Press Release
Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari
July 12, 2013 - 12:00am
July 12, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) strongly condemns a series of slanderous attacks against Oday Aboushi, an American of Palestinian heritage who was recently drafted into the National Football League (NFL) by the New York Jets. ATFP is particularly concerned that employees of Yahoo! Sports and Major League Baseball were involved in the efforts to stigmatize Mr. Aboushi. 
The campaign against Mr. Aboushi began on David Horowitz’s notorious Front Page Magazinewebsite, with an article filled with error, distortion and outright slander. It then spread to a Yahoo! Sports website article, provocatively entitled “Could Oday Aboushi Jeopardize His NFL Career with Anti-Israel Activism?” Author Adam Waksman, without any credible evidence, accused Mr. Aboushi of “anti-Semitic activism” and suggested he should be expelled from the NFL. Although the Yahoo! Sports article was removed within hours, the attack on Mr. Aboushi reached a crescendo with a Tweet from Major League Baseball’s Media Coordinator Jonathan Mael that compared Oday Aboushi to Aaron Hernandez, a former NFL player now facing first-degree murder charges. Mr. Mael later retracted his comments.
ATFP President Ziad J. Asali said, “It is deeply troubling such slanderous ad hominem attacks, based solely on ethnic origin, persist in our country in this day and age. That mainstream websites like Yahoo! and media representatives for Major League Baseball would be involved in such smear tactics against a noted Palestinian-American professional athlete solely on the basis of his national origin is simply not acceptable. While the quick retractions should be acknowledged, Yahoo! and Major League Baseball are significant American institutions. They both need to seriously investigate the existence of an atmosphere in which outright hate speech against a prominent Palestinian-American professional football player could have ever been publicly issued by their employees.”
Dr. Asali concluded, “The American Task Force on Palestine is proud of Oday Aboushi and his accomplishments. We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Oday Aboushi and his family -- and all our fellow American citizens who share the values of fairness, decency and inclusivity – in ensuring there is no longer any place in our society for ethnic prejudice or hate speech."


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