Questionable Seeds of Peace
ZOA in the news
January 11, 2005

Questionable Seeds of Peace

Jan 11, 2005 / 1 Shevat 5765

by Dr. Jerome S. Kaufman

Last month, Seeds of Peace once again sponsored a very successful fund-raising event in the Detroit, Michigan area. Of special note was that one of the corporate leadership chairs was Debbie Dingell, Vice Chair of the General Motors Foundation and wife of Dearborn Congressman John Dingell.

You may remember Seeds luminaries of the past: Adam Shapiro of Brooklyn, who was program coordinator of Seeds for 4 years prior to marrying Seeds counselor Hawaida Affaf, an Arab girl from Roseville, Michigan. They then went on to found the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which regularly sends protestors into Israel to create TV photo-ops displaying “Israeli brutality” and “persecution”.

One time, the ISM was extremely successful. They sent over a young woman named Rachel Corrie who, in her dedication, threw herself on to a pile of rubble from demolished homes in Gaza that were the endpoint of tunnels smuggling in weapons from Egypt. It was a great photo-op for the cause – never mind an Israeli bulldozer killed the poor deluded girl inadvertently. The ISM objective was totally successful, nevertheless: giving the Israelis a nightmare in press coverage.

Besides the fundraiser, Seeds of Peace has made some remarkable changes in the last year. The director of the whole operation is now Aaron Miller. You may remember Aaron Miller from the American State Department. He left State about the same time as his buddy Dennis Ross and falls within the same State Department rubric described by Eric Rozenman, working for Moment magazine at the time. Ross was responsible for “shaping the Bush-Baker State Department of the first Gulf War into the least sympathetic American government toward Israel in that country’s 43 years.” Miller, just last year, had his buddy Dennis Ross as the featured speaker at the dedication of Seeds of Peace in Jerusalem. Thus, the tandem’s good deeds, for the benefit of Israel, continue.

Then we have an even more immediate revelation. The co-community leadership award nominees were Tim and Fatimah Attalah. Particularly pertinent to the event was the quote of Tim Attalah in the Detroit News of November 12, 2004. Various local people were asked about the possibility of peace following the death of Yasser Arafat. Tim Attala, a lawyer in Dearborn of Palestinian descent said, ” The obstacle to peace has never been Yasser Arafat. The obstacle to peace is the occupation of territory by the Israelis. It’s that simple. Anyone who said that Arafat was an obstacle to peace dodged the real issue of the conflict.” Attala is described as “a Muslim who is active in Seeds of Peace, an organization that unites Israeli and Palestinian youths to foster goodwill.”

Unites to foster good will? How is that? By embracing the philosophy of Tim Attala, Saeb Erekat, long time political spokesman for Yasser Arafat and also a director of Seeds of Peace, or other Seeds directors – Congressmen John Dingell and John Conyers and former Congressman David Bonior – all respected members of the Arab Hall of Fame created to honor those Congressman voting most regularly for anti-Israel legislation? Or is it by producing graduates like Adam Shapiro? Does anyone think any of the above would be part of an organization that was remotely pro-Israel? Do you think that politically savvy Debbie Dingell would be part of anything that harmed her husband’s political image among his very large Arab constituency in Dearborn, Michigan?

But what about the Jews who are part of Seeds of Peace and continue to send in thousands of dollars? What about misguided Michigan Congressman Joe Knollenberg, who sponsors legislation that gave nearly a million dollars of US taxpayer money to this outrageous Arab propaganda machine? Does anyone but the na?ve or misinformed believe that the objective of the above participants is to obtain “peace”? Could it not rather be to undermine the very existence of the State of Israel and persuade the young impressionable and poorly directed American and Israeli Jewish kids that they are on “occupied Arab land” and must go back to New York, or the killing fields of Europe, from whence they all came?

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