A Hezb'allah apologist and supporter wins Los AngelesCounty's Human Relations ("tolerance") Award.
In October 2000, Maher Hathout attended a rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House. His speech was captured on video for posterity by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. He told the assembled crowd that he was not surprised by what he called the "atrocities committed by the apartheid brutal state of Israel." After all, he reasoned, "butchers do what butchers do, and ... what is expected from a racist apartheid [state] is what is happening now."
Fast forward six years. The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations announced last Tuesday that Hathout, president of the Islamic Center of Southern California and a senior adviser to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (mpac), would receive its prestigious John Allen Buggs Award in luncheon ceremonies on October 5. The award is given annually for what the commission describes as "outstanding human relations work."
This follows the award of key to Santa Cruz to Palestinian terror supporter.
Jewish leaders in Santa Cruz asked the mayor to apologize for giving a ceremonial city key to the Palestinian ambassador after the visiting leader called Lebanon's Hezbollah "an amateur in terrorism compared to Israel."
But Mayor Cynthia Mathews defended the symbolic gesture of welcome and respect as an appropriate show of support for Ambassador Afif Safieh's efforts to promote peace in the Middle East. She said she would do the same if an Israeli official came to Santa Cruz.
Ed Lasky 9 1 06