Although people in both diasporas are glued to their television screens, the parallel ends there. While the American Arab and Muslim groups say they are better organized than ever before, they say they have not made a dent in American foreign policy. Their calls for an immediate cease-fire by Israel have been rebuffed by the White House and most legislators on Capitol Hill.Which is why the fight has to be more aggressive than this.
“I’m devastated,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, in Washington. “I thought we’d come further. We’re doing well, so far, in terms of our capacity to deal with everything from the humanitarian crisis to identifying families and working to get people out. What is distressing is the degree to which this neoconservative mindset has taken hold of the policy debate. It’s like everyone has drunk the Kool-Aid.”
Salam al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said, “This is probably the only issue in Washington where there’s no real debate.”