Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 2, March

A Chronology of U.S.-Middle East Relations
Factsfor Your Files Nov. 1: In Lithuania, and previously in Peru, anthrax was found in U.S. Embassy mail. * As U.N. Afghan envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with anti-Taliban leaders, U.S. warplanes bombed two Taliban-held villages near Kabul. * Near Tulkarem,...
Afghan Americans Plan for Afghanistan's Future
Afghans4Tomorrow, Young Afghan Professionals for the Reconstruction and Development of Afghanistan, hosted a Jan. 6 seminar at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. A4T is an impressive group of young professionals dedicated to rebuilding the land...
Afghanistan: Prospects for Peace and Reconstruction
At a Jan. 15 program, the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC offered two prominent Afghan specialists, James Dobbins and Barnett Rubin, a platform to address Afghanistan's prospects for peace and reconstruction. The interim administration...
Against the Odds, Islamic Association of Palestine Holds Fifth Annual Conference
The Mideast in the Midwest The fear and uncertainty that gripped the Chicago-area Arab and Muslim communities since Sept. 11 intensified following the Dec. 4 closing of Holy Land Foundation, which had an office in Bridgeview, Illinois. Nevertheless,...
Al-Arian Support by Faculty Laudable
The following editorial appeared in the Jan. 14 edition of the University of South Florida's Oracle. Last Wednesday and Thursday, the faculty of USF sent President Judy Genshaft and others working for the university system the message that the silencing...
Alleged Al-Qaeda-Connected Groups Targetted in Malaysia and Singapore
Both Malaysia and Singapore recently have arrested groups of Muslim militants alleged to have carried out or planned acts of violence in the two countries. Claims were made that the militants had connections with al-Qaeda, the network responsible for...
Al-Najjar's Future Uncertain
One person who knows well the horrors of being indefinitely detained is Mazen Al-Najjar. Al-Najjar was rearrested in November after being released less than a year earlier from three and a half years of detention on "secret evidence." He currently is...
A Mere Brush with Our Reality: A Memo to NY Times Columnist Tom Friedman
Dear Mr. Friedman: I have read your "memo" The New York Times Dec. 12 from President George W. Bush addressed to Sheikh Saleh Al-Shaikh, Saudi Arabia's minister of Islamic affairs. I was pleased that you revealed your inner belief that for the United...
American Educational Trust
American Isolationism.. Historically was the result of American selfreliance and attention to the needs and issues of a growing young country. We're still a young country, but, having engaged with the world in the course of two world wars and emerged...
Are Kashmiris Fundamentalist, Secessionist Terrorists?
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is executive director of the Washington, DC-based Kashmiri American Council.The global campaign against terrorism must not degenerate into a campaign for the defense of tyrannies and illegal military occupations. There are many forces...
Bethlehem Bulletin: Hanging by a Scarlet Thread in the Holy Land
Sr. Elaine Kelley is the administrative officer of Friends of Sabeel-North America.The in-flight entertainment on the Dec. 3 flight from London to Tel Aviv opened with a BBC report announcing that Israel had resumed bombing Bethlehem. According to the...
Britain's Financial Times Predicts India's "Confrontational Approach" to Pakistan
The European Press Looks at the Middle East The war of words between India and Pakistan which followed a Dec. 13 suicide bomb attack on the Indian parliament degenerated into outright declarations of war by early January. New Delhi police said they had...
BVFP Call for End to Israel's Occupation of Palestine
Black activists launched a national effort to challenge U.S.-Israeli policy in the Middle East at the National Press Cub on Jan. 15, the actual birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrated nationally the following Monday. Black Voices for Peace...
Cairo Caught between Rock of Arab Anger at Israel, Hard Place of U.S. Pressure
Egypt's enthusiasm for special pan-Arab meetings notably lessened over the past year. That reflected Cairo's realization that with Israeli and Palestinian positions hardening as the intifada continued, Egypt would come under pressure to sever relations...
Cairo Communique: Cairo Caught between Rock of Arab Anger at Israel, Hard Place of U.S. Pressure
Andrew Hammond is a free-lance journalist based in Cairo.Egypt's enthusiasm for special pan-Arab meetings notably lessened over the past year. That reflected Cairo's realization that with Israeli and Palestinian positions hardening as the intifada continued,...
Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech Questions Arise in Post-9/11 Environment
Eloise Davis-Chopin is a writer and editor based in South Florida.As the post-Sept. 11 investigation continues in Florida, complaints are growing of racial and religious profiling against people of Middle Eastern origin. Because many of the 9/11 hijackers...
Conflict in Nazareth Continues over Mosque Construction
Fred Strickert is professor of religion at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.March 25 commemorates the annunciation by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary concerning the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Naturally, it is the most important day of the year...
Congress Adjourns for Holidays after Passing Anti-Palestinian Foreign Aid Bill
Shirl McArthur, a retired foreign service officer, is a consultant in the Washington, DC area.Congress passed the conference report for the foreign aid appropriations bill (H.R. 2506) on Dec. 20, the day they adjourned until Jan. 23 for their holiday...
Congress Watch: Nine Senators, 23 Representatives in 107th Congress "Hall of Fame"
Shirl McArthur, a retired foreign service officer, is a consultant in the Washington, DC area.For the Washington Report's midterm 2001 scorecard for the members of the 107th Congress, two positive and four negative issues were chosen to rate the Senate...
Detroit Doings: Global Relief Foundation Assets Seized as Chairman Is Arrested on Visa Violation
Roxane Assaf is a free-lance writer based in Chicago.Evoking the memory of such miscarriages of civil liberty as the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II and the FBI's peering into the private life of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rep. John Conyers,...
El Saadawi Calls U.S. Foreign Policy "Real Terrorism"
"We cannot fight terrorism with terrorism," stated Nawal El Saadawi, speaking at the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies on Nov. 25. More than 100 people turned out on the last day of the long Thanksgiving weekend...
Emerging Alternatives in Palestine
Since it began 15 months ago the Palestinian intifada has had little to show for itself politically, despite the remarkable fortitude of a militarily occupied, unarmed, poorly led, and still dispossessed people that has defied the pitiless ravages of...
Experts Discuss Afghan War, Sept. 11 Aftereffects
On Dec. 12 the Department of International Studies of Dominican University at San Rafael presented a public forum on the political, economic and cultural dimensions of the Sept. 11 attacks and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. The program moderator was...
Global Relief Foundation Assets Seized as Chairman Is Arrested on Visa Violation
Woking the memory of such miscarriages of civil liberty as the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II and the FBI's peering into the private life of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan's 14th District has struggled to...
Hanging by a Scarlet Thread in the Holy Land
BethlehemBulletin The in-flight entertainment on the Dec. 3 flight from London to Tel Aviv opened with a BBC report announcing that Israel had resumed bombing Bethlehem. According to the report Israel was retaliating for the Dec. 1 suicide bombings at...
ICUJP Seeks Peaceful Alternatives to War
The Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP) was founded days after the Sept. 11 attacks to promote dialogue and conflict resolution as an alternative over warfare in response to the terrorist actions. Under the theme "Faith in Action,"...
India-Pakistan Relations Take Downward Turn Following Dec. 13 Attack in New Delhi
Prof. M.M. Ali is a Washington, DC-based specialist on South Asia and a consultant for the United Nations Development Program.The uncertainties and modern-day irrelevance found in most of the Muslim world can be better understood when studied in their...
In Memoriam: Former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance (1917-2002)
Richard H. Curtiss is the executive editor of the Washington Report.Cyrus Vance exemplified all that was good of the Eastern establishment. His father was a West Virginia landowner who worked for a time with the U.S. government in World War I. His mother...
In Memoriam: Letter to a Fallen Friend
Emad J. Fraitekh is the Washington Report's Executive Web Producer.Israeli military sources said Khamis Ahmad Ali, head of a militia linked to the Fatah movement in the Askar refugee camp, near Nablus, was killed by Israeli commandos.Dear friend,I received...
Islam and the Mideast in the Far East: Alleged Al-Qaeda-Connected Groups Targetted in Malaysia and Singapore
John Gee is a free-lance journalist based in Singapore and the author of Unequal Conflict: Israel and the Palestinians, available from the AET Book Club.Both Malaysia and Singapore recently have arrested groups of Muslim militants alleged to have carried...
Islamic Society of Central Florida Holds Third United Muslim Conference
Walt Disney World's Hilton Hotel in Orlando, FL was a challenging location for the Islamic Society of Central Florida's (ISCF) and the Islamic Society of North America's (ISNA) third annual conference from Dec. 21 to 25. How could organizers entice families...
Issues in the News: Arabian Peninsula
Sharjah Combats Smear Campaign In a keynote address to the Executive Council of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah, urged Muslim countries to combat smear...
Issues in the News: Fertile Crescent
Jordan's state security court sentenced Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Nidal to death in absentia last Dec. 3, reported the Dec. 4, 2001 Saudi Gazette. In 1994, Abu Nidal and four accomplices murdered a Jordanian diplomat, Nayeb Al-Maaytah, in Beirut....
Issues in the News: Israel/Palestine
Israel Attacks Foreign Activists Israeli soldiers attacked 90 foreign peace activists trying to enter the Gaza Strip to conduct solidarity visits, the Arab News reported on Dec. 28. After the U.S. and European civilians were detained for more than four...
Issues in the News: North Africa
Violence in Algeria Statistics drawn from official and media sources put the number of deaths in Algeria resulting from violent acts in 2001 at 1,900 people, down from 2,700 in the year 2000, the Jan. 4 Arabic News Online reported. Many of the deaths...
Issues in the News: The Subcontinent
Bangladeshi PM: Art a Priority According to the Jan. 10 Daily Star, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia pledged to uphold the nation's cultural heritage and promote creativity. "We want to build up an institution of international standard for patronizing...
Jerusalem Journal: Report from Ground Zero
Samah Jabr is a medical intern in her native city of Jerusalem. Betsy Mayfield is a writer living in Ames, Iowa.On Friday morning, Jan. 4, I finished my on-call shift at Maqassed Hospital. It was 7 a.m., and a bright day was just dawning...Breathing...
Letters to the Editor
No Apparent Limit There is not, apparently, any limit to Israeli barbarism. Very recent atrocities demonstrate that outrageous actions are perpetrated indiscriminately and unprovoked against defenseless Palestinian civilians. These unrestrained and flagrantly...
Letter to a Fallen Friend
In Memoriam Israeli military sources said Khamis Ahmad Ali, head of a militia linked to the Fatah movement in the Askar refugee camp, near Nablus, was killed by Israeli commandos. Dear friend, I received word of your death by Israeli assassins on Jan....
Loss of Liberty
Andrew I. Killgore is the publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Howard Films, 2002. Video AET: $25.A new 52-minute video, "Loss of Liberty," dramatically proves, beyond any doubt, that the attack by Israel on June 8, 1967 against...
Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembered in Calls for Peace and Justice
Black Voices for Peace (BVFP), formed by long-time anti-apartheid activist Damu Smith as a forum for African Americans to vocalize their concerns following the national crisis of the 9/11 attacks, held a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day teach-in and workshop...
Michael Rubin Speaks on Sudan and Slave Redemption
Michael Rubin, adjunct scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a powerful Washington think tank with close ties to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), spoke on the topic "Sudan and the Controversy Over Slave Redemption"...
Mill Valley Children Enjoy Lesson in Islam
Elaine Pasquini is a free-lance journalist based in Ignacio, CA.Leaving their shoes outside the door in traditional Muslim fashion, some 125 students from the Mill Valley Middle School filed into the Islamic Center of Mill Valley on Dec. 5 to learn about...
Minister Dan Meridor Provides Israeli View of Current Intifada
Dan Meridor, Israel's minister-without-portfolio and national defense adviser, expressed the Israeli government's views on the current situation in Palestine/Israel at the San Francisco World Affairs Council on Dec. 11. The program was co-sponsored by...
Minister Dan Meridor Provides Israel View of Current Intifada
Dan Meridor, Israel's minister-- without-portfolio and national defense adviser, expressed the Israeli government's views on the current situation in Palestine/ Israel at the San Francisco World Affairs Council on Dec. 11. The program was co-sponsored...
Nine Senators, 23 Representatives in 107th Congress "Hall of Fame"
CongressWatch For the Washington Report's midterm 2001 scorecard for the members of the 107th Congress, two positive and four negative issues were chosen to rate the Senate members. For the House, five positive and three negative issues were chosen....
Opposing Advice to Bush: Take out Iraq vs. Take on Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Richard H. Curtiss is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Let's start with three basic facts. President Saddam Hussain, Iraq's dictator for life, is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to the Middle East....
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves. Military "Solutions" To the Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12, 2001 (as published online). I am writing to add my voice in opposition to any future military...
Performance, Understanding Highlighted at Multi-Ethnic Peace Cafe
On Jan. 21, 2002, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored nationwide for his efforts toward attaining peace and equality between black and white Americans, and for which King gave his life. As one particular event of the day demonstrated,...
Religious Extremism and Holy War: Jews as Well as Muslims Must Put House in Order
Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.The Sept....
Report from Ground Zero
Jerusalem Journal Breathing a sigh of relief, and knowing that I had two whole days of "weekend" to spend at home, I left the hospital in a rush to get to my mother's kitchen in Dahiat Al-Barid, where I knew strong Arabic coffee would be prepared as...
Response to Attacks Debated
A Dec. 23 panel of speakers discussed ways to respond to recent media and political attacks on the Muslim community. Agha Saeed, president of American Muslim Alliance; Sami al-Arian, president of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom; Minister...
Retiring Sen. Jesse Helms Caved to Pro-Israel Lobby Halfway through His Career
Lucille Barnes covers Washington, DC for U.S. and Middle East publications.Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) will retire in 2003 after 30 years in Washington, DC. He became a synonym for negativism, mean-spiritedness, generally clothed in "yes ma'ams," and...
"Rising Voice of Moderate Muslims" Theme of MPAC's First Convention
Pat and Samir Twair are freelance journalists based in Los Angeles."After World War II, the old colonial powers left North Africa, India [and] the Philippines, and the U.S. replaced them and inherited the hatred the people held for the occupying Europeans."...
Security Council Debates Use, Veto of Military Force to Protect Human Rights
United NationsReport As 2001 drew to a close, an international commission set up by the Canadian government reported back on the question Kofi Annan had asked the year before at the U.N.'s Millennium Summit: "If humanitarian intervention is, indeed,...
Somalia's Traditional Clan-Based System Holds Key to the Country's Future Stability
Ali A. Fatah, a resident of Washington, DC, has written extensively on Somalia.A decade or so ago, Somalia began to capture world headlines as its government began to collapse. The country's total political breakdown led to America's brief military intervention...
Talking Turkey: Unexpected Overtures Raise Hopes That 2002 Finally May Be "Year of Cyprus"
Jon Gorvett is a free-lance journalist based in Istanbul.In the deserted compound of Nicosia International Airport on a grey, windswept winter's day, the leaders of the Turkish and Greek communities on the island of Cyprus met early in the new year.The...
"Terrorism": The Word Itself Is Dangerous
John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who writes frequently on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The greatest threat to world peace today is clearly "terrorism"--not the behavior to which the word is applied, but the word itself.For years, people...
"Terrorism": The World Itself Is Dangerous
Special Report The greatest threat to world peace today is clearly "terrorism"-not the behavior to which the word is applied, but the word itself. For years, people have recited the truisms that "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"...
The European Press Looks at the Middle East: Britain's Financial Times Predicts India's "Confrontational Approach" to Pakistan
Lucy Jones is a free-lance journalist based in London.The war of words between India and Pakistan which followed a Dec. 13 suicide bomb attack on the Indian parliament degenerated into outright declarations of war by early January. New Delhi police said...
The Great Caspian Sea Oil Pipeline Game-Part II
Andrew I. Killgore is the publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.As Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's fictional detective Sherlock Holmes might have said to his amiable if rather literal-minded close friend, "It's elementary, my dear Watson,...
The Mideast in the Midwest: Against the Odds, Islamic Association of Palestine Holds Fifth Annual Conference
Kristin Szremski is news editor at a suburban Chicago newspaper.The fear and uncertainty that gripped the Chicago-area Arab and Muslim communities since Sept. 11 intensified following the Dec. 4 closing of Holy Land Foundation, which had an office in...
The Palestinians Face a Critical Period as Sharon's Provocations Increase
Rachelle Marshall is a free-lance editor living in Stanford, CA. A member of the International Jewish Peace Union, she writes frequently on the Middle East.The munitions boat of Arafat has become an ammunition boat for Sharon. He wants to do away with...
Umm Kulthum: A Voice like Egypt
Hugh S. Galford is director of the AET Book Club.Arab Film Distribution, 1996. Video. List: $24.99; AET: $20.This captivating video explores the life of Umm Kulthum, the Arab world's best-known and best-loved female singer. Born into a poor peasant family,...
Unexpected Overtures Raise Hopes That 2002 Finally May Be "Year of Cyprus"
In the deserted compound of Nicosia International Airport on a grey, windswept winter's day, the leaders of the Turkish and Greek communities on the island of Cyprus met early in the new year. The object of their Jan. 11 talks was a grim one: to discuss...
United Nations Report: Security Council Debates Use, Veto of Military Force to Protect Human Rights
As 2001 drew to a close, an international commission set up by the Canadian government reported back on the question Kofi Annan had asked the year before at the U.N.'s Millennium Summit: "If humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault...
U.S. Moves from Condemnation to Tacit Approval of Sharon's War on Palestinians
"With talk of all-out war resounding in the Holy Land, the Bush administration has granted Israel its widest military freedom of action since--in an ominous precedent--a Republican administration turned a blind eye to Ariel Sharon's 1982 invasion of...
U.S.-Saudi Experts Call for Rebuilding Relationship
The Middle East Policy Council hosted a panel of distinguished experts to discuss the future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. "The United States and Saudi Arabia: American Interests and Challenges to the Kingdom in 2002," held Jan. 9 on Capitol Hill,...
U.S. War on Terrorism Bolstered by "Special Friendship" with UK
The International Republican Institute, a nonprofit organization with the stated purpose of advancing democracy worldwide, hosted at its Washington, DC offices on Dec. 6 British Member of Parliament Michael Anscram, deputy leader of the Conservative...
"Why Do They Hate Us?: The Question That Won't Go Away
Riad Z. Abdelkarim, MD, is Western Region communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).One of the most widely asked questions in the weeks and months following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against our nation has been,...
Witnessing a War for Peace in Afghanistan and a War for Conquest in Palestine
Eugene Bird is president of the Council for the National Interest and diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Report.Secretary of State Colin Powell has emerged from his three-month-long secondary role of waging and witnessing a war for peace and...