                                  Executive Director

                 American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Council


  The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

     David Shipler (1st 35 mins) & Abdeen Jabara - Dec, 1986 




David K. Shipler


David K. Shipler worked for the New York Times from 1966 to 1988, reporting from New York, Saigon, Moscow, and Jerusalem before serving as chief diplomatic correspondent in Washington, D.C. He has also written for The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of three other books—Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams; Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land (which won the Pulitzer Prize); and A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America. Mr. Shipler, who has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has taught at Princeton University, at American University in Washington, D.C., and at Dartmouth College. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.


Detailed Biography of David Shipler


Navy as officer on a destroyer, 1964-66.

Joined The New York Times as a news clerk in 1966. Promoted to city staff reporter, 1968. Covered housing, poverty, politics. Won awards from the American Political Science Association, the New York Newspaper Guild, and elsewhere.

From 1973-75 served as a New York Times correspondent in Saigon, covering South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Reported also from Burma.

Spent a semester in 1975 at the Russian Institute of Columbia U. studying Russian language and Soviet politics, economics and history to prepare for assignment in Moscow. Correspondent in Moscow Bureau for four years, 1975-79; Moscow Bureau Chief from 1977-79.

Wrote the best-seller Russia: Broken Idols, Solemn Dreams, published in 1983, updated in 1989. Widely acclaimed by critics, it won the Overseas Press Club Award in 1983 as the best book that year on foreign affairs.

From 1979-84, served as Bureau Chief of The New York Times in Jerusalem. Was co-recipient (with Thomas Friedman) of the 1983 George Polk Award for covering Lebanon War.

Spent a year, 1984-85, as a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington to write Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, which explores the mutual perceptions and relationships between Arabs and Jews in Israel and the West Bank. The book won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and was extensively revised and updated in 2002. Was executive producer, writer and narrator of a two-hour PBS documentary on Arab and Jew, which won a 1990 Dupont-Columbia award for broadcast journalism, and of a one-hour film, Arab and Jew: Return to the Promised Land, which aired on PBS in August 2002.

Served as Chief Diplomatic Correspondent in the Washington Bureau of The New York Times until 1988. From 1988-90 was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing on transitions to democracy in Russia and Eastern Europe for The New Yorker and other publications. Most recent book is A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America, published in 1997. One of three authors invited by President Clinton to participate in his first town meeting on race. Recently completed a book on the working poor, now doing a book on civil liberties.

Honorary degrees (Doctor of Letters) from Middlebury College and Glassboro State College (N.J.), and (Master of Arts) from Dartmouth College. Has taught at Princeton and American University, has been writer-in-residence at U. of Southern California and Woodrow Wilson Fellow at more than a dozen campuses. Will be a Montgomery Fellow teaching at Dartmouth in fall 2003



Arab Americans are becoming increasingly sophisticated about the political system, but the very diversity of their communities – as Suleiman pointed out, they are as diverse in background as Latino immigrants – and the fervor of their political beliefs, which results in an unwillingness to compromise, work against them. According to Abdeen Jabara, civil rights attorney and former executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and other panelists, the current political climate, in which candidates such as Hillary Clinton have returned campaign contributions from Arab Americans and Arab-American candidates and have found their campaign posters defaced with the word "Saddam," is less than welcoming. The religious intensity of this historical moment presents a challenge for Arab Americans, Gerstle suggested, because the American society has yet to decide whether it can fully accept Islam and people who are associated with Islam. The relative weakness of once-strong institutions such as local political machines and settlement houses that aided past immigrant integration may also work against full integration. The picture for Arab Americans and political participation, then, remains decidedly mixed.


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Zionism Is a Form of Racism

By Abdeen Jabara

Al-Moharer, May 26, 2008


Zionism, as a nationalist movement, can be viewed from several perspectives. On the one hand, one might adopt a position frequently espoused by Western liberals and intellectuals and even some radicals that nationalism is regressive and narrow and something to be disdained. Despite their "intellectualism" these practical internationalists are unable to distinguish between the aggressive and often brutal nationalism of an oppressor nation and the nationalism of an oppressed nation. The nationalist of an oppressed nation loves his people and is pained by their suffering or indignities. These liberal intellectuals see no difference between predatory and exploitative nationalism and defensive nationalism. As Lenin wrote, "whoever does not recognize and champion the equality of nations and languages, and does not fight against all national oppression or inequality, is not a Marxist; he is not even a democrat."

Obviously the question of Jewish identity has not been resolved among Jews. The numerous cases before the “Israeli” Supreme Court on the question of "who is a Jew", the conflicts in the Law of Return, and the failure of “Israeli” and Zionist leaders to create that one resource which Zionism needs most, immigration, is indicative that this question is still unresolved.

Whether one accepts the Zionist contention of a Jewish nation or people, one can enunciate the application of the rights of national minorities to Jews. A democratic Marxist position was set forth by Lenin, "Guaranteeing the rights of a national minority is inseparably linked up with the principle of complete equality ... that decision demands 'the incorporation in the constitution of a fundamental law which shall declare null and void all privileges enjoyed by any one nation and all infringements of the rights of a national minority' ".

"Don't Jews have the right to self-determination?" This serious question is frequently raised and many persons who oppose Zionism have either carelessly glossed over its answer or studiously avoided it for fear that it would legitimize Zionist colonization in Palestine. The question and its answer are vitally related to the Zionism-Racism issue for if Jews were merely exercising a right to self-determination through the colonization of Palestine, that movement could not properly be called a form of racism. Self-determination of nations means the political separation of these nations from alien national bodies and the formation of an independent national state. In other words, it is the secession from one body politic and the creation of a new body politic.

Before the question of Jewish self-determination can be answered, another must be raised. Is there an absolute and unconditional right of self-determination for an oppressed nation? Marxist-Leninists propound the right to be absolute. But they also said that it was "a right to free political separation from the oppressor nation" (Emphasis added). It cannot be realized, for it would be a contradiction in terms, at the expense of another nation or people. Marxist-Leninists saw the exercise of the right of self-determination as being led by the proletariat and advancing the cause of international socialism. But this unconditional right could be exercised only by an oppressed nation. Accordingly, members of a nation in a multinational society who were not oppressed would not have a right of secession from the body politic of which they are a part.

Likewise, a further qualification on the right of self-determination was the necessity for a struggle by an oppressed nation for full demo­cratic freedom and a constitutional and economic system that would ensure that equality. Here the differences between the Zionist reaction to persecution of Jews and a revolutionary Jewish socialist reaction in Eastern Europe during the political turmoil in the later part of the nineteenth and early twentieth century is most apparent. The Zionist solution was secession and colonization without participating in the social and political struggles of societies in which Jews lived. For the Zionist such struggle was futile and made no difference for the security of Jews. But the many Jewish partisans of the socialist revolutions posited the idea that it was possible to construct a non exploitative and nondiscriminatory system under the guidance of Marxist-Leninist principles.

Historically, movements of colonization have been undertaken by minorities who desired to retain the particular characteristics of their groups rather than forego them or for group safety. Does the desire to maintain group identity or safety and the organizing of the group with a program to maintain that identity or ensure its safety qualify as a liberation movement?

First, there can be no doubt that any group or members of that group should not be obliged to relinquish its particularism, religion, culture, language or expression of self where those characteristics do not violate the rights of others. The Jews or any other national or religion-ethnic group should be free to maintain their specific expres­sions of their individual or collective consciousness of existence. To the extent that Jews or any other people are prevented or prohibited through discriminatory legal structures from doing so, they have the right to resist and rebel. They have the right to undertake a struggle for change of the system which denies them equal rights.

There is only one unconditional rule attached to the right of national liberation. No man or people may achieve national liberation at the expense of another people. Given this fact, any movement including Zionism which seeks to solve the national problem of one people at the expense of another may not properly be called a move­ment of national liberation.

Far from being the national liberation movement of Jews, Zionism might better be seen as a death trap for Jews in Israel today. Rather than leading to greater security for Jews, Zionism has isolated Jews in the Middle East and the world community. Rather than bringing peace and security to Jews in Israel it has brought them interminable conflict and war without any foreseeable conclusion. Rather than giving Jews in Europe, the Soviet Union, the United States and Latin America greater hope for the future of successful communal existence on a multi­national basis, it has sought to polarize them in support of a movement that alienates Jews from the social and political struggles of their societies.

In this connection it is interesting to note the recent statement of Morris Amitay, head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the principal Zionist lobby in the United States, that AIPAC's success stems "from the fact that we are single-issued." This is in conformity with the Zionist dogma that Jewish security can only be had in self-segregation as an obscene caricature of the eastern European ghetto. More recently the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith charged that pro-Palestinian information in the United States was "not only a dagger pointed at the heart of “Israel”," but "likewise poses a threat to the security of the American Jewish community and Jewish communities everywhere" (emphasis added).

In 1968 after the jubilation and euphoria in Israel from its stunning June 1967 victory, Moshe Dayan, in a speech before an officers' school, quoted several passages from Arthur Rupin, the grandfather of Zionist colonization in Palestine:

We are aiming at relations (between the Zionist colonists and the Palestinians) which we will be able to defend against our own con­sciences and against the League of Nations as a just solution with­out renouncing the fundamentals of Zionism.

It became clear to me how hard it is to realize Zionism in a way compatible with the demands of universal ethics.

What is interesting about Dayan's use of these quotations is that they were made after a stunning military victory and that they were made before an officers' school. The intensity of the moral conflict between Zionism and the universal ethics was revealed a half century after Zionism had achieved so many of its objectives. Even the state machinery designed to mold a strong Zionist national consciousness created a plaque of self-doubt and questioning.

Zionism has consistently sought to rationalize itself in the name of "universal human justice" but to be able to do this required its concilia­tion with an immoral phenomenon, the inherent discrimination against and oppression of national minorities. This is a permanent phenomenon of human society since it is inseparable from human nature. Anti-Semitism or persecution of minorities is not a problem for humanity as a whole involving scientific investigation into its social, economic, cultural and political causes, but an exclusively Jewish problem. In its attempts to "normalize" Jews in a "society like other societies" Zionism takes on the problem of minority oppression as a normal con­dition.



The headline on November 11, 1975, of a major metropolitan news­paper in a populous Midwestern city read "U.N. Declares Zionism is Racism." The U.S. Congress threatened retaliatory action against the United Nations and the United States contribution to the U.N. Budget was decreased. Moreover, the United States announced that it would not participate in the U.N. Decade to Combat Racism. In New York City, the City Council sought to change the name of the U.N. Plaza to Zion Square. Israel quickly moved to take measures to counteract its growing isolation. An emergency meeting of world Zionist leaders was called in Jerusalem to discuss a plan of action. Israel strengthened and made public its previously covert ties with the Union of South Africa. A hundred thousand Jewish Americans were reported to have marched in New York City in denunciation of the U.N. resolution. They were housewives, factory workers, students, retirees, and shopkeepers, businessmen who were hurt and angry and who wanted to defend their movement of salvation. What was it that had gone wrong with their dreams? What had happened to the sacrifices on behalf of Jewish vic­tims less fortunate than themselves? What had so changed the world from their childhoods when they were in idealistic Zionist youth movements or saved their coins in the boxes marked "Jewish National Fund?" How they asked, could the majority of the world turn on the Jewish movement for salvation and national liberation?

The one flaw in what had, until the emergence of the Palestinian resistance, been a record of success for Zionism was that the Pales­tinians refused to acquiesce in their national oppression and oblitera­tion. This is hardly surprising. And it was because of their refusal and the mounting of their struggle for national liberation that the issue of the nature of Zionism was thrust upon the peoples of the world.


The above is part of a longer article which can be found at:








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