April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

This past Saturday my husband Jaffar and I had a delightful visit with Dr. Ziad Asali the founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, his fascinating wife Naila, and the brilliant Hussein Ibish, having arranged to stop by to see their 7th floor offices in Washington DC and to have a chat.

Dr. Hussein Ibish and Naila Asali of ATFP

I went with trepidation- and I left totally impressed. These people really do know how to listen and speak to America, they know how the system works and how to influence policy in positive ways for Palestine AND America.

I feel honored to have been in their 7th floor offices, to have seen the intriguing artwork on the walls, gazed out the big windows to the busy city below- and sat in comfort in Dr. Ziad Asali's office as we spoke easily about awkward and difficult topics.

Ziad and his wife Naila are charming, kind, compassionate, thoughtful, well informed, well educated people... both are very bright and experienced- seasoned but not cynical- obviously modest and interesting people indeed.

Dr. Ibish told me privately that "in all their work with the Arab-American community over decades, and for the past seven years at ATFP both Ziad and Naila have been completely volunteers and have never taken a penny of compensation for their efforts. On the contrary, they've devoted a good deal of their private resources to helping to found and sustain this organization." (Visit their webpage to help keep them going- click on KEEP ATFP INDEPENDENT if you want to donate online or to find information on how to make a donation via mail, wire, fax or phone)

Dr. Ziad Asali has a knack for attracting and valuing the best and the brightest and he has assembled a highly competent team of articulate people, right in the heart of Washington DC where they can confer and do the most good.

They have compelling priorities: They believe in a healthy and serious debate to define and defend the national interest. Not long ago Dr. Asali testified before Congress (ATFP Press Release), and Dr. Hussein Ibish has been very busy with speaking engagements on college campuses. Ibish wrote a book, published this past year, patiently explaining what is wrong with the one-state agenda.

The ATFP is dedicated to "advocating that it is in the American national interest to promote an end to the conflict in the Middle East through a negotiated agreement that provides for two states - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security".... furthermore the "ATFP is strictly opposed to all acts of violence against civilians no matter the cause and no matter who the victims or perpetrators may be. The Task Force advocates the development of a Palestinian state that is democratic, pluralistic, non-militarized and neutral in armed conflicts."

ATFP's website is a treasure trove of up to date, highly relevant information, news and opinion concerning Palestine. They don't use cheap tricks- they use hard work, careful analysis and diplomacy to do what they can to help end the contentious Israel/Palestine conflict...for every one's sake.

ATFP's President Dr. Ziad Asali

They are Golden Rule people through and through: By wisely nurturing a totally civilized, reasonable and sustainable conversation they are creating real respect for a real Palestinian state.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017