The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the "largest Arab-American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States," is well known for defending the rights of people of Arab descent while building bridges to other communities in common defense of civil and human rights. When those two objectives come into conflict, the ADC has placed ethnic solidarity before the common cause of respect for everyone.
On October 22, the ADC's Committee of Western New York held an event commemorating the Sabra and Shatilla massacres, entitled "Memory Lives, Resistance Persists." Resistance, a word that ADC has used interchangeably for terrorism in reports about the Middle East conflict, was celebrated on the flyer. A popular Palestinian cartoon character, Handala, is seen writing the Arabic words, "Revolution until victory."
In addition, the ADC recently decided to commemorate the career of Helen Thomas, a Lebanese American journalist whose career was ended abruptly in June over an anti-Semitic tirade. Thomas noted that the Jews of Israel should "go home" to Poland, Germany, and America, and "Get the hell out of Palestine."
The ADC sprang to Thomas' defense, thanking her "for her service" and quoting from far left Jewish activist Zool Zulkowitz and Paul Jay, whose defense of Thomas called Israel's founding colonialism. Instead of condemning Thomas' quotes, the ADC instead portrayed her as a victim, stating "that she [Thomas] will not be intimidated by the recent hateful accusations or deterred from her insightful questioning and reporting. Calls in support of Thomas were also echoed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which recently honored Thomas with a Lifetime Achievement Award.