New In-House Counsel at Southern California Edison Has Radical Muslim Past

Holocaust denial, support for suicide bombings, and kind words for al-Qaeda factor into new Southern California Edison counsel’s controversial past.

Los Angeles – Power giant Southern California Edison, the largest subsidiary of Edison International, is not where one would expect to find Fadia Rafeedie as in-house counsel. This UC Berkeley and Yale-educated lawyer who was quoted in a 2000 UC Berkeley press release as saying that after law school she “plans to become an activist-scholar in the Arab world as an advocate for the rights of the Palestinian community” doesn’t seem the model candidate for such a big-time corporate gig.

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But since March 2010, that’s where she’s been. And this young woman who has never shied away from the spotlight has been oddly reticent about discussing her new job as counsel to SoCal Edison (which supplies electricity to most of Southern California). This is probably due in no small part to the fact that Ms. Rafeedie’s past exploits are enough to give even the most seasoned Edison PR damage-control experts hives.

Fadia Issam Rafeedie has had a long, outspoken history of Muslim radicalism. So how did this Ohio-born, Southern California-raised daughter of Palestinian immigrants go from championing suicide bombers and Holocaust denial to representing SoCal Edison? It’s probably best to begin with a look at her mentor and former employer, Ibrahim Alloush (pictured below).

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Fadia Rafeedie is the former editor of (and frequent contributor to) the Free Arab Voice online newsletter, run by notorious Jordanian terrorism promoter Ibrahim Alloush. Alloush is an interesting man, a different type of Arab extremist. He’s a secularist who takes his inspiration not from the Koran, but from the writings of Marx, Lenin, Mao, Castro, and Guevara. In that sense, he’s a throwback to the early days of Palestinian terror. It can be difficult to recall that before the days of Khomeini, the Afghan Mujahideen, bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and Hamas, Arab terror had a secular face. The Palestinian terrorists of the late 1960s and early ‘70s were hardcore revolutionary leftists. The founder of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), George Habash, was a self-described “Guevara revolutionary,” and throughout the ‘70s, groups like the PFLP, the Maoist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Che Guevara Commando Unit of the PFLP carried out hijackings, kidnappings, and other assorted terror attacks.

These leftist terror organizations were marked by several distinct characteristics that differentiate them from today’s Koran-inspired Muslim terrorists. The leftist terror groups frequently had women in positions of influence, and they often collaborated with European non-Arab and non-Muslim leftists.

Ibrahim Alloush is a throwback to this “old school” leftist Arab terrorism. Alloush, a fervent promoter of Holocaust denial, routinely collaborates with Western deniers and neo-Nazis (Alloush has even attempted to organize international Holocaust denial “conferences” throughout the Arab world). He also typically employs women as his assistants. A tireless proponent of violence against Israeli civilians (in May 2008, during an appearance on Al-Jazeera, he suggested sending suicide bombers armed with “small nuclear bombs” into Israel), Alloush’s secular, “liberationist,” pan-Arabist philosophy often attracts Westernized, secular, highly educated Arabs.

Like Fadia Rafeedie.

“Free Arab Voice”
Fadia Rafeedie was an editor and writer for Alloush’s mouthpiece, the online newsletter “Free Arab Voice” (FAV). During her tenure, the website published its “FAV Declaration of Principles” in 1997. These “principles” read in part:

Palestine is one, and its identity is Arab.

The state of ‘Israel’ is an illegitimate entity that arose from,
and that perpetuates the suffering, division, and backwardness of the Arab people. By any standards of morality or justice, the so-called ‘Israel’ does not have any right to exist on any fraction of Arab soil.

We, the Arab people, have the right to determine our destiny without any interference from foreign powers, and have the right to defend ourselves and our land and resources in any way, shape, or form we see fit.

It is incumbent upon our people, and their grass-roots organizations, to resist ALL forms of normalization with ‘Israel,’ even after the official Arab regimes and some elites have either surrendered, or betrayed the people to Zionist and Western invaders.

The “principles” closed with a quote from the “Original and Unamended Palestinian National Charter” (the original constitution of the PLO):

Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it.

Finally, the “Statement of Principles” ends with an exhortation to FAV’s followers that “We reemphasize that protest alone doesn’t liberate…and (we) hope very sincerely that those who only protest, or rely on the compassion of the oppressor, would learn that too.”

Following the “Principles,” the FAV site included a link to an August 1997 FAV article defending the July 30th, 1997 Hamas suicide bombing at a crowded Jerusalem market, which killed fourteen people and injured one-hundred and fifty. The article praised the actions of the “martyrs:”

In this day and age where self-interest has become increasingly the center of gravity of individual behavior, acts of self-sacrifice in the name of a cause seem somewhat irrational; albeit not from the point of view of those who believe that self-interest should be secondary to some principle or ideal, be it secular, Marxist, Islamic, or otherwise. It is depth of commitment that determines how far one is willing to go….Social and political change can’t be undertaken by those too skittish to risk calamity….That’s why many Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims believe that the bombings were acts of liberation, not hatred or even revenge….Until the injustice is ended, peace is nothing but acquiescence of the downtrodden, or the successful management of oppression. And therefore won’t last.

An undated issue of FAV, presented as a collaborative effort between Alloush, Rafeedie, and FAV’s other editor, Nabila Harb (another young Palestinian woman), presented this “examination” of Jews and their motivations:

The ghetto mentality of this particular group of invaders has prevented even the culturally more advanced Europeans from absorbing them into their societies. ‘Assimilation’ is a dirty word in Jewish society. The Ashkenazis came to Palestine in order to create their own international ghetto, after hundreds of years of resisting assimilation into European cultures.

We must embrace the hard choice to mobilize, organize, and work to obtain every possible political, economic, scientific, and military capability and alliance.

Then and only then will we be able to negotiate from a position of strength if we choose to negotiate, and fight like raging bulls when it’s time to jam.

The RPG (rocket propelled grenade) is so simple to make that the PLO used to manufacture the launcher itself back in the seventies (but not the rocket head). SAM7’s and Stinger missiles are the aerial equivalent of RPG’s today. Note as well that Beirut in the summer of 1982 was a prime example of steadfastness THAT WORKS. FOR WHEN WE FIND THE WILL TO FIGHT, WE WILL FIND A WAY TO SUCCEED as we did in South Lebanon, or Gaza during the Intifada. (capitalized emphasis theirs – Ed.)

The bulk of the rest of the issue is dedicated to condemning Arab leaders who seek to recognize Israel and condemn terrorism:

In Oslo, some Palestinians claiming to represent us, not only conceded to ‘Israel’s’ right to exist, but, after condemning ‘terrorism,’ undertook the active role of defending the security of the invaders. Of course ‘Israel’ exists. But those who kept saying that were always using this apparent statement of fact to smooth in the recognition of THE RIGHT of ‘Israel’ to exist. But those concerned with the Palestinian cause who know that ‘Israel’ exists, recognize that from the sorrow it incurred. They study it carefully like the lion studies the prey, then prepare diligently for the strategic pounce. They don’t go shaking hands with it smiling like it’s a long-lost friend, or cousin! Egypt being the largest and most important Arab state, was especially irksome to ‘Israel.’ Thus, it was very important for ‘Israel’s’ survival to get Egypt out of the game: THERE’S NO SERIOUS MILITARY ARAB OPTION AS LONG AS EGYPT IS TIED DOWN IN THE SHACKLES OF CAMP DAVID.

Special scorn is directed at Professor Edward Said, the (now deceased) author and cultural critic. His criticisms of Holocaust denial and suicide bombings are singled out:

The Holocaust: Said demands of us not to ever question the Holocaust. He buys into and sells wholeheartedly the Zionist argument about the necessary linkage between the Holocaust and the rape of Palestine. Roger Garaudy, one of the very few intellectuals in the West who dared to stand up courageously to the overwhelming predominance of Zionist propaganda worldwide, is badmouthed by Said in solidarity with the mainstream media. (Roger Garaudy is a French convert to Islam who is a leading Holocaust denial author. In 1998 he was fined 240,000 francs and given a suspended jail sentence for violating France’s hate crimes laws – Ed.)

Human Bombs: Said wants Palestinians to give up and condemn this form of legitimate struggle (emphasis mine – Ed.) against colonialists as ‘terrorism.’ He equates Hamas with Zionists (as he did again in his most fervent article in Le Monde Diplomatique August/September 1998). He wants us to believe that we could fight the COLONIALISTS with non-violence. Said ignores the fact that if it wasn’t for the Intifada, and for Hamas (whether you like it or hate it), ‘Israel’ would have never talked to Arafat.

Anyone who operates within the received parameters of recognizing the legitimacy of ‘Israel,’ the sanctity of the Jewish holocaust, the adoption of the Zionist notion of Palestinian ‘terrorism.’ regurgitating furthermore the official CNN line on the need to contain Iraq’s military threat to the region in the long-run, cannot possibly be our long-lost Salahiddin.

Finally, the issue closes with a few words regarding how Palestinians shouldn’t feel the need to assure the world that they will treat Jews “humanely” should Arabs topple the Israeli government:

Look how the oppressed Palestinian Arab has to always justify what s/he will do with the ‘Israeli’ Jews if s/he EVER wins. But this is a ridiculous request. For the one who has to do all the justifying is the oppressor, not the oppressed. Why am I supposed to swear oaths and sign promises that I will act humanely when I’m the one deprived of my humanity?

As early as 1997, Rafeedie showed an interest in Holocaust denial, sending the following email to the website of Bradley Smith, who runs an outfit called the “Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust” (CODOH). Smith is arguably the most well-known and active North American denier (he unquestionably was in 1997):

My name is Fadia and I am a student at the University of California at Berkeley. I just chanced upon your page and was really impressed, especially by the breadth of articles you’ve posted (along with Holocaust denial articles, Smith’s website also posts articles advocating the destruction of Israel – Ed.).

My uncle, Wissam Rafeedie, is currently a political prisoner under administrative detention in Asharon Prison, Israel (according to Amnesty International, Wissam Rafeedie had been running a clandestine publishing house for the PLFP – Ed.). I have a small request for you. One of my uncle’s best friends, Imad Sabi’, is also a political prisoner, currently in Megiddo military jail. He has released the following letter in English which explains the situation of Occupied Palestine’s administrative detainees. It is elegant, passionate, and sincere. I was wondering if you’d be interested in posting it on your web page? If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them. My email address is fadia@uclink4.berkeley.edu. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Fadia

In a 1998 issue of FAV, Rafeedie described Jews as “brute animals of force” and denounced the attempts of some Palestinians to work with the Jewish left (the essay was titled “In Defense of the Radical Approach”):

A few weeks ago I attended, against my better judgment, a Hillel-house event featuring Menachem Hofnung, former director of the Israeli ‘human rights organization’ B’Tselem…. Indeed B’Tselem works to co-opt moral resistance – and by extension silence radical oppositionists – through a sly tactic aimed at doing just enough to show the world that they are not the brute animals of force that they are.

Echoing the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels, she likens Jews to a bacilli that can “infect” a people or a movement:

The tenuous marriage with the ‘Jewish left’ is a theme FAV has flirted with already. I have only to say, beware. Most probably, they want to open a ‘dialogue’ that does not at all conform to our ideals as Arab nationalists and, more subversively, carries germs of assimilation and co-optation that we can be infected with if we are not careful.

She closes her essay by claiming that what the Palestinians need is not “dialogue” with Jews but “dedicated revolutionaries, in the true sense of the word – those who wish to change the status quo with no holds barred.”

In a 1999 issue of FAV, Rafeedie interviewed international terrorist Laila Khaled, the old-school PFLP member who holds the distinction of being the first woman to ever hijack a plane (the 1969 hijacking of TWA Flight 840 from Rome to Damascus).

FAV: But you continue to be today for the continuation of the armed struggle to liberate Palestine?
Khaled: There is a simple and clear formula that I follow which doesn’t require much theorizing. Since there is still today an enemy that raped and cast us out of our land, there is no language to communicate with him but that which he understands best. He talks the language of terror, so we have a legitimate right to resist. History, reality, and the whole world concede the people’s right to resist occupation. That’s all there is to it. The axis of the combined work should be to hit the enemy on the head through and through. They only withdrew from south Lebanon because they were shipping back too many coffins. So coffins is what they understand.

As additional proof of the extremism of FAV, this issue was dedicated solely to defending the use of “human bombs,” this one was dedicated entirely to Holocaust denial, and this one contained an essay – the final words of a soon-to-be suicide bomber. Although these issues of FAV don’t carry Rafeedie’s name on the masthead, the subjects they cover (Holocaust denial and suicide bombings) were also championed in the FAV issues that Rafeedie did edit and contribute to.

Rafeedie never attempted to hide her work with FAV. When she was chosen valedictorian of her graduating class at UC Berkeley, she proudly mentioned FAV in her official profile, which was published in the Berkelyan newspaper, and in “Letters Home: A Newsletter for Cal State Berkeley Parents”  (“Rafeedie helped establish a local chapter of the Washington, D.C.-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; wrote for the online newsletter, ‘Free Arab Voice,’ and was active in the Arab Student Union”).

UC Berkeley even sent out a special press release presenting Rafeedie’s “credentials,” in which her work with FAV was highlighted.

The Graduation Incident
Rafeedie received national attention for a stunt she pulled during her valedictory speech, during graduation ceremonies in May 2000. Following commencement speaker Madeline Albright, Rafeedie dumped her prepared text and launched into an improvised tirade against the U.N. sanctions imposed against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq following the Gulf War.

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An op-ed in the Berkeley Daily Californian (by one of Rafeedie’s fellow seniors) lambasted her speech:

The one common link uniting us that day was easily broken as our University Medallist, Fadia Rafeedie, turned what was to be a traditional ‘thank you very much for the honor and thank you to all the seniors whom I have the pleasure of graduating with…’ speech into a political soapbox about what is wrong with her country and her people and how the United States is to blame for it.

In an email that Rafeedie circulated to her friends several days after the graduation incident, she defended her actions as “a collective victory for the forces of opposition against the Iraqi sanctions in particular, and the Arab community – in solidarity with the Left in this country – more generally.”

She explained that, before the speech, she sought advice from friend and mentor Ibrahim Alloush: “I should say that Ibrahim Alloush gave me a piece of advice that proved prophetic for what was going to ensue later. He said, ‘you don’t have to rant and rave to be a good revolutionary, even though that is absolutely necessary sometimes.’”

She confided that the “inspirational quote” with which she concluded her graduation speech came from an interesting source, which she neglected to mention to her audience: “The funny thing is, I actually took it from the bottom of the PFLP’s 1999 calendar reprint of the unamended PLO charter which hangs over my bed!” (as sited earlier, the “unamended charter” calls for the eradication of Israel)

Rafeedie concluded by noting that after the graduation ceremony, “my family and friends went to San Francisco later that evening to have a little graduation celebration at the Ramallah Club’s Hall. We danced to the music of the shababeh and tableh, in a room decorated with a Palestinian flag. One of our theme songs, taken from a poster given to me as a precious gift at the party, was ‘Im-ma Filasteenu wa im-ma annara jeelan baqda jeelin!!’ (‘Either Palestine, or the fire generation after generation’)”

Al-Qaeda – “A desire to relieve human suffering”
After Berkeley, Rafeedie attended Yale Law School. While there, she submitted an op-ed to the Yale Daily News in which she defended al-Qaeda and the terrorist attack against the USS Cole (seventeen American sailors were killed and thirty-nine injured in the al-Qaeda suicide bombing attack against the ship, which was refueling in a Yemeni port in 2000). The op-ed was rejected by the Yale newspaper, but it was posted on the Islamic website isnet.org:

While anyone hates to see innocent people die, I have to say that the USS Cole’s mission was not an innocent one. On its way to Iraq, the ship meant to continue the imposition of the U.S.-led embargo there, which has killed an average of 5,000 Iraqi children every single month for the last 10 years….More significantly, the description of this incident as ‘terrorist’ is contrary even to our own US State Department definition of terrorism which excludes acts against military targets in areas of conflict.

The suicide mission was an act of desperate frustration on behalf of a people who have not a ‘penchant for violence,’ but a desire to relieve human suffering.

In fact, the Cole was not in an “area of conflict.” It was docked, with permission, in the port of a friendly nation. And it was on its way to help enforce a United Nations resolution (as an aside, this is further proof that those who claim the U.S. would be safer from terrorist attacks if our foreign policy was “bilateral” and “U.N. approved” are wrong. The fact that the Cole was enforcing a U.N. resolution did not keep it safe from terrorists or their apologists).

Although her apologia for al-Qaeda was rejected, Rafeedie did manage to get two op-eds published in 2002. In March, the San Francisco Chronicle published her essay, “A fighting cry from under the boot / Palestinians brace for more acts of Israeli ‘terror.’” The themes in that op-ed are familiar: Rejection of the peace process, rejection of a any coexistence with Israel, and a call to resist by any means necessary:

For those Palestinians who witnessed the occupation army’s missiles flying through office windows, cars and bedrooms to decapitate their chosen leaders, memories build strategy. They will work to form an alternative leadership to carry on the resistance rather than rush to a lopsided negotiating table only to have some U.S. diplomat urge them (again) to trade complete liberation from colonial rule for an Israeli-defined version of ‘statehood’….And yet the finger of blame seems invariably to point to Palestinians who choose, by whatever means available to them, to defend themselves….The Palestinians shall never forget. Or submit.

Rafeedie did add one new, somewhat odd detail to her standard narrative – an accusation that Arabs will soon be “victims of new and ‘creative’ proposals in the Knesset that call for the forced sterilization of Israel’s Arab citizens.”

In September ’02, War-Times.org (a leftist, anti-war site) published Rafeedie’s essay “Arabs Resist Assaults at Home and Abroad:”

Meanwhile, our ‘president’ is tripping over himself to please a Zionist constituency whose interests are entwined with the U.S. foreign policy goal of subduing yet another popular Palestinian revolt for liberation. The result is that hundreds of my people are either under siege or being killed —for being Arab, for being indigenous to the land, for not being white or European or Jewish.

Free Palestine Alliance
Beginning during her time at Yale, Rafeedie began openly identifying herself as a representative of the Free Palestine Alliance. According to the ADL, the Free Palestine Alliance “is a radical San Francisco-based organization that supports the dissolution of the State of Israel and the ‘unconditional liberation’ of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in Israel proper. The group is led by Elias Rashmawi and is closely affiliated with A.N.S.W.E.R., the International Action Center, and Al–Awda. FPA has supported calls for divestment from companies that do business with Israel, supports the right of return for Palestinians, has expressed support for Hamas and, in one incident, attempted to bar Jewish peace groups like Tikkun from participating in antiwar protests.”

In April 2002, Rafeedie was the featured speaker at a Free Palestine Alliance rally (in association with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition) in Washington DC. According to the website SocialistWorker.org, “The event showed the growing numbers of people who identify with the struggle for Palestinian freedom. ‘The fate of Palestinians is linked to that of the Iraqis, that of the people of Colombia, the people of Venezuela and all those fighting global economic domination,’ said rally speaker Fadia Rafeedie.”

Al-Bireh Palestine Society
In 2003, Rafeedie was also working for the Al-Bireh Palestine Society. According to the website Discoverthenetworks.org: “In 2002, the Al-Bireh Palestine Society website’s homepage sported pictures of terrorist fighters brandishing rifles and the logo of the Fatah terror group. Another page was devoted entirely to suicide bombers (‘shuhada’), and contained a link to the homepage of Hamas. Throughout its history, the ABPS website has featured maps of Israel draped in Palestinian flags or kefiyas (Palestinian checkered head scarves largely worn by terrorist fighters). The Al-Bireh Palestine Society’s most prominent chapter is in San Bernardino, California. In late 2003, Fadia Issam Rafeedie was the designated contact for this chapter.”

Also in 2003, Rafeedie and her old friend Ibrahim Alloush were signatories to a petition, the “Pan Arab Call to Unity,” which (again) sounded the theme of a complete rejection of any normalization of relations with Israel:
“We recognize that the Arab people, like all peoples, have the right and the duty to resist colonization, and to struggle for social and economic justice. We reaffirm our rejection of Zionism as a form of racism, and emphasize our active refusal to normalize either with Zionists or with their institutions.”

The Green Incident
Rafeedie became embroiled in a minor controversy in March of that year, when the New Haven Green Party decided to invite her to speak at an antiwar rally. The controversy was detailed in an article in the New Haven Advocate (March 6, 2003):

The Day Green Turned to Hate
New Haven’s Greens: a party that stands for peace, the environment, nonviolence …
… and suicide bombers?
… and the destruction of Israel?
Yep. The party traded its soul to sectarian hate-mongering in what should have been a triumph, a rally against war on Iraq. In planning the rally, the party passed a resolution that opened the door to inviting a speaker who works to stop Arab governments from recognizing the existence of Israel, a woman who edited a Web site that lionizes suicide bombers.

The episode has fractured the party, which since 2001 has succeeded in moving the city to the left on issues ranging from clean air to clean elections.

Meanwhile, New Haven has tasted an anti-Semitic virus poisoning the national antiwar movement.

The Greens’ rally took place the Saturday before last. The internal fight began weeks earlier, when Greens voted at a planning meeting to invite a speaker who would express concern that an attack on Iraq will lead to harming Palestinians.

The concern is understandable. Israel’s Sharon government could use the deflection of world attention as a cover to further attack Palestinians and seize their land in the occupied territories. But why express concern for the lives of Palestinians–and not Israeli Jews? In the last Gulf War, Saddam Hussein reacted by sending Scud missiles into Israel. There’s a good chance he’ll do so again. Both Jews and Palestinians would be collateral targets of this war. That’s one reason the war stinks.

Armed with the one-sided resolution, the Greens invited Yale law student Fadia Rafeedie to speak. Rafeedie advocates the ‘right of return’ – the claim that not only the occupied territories but Israel itself belong to Palestinians and not to Jews. The position would mean the end of the state of Israel. Her speech primarily attacked Israel, promoted the right of return and ‘freeing’ of ‘all of Palestine.’

Before Rafeedie’s speech, some Green activists gasped at what they discovered on the Internet: Rafeedie was listed as co-editor of the Free Arab Voice Web site. Articles on the rabidly anti-Israel site call the Holocaust and Nazi gas chambers a myth, list ‘Ten Reasons why Jews are Kosher Targets’ of suicide bombers and call for ‘much more’ ‘heroic human bomb[ing].’

Rafeedie says via e-mail that she stopped editing the Free Arab Voice Web site in 2000; articles cited by the Greens appeared after that. She denies being a Holocaust denier. She does stand by her advocacy of the right of return, of dismantling Israel, of opposing Arab efforts toward recognizing Israel. And she refuses to condemn suicide bombers of Israeli civilians: ‘It is not my place to prescribe passive or selective paths of resistance for the Palestinian anti-colonial movement on the ground.’

Some Green organizers bought into double standards that course through the antiwar movement. Namely, that Jewish nationalism (Zionism) is inherently racist and evil, while Palestinian nationalism is a just cause. Namely, that we should condemn Israeli government violence and hateful rhetoric, but can remain silent about Palestinian violence and hate speech, or Arab government mass murder of civilians.

Susceptibility on the American left to such double standards enabled an anti-Semitic group called ANSWER to destroy the credibility of antiwar rallies in San Francisco and Washington. Some Greens tried to block Rafeedie’s invitation. They appealed to party leaders like Ralph Nader. Nader did publicly condemn violence on both sides and support Israel’s peace movement when he came to town recently. But he stayed out of the dispute. Last week I asked the usually quotable Nader about the episode. ‘Give me a holiday on this one,’ he said.

Charlie Pillsbury, who ran for Congress here as a Green last year on a peace platform, also chose not to step in when approached. In a conversation last week, he claimed he was unaware of her public views and defended Rafeedie’s selection on free speech grounds. I asked him whether his party would invite a speaker to a rally, on free speech grounds, who advocates the idea that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. I informed him of Rafeedie’s public views, including on suicide bombers.

‘The Green Party condemns violence,’ Pillsbury responded. ‘The invitation of a speaker like this is really an aberration and embarrassment. [It exposes] a tragic fault line’ in the antiwar movement.

The antiwar movement is sending a message to those of us who oppose the Iraq war, who oppose the policies of the Israeli government–but who believe Israel has a right to exist as part of a two-state solution, who oppose Palestinian and Arab violence and hatemongering, too.

The message: You don’t belong in this ‘peace’ movement. Some lives count more than others.

Regarding Rafeedie’s excuse that certain inflammatory Free Arab Voice articles were written during the period that she wasn’t editing the FAV: As I pointed out at the beginning of this article, there were plenty of positive references to suicide bombing and Holocaust denial in the issues of FAV that she did work on. The later articles merely reinforced what had been written during her tenure as editor and contributor.

In an email of protest sent to Green Party Coordinating Committee member Penny Teal, New Haven resident Jim Berger recalled his own experience with Rafeedie:

With regard to suicide bombings, Rafeedie said that although she was no longer editor when the petition endorsing it appeared, she nevertheless approved of its content, arguing that any form of violent resistance was justified in opposing an illegitimate state that was violent ‘by its very nature.’ And she added, ‘because I oppose normalization with the Zionist state, I sympathize and agree with the practice of putting the term ‘Israel’ in quotes.

Our association with Fadia Rafeedie lost us enormous moral and political credibility–and rightly so.

Fadia Rafeedie was admitted to the State Bar of California in March 2004.

Hamas
When Rafeedie began working for the law firm Munger, Tolles, & Olson in 2005, the amount of time she could devote to her activism decreased dramatically. She did find the time, however, to speak at a February 2006 “international solidarity panel” in L.A. organized by Minjok Tongshin, a pro-reunification Korean organization that vocally supports North Korea and Kim Jong-il (the promotional materials for the panel state that Rafeedie was appearing on behalf of the aforementioned Free Palestine Alliance).

Rafeedie revisited her favorite theme of violent resistance, this time in light of the Hamas victory in the then-recent Palestinian elections:

The United States, and its European lackeys, have threatened to cut off desperately needed aid to the Palestinians unless and until Hamas (a) renounces violence, (b) recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and (c) accepts the signed agreements between the Israelis and Palestinians. Of course, the U.S. places no reciprocal conditions on the obscene amounts of military and economic aid given to Israel by the United States, even though the Zionist state not only brazenly conditions citizenship on religion, but has been cited time and again by international human rights organizations and the United Nations for its egregious violations of human rights. To expect a resistance movement to renounce violence and at the same time fight a nuclear power bent on uprooting non-Jews from Palestinian Arab land is absurd.

Although Munger, Tolles, & Olson (MTO) is not a leftist activist law firm, Rafeedie and four other MTO lawyers worked pro-bono for the ACLU in 2007 in a case involving the involuntary sedating of immigrant detainees prior to deportation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

In June 2008, the ACLU presented Rafeedie and four other attorneys with the Equal Justice Advocacy Award for their legal battle against ICE.

One of Munger, Tolles, & Olson’s clients is Southern California Edison, and in March of this year, Rafeedie left MTO to become the new in-house counsel for SoCal Edison.

Has Fadia Rafeedie (now married and going by the name Fadia Rafeedie Khoury) mellowed with age? Have her views on suicide bombings, the Holocaust, armed resistance, and the complete destruction of the state of Israel softened? Ms. Rafeedie steadfastly refused to be interviewed for this article, so answers to those questions are difficult to come by.

Al-Shabaka
However, she currently serves as a policy advisor for the Palestinian “think tank” Al-Shabaka (her bio on the Al-Shabaka website proudly trumpets her job at SoCal Edison). The tone of the language employed by Al-Shabaka is much more subdued than the shrill, over-the-top dramatics of Alloush’s Free Arab Voice. But in at least one respect, the message is the same: There can, and will, be no two-state solution. Israel must go, period. “Negotiations will only become an option when they are about finding mutually satisfactory arrangements about how Israel should leave rather than where it should stay,” reads one Al-Shabaka policy brief (titled “Time for Plan B”).

It was thirteen years ago that Fadia Rafeedie helped draft the founding principles of Ibrahim Alloush’s Free Arab Voice: “By any standards of morality or justice, the so-called ‘Israel’ does not have any right to exist on any fraction of Arab soil.”

Not much has changed. Except now Fadia Rafeedie has the prestige and legitimacy of having the Southern California Edison name next to hers on the website for the anti-Israel organization she’s currently associated with.

Author’s note: I vigorously attempted to interview Fadia Rafeedie for this article. In fact, I delayed this article’s publication for seven weeks in my efforts to convince her to answer a few questions (efforts that included multiple emails, and voicemail messages left at her SoCal Edison office. I even spoke with her secretary in an attempt to determine the best time to catch her in the office).

In an effort to assuage any fears she might have had that her responses would be creatively or misleadingly edited, I made her this promise in an email of May 3rd: “One guarantee I will make to you is that I will include your responses in their entirety, without doing any editing at all. Should editing for space be necessary, I will not cut a single word from your responses until I run it by you first, and you can retain final veto power over any proposed edits. I have no problem putting this promise in writing.”

Unfortunately, I found myself incapable of eliciting any kind of response from her. Should she, at any time, reconsider, and should she decide to respond to this article, I will make her the same pledge as before – I will publish her reply in its entirety.

Comments
5 Responses to “New In-House Counsel at Southern California Edison Has Radical Muslim Past”
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    Osama bin Laden is dead! This is awesome news for the people living in the western countries, eventhough I am really excited to learn what Qaeda and other terrorist networks are going to do after this? Probably a form of retaliation ?

  3. RCCA says:

    In other words, she refused to repudiate her past political opinions and is using her current position to gain power and influence.

  4. lillypearl says:

    I have a one way ticket for her to the land the Palestinians are on (no they do not own it). Anyone else want to pitch in??? She needs to live the real muslim life, not the one she has here in the U.S.

  5. Jim Berger says:

    Fascinating piece. I am the Jim Berger from New Haven mentioned in the narrative. For some reason, old Fadiah just popped into my head this evening and I googled her and found this. So, working for the energy industry! Wow, what a radical! Evidently, her radicalism extends only to hating Jews.

    That whole event in New Haven really was a mess. It destroyed the Green Party as an effective political force (which, through a lot of energy, organizing, and imagination it was actually becoming). Most of the practical people in the party left, myself included. I’m now a good Democrat, working to transform the New Haven dems toward being a party that is more, well, democratic. And we’re making excellent progress–though it would not appear to be “progress” to you Republicans. A slate of labor union supported candidates just was elected to the Board of Aldermen, absolutely transforming the political character of the city.

    But at any rate, quite amazing to hear of Fadiah’s latest career move.

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