ZOA: White House Was Wrong To Send Representative To Convention Of Pro-Terrorist, Anti-American Group
December 23, 2003

Group Accused America of
“Committing Terrorism”

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the Bush administration for sending a representative to speak at a convention of an organization that has defended the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups, accused America of “committing terrorism,” and compared U.S. policies to Saddam Hussein’s policies.

The administration sent Ali Tulbah, an associate director in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs, to represent President Bush at the Los Angeles convention of the extremist Muslim Public Affairs Council on December 21, 2003.

Tulbah took part in a panel discussion alongside Maher Hathout, Senior Adviser to MPAC—despite the fact that after the U.S. struck Bin Laden targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Hathout said: “Our country is committing an act of terrorism. What we did is illegal, immoral, unhuman, unacceptable, stupid, and un-American.” He said America was “committing hate crimes.” (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 22, 1998)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Those who praise terrorist groups and attack America do not deserve the honor of having a White House representative at their convention. The pro-terrorist, anti-American extremists of the Muslim Public Affairs Council should be treated as pariahs, no different than the Ku Klux Klan.”

Other extremist statements by the MPAC and its leaders:
* Compared America To Saddam: MPAC director Salam al-Marayati wrote (MSA News, Sept. 5, 1996): “Saddam Hussein’s behavior in and around Iraq has been reckless. The same can be said about U.S. policy as a result of its reactionary mode.”

* Condemned America’s Strikes On Bin Laden: The MPAC condemned America’s strikes against Bin Laden terror bases in Afghanistan and Sudan in August 1998, on the grounds that “violence emanating from a superpower, bypassing due process and legitimate international channels, against poor countries is illegal, immoral and illogical…” (MPAC press release, August 24, 1998)

* Claimed Israel May Have Carried Out The 9/11 Attacks: Speaking on the Los Angeles radio station KCRW a few hours after the 9/11 attacks, MPAC director Salam al-Marayati said: “If we’re going to look at suspects we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.” (New York Times, Oct. 22, 2001) The Anti-Defamation League’s Los Angeles director responded by announcing that he is severing his contacts with Marayati. (L.A. Jewish Journal, Sept.28, 2001)

* Compared Muslim Terrorists To America’s Founding Fathers: MPAC director Salam al-Marayati wrote (The Minaret, June 1996): “Most Islamic movements have been branded as terrorists as a result of the rising extremism from a handful of militants. American freedom fighters hundreds of years ago were also regarded as terrorists by the British.”

* Praised Hezbollah: At the National Press Club on June 18, 1998, MPAC Senior Adviser Maher Hathout said: “Hezbollah is fighting for freedom…This is legitimate.” Hezbollah murdered 241 U.S. marines in a 1983 car-bomb attack near Beirut.

* Justified Suicide Bombings Against Israelis: In a panel discussion on Capitol Hill on June 18, 1998, MPAC Senior Adviser Maher Hathout said: “The only thing [that Arab terrorists in Israel] can do is throw a bomb in a market or send somebody to suicide, we don’t have enough ability to target real targets in Israel.”

* Called For The Destruction Of Israel: The MPAC co-signed a public statement on September 17, 1993, which called for Israel’s dissolution by stating that “The establishment by force, violence, and terrorism of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948” was “unjust” and “a crime,” and vowed to “work to overturn the injustice.”

  • Center for Law & Justice
    We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
    We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
    We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
    We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.