One of the themes that has arisen from my blogging lately on Israel/Palestine and anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States is the close connection American Zionism has with the existence of Islamophobia and anti-Arab attitudes here.
You can see it in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s opposition to the Park51 Islamic community center in lower Manhattan; in how intertwined the opposition to the Park51 project is with big-wig Zionists’ funding; and in the alliance between far-right groups, who see the Israel/Palestine conflict as a key battle in the fight to end “Islamism,”and right-wing Zionists like Pamela Geller.
Continuing with that theme, Alia Malek, the author of A Country Called Amreeka: U.S. History Retold Through Arab-American Lives, has a new piece in the Nation magazine titled “Invisible Arab-Americans” that sums what I have been writing about up nicely:
The Arabs and Muslims who do exist in the American perception are overseas and foreign. We glimpse them as subjects of geopolitics and of American engagement in the Arab and Muslim worlds, which has often been adversarial and based on a reductionism that conflates many diverse countries, peoples and situations. This is not a dynamic that began with the “war on terror”; it has been in place since 1948, when the United States began to identify with the new state of Israel, which necessitated delegitimizing Palestinian national aspirations and any dissent from American-backed Israeli policies.