UPDATES

The courage to speak out

Jul 6, 2011 | Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

The courage to speak out
news_item/RayHOPsml.jpg

Ray Hanania, a former head of the Palestinian American Congress and recent member of the national board of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, has recently written about the discrimination that he has suffered throughout his involvement in Arab public affairs due to being an Arab Christian married to a Jew.

I can speak from personal experience, being one of the No. 1 Palestinians on the extremists’ hit-list. They hate me for the same reason they hate the rest.

I support two states, oppose violence, denounce Hamas as a terror group, and am married to a Jew. I also performed standup comedy with Israelis. But the biggest crime is that I speak out against their extremist cancer.

Hanania describes how Arab leaders – of organisations as well as countries – have a tendency to create a cult of personality around themselves and to reserve their criticism only for those who are not counted amongst their supporters.

When I called one of my critics a hypocrite for condemning Syria and Israel but not Jordan (because his relatives are close to the royal family) he responded by stirring his cult followers into a vicious campaign of hate.

They don’t attack the issues. They attack the person. My “Jewish” wife became the topic among his Twitter following. Hypocrisy is everywhere in my community.

… Are Arabs supposed to accept these hypocrisies and double standards without challenge? No. That’s why I insist on speaking out against them.

Hanania’s willingness to speak out and criticise the flaws in his own community is certainly to be commended. One of the most fundamentally important traits of a democratic society is strong introspection and a general willingness to hold each other to account and the ability to do so without retribution. Hopefully, we will see more of these kinds of corageous, independent voices emerging in the Arab world.

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


A screenshot from a video released to the Iranian media by the regime showing workers shutting off the power to IAEA cameras at Iranian nuclear facilities. (Source: Tasnim News)

IAEA Board rebukes Iran; Iran shuts off IAEA surveillance cameras

Jun 11, 2022 | Update
While Iran's economy is currently in poor shape, estimates are that a nuclear deal could provide Teheran with up to US$275 billion within a year and US$800 billion over five years (Image: motioncenter, Shutterstock)

International implications of Iran’s economic unrest

May 31, 2022 | Update
Hezbollah does not hide its open affiliation with Iran - as these Hezbollah youth demonstrate - but the Middle Easterners are tired of the poverty, war and chaos that Iranian proxies bring to the countries they operate in. (Photo: nsf2019, Shutterstock)

Election setback for Hezbollah

May 21, 2022 | Update
Shireen Abu Akleh, the well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed during a firefight between Palestinians and the IDF in Jenin under unclear circumstances on Wednesday, May 11 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Controversy follows tragic death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

May 13, 2022 | Update
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Italian TV: "Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing…the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews." (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The implications of Israel’s recent spat with Russia

May 7, 2022 | Update
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January: A new Iran nuclear deal would be a boon to Russia and allied anti-democratic forces (Photo: ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)

Are the Iran nuclear talks deadlocked?

Apr 29, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Image: Flickr

AIJAC testimony to Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Extremism

Image: John Theodor/ Shutterstock

Stability is at stake

India has historically had a distant relationship with Israel, but this has changed dramatically in recent years, as evidenced by the close relationship between former Israeli PM Netanyahu and Indian PM Modi (Image: Isranet)

Essay: Israel looks East

The struggle to succeed 86-year old PA President Mahmoud Abbas is consuming Palestinian politics (Image: Shutterstock)

Does Mahmoud Abbas finally have a successor?

Image: Shutterstock

Polls suggest yet another deadlocked election

Image: Flickr

AIJAC testimony to Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Extremism

Image: John Theodor/ Shutterstock

Stability is at stake

India has historically had a distant relationship with Israel, but this has changed dramatically in recent years, as evidenced by the close relationship between former Israeli PM Netanyahu and Indian PM Modi (Image: Isranet)

Essay: Israel looks East

The struggle to succeed 86-year old PA President Mahmoud Abbas is consuming Palestinian politics (Image: Shutterstock)

Does Mahmoud Abbas finally have a successor?

Image: Shutterstock

Polls suggest yet another deadlocked election

SORT BY TOPICS