Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 8, November

Academic Boycott Drama
BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENTS and sanctions (BDS) are nonviolent methods of protest. Nevertheless, the recent proposal adopted by the UK's University and Colleges Union congress simply to discuss whether it should boycott Israeli academic institutions caused...
A Call for Bidders for a Feasibility Study on Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal
At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference ending World War I, David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann practiced an aggressive "grab-the-water" policy. Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of an independent Israel, and Weizmann, Israel's first president, presented...
A Double Standard on Academic Freedom in the Middle East
TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND Palestinian children began school in the Gaza Strip this month without a full complement of textbooks. Why? Because Israel, which maintains a stranglehold over this small strip of land along the Mediterranean even after withdrawing...
AFSC Search for Global Peace
TO HELP CELEBRATE its 90th anniversary, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) held a panel discussion on Aug. 18 featuring eight speakers, each covering different issues related to global peace and justice. The panel discussion was part of an...
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture Campers Explore Heritage of Ziryab and Andalusia
THE NEXT TIME you brush your teeth, or eat asparagus, or use a tablecloth, send a grateful thought to Ziryab, for they are his innovations. A freed slave, Ziryab was a young musician in the court of the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid in Baghdad. In 822...
Arab Poets Perform at San Francisco International Poetry Festival
THE SAN Francisco International Poetry Festival-Poet Laureate Jack Hirschman's contribution to the active San Francisco arts scene-took place from July 26-29 in various venues around the city. Dozens of poets from around the world participated, including...
Behind the Pomp and the Promises: What Are Israel's Real Intentions?
THE MIDDLE EAST peace process may be the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history.-Henry Siegman, in the London Review of Books, Aug. 16, 2007.Ever since the first tribesman put on a feathered headdress and declared himself king, rulers...
Coming to Terms with Reality: Gaza's Intellectuals Contemplate the Future
IN THE WEEKS following the attempted coup by Israeli- and U.S.-trained Fatah militia seeking to overthrow the democratically elected Hamas government, a new reality has emerged: Palestinians now essentially live in two separate nations. To the west,...
Community Rallies for Resigned Principal
MANY SIGNS WERE visible beneath the massive stone columns of the old Tweed Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, where demonstrators gathered Aug. 20 outside Department of Education headquarters to protest the forced resignation of Debbie Almontaser as principal...
Dismay Grows among U.S., Israeli Jews over Expressions of Intolerance and Bigotry
On a number of different issues, dismay is growing among Jews, both in the U.S. and Israel, about manifestations of what many perceive to be intolerance and bigotry. This relates to the treatment not only of Palestinians, but of non-Orthodox branches...
Egyptian Students Shadow Congress
A DELEGATION of 16 Cairo University students, fluent in English and strikingly knowledgeable about U.S. foreign policy as well as national political realities, visited the Washington, DC area from Sept. 2-15 to prepare to participate in the 5th Annual...
Foreign Agents: AIPAC from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal
Foreign Agents: AIPAC From the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage ScandalBy Grant Smith, Institute for Research Middle East Policy, 200 pp. List: $14.95; AET: $11.Reviewed by Richard H. CurtissGrant Smith's book, Foreign Agents, provides excellent...
From Four Millennia Away, the Remaining Wonder of the Ancient World
ONLY ONE OF the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World remains. All the rest have been swept away and are known to us only through the descriptions of the ancients. The surviving wonder, coincidentally, is also the oldest. Constructed over a 20-year period...
German Paper Says Turkey "Will Never Turn Away from Europe"
THE AUG. 28 election of Abdullah Gul as Turkey's new president-the first politician with an Islamist background to become head of state since the creation of the secular Turkish Republic in 1923-was viewed with a touch of apprehension by the European...
HCEF Director Provides Update on Crisis in Palestine
RATEB RABIE, DIRECTOR of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF), chaired an Aug. 24 meeting at his Bethesda, MD offices to report on his latest trip to Palestine/Israel and begin preparations for HCEF's 9th international conference, which...
Indonesians Honor Independence Day with Festive San Francisco Celebration
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA'S Indonesian-American community held its 13th annual Indonesian Day festival Aug. 11 in San Francisco's Union Square. The world's fourth most populous country with 234 million people-home to the world's largest Muslim population-declared...
Iraq Veteran Stands Guard over National Mall
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS Evan Knappenberger stood watch from his guard tower on Sunday, Aug. 26. Although the 22-year-old soldier already had pulled some 97 nights on guard during his year-long tour in Iraq, his shift that day was like no other. This time,...
Kach's U.S. Representatives Continue to Solicit Funds for Banned Terrorist Group
By The DC Investigative Journalism CollectiveACCORDING TO Israeli Army Radio, the banned right-wing terrorist group Kach is petitioning Israel's High Court of Justice to reinstate its status as a legal political party, thereby allowing its members to...
Kentucky at War
CAROL TRAINER COULD hardly process what was happening. To her, a 60-year-old grandmother and Vietnam veteran, of all people. On Memorial Day, of all times. Arrested for protesting the war at, of all places, Abbey Road on the River, an annual five-day...
Letters to the Editor
Appalled and OutragedMY FIRST FOCUS IS, and will remain, on the endlessly tormented people of Palestine. But I was appalled and outraged at the mistreatment of Imam Yassin Aref and his family, reported with such articulateness by Stephen Downs in your...
Mearsheimer and Walt Speak at Politics and Prose Bookstore
THE DAY AFTER the Sept. 4 release of their controversial book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen W. Walt of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government spoke at Politics...
Muslim Family Endures Hate Crime-Again
AT 4 A.M. ON the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammed Hussein left his home and sleeping family in Gaithersburg, MD, and drove to work, as he does every workday. A few hours later, his wife, Samira, was getting their children ready for school,...
Not Playing by the Book: Politics as Usual in Pakistan
DESPITE THE FACT that this is an election year in Pakistan, uncertainty reigns. This is because the game of presidential politics currently has three players: President Pervez Musharraf, and former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Each...
Obituaries
Afghanistan's King Mohammad Zahir Shah, 92, died July 23 in Kabul. The only son of Mohammed Nadir Shah, and a descendent of Ahmed Shah, founder of the Durrani dynasty in the 18th century, he was educated at the Pasteur Institute in France, where his...
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves.9/11 and the American FrontierTo The New York Times, Sept. 7, 2007"America's Guardian Myths," by Susan Faludi (op-ed, Sept. 7), is very insightful....
Palestine: Democracy, Not Zionism
WITH SOME SORT of "meeting" or "conference" to "kick start" the "peace process" (date, place and participants to be determined) now being touted by the Bush administration, there is at least the appearance of an understanding in Washington of the importance...
Pipeline, Pipeline, Who's Got the Pipeline? Turkey's Quest for Energy Significance
WITH ANKARA residents treated to power cuts and water shortages this summer, Turkey's newly elected government did not seem to be getting off to such a good start.Voted back in partly because of its success at managing the country's economic growth,...
Protest outside Wembley against Apartheid Israel's Participation
HUNDREDS OF demonstrators gathered outside London's Wembley Stadium Sept. 8, during the England-Israel qualifying match for the Euro 2008 competition, to protest the participation of apartheid Israel. Members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends...
Rajie Cook Honors Rachel Corrie
INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN graphic designer, photographer and artist Rajie Cook has finished a new kinetic box he calls, "Stop!, A-Tzor'!, Waqiff"-translating "Stop" in English, Hebrew and Arabic. A red stop light blinks on and off when viewers stand in front...
Searching for Lost Fathers
AN ELDERLY WOMAN was brought to my public service doctor's office suffering from lack of sleep. Apparently demented, she had been hallucinating and sleepless for the past few weeks. Although she did not recognize her daughter and grandson who brought...
Shalom, Doc-Hang Ten!
TEN TOES ON THE NOSE-full speed ahead! "Hang ten" describes a surfer's euphoria-until recently, an experience available to Gazans only through photographs. But no longer. Retired 87-year-old Jewish-American doctor Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, a surfer for...
Statement to the June 10, 2007 Rally to End the 40-Year Occupation of Palestine
YOU ARE GATHERED today before the Congress, often called Capitol Hill, but on the issue of Palestinian freedom it has behaved as Withering Heights.Gaze, will you, at the Congress, which marches to the drumbeat of the Israeli government's policies with...
Tens of Thousands Converge on Washington to Demand End to Iraq War
TENS OF THOUSANDS of anti-war activists gathered on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007 under a sunny sky in Washington, DC to rally, march and stage a "symbolic die-in" to end the Iraq war, bring the troops home, and prevent a U.S.-led attack on Iran. An estimated...
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign PolicyBy John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007, 484 pp. List: $26.00; AET: $17.75.Reviewed by Paul FindleyABRAHAM LINCOLN ducked when religion surfaced during his successful campaign...
The Prez in the Fez
LONG-TIME POLITICAL cartoonist for the Washington Report Khalil Bendib kicked off his "presidential campaign" with a packed house at Mudraker's Cafe in Berkeley, CA on Aug. 30. Wearing his signature fez-part of his persona as cartoonist, Bendib doesn't...
UAE Seeks Regional Stability, Warns against War on Iran
UNDER THE AEGIS of the Abu Dhabi-based National Media Council, 13 American newspaper publishers and columnists from Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington, DC, including American University Prof. Edmund Ghareeb, set...
Upcoming Events
Threads of Pride: Palestinian Traditional Costumes will be on view through Nov. 25 at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI 48126. For more information call (313) 582-2266 or visit <www.arabamericanmuseum.org>.The...
U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Holds Conference
THE U.S. CAMPAIGN to End the Israeli Occupation held its 6th annual national organizers' conference Sept. 7 to 10 at George Mason University's Arlington, VA campus. Around 100 delegates from 50 member groups attended to assess the current situation in...
Visitors to West Bank Describe Palestinians as Overpowered, but Not Resigned
ON A TWO-WEEK TRIP to the West Bank, Greta Berlin, Mary Hughes-Thompson, Hedy Epstein and journalist Alison Weir twice were removed from buses for taking photos, Berlin's passport was confiscated, and Epstein was barred from entering Hebron through a...
Wedad's Choice
WHAT'S THE VALUE of an American passport to an ally?That's the question the Yacoub family of Lakeland, FL has been asking since Aug. 18, when Israeli officials refused to honor the U.S. passports of seven of their ten children as they were attempting...
Welcome to New York City Public Schools
THE NEW YORK POST had not had an Arab-bashing moment for some time and, feeling the need for that kind of satisfaction, decided to invent one on its own.A Yemeni woman, Debbie Almontaser, described by The New York Times as a veteran public school teacher,...