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Letter 'Profile in courage Award Committee' to honor Findley PDF Print E-mail
February 22, 1998

The " Profile in Courage Award Committee,"
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation,
Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Greetings. May the blessings of God Almighty be with you and your families. Amen. I take great pride and pleasure in nominating former Congressman Paul Findley for the 1998 Profile in Courage Award. Mr. Paul  Findley served in the U. S. House of Representatives for eleven terms, representing the area of Springfield, Illinois (Abraham Lincoln's District.) During those twenty two years he served with great distinction, securing passage of many enlightened bills in the Congress. He always supported what was right by putting aside parochial, partisan and personal considerations. Mr. Findley supported many causes that were not particularly popular - his initiatives concerning food for peace, his opposition to farm subsidies, his advocacy of better relations with France and China, his disapproval of the war in Vietnam and his support of the civil rights for African Americans. He has been loyal to the basic democratic values of his nation. 

However, sometimes there is one event that stands out in the life of a leader that defines his or her personality. For Congressman Paul Findley, it was his trip to the Middle East to secure freedom of a constituent who had been falsely accused of espionage, convicted and sentenced to five years of solitary confinement in Yemen. In March 1974, Mr. Findley traveled alone to the capital of South Yemen - whose Marxist government was then extremely hostile to the United States - and secured the release of the young teacher solely through personal diplomacy. This event opened up the possibilities for improved relations, not only with Yemen but also the Arab world at large. He also came to better understand the thorny Israel-Palestinian conflict. His advocacy of a more balanced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East was not well received by the Israel lobby in this country and the hostility of those elements contributed to his electoral defeat in 1982. So, Paul Findley paid a heavy price for daring to stand up to the powerful Jewish lobby.

At New York, on December 5, 1961 (the time of my arrival in America), the Late President Kennedy, one of the most beloved man not only in America but all over the world, is reported to have stated that :
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and  sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who  know neither victory nor defeat.

I strongly believe that Congressman Paul Findley is the man who dared greatly to stand up for Palestinians and struggled for their human rights .This was an act of great courage and decency. It was this moral act of fairness and justice for Palestinians, who have been persecuted by Israel for 50 years, that brought him infamy among the U.S. Jews, particularly the AIPAC - the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. (The AIPAC is perceived at the Capital Hill to be the main political force that can make or break the House and Senate members chances in elections.)  So, I believe Mr. Paul Findley is the most deserving candidate for the 1998 Profile in Courage Award. Thanks for a rare opportunity to nominate Mr. Findley for the Award. 


Mr. M. Khaliq Qureshi,
1317 Shamrock Lane, Plano, Texas 75093.
Res. Tel : (972) 380-5106.


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