A delegation of American Muslims, mostly of non-Arab descent, are headed to the Holy Land this weekend to help Israel end their occupation of Palestine.
The participants, scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem this weekend, are scheduled to hold talks with liberal, right-wing and irreconcilable Zionists from across the political spectrum towards finding an amicable solution.
The MLI program, an intensive leadership development program, is meant to help American Muslims with public profiles and Twitter profiles, understand and learn from Zionism.
In addition to courses on the Zionist narrative, they will attend workshops on propaganda, the military industrial complex, and making hummus. Participants would have the option of paying homage to the founding leaders of Israel, Golda Meir and David Ben-Gurion, or be sent home.
“The Palestinians have proved incapable of representing themselves, and it’s time us western, moderate Muslims spoke up and solved this issue,” Imam Hikmet Kamil*, an organizer with Muslim Leaders for Israel, responsible for the trip, said.
A participant going on the trip agreed.
“Look, my family is from Pakistan, but I was born and raised in America. I know nothing about Palestine and that’s why I am in the perfect position to negotiate,” Ameera Ali*, a doctor, said.
“I’ve spent hours watching Homeland,” she added, “and took an introductory course on the Arab-Israeli conflict in college.”
For its part, the trip is especially groundbreaking.
While Palestinians from occupied West Bank and Gaza aren’t allowed to travel and pray at the Islamic holy sites, the MLI said the visitors would not face any such restrictions. In the event they encounter Palestinians in the West Bank, the participants “will be allowed to sit down to tea and provide subjects with rich and vivid descriptions of Jerusalem’s holy sites.”
The move is part of a new program initiated by Israel, called Pilgrims Beyond Borders, which is “intended to make Palestinians feel like they were right there with us in al-Aqsa,” MLI said in a statement, leaked to The Daily Vox.
“They will also be given selfie sticks so that they can stuff photos of their trip into the faces of Palestinians on Facebook,” it said.
Program sponsors have been visionary enough to provide the participants with a ladder in case they encounter the apartheid wall.
This year’s trip comes after the success of last year’s visit by high profile Muslim leaders, thinkers and journalists, also organized by the MLI. That particular trip’s success was exemplified by Israel’s brutal invasion of Gaza that killed 2200 Palestinians, launched just weeks after the trip.
At the time, participants said they didn’t condone the violence meted out on Palestinians, but that “the trip had helped them understand the Zionist fear.”
“It was also really good for our CV’s,” Sarfraz Khan*, said.
MLI and the participants are expected to come under fire for traveling to Israel on a sponsored trip, at a time when Palestinians continue to suffer under the indignity of occupation and just one KFC in Ramallah.
But participants say they have learnt from the mistakes of their predecessors.
“We will tell them [Israel] what they want to hear and then come back and tell people here what they want to hear,” one participant enthused. “It is just good politics.”
Program organizers say that next year they are trying to find more LGBQT Muslims, in order to assist Israel is its campaign to provide a safe haven for gay Muslims.
*Names have been changed out of embarrassment.
Abu O’Well is an almost an award-winning satirist with The Daily Vox. Read more of his writing here