American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

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Founded by James Abourezk in 1980, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is a civil rights organization committed to defending the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their rich cultural heritage, independent of their religion. Its president is Sara Najjar-Wilson.

It approaches its mission through legal services, publications and education, and is the only Arab-American organization to belong to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR).[1]

Issues

ADC's concerns are not limited to America, but include the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Hate crimes

One long-term project is solving the 1985 bombing of its office in Santa Ana, California, which killed its regional director, Alexander Michel Odeh. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers it an active case but wants information. [2]

Free speech

With both sides arguing that the other violated free speech, the University of California at Santa Barbara has suspended the Muslim Student Union for repeated interruptions of a campus speech, by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, in February 2010. ADC protested this, along with 14 civil rights groups including the Asian Law Caucus, Center for Constitutional Rights and Jewish Voice for Peace.[3]

Palestine

ADC agreed with, but considered incomplete, a New York Times article discussing the financial support, by nongovernmental associations, of Jewish settlements in the West Bank:
As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.
A New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade. The money goes mostly to schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas. "[4]

It stated the article did not go far enough: "Two key points not mentioned at length in the article are the engagement of the NGO's in discriminatory practices and deceptive fundraising. Research by ADC has uncovered that these NGO's are engaged in discriminatory practices by funding projects and activities which cannot be used by Palestinians. Such discriminatory practices are against American public policy, and NGO's are prohibited from engaging in such activity as described in the US Supreme Court Case of Bob Jones University v. United States. "[5]

ADC opposed HR 867, introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), to block any Congressional approval of the Goldstone Report.[6]

Financial

It received a substantial donation from Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.[1]

Criticism

The Anti-Defamation League, in October 2010, described it as having" anti-Israel views but also focus[ing] on many other issues."[7]

Mitchell Bard, author of The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines American Interests in the Middle East and a former newsletter editor of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, accuses it of passing "resolutions mostly [that] target Israel and ignore discrimination against Arabs by anyone other than Israel or the United States. They don’t support independence for Lebanon. They rarely criticize terrorism. And so they have very little credibility with Congress. It shouldn’t be surprising if they are also unsuccessful."[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "ADC Inaugurates Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Heritage Center - Congressman Rahall presents him with Capitol building flag", Militant Islam Monitor, 2 June 2008
  2. "FBI renews appeal for tips in 1985 OC bombing", Associated Press, 15 October 2010
  3. Take Action: Tell UC-Irvine Chancellor: YOU GOT IT WRONG!, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 27 July 2010
  4. Jim Rutenberg, Mike McIntire, Ethan Bronner (5 July 2010), "Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank", New York Times
  5. ADC Supplements NY Times Report on Tax-Exempt Funds Aiding Illegal Settlements, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 6 July 2010
  6. Oppose H.RES 867, Act Now!, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 2 November 2009
  7. The Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America, Anti-Defamation League, 4 October 2010
  8. David Green (8 October 2010), "Q & A / A conversation with Mitchell Bard", Haaretz