"From under the garb of hollow US democratization, Asali has in effect been diligently advancing the neo-conservative plan for the "New Middle East", where nations and people are reconstituted against their will."
Ziad Asali is founder of "American Task Force on Palestine" (ATFP) , and a member of the board of advisors of the Progressive Muslims Union, North America.
A few weeks ago he was quoted in the Forward Newspaper that Palestinians should abandon their right to return.
This, by the way, is not the first time Asali has made such a statement. In our Comment on PMUNA we mentioned that he had made a similar statement at an UN/NGO conference in September 2002.
It should be noted that just a few weeks back, Ahmed Nassef, the executive director of PMU NA, and editor of Muslim Wake Up, made an appearance at an Hillel conference. An activity that the Hillel organizes, is a "birthright Israel trip" .
So, did the the PMU NA executive director advocate a similar right to return for Palestinians? Apparently not! The only mention he apparently made about Palestine was an oblique reference to "a certain international conflict." Click here to read more!
Ziad Asali's statements has prompted a large number of Palestinian grassroots, community-based organizations and associations created and run by refugees, in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Europe and the US to issue a statement of their own, denouncing Asali's proclamations.
Statement to the Public Regarding Ziyad al-Assali's Statements on the Right
of Return for Palestinian Refugees
The Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition (and its constituent organizations in historic Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Europe and North America, including Al-Awda), and in conjunction with the Right of Return Congress and the listed signatory popular organizations and committees representing various Palestinian refugee communities, join the Arab-American community in declaring that various statements and false representations by the president of the Washington-based "American Task Force on Palestine" (ATFP) Dr. Ziad Asali nullifying the Palestinian right to return and demeaning the Palestinian and Arab people are reprehensible and entirely outside the consensus of our people.
The Right of Return is an inalienable right affirmed by the international community annually since 1948. No single person, group or government have the authority or mandate to forfeit this individual and national right.
In reality, voices such as Asali's are part of a larger concerted effort to introduce a false veneer of moderation as a replacement for the legitimate inalienable rights of the Palestinian and Arab people, represented by their right to return, sovereignty and self-determination. Through organizations
like ATFP, Asali has gone even beyond the Geneva Accords, the Nusseibeh-Ayalon Agreement and other such attempts that violate fundamental, inalienable and natural rights that are enshrined in international law.
Click here to read complete statement