Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 7, September/October

A Chronology of U.S-Middle East Relations
Facts for Your Files June 1: Israel invaded Nablus, Bethlehem, Tamoun, and Tulkarm, killing one Palestinian in Nablus and kidnapping at least 59. * Saudi Arabia sentenced some of the suspects in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing that killed 19 U.S. servicemen....
A Jagger in Jenin
Longtime human rights advocate Bianca Jagger addressed the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine July 16, 2002, regarding her experiences in Palestine and Israel as part of the United Nations Population Fund. The native of Nicaragua first became interested...
Al-Jazeera: Mouthpiece for Terrorists, Lackey for Israel, or Voice for Democracy?
Sr. Elaine Kelley is the administrative officer for Friends of Sabeel-North America.The World Affairs Council of Oregon's Monthly Headline Forum on July 25 featured a talk by Hafez Al-Mirazi, Washington bureau chief for the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite...
American Educational Trust
A Year After 9/11, the U.S. Has Become.. A tough neighborhood for Arab- and Muslim-Americans, and for visitors to this country from the Mideast and Islamic world. The civil rights and freedoms of all Americans no longer seem inviolable, as the media...
American Muslims and 9/11: A Community Looks Back.And to the Future
Riad Z. Abdelkarim, M.D. is Western Region communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).As our nation approaches the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, American Muslims around the country will join...
Arab Human Development Report Takes an Honest Look at Region
AT THE BEGINNING of July, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) issued the first Arab Human Development Report examining the social progress of the Arab world. Overall, it does not look good. Because this was a regional report, its authors were...
Arabian Peninsula
Study Wans of Stagnation in Arab Societies The new Arab Human Development Report 2002-commissioned by the United Nations and written by a group of Arab intellectuals-warns that a lack of political freedom, repression of women and intellectual isolation...
A State for All Its Citizens-One Palestinian's Dream of Peace
Samah Jabr is a medical intern in her native city of Jerusalem.For the past two years I have longed to be able to spend a Sunday in New York's Central Park. I remember it as a place where people of every color, race and creed enjoy the blossom of pink...
Bahrain Hosts Dialogue on Islamic Contributions to Civilization
The Kingdom of Bahrain hosted a conference on May 30 in Manama to address current and historical aspects of Muslim civilization in the context of Western civilization. The Ministry of Information event was put together by "Discover Islam," a non-profit,...
Cairo Communique: Egypt's Deep-Sixed 1954 Constitution a Reminder of What Might Have Been
Andrew Hammond is a free-lance journalist based in Cairo.Egyptian historian Salah Issa recently found the document that was to turn Egypt into a liberal constitutional democracy lying in pile of dust in a dank forgotten room of the Arab League buildings...
Call for Early Elections Sets off Political Crisis for Turkey's Coalition Government
Talking Turkey Summer is traditionally a time for rest and recuperation, and for Turkey's parliament, this year was no exception. In early June, the hard-working deputies usually vote themselves a three-- month paid holiday before shutting up shop and...
Canada Calling: Federal Court of Canada to Decide Landmark Case on Jewish Charity
Faisal Kutty is a Toronto-based attorney and writer. He can be reached at <fkutty@law.com>.Members of the Canadian Jewish community are anxiously awaiting a decision by the Federal Court of Canada regarding a tax appeal launched by a Jewish charity....
Central Asia
Female Aid Workers Leave Northern Afghanistan According to the June 26 Arab News, New York based Human Rights Watch catalogued over 150 cases of murder, looting and gangrape of ethnic Pashtuns in Afghanistan's northern regions, where they are a minority...
Christianity and the Middle East: The Christian Right and Support for Israel
How does one explain the differences in Middle East policies between President George W. Bush and that of his father just a decade ago? For some the answer is quite simple. It is the influence of the Christian right on the younger Bush.During Israel's...
Congress Watch: Ten Senators, 27 Representatives Make 107th Congress "Hall of Fame"
Shirl McArthur, a retired foreign service officer, is a consultant in the Washington, DC area.Considering the increasingly virulent anti-Palestinian, sometimes anti-Arab, congressional actions and expressions over the past few months, it is tempting...
Constitutional Changes and Prospects for Shariah Banking in Pakistan
Prof. M.M. Ali, a specialist on South Asia based in the Washington, DC area, is a consultant with the United Nations Development Program.Pakistan's Supreme Court has required the government of Pervez Musharraf to hold elections by October 2002, and Musharraf...
Deaths
Suliman Saleh Olayan, founding chairman and long-time chief executive of The Olayan Group, died July 4 in New York, where he had been undergoing medical treatment, at the age of 83. Born in 1918 and orphaned at a young age, he founded a single trucking...
Debilitating Corruption
Residents of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, were angry when they heard that their government planned to devote five times as much money to feeding four gorillas newly brought to Ragunan Zoo as it allocated to provide for the city's numerous poor last...
Deepening Turkish Crisis Worries European Papers
Germany's Berliner Zeitung of July 12 warned against ignoring the political crisis in Turkey, pointing out that "the big neighbor with almost 70 million people is politically and strategically far too important for Europe." Turkey's paralysis deepened...
Demonstrators Rally for Palestine, Protest Cheney Visit
Anti-war activism has blossomed around the country since Sept. 11, and Portland, Oregon--City of Roses, recycling capital of the West, wilderness refuge of the Woodstock generation, and birthplace of radical poet/journalist/Bolshevik hero John Reed--is...
Denied Entry: Israel Blocks American Muslims from Visit to Holy Sites
Margaret Zaknoen is director of programs of American Muslims for Jerusalem <http://www.amjerusalem.org>. She accompanied the delegation on its trip.The ad reads: "Show your solidarity in support of Israel on a mission that includes briefings by...
Do Recent Assassinations Presage Return to Chaos in Afghanistan?
Andrew North is a reporter for the BBC who recently was in Afghanistan.Anywhere in the world, it is taken as a given that the leader of a country--however lacking in funds--is protected by his or her fellow nationals, for reasons of pride as much as...
Egypt's Deep-Sixed 1954 Constitution a Reminder of What Might Have Been
CairoCommunique Egyptian historian Salah Issa recently found the document that was to turn Egypt into a liberal constitutional democracy lying in pile of dust in a dank forgotten room of the Arab League buildings in Cairo. "I had read many mentions of...
European Press Review: Morocco Has "Chosen the Path of Confrontation," Says Spain's El Mundo
Lucy Jones is a free-lance journalist based in London.The arrival of a dozen Moroccan soldiers July 12 on a tiny island inhabited only by goats set off an international incident, with Spain claiming that Rabat had made a serious challenge to its sovereignty....
Faith Watch and Vigil at Boeing Headquarters
On Saturday, July 6, Christian Peacemaker Teams held a vigil at Boeing's Chicago headquarters to launch a seven-day, 193-mile faith walk to the Caterpillar headquarters in Peoria, IL. The walk was led by CPTers Michael Goode, who was denied entry into...
FBI Director Mueller Addresses AMC Conventiongoers
Avid readers of The Washington Times may have come across a June 29 article by Jerry Seper entitled "FBI chief asks Muslim council's anti-terror help." According to Seper, as FBI director Robert S. Mueller III addressed the American Muslim Council's...
Federal Court of Canada to Decide Landmark Case on Jewish Charity
CanadaCalling Members of the Canadian Jewish community are anxiously awaiting a decision by the Federal Court of Canada regarding a tax appeal launched by a Jewish charity. The decision could mean that the Canadian Magen David Adom for Israel (CMDA)...
Fertile Crescent
Environment, Economics Combine In Jordan According to the July 24 Jordan Times online, Jordan's Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the country's oldest environmental protection organization, has broken new ground with a U.S.-funded...
First Amendment Victory in Chicago
Ironies never cease when it comes to telling the story of the Palestinians. For example, a Palestinian film festival in Chicago lost the support of its university host when it was determined that the theme could be "controversial." When the university...
From a Distance, U.N. Issues Report on Israeli Invasion of Jenin, West Bank
The newspapers all reported "U.N. Report Shows No Massacre" when it came out, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry crowed vindication. Perhaps they should have actually read the report, which says that the Israeli incursion into Jenin killed 52 Palestinians,...
Hannibal Club Recognizes Benjamin Gilman
Tunisian Ambassador to the U.S. Hatem Atallah and Mrs. Atallah, and Ambassador and Mrs. Robert Pelletreau, Jr. together hosted the Hannibal Club's fourth annual award dinner June 25 at Washington's Mayflower Hotel. The banquet is a favorite event for...
In Event of Another 9/11, Says Bush Appointee, "Forget Civil Rights in This Country"
The Mideast in the Midwest After a series of court battles over a contested seat on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), Cleveland attorney Peter Kirsanow gained his place on the Commission-just where President George W. Bush wanted him. Ironic,...
Iran/Iraq
Iranian Youth Harassed by "Depravity" Crackdown Iranian police have launched a new crackdown on "depravity," reports the June 30 Saudi Gazette, especially in the nation's capital of Tehran. Identity and marriage certificate checks are becoming regular...
Islam and the Middle East in the Far East: Wounded Foreign Workers in Israel Feared to Seek Treatment after Bombing
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.On the night of July 17, two Islamic Jihad members exploded the bombs they were carrying near an...
Israel/Palestine
Israeli Hackers Lead the World The July 10 Ha'aretz reported that "during the first half of 2002, Israel ranked first in the world in the number of hackers relative to its number of Web users," ahead of Hong Kong and France. According to a study conducted...
Israel's Indifference to Civilian Lives
Israel's July 22 killing of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh in Gaza has taken to new heights this war in which civilians are constantly forced to pay the price. In using American F-16 combat planes to drop a one-ton bomb on a crowded apartment building,...
Israel Uses Terror to Derail Peace Efforts and Establish Permanent Occupation
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 State of Israel has arisen, but our country is not yet liberated. The battle continues: it...
Kinder USA Hosts First Fund-Raiser
History was made July 21 when the four-month-old KinderUSA hosted its first fund-raiser for needy Palestinian children. More than 350 guests gathered for the dinner program in Sequoia Conference Center, Buena Park, where emergency plans were discussed...
LAHC Arab American Scholarship Awards Banquet
The Lebanese-American Heritage Club (LAHC), known for providing social, cultural and athletic outlets for Detroit-area Arab Americans, presented more than 50 awards at its 14th Annual Scholarship Dinner on Friday, May 17. Customarily granting scholarships...
Letter from the Levant: Saudi Prince Walid Ibn Talal - Lebanon's Next Prime Minister?
Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst.Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri is in the hot spot once again, facing a barrage of criticism for the country's prolonged economic stalemate. This time, however, his accusers are not members of the Lebanese...
Letters to the Editor
Palestinians Deserve Better As a very old Jew I am deeply concerned about the fascist behavior of the Israeli government. I lived in Palestine when it was still British ruled and the first few years after 1948 before I left. Recently we all saw the independence...
Los Angeles Motorists Startled by "Israeli Checkpoint"
Southern California Chronicle As motorists stopped for a red light on busy Wilshire Boulevard, several helmeted youths in khaki uniforms and Star of David armbands sprinted into the intersection, kneeled and took aim at windshields with their cardboard...
Malaysia Welcomes Arab Tourists
Flying back to Singapore from the north Malaysian island of Langkawi last year with my family, we found ourselves seated next to a young couple from Saudi Arabia. They were newlyweds and, for both of them, this was their first trip abroad. We asked them...
Morocco Has "Chosen the Path of Confrontation," Say Spain's El Mundo
European PressReview The arrival of a dozen Moroccan soldiers July 12 on a tiny island inhabited only by goats set off an international incident, with Spain claiming that Rabat had made a serious challenge to its sovereignty. The "invasion" of Isla de...
"Mosaic" Brings Arabic News to English-Speaking Audiences
San Francisco businessman Jamal Dajani is filling a muchneeded void in the dissemination of news from the Middle East to the American public. As director of Arabic programming and producer of WorldLink TV's informative new television program, "Mosaic,"...
"Mosaic" Brings Arabic News to English-Speaking Audiences
San Francisco businessman Jamal Dajani is filling a much-needed void in the dissemination of news from the Middle East to the American public. As director of Arabic programming and producer of WorldLink TV's informative new television program, "Mosaic,"...
MPAC Hosts 11th Media Awards
For 11 years the Muslim Public Affairs Council has honored personalities in the entertainment field who show courage and a conscience in combating negative images of Muslims. This year's awards went to actor/activist Edward James Olmos, TV producer and...
Muslim World League Makes Goodwill Visit to New York as Part of U.S. Tour
New York City and Tri-StateNews The Muslim World League, headquartered in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is an organization committed to promoting peace and understanding between Islam and other faiths, cultures, and civilizations. This summer the League sent...
New York City and Tri-State News: Muslim World League Makes Goodwill Visit to New York as Part of U.S. Tour
Jane Adas is a free-lance writer based in the New York metropolitan area.The Muslim World League, headquartered in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is an organization committed to promoting peace and understanding between Islam and other faiths, cultures, and civilizations....
North Africa
Oldest Intact Sarcophagus Found Near Pyramids The June 18 Arab News reported that archeologists have found the world's oldest intact sarcophagus near the pyramids of Giza. The sarcophagus, 6.5 feet long and 3 feet wide, may contain the 4,500-year-old...
Old Cairo in Black and White
On view at the San Francisco Arab Cultural Center June 21 through 23 was Egyptian-American photographer Monda Rafla's exhibit, "Legacies of Cairo: Her Monuments and Her People." The photographer gave a brief presentation at the opening reception June...
Open Tent Offers Breath of Culture
On a sultry July evening, Open Tent LA offered a new cultural experience to Angelenos of Middle Eastern origins when it hosted a reading of Egyptian master playwright Tewfiq al-Hakim's "The Tree Dweller." The event was all the more memorable for being...
Other Evangelical Leaders Urge Bush to Follow "Even-Handed U.S. Policy"
Other Evangelical Leaders* Urge Bush to Follow "Even-Handed U.S. Policy" July 2, 2002 Dear Mr. President, We write as American evangelical Christians concerned for the well-being of all the children of Abraham in the Middle East-Christian, Jewish and...
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves. U.S. Offers No Evidence To The Boston Globe, July 30, 2002 (as published). Scott Ritter, in "Is Iraq a true threat to the U.S.?" (op ed, July...
Palestinian Delegation Receives Tea and Sympathy but No Real Support
They came, they communicated with the American public, and they left with the administration's policy unchanged. On Aug. 8 Secretary of State Colin Powell hosted three Palestinian ministers, in the first visit to Washington by a formal Palestinian delegation...
Palestinian Unity in Defense
A statesman without a state, well-known Palestinian activist Dr. Haidar Abdel Shafi addressed an overflow house at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine Aug. 5. As a physician and chair of both the Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip and the...
PANA Seeks to Galvanize Pakistani-American Community
Muslim-American Activism To protect and promote vital Pakistani-- American interests in the United States, five major Pakistani-American organizations have joined together to form the national Pakistan American National Alliance (PANA). The new organization...
Panelists Discuss Bush Speech
Four distinguished panelists--two Americans and two Palestinians--discussed President George Bush's long-awaited speech on the Palestine-Israel conflict at a June 27 luncheon at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine.The first panelist, Ambassador...
Report from Palestine
"Report from Palestine: a Discussion with Recently Returned Solidarity Activists" took place July 18 at the Brecht Forum. The evening, co-sponsored by Direct Action Palestine, began with laughter and ended with tears.The speakers were introduced by Maysoon,...
Richard Perle's Stealth Attack on Saudi Arabia
Richard Curtiss is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Former Pentagon official Richard Perle, a long-time supporter of Israel, reached new heights in his mission to distract the American public from dealing with the...
Ros-Lehtinen Screens Cyprus Documentary
On July 17, during the week marking the 28th anniversary of Turkey's invasion of northern Cyprus, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) hosted a congressional screening of the award-winning documentary, "Beyond Division: Reunifying the Republic of Cyprus."...
Sami Al-Arian and Mazen Al-Najjar: A Tale of Two Palestinian Brothers-in-Law
Richard Curtiss is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.The story of Sami Al-Arian and his best friend and brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar, is a saga of tragedy and cruel fate. There is no moral. There is no villain. There...
San Francisco Librarian, Montana-Based Nonprofit Devoted to Educating Afghan Girls
Elaine Pasquini is a free-lance photojournalist based in Ignacio, CA.Nearly one year after the U.S.-led bombing of Afghanistan began in October 2001, non-governmental agencies continue to provide assistance to Afghans, although the American media's reporting...
Saudi Prince Walid Ibn Talal-Lebanon's Next Prime Minister?
Letter From the Levant Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri is in the hot spot once again, facing a barrage of criticism for the country's prolonged economic stalemate. This time, however, his accusers are not members of the Lebanese opposition, but...
"Second Holocaust" Rhetoric Trivializes Nazism's Victims in Effort to Silence Debate
Israel and Judaism Where others see a sharp exchange of views about geopolitical questions in the continuing debate over developments in the Middle East, many Jewish spokesmen see a storm of anti-Semitism and even genocide on the horizon. Abraham Foxman,...
Solidarity International, Attorney Stanley L. Cohen Announce Landmark Lawsuit
Special Report At a July 17 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Solidarity International and attorney Stanley L. Cohen announced the filing of a groundbreaking lawsuit against the State of Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon...
Solidarity International, Attorney Stanley L. Cohen Announces Landmark Lawsuit
Janeet McMahon is managing editor of the Washington Report.At a July 17 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Solidarity International and attorney Stanley L. Cohen announced the filing of a groundbreaking lawsuit against the...
Southern California Chronicle: Los Angeles Motorists Startled by "Israeli Checkpoint"
Pat and Samir Twair are freelance journalists based in Los Angeles.As motorists stopped for a red light on busy Wilshire Boulevard, several helmeted youths in khaki uniforms and Star of David armbands sprinted into the intersection, kneeled and took...
Spanish Eviction of Moroccan Troops Called "Act of Folly"
European PressReview On July 17 Spain retook Parsley Island, sending elite troops, transported in attack helicopters and supported by five warships and two submarines, to disarm the half-dozen Moroccan gendarmes who had "occupied" the rock for six days....
Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine
At times, passages in Strangers in the House read like poetry, yet Raja Shehadeh provides a painstaking account of the theft of a nation and his family's loss of considerable property in Jaffa when it was overrun by Israeli gunmen in 1948.In this candid...
Supporters for Jonathan J. Pollard, Spy-for-Israel, Continue to Work for His Release
Richard Curtiss is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Jonathan Jay Pollard now has been in prison for nearly 15 years, serving a life sentence for spying for Israel. His guilt has never been questioned. A majority of...
Talking Turkey: Call for Early Elections Sets off Political Crisis for Turkey's Coalition Government
Jon Gorvett is a free-lance journalist based in Istanbul.Summer is traditionally a time for rest and recuperation, and for Turkey's parliament, this year was no exception. In early June, the hard-working deputies usually vote themselves a three-month...
Ten Senators, 27 Representatives Make 107th Congress "Hall of Fame"
Considering the increasingly virulent anti-- Palestinian, sometimes anti-- Arab, congressional actions and expressions over the past few months, it is tempting for this, The Washington Report's pre-election scorecard for the members of the 107th Congress,...
The Christian Right and Support for Israel
Christianity and the Middle East How does one explain the differences in Middle East policies between President George W. Bush and that of his father just a decade ago? For some the answer is quite simple. It is the influence of the Christian right on...
The Mideast in the Midwest: In Event of Another 9/11, Says Bush Appointee, "Forget Civil Rights in This Country"
Roxane Ellis Rodriguez Assaf is a free-lance writer based in Chicago.After a series of court battles over a contested seat on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), Cleveland attorney Peter Kirsanow gained his place on the Commission--just where...
The Secretary Is Not Leaving!
Eugene Bird, a retired foreign service officer, is president of the Council for the National Interest and diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Report.With a straight face, Secretary of State Colin Powell told National Security and Defense officials...
The Subcontinent
Bangledash Closes Oldest State-- Owned Enterprise The June 26 Arab News reported that the Bangladesh government has decided to close the nation's oldest state-owned enterprise, the Adamjee Jute Mill, located 12 miles east of Dhaka. The mill, set up in...
Two Views: Why the Push to Attack Iraq?
Israel's Last Tango in Washington: Will the U.S. Attack Iraq? Bv Andrew I. Killgore Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. "Looming above all other causes of alienation from America... was...the Israeli-Palestinian...
U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson Latest Casualty of Mideast Conflict
Ian Williams is a free-lance journalist based at the United Nations.There have been many casualties of the Middle East conflict--and not just Arabs and Israelis. They include Swedish aristocrats like Count Folke Bernadotte, congressmen from Alabama like...
United Nations Report: From a Distance, U.N. Issues Report on Israeli Invasion of Jenin, West Bank
Ian Williams is a free-lance journalist based at the United Nations.The newspapers all reported "U.N. Report Shows No Massacre" when it came out, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry crowed vindication. Perhaps they should have actually read the report,...
U.S. Opinion Polls Show Growing Support for Palestinians
Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor and Delinda C. Hanley news editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.There is good news for Palestinians from recent opinion polls. Most polls from the United States, Europe, and even Israel, show growing...
Wary American Jews
At the same time, many American Jews are wary of such a close alliance. Rabbi David Saperstein, executive director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, expressed concern for the Christian Right's literal interpretation of biblical passages...
While Media Spotlights One Anthrax Suspect, Another Is Too Hot to Touch
Delinda Curtiss Hanley is the news editor of the Washington Report on Middle East AffairsAmerica's mainstream press finds some stories too hot to handle. One of the most egregious examples of this is its coverage of the hunt for the perpetrator of the...
Why the Push to Attack Iraq? Israel's Last Tango in Washington: Will the U.S. Attack Iraq?
Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs."Looming above all other causes of alienation from America...was...the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American unilateralism."--Clyde Prestowitz, The Washington Post, July...
Why the Push to Attack Iraq? War Party Takes on Iraq in Order to Stall Israel-Palestine Peace Talks
Richard Curtiss is the executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.The Biden-Lugar Senate hearings held Aug. 1 and 2 turned out to be a landmark in public debate in the United States. The event was comparable to the hearings in 1990...
Will Israel Again Use Nuclear Leverage on U.S.?
Nuclear specialist and longtime activist for Palestinian rights John Steinbach posed a frightening question at a July 29 luncheon briefing at Washington, DC's Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine. Is Israel prepared once again to threaten to use its...
Wounded Forign Workers in Israel Feared to Seek Treatment after Bombing
Islam and the Middle East in the Far East On the night of July 17, two Islamic Jihad members exploded the bombs they were carrying near an all-night kiosk in Tel Aviv, killing five people and injuring 40 to 50 more. "Palestinian terrorists seem to have...