Following ZOA’s Protests, FBI Cancels Award To Official Of Pro-Terrorist Group
October 8, 2003

Columnist Schlussel Also
Exposed Hamad’s Actions

NEW YORK – Following protests by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the FBI has announced that it has canceled its plan to give an award to an official of an Arab-American group that has praised terrorist killers of Americans and accused America of committing “genocide” in Iraq.

FBI Director Robert Mueller was scheduled to give the FBI’s “Exceptional Public Service Award” on October 9 to Imad Hamad, the Midwest Regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The ADC has praised Hezbollah —which massacred 241 Americans in a 1983 car-bomb attack in Lebanon— as “a Lebanese resistance organization engaged in the legitimate defense of Lebanese land…[t]his hardly qualifies as terrorism.” (ADC president Hala Maksoud, Washington Times, Aug. 25, 1996)

The ZOA then published a report titled The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee: What the Record Reveals, which documented ADC officials’ long history of defending the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah; accusing America of committing “genocide” in Iraq; and making anti-Jewish statements such as “the Jews run Hollywood” (Jerusalem Report, Oct. 17, 1996).

In a letter to FBI Director Mueller on September 25, 2003, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, Chairman of the Board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and National Executive Committee chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt wrote: “Extremists who sympathize with Hezbollah should not be given awards. It makes a mockery of America’s war against terrorism, and sends a message to terrorists and their supporters that the United States is not fully committed to fighting terror.”

Commenting on the FBI’s decision to cancel the award, ZOA president Klein said: “The FBI deserves the highest praise for rescinding the award and establishing an important new ground rule: no awards for those who praise terrorist groups. It is a crucial part of the war against terrorism to send a message that those who praise terrorists should be treated as pariahs.”

Syndicated columnist Debbie Schlussel (New York Post, Sept. 18, 2003), who was the first to write about the award controversy, noted that the Immigration and Naturalization Service fought for more than 20 years to have Hamad deported from the U.S. to his native Lebanon, because it had concluded that he was a member of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. But due to pressure from Michigan politicians, he was permitted to remain in America. Schlussel also pointed out that Hamad has publicly protested the U.S. government’s arrest of four Arab-Americans in Detroit who were part of an Al Qaeda terror cell, and the prosecution of Omar Al-Shishani for laundering $12-million in fraudulent checks to finance Al Qaeda. In an interview with Fox-TV’s Detroit affiliate, Hamad defended a Palestinian Authority children’s television program encouraging Arab children to become suicide bombers and murder Jews and Christians; Hamad called the program “patriotic.”

This is the latest in a series of instances in which the ZOA’s actions produced swift and decisive results:

* When Strobe Talbott, the author of numerous anti-Israel articles, was nominated to become Deputy Secretary of State in 1994, the ZOA exposed Talbott’s record and helped persuade 32 Senators to oppose his nomination. The New Republic reported that the controversy and substantial vote against Talbott ensured he will never be promoted to Secretary of State.

* When John Roth, who has compared Israel to the Nazis, was nominated as research director for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998, the ZOA led the fight against the nomination—and Roth resigned.

* The ZOA exposed and protested the anti-Israel statements and activities of Joseph Zogby, an extremist who had been hired as a senior aide to Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk in 1999. Within four weeks, Zogby left his State Department position.

* When anti-Israel extremist Salam al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, was nominated to the U.S. government’s National Commission on Terrorism in 1999, the ZOA led the successful campaign to have his nomination withdrawn.

* After the ZOA in June 2001 protested plans by Vice President Richard Cheney to meet with officials of the extremist American Muslim Council, which has praised Hamas and Hezbollah, the Vice President canceled the meeting.

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