In what appears to be part of a campaign to position itself as a possible broker in the MIdeast peace process, the Muslim Pubic Affair Council( MPAC) has announced that it will host Palestinian legislator and long-time activist Dr. Mustafa Barghouti for a series of discussions. According to the announcement :
Today, the Muslim Public Affairs Council announced that it will host Palestinian legislator Dr. f in Southern California this weekend for a series of discussions on reinvigorating the stalled Middle East peace process and calling for Palestinian statehood. Dr. Barghouti is also scheduled to speak on Capitol Hill on Monday, June 8.The meetings are an exceptional and timely opportunity to hear directly from Dr. Barghouti, an independent legislator and human rights activist, about the political landscape and the challenges to Palestinian statehood. Dr. Barghoutis visit to the U.S. includes a meeting at the Islamic Institute of Orange County and a lecture at the Islamic Center of Southern California.
Although Dr. Barghouti is generally regarded as a non-violent activist, he was one of the founders of the Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People (GIPP) which was created in late 2001. GIPP appears to function as a propaganda arm of the Palestinian movement by soliciting the visits of large numbers of European volunteers and working closely with the International Solidarity Movement to engage in a variety of political activities in the West Bank and Gaza. Serious violence has occurred as a result of these activities.
Dr. Barghouti is also a former member and leader in the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), a left-wing PLO faction that was originally founded as the Palestinian Communist Part. It later broke with its Leninist past and re-created itself as the PPP and affiliated itself with the PLO. Although the PPP has publicly condemned terrorism, they are also a signatory to a 2001 statement by the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces praising the “blessed Intifda” that was signed by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and a number of other terrorist organizations. Dr. Barghouti was still a member of the PPP at the time this statement was written.
MPAC itself was established in the mid-1980’s by individuals whose backgrounds are likely rooted in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. However, one of the important leaders of the Islamic Center of Southern California, from which MPAC emerged, was the late Dr. Sabri El Farra a well-known Palestinian businessman from Gaza with ties to the PLO. Since its inception, MPAC has acted in concert with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Although proclaiming a love for the Jewish people and engaging in interfaith dialog, MPAC has made frequent anti-Semitic statements that assert or imply an organized Jewish campaign to defame and exclude U.S. Muslims. MPAC has also gone beyond criticism of Israel, engaging in demonization of the Jewish state. Such demonization includes accusations of “rape of the Palestinians” in regard to the Al-Aqsa mosque, comparisons with Nazis, accusation of apartheid and genocide, accusations of “butchery”, and suggestions that Israel is seeking the eradication of Islam from its territories.
An earlier post discussed an MPAC report that made recommendations to the Obama administration about the Mideast peace process. In that report, MPAC called Israeli settlement activity “an act of violence against the Palestinians” presumably equating such activity with terrorism. Palestinian terrorism was then attributed to unnamed “extremist” groups, omitting any mention of Hamas for example.