Michael Hubbert will be speaking at the Islamic Cultural Center (ICF) in Fresno this weekend. The title of his talk is given as “The occupation: is it apartheid?”, and I think we know what his answer will be. Hubbart has trained with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), an organization that recruits Americans and Europeans to be human shields and demonstrators in the territories. He’s previously spoken at the First Mennonite Church in Reedley (where his topic was “The West Bank: it sure looks like apartheid to me”). His qualifications include participation in actions intended to impede the construction of Israel’s security barrier, and involvement in the ongoing conflict between Palestinians and settlers in Hebron.
The program was most likely organized by Kamal Abu Shamsieh, the ICF director. This follows the Rachel Corrie events held in August, sponsored by the ICF and organized by Abu-Shamsieh. A graduate of Birzeit University in Ramallah, Abu-Shamsieh is the former national community relations director for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in Los Angeles.
A quick Google finds him a member of the Interfaith Alliance of Fresno, [police] Chief’s Advisory Board, Fresno Metro Ministry, operating the “Interfaith Youth Alliance” (a teen youth group), etc. His programs are coordinated with local groups like Peace Fresno, the Reedley Peace Center, etc. The ICF buys daily announcements on the local public radio station.
The fragmented and ineffective local Jewish and Zionist community could learn something from Abu-Shamsieh about how to do effective advocacy.