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The Mossawa Center Outreaches to Arab American Civil Society

posted on: Apr 20, 2009

The Mossawa Center, the advocacy center for the Arab minority in Israel, in continuing its US advocacy tour, met with Arab American Civil Society groups as part of the Center’s efforts to build relations with US civil society and disapora in finding new ways of copperation.

Mossawa met with various groups including the Arab American Institute (AAI), which represents the policy and community interests of Arab Americans throughout the United States. Mossawa met the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the United States which works to combat defamation and negative stereotyping of Arab Americans in the media. The Palestine Center, an independent think-tank committed to communicating reliable information about the Palestinian political experience to the American public, held a joint public discussion with Mossawa entitled “Building Palestinian Civil Society within Challenging Realities”. Additionally Mossawa also met with the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP).

Mossawa will discuss a series of watch-points with these groups to monitor developments on the ground in Israel under Israel’s recently elected extreme Right government. Inter-community confrontations, political and media racial incitement, discrimination of Arab councils in State Development budget allocation and political delegitimisation of the Arab political leadership are contributing to complicating the Middle East reality.

In light of the current paradigm shift in the US, with the election of the new US administration and the new extreme Right government of Israel, the Mossawa Center is seeking to highlight the unique status of the Palestinian minority in Israel and its’ potential for promoting peace and reconciliation in Israel. The role of the Arab region and Arab Americans in the peace process is significant.

The Obama Administration has indicated its support for the Arab Peace Initiative 2002, an Arab League plan which would give Israel full normalization of relations in exchange for withdrawal to Israel’s 1967 borders.

In an age of globalization, inexpensive transportation and rapid communication, conflict induced disapora groups are exerting an ever-greater influence on the politics of their homelands. Globalization enables disapora communities to build up intersecting
social, economic and political bridges that link their new places of residence with their original homelands. Mossawa believes Arab-America
and Palestinian diaspora have critical potential to act as agents for the promotion of Middle East peace.

Mossawa’s delegation includes Jafar Farah, Mossawa’s director and two board members, Dr. Khaled Furani, Anthropologist at Tel Aviv
University, and Dr. Mary Totry, Political Scientist at Oranim College.