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Obama Meets With Pro-Hezbollah Groups Ahead of Mideast Trip
by Ryan Mauro
On Monday, President Obama prepared for his trip to the Middle East by meeting with around 10 Muslim and Arab officials that provided him with "recommendations." The attendees included representatives from the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, two anti-Israel groups with a record of pro-Hezbollah advocacy. The meeting came four days after his meeting with Jewish leaders.
A joint press release by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), American Task Force for Palestine, American Federation of Ramallah Palestine and the Arab-American Institute boasted of the meeting. Separately, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) alerted its supporters that the director of its Washington D.C. office, Haris Tarin, also attended. He was previously thanked by President Obama in a personal phone call for his activism on July 13, 2011. The ADC earlier tried to get President Obama's attention by helping to organize an interfaith "No Blank Check for Israel" rally in the capital near Inauguration Day.
The meeting took place in the Roosevelt Room near the Oval Office and also involved unidentified national security officials and Valerie Jarrett, the senior adviser who was a keynote speaker at the 2009 annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins. The meeting apparently wasn't all good news for the invitees. The president of ADC, Warren David, complained that President Obama has let down many Arab-Americans with his Middle East policy and said he left with a "bittersweet feeling."
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