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Syrian expert’s proposal irked John Bolton in 2005

President of the United Nations Association (UNA) of Syria Prof. George Jabbour has argued that the US Senate does not represent the People of African Descent (PAD), proposing the amendment of the electoral system in the Senate so that the PAD could achieve more proportional presentation in it.
 
His proposal, which was made in 2005 when he was a member of the working group of experts on People of African Descent in Geneva, irked the then US Under Secretary of State John Bolton.
 
“There is no democracy regarding PAD even in the democratic party in the US. It is not only the Republican party that discriminates against blacks it is also the Democratic party,” Prof. Jabbour told Syria Times e-newspaper.
 
The ongoing protests that swept across the United States after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was pinned down by a white Minnesota police office, brought to the mind of Prof. Jabbour the research he published on Agust, 24, 2005 [page 3] in the printed Syria Times paper on People of African Descent (PAD) in politics.
 
In his research Prof. Jabbour talked about some eminent black politicians in a variety of non-African countries, citing that official appointment of two PADs to the position of Secretary of State in the United States of America Collin Powell and Condoleezza Rice could be regarded as show case, or as a case of affirmative action.
 
He took the risk of violating intellectual property regulations through reproducing- without asking for authorization -the report issued by the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress under the title : “Black Members of U.S. Congress, 1789/2001”, updated July 122001 . This report was prepared by Mildred L. Amer, who was described as a specialist in American National Government .
 
“The Congressional Black Caucus was established in 1969 by 13 black congressmen. The Caucus concerns itself with issues of importance to PAD and minority citizens. Its present Chairperson in the Honorable Elijiah E. Cummings, representative of Maryland, a democratic who has been serving in the Congress since April 25, 1996.  The Caucus recently published its four priorities for the 108th Congress. The fourth priority was entitled “Strengthening and Enforcing our Civil Rights Law . The first item of this priority reads “Making Every Vote Count”. It is useful to fully quote what was mentioned under this item:
 
Making Every Vote Count.   While the Congress passed sweeping election reform legislation in 2002 to address the debacle of the 2000 presidential election. The CBC will work to make certain that the reforms passed are implemented at the state and local levels and that the federal government provides the necessary resources to carry out the reforms. As the National Legislative body, the congress has the power, authority and obligation to assure that the voter disenfranchisement that apparently occurred in several places to throughout the United States  does not ever happen again. “
 
The spiritual father of Obama
 
Prof. Jabbour, in addition, made it clear that the percentage of PAD in the House of Representatives is rather good in the sense that the PAC represent 14% of the population… The number of those who belong to the PAD minority usually occupy something between 10-13 percent between 1960s and 1970s. Now, the electoral system in the Senate stipulates that every state sends two representatives [ 2 senators to the Senate] . Therefore, senators from PAD are absent. The black Senators used to be appointed, except three Senators who were popularly elected.. Among the elected Senators was the former President Barak Obama.
 
In oral interviews Prof. Jabbour predicted that Senator Barak Obama would become the first black president of the US, and this happened in 2008. So, many of Prof. Jabbour’s colleagues  used to call him the spiritual father of Obama.
 
The Spiritual Father of Obama criticized in 2005 - after the election of Senator Obama- the  way the American system  works in electing senates , asserting that the whites do not usually accept to vote for the blacks.
 
“Obama made a breakthrough in this respect. He was the first Black President of the US; however, he did not press for changes in electoral system in order for the majority not to feel that he is working for his own group. I think, he felt that he was a good achievement for the blacks,” Prof. Jabbour added.
 
He underlined that the deep state in the US supported Obama to convey a certain message to the world that it does not discriminate.
 
The deep state and US were behind revoking the UN resolution No. 3379, which stipulates that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.
 
“The resolution was passed in 1975 and then it was revoked in 1991 . It was revoked by the UN General Assembly the same body that adopted it after the PLO at that time  agreed to the revocation in order  to start the so-called “peace negotiations” in Madrid,” prof. Jabbour said.
 
Durban Conference
 
He went on to say: “ Non-Governmental Organization was established here in Damascus  by many Arab thinkers, who were resident in Damascus and Lebanon. I was the chairperson and my deputy was the president of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP)… And one member was Ghazi Hussien a Palestinian writer and the Secretary General of this Committee was Dr. Abdul Hussien Shaaban, an Iraqi writer.. Many Arab intellectuals collaborated with us. We started our work to revive the resolution during Durban Conference. We held meetings in Cairo Amman and other countries and we contacted Anti-Racist organizations in South Africa.”
 
“Durban Conference started on two stages. The first stage was a conference of NGOs and the second stage was governmental conference . The conference of NGOs issued a decision that Resolution No. 3379 should be revived,  and then the conference started in August  2001. When the decision of the NGOs was issued, the United States and Israel immediately withdrew from the conference. So it has fallen upon Canada and Australia to represent the Israeli- American position in their absence . But then the Durban conference did no tackle the question of the ideology of racism and Zionism . It touched  topics related to refugees problem and the right of Palestinians and the necessity of applying UN resolutions.”
 
He referred to the fact there were two issues in the Durban Conference: the question of Zionism and the apology hat the African asked to be presented by Europe and America and those who contributed to the slave trade.
 
“The conference extended it's work for two days to resolve the issue of the apology, but the issue was not resolved to the benefit of the Africans... No apology was taken but the slave- trade was considered as a crime against humanity,” Prof. Jabbour affirmed.
 
The conference also issued two resolutions on establishing two committees. The first committee was tasked with following up the implementation of the Durban resolution. While the second one was specifically on the people of African descent, how to prompt the PAD in politics.
 
“At that time, Tawfiq Salloum was the Syrian ambassador to UN and he was influential and he was the first one among the Arab diplomats to be the deputy chairman of the human rights commission. This commission is part of the Economic and Social council. As he was close to the decision-makers in that commission he proposed to the Syrian government that I become an expert of the high members working group on people of African descent. So I was the representative of Asia in the group and there were the presidential advisor of Brazil representing Latin America, An expert from Sweden representing the western bloc, a professor from Romania representing the eastern bloc and the former advisor of the President of Tanzania as a chairperson of the group and expert for Africa. The  committee of the five members included 3 former presidential advisors from Tanzania, Brazil and Syria . We used to meet in Geneva for 10 days/ a year [2 working weeks]. We started our meeting in 2002 . The first paper was presented by me under the title “Some Personal thoughts on Reparations and the People of African Decent”. We continued to present papers and to discuss them to invite experts to address  the committee. In 2005 the meeting was devoted to my paper on People of African Decedent in politics and all over the world. I talked about Al-Misk Kafur in Egypt he was the ruler of Egypt in the days of al-Motanabi . And I talked about racial discimination regarding slavery and discrimination. And then I talked about the present state of Africans regarding Africans to be active in politics in their countries . There was presidential candidate in France from PAD . And then I saw that I should dwell on the US and the issue of African communication in the US . I discussed the legislative process in the US in particular,” Prof. Jabbour narrated.
 
He believes that studies on PAD representation in the US legislative bodies should serve a model for similar studies in other countries, especially I countries that have long-standing parliamentary traditions.
 
Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour
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