2005 ADC Board Resolutions
The Arab American community and its supporters gathered at the 22nd Annual Convention of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation‘s largest Arab-American membership organization, held in Washington D.C. from the 27th through the 29th of May 2005. At the Convention the ADC Board of Directors adopted and committed the organization to the following resolutions:
1. Whereas the October 11, 2005 will mark the twentieth year since the terrorist attack on the ADC West Coast office and assassination of the Regional Director Alex Odeh has yet to see any of the perpetrators arrested or facing justice; be it resolved that ADC will double its efforts to compel the U.S. government to bring about the arrest and trial of those guilty parties, be they individuals or state sponsors of this terrorist act.
2. Whereas the year 2005 will mark the eighteenth year since the initiation of deportation proceedings beginning in 1987 against seven Arab American activists and a Kenyan woman named the “LA 8;” and whereas the ADC through the years has challenged the selective prosecution of the LA 8 for deportation based on unconstitutional and political ground; and whereas, since 1987, the ADC has continuously resolved that the defense of the LA 8 constitutes one of its core missions as expressed in all of its conventions, meetings, and resolutions throughout the years, and is central to the ADC‘s mission to defend and promote civil rights and equal protection under the law; and whereas the Arab American community, along with the ADC, has historically led the struggle to defend the LA 8 from deportation, notably through the precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case ADC v. Reno; and whereas, the ADC expresses shock and dismay to the U.S. government‘s most recent retroactive use of the USA PATRIOT Act against the LA 8 and the Arab-American community and will renew and make public its demands to terminate proceedings against the LA 8.
3. Whereas ADC is our nation‘s premier civil rights organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights and liberties of people of Arab descent and promoting their interests and concerns; and whereas the debate to renew the USA Patriot Act which poses a serious challenge and curtailment of civil rights and liberties is ongoing in the United States Congress; and whereas the ADC membership strongly believes that the erosion of civil rights and liberties greatly undermines the foundations of American democracy; be it resolved that ADC will intensify its efforts and seek every opportunity to strengthen existing alliances and forge new ones with all who share its commitment to the promotion and protection of civil rights and make extensive efforts to have Congress keep its promise evidenced by its intent in the original legislation to allow harmful provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act to automatically expire without renewing them.
4. Whereas ADC is our nation‘s largest membership organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Arab-Americans and Arab citizens in the United States; and whereas ADC is a founding member of the Rights Working Group and an active organizational member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; and whereas those coalitions have actively sought termination of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) and the fair resolution of NSEERS-related cases through passage of the Civil Liberties Restoration Act (CLRA); and whereas the U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to utilize the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS); wand whereas ADC has worked and continues to work with other non-profit organizations and federal agencies to highlight the misuse, ineffectiveness, and unfair targeting of the Arab-American community by NSEERS; and whereas the ADC membership strongly believes that the erosion of civil and immigrants‘ rights and liberties undermines the U.S. Constitution and values that constitute the foundations of our nation; be it resolved that ADC will advocate the complete termination of NSEERS and the fair resolution of all immigration enforcement cases that have used or will use NSEERS as the sole reason for deportation as enumerated in the Civil Liberties Restoration Act (CLRA) and in support of the passage of the Civil Liberties Restoration Acct (CLRA).
5. Whereas ADC has been an active member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; and whereas ADC was instrumental in redrafting the legislative language for the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; and whereas ADC has identified and disseminated information about numerous incidents of racial or ethnic profiling targeting the Arab-American community by law enforcement agencies; and whereas the present Administration has repeatedly maintained that it is against the use of racial profiling which ADC believes is unconstitutional and ineffective; be it resolved that ADC will increase its efforts, in coordination with like-minded organizations, to support the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).
6. Whereas ADC condemns terrorism and all acts of violence against innocent civilians regardless of whether states, groups, or individuals are behind such violence; and whereas it believes that effective eradication of terrorism requires a comprehensive approach including dealing with the political motivation and root causes of the resort to violence; and whereas ADC strongly believes that injustice breeds breakdowns of security and that effective requires the elimination of the underlying causes of injustice; be it resolved that ADC will urge our government to take a more comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism which includes acting and being perceived as fair and even-handed in its policy towards all Middle Eastern countries.
7. Whereas ADC believes that the U.S. should assume its leadership in the world through the promotion of the values that are reflected in the American Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights; and whereas ADC would like our great nation to be perceived in the world as a great champion of the rule of law; be it resolved that ADC calls on our government to uphold the international rule of law in its relations with other states and seek constructive dialogue and evenhandedness as a general principle rather than threats and boycott, especially as regards its policies in the Middle East.
8. Whereas ADC believes that participatory democracy and the rule of law are the best safeguards for the protection of the autonomy of nations and the civil and human rights of their people; and whereas ADC further believes that building lasting democratic rule and institutions is primarily the responsibility of the people of such nations; and whereas ADC would like to see in the Arab world governments that are accountable and reflect the aspirations and interests of their people; be it resolved that ADC urges Arab Governments, educated elite and all political and social movements to spare no efforts in independently establishing laws and institutions that are the foundations of participatory democracy, hence reflecting the interest and participation of their people in the political, social, and economic development and the promotion of their national interest.
9. Whereas the occupation of the Arab land has been behind continuous unrest in the Middle East; and whereas such land occupation is contrary to international law and has been condemned in numerous U.N. resolutions; and whereas the image of the U.S. in the Arab World would be vastly improved if the U.S. is perceived as an objective and consistent supporter of the rule of law and international legitimacy; be it resolved that ADC calls on our government to use every legitimate influence with Israel that would lead to its withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories in compliance with international law and the U.N. resolutions.
10. Whereas ADC is committed to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East; and whereas any peaceful resolution of the Arab Israeli conflict should include tearing down the wall of annexation of additional Arab land, ending all forms of collective punishment and destruction of Palestinian livelihood, the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian state and the upholding of the right of return based on the international law as reflected in the U.N. Charter, human rights conventions and treaties, relevant U.N. resolutions and international court decisions; be it resolved that ADC will continue to advocate the right of the Palestinian people to equality, freedom, and self-determination in an independent, viable and fully sovereign state.
11. Whereas the invasion of Iraq and the continuous U.S. military presence in Iraq has caused and continues to cause irreparable damage to the U.S. and Iraq in addition to further compromising the U.S. stand in the Arab World and beyond; and whereas the sectarian, tribal, and ethnic identities which have found encouraged political expression under the U.S. occupation threaten the Iraqi society with disintegration and bring it close to a sectarian civil war; and whereas a sectarian civil conflict in Iraq would have very serious ramifications as regards the stability and territorial integrity of many countries in the Middle East let alone the damage to the image and interest of the U.S. in the region; be it resolved that ADC calls on our government to spare no effort in putting an end to the promotion of sectarian, tribal, and ethnic affiliation in the socio-political institutions that have seen the light under the U.S. watch.