New York Jets’ Oday Aboushi Faces anti-Palestinian Smears

First let me say I’m not a football fan. I don’t watch football and don’t follow news stories concerning the game or it’s players. But I did find this story both sad and disgusting.

From LoonWatch

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 15 North Carolina at VirginiaFootball player Oday Aboushi, recently drafted to the New York Jets NFL team, is the target of an escalating media smear campaign to associate him with terrorism and extremism, apparently for no other reason than his Palestinian ancestry.

In the most recent smear, Jonathan Mael, the new media coordinator for MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, tweeted that the New York Jets “are a disgrace. The Patriots have Aaron Hernandez, the Jets have Oday Aboushi.”

Hernandez, who formerly played for the NFL’s New England Patriots, is currently facing trial on murder charges.

When challenged by other Twitter users for this outrageous comparison, Mael promptly deactivated his entire Twitter account. Reached by telephone at MLB.com’s corporate offices by The Electronic Intifada, Mael said, “I’m sorry I can’t help you right now,” and immediately hung up phone. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mael was a “Community Relations Intern” at the Israel lobby group AIPAC in 2010.

A rare Palestinian American in the NFL and a role model

Aboushi, a native of Brooklyn, New York, was a well-respected and recognized player during his college career at the University of Virginia, from which he graduated this year. The Jets signed the 6 foot 6 inches, 308-pound Aboushi in May on a four-year contract. Aboushi also drew attention for being a rare Arab American player in the NFL, and a community role model.

“You don’t see many of us in the sport,” Aboushi told the Associated Press at the time. “So for me to kind of break that mold and sort of open the door for other people, and show them that it is possible, it’s a great feeling. It’s a pleasure for me, an honor, and I’m happy to be able to be that sort of person for people.”

Smears started by racist, Islamophobic website

The smears against Aboushi appear to originate in a 9 July article on FrontPageMag, a website published by notorious anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian agitator David Horowitz, who is also a key figure in the Islamphobia industry.

The article, by Joe Kaufman, claims that Aboushi “gave a speech at a radical Muslim conference sponsored by a group denying Israel’s right to exist and associated with blatantly anti-Semitic and terrorist propaganda.” What was this supposedly radical conference? It was the El-Bireh Convention, an annual community gathering of Palestinian Americans, especially people with connections to the town of the same name, near Ramallah. In typical smear tactic fashion, Kaufman makes a laundry list of other speakers at the conference, alleges various nefarious ties to them, and then hopes that these outlandish accusations will rub off on Aboushi – guilt by association.

Accused of using the word “Nakba”

Even FrontPageMag’s Kaufman could not find any inflammatory words to attribute to Aboushi, but expressed outrage that Aboushi tweeted on 15 May,

“65th anniversary of the Nakba and palestinians all across the world are still thriving. #perseverance.”

Kaufman claims, “The Nakba or Catastrophe is a derogatory reference to Israel’s May 1948 founding as an independent Jewish state. It is used to spread enmity against Israel and to fuel terrorist attacks from groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” In fact, “Nakba” is the term Palestinians, mainstream media and even Israeli organizations like Zochrot use to describe the systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that began in 1947. As Zionist militias invaded their lands to create Israel, 750,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from 500 cities, towns and villages in historic Palestine. For Kaufman, however, Aboushi’s acknowledgment of Palestinian and Israeli history and praise of Palestinians’ perseverance amounted to a call for “terrorism.”

Smear spreads to Yahoo! News

The scurrilous smears against Aboushi have now spread to Yahoo! News, where Adam Waksman wrote a column (*recently removed), linking back to Kaufman, headlined: “Could Oday Aboushi Jeopardize His NFL Career with Anti-Israel Activism?” With nothing to go on other than the outlandish smears from FrontPageMag, Waksman alleges that Aboushi “has been accused of playing an increasing role in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism.”

It is clear that Aboushi has done absolutely nothing to deserve these smears and that they are aimed at him because he is publicly identified as Palestinian American and participates in his community’s activities. Aboushi’s high profile and recognition as a positive role model may also be threatening to hate groups invested in ensuring that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are always perceived in a negative light.

Full story

 Anyone can start a rumor or pass along vile accusations (even if later proven to be lies) for political or personal reasons, and ruin another person’s career or life. That’s the one thing I hate about the internet and media, in general. It’s also something we see being done on a regular basis today.

There is more I’d like to point out concerning this specific story…but If you don’t see it…well there’s no sense in pointing it out.    


6 comments on “New York Jets’ Oday Aboushi Faces anti-Palestinian Smears

  1. It’s so very odd that anyone who criticizes Israel, its history or government, is automatically pegged as “anti-Semitic” or if they’re Palestinian they’re a radical muslim. Funny enough that there were quite a few Christian Palestinians (cultural or not, don’t know) who backed the PLO and heavily criticized Israeli government tactics.

    I don’t find the PLO endearing, but, reasonably, what’s a people to do who constantly squeezed to the brink of desperation. They don’t have much choice. Thankfully there are many Israelis who understand that the problem is more complex, and oppose an extreme hawkish agenda that Bibi is only a mild form of. The high-pitched accusations really only thrive in America for the time. Worst of all, it tends to be non-Jews who are the most rabid Zionists and almost approach some extreme Israeli Orthodox communities in hatred for Palestinians.


    • It’s so very odd that anyone who criticizes Israel, its history or government, is automatically pegged as “anti-Semitic” or if they’re Palestinian they’re a radical muslim.

      Amen, and that’s the America we live in today.

      Its sad 😦

      Thankfully there are many Israelis who understand that the problem is more complex, and oppose an extreme hawkish agenda that Bibi is only a mild form of.

      True. Most Americans don’t understand that. There are many Israeli’s who also complain about those who yell “antisemitism” at the drop of a hat…especially here in the US.

      If anyone doubts it spend some time at Israeli news sources like The Jerusalem Post or Haaretz…or visit a few discussion boards which are frequented by Jews living in Israel. Read the comments posted under certain articles.

      Many average Israeli’s who want peace agree with you Cal, that

      The high-pitched accusations really only thrive in America for the time. Worst of all, it tends to be non-Jews who are the most rabid Zionists….

      In fact i’ve read where Americans are specifically pointed out (especially AMERICAN EVANGELICALS) as stirring the pot and keeping the hatred going.

  2. This is really sad. I hope he is able to ignore these hateful slanderers.

  3. It reminds me the Zionist smear campaign against Pakistani-born American automobile billionaire Shahid Khan when he offered to buy NFL’s Jaguars in 2011.


  4. PJ Miller, in all sincerity, exactly what is your ‘take’ on Islam? I am not referring to people who are following Islam, but the religion itself. As Christians we are commanded to love, this I know and endeavour to live accordingly. We have many Moslem friends and associates. But I personally find this religion to be extremely oppressive (especially to women) and condoning of violence to achieve their goals in my own quiet social neighbourhood. It has nothing to do with being phobic, it is simply what it is. No need to bring Israel or other parties interaction into it. I would like to see what your understanding is and hopefully my reservations will be dispelled.

    • Sue, can’t say i have a ‘take’ on islam except i view it as i do any other religion which does not lead to eternal life.

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