Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 6, September

ADC National Convention: "Taking Charge; Moving Forward"
From June 21-24, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) held its annual national convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, DC. Throughout the four-day conference, attendees participated in a wide array of discussions that focused...
Anti-Semitism against Jews and Arabs: A Double Standard?
While most are quick to rightfully condemn acts of bigotry directed toward American Jews, many Arab Americans feel that acts of intolerance directed toward their community often go unchecked. In an effort to explore this dilemma, political activist Ralph...
As Egypt's New President Takes Office, Human Rights Groups Want Their Say
Egyptian activists were angered when the country's new president, Mohamed Morsi, failed to meet with a number of demonstrators who had camped in front of the Presidential Palace in early July. They had hoped to express their goals for Egypt's future...
A Tale of Two Lobbies That Harm America: The NRA and AIPAC
Once again, Americans are in mourning following the tragic mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado after midnight on July 20. The world remembers earlier attacks, including the massacre in Norway which killed 77 people almost exactly a year...
Author Tackles Afghan Refugee Crisis
The National Press Club in Washington, DC welcomed Khaled Hosseini on World Refugee Day, June 19, to discuss the ongoing Afghan refugee crisis. Hosseini, the best- selling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, is himself an Afghan and...
Billboard Call to Stop Aid to Israeli Army Agitates Congressional Candidates
Never underestimate the determination of a peace activist, could well be the motto of JeffWarner. A case in point is the 23 billboards he succeeded in erecting all over Los Angeles County urging voters to demand that Congress stop sending $3 billion...
Church Conference Finds Hope in Despair
At the Churches for Middle East Peace conference, held June 18 and 19 at the Catholic University of America's Edward J. Pryzbyla Center in Washington, DC, hope ultimately overcame pessimism and bleak assessments.The conference opened with a morning discussion...
Conference Explores Turkey Domestically and Internationally
The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosted its third annual conference on Turkey June 27 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The day-long conference featured speeches and panels that explored the array of domestic and international issues facing...
East of the Sun: A Memoir
East of the Sun: A Memoir By Noha Shaath Ismail, AuthorHouse, 2011, paperback, 196 pp. List: $16.95; AET: $14 Reviewed by Dale SprusanskyFor much of her life, Noha Shaath Ismail has struggled to develop a sense of who she is as both a woman and a citizen....
Getting beyond American-Muslim Caricatures
The Newseum in Washington, DC held a conference on June 28 titled "Reason vs.Rhetoric: Understanding American Muslims," co-sponsored by Our Shared Future, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, the Interfaith Alliance, and the Religious Freedom...
Getting to the Bottom of Yemen, "The Always Almost Failing State"
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) gathered experts to discuss the roots of Yemen's problems and offer some solutions in a June 26 panel discussion entitled "Crisis Yemen: Going Where?" at the City Club of Washington, DC.Dr. John Duke...
Glimpse at Pakistani Media Reveals Fractures and Progress
Hours after the controversial ousting of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani by the country's Supreme Court, and Pakistani media were in a frenzy, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC hosted its June 19 event titled "Pakistani...
Intriguing "Cleopatra: Search for the Last Queen of Egypt" Exhibit Opens in L.A
Thanks to a Hollywood extravaganza of the 1960s, most of us have a rudimentary knowledge of the fabled life of Cleopatra VII, the last ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt. As portrayed by the actress Elizabeth Taylor, the beauteous queen was hidden in a carpet...
Joshua Landis Discusses Syrian Uprising
Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, hosted Joshua Landis, associate professor and director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, for a July 16 lecture at its Washington,...
Kashf Foundation Leads Gendered Development in Pakistan
The Atlantic Council of the United States hosted a June 26 discussion of the lessons learned from gendered microfinance moderated by Shuja Nawaz, director of the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center.Roshaneh Zafar, founder of the Kashf Foundation, outlined...
Mowahid Shah Launches His Book, Will & Skill
Every seat was taken at Ravi Kabob restaurant in Arlington, VA on July 16 for the Will and Skill book signing, which turned into a roast for its author, Mowahid Hussain Shah. Copies of Will and Skill, published in Lahore, Pakistan, were nearly absent...
Mubarak May Be Gone, but in Egypt's Jails His Legacy Lingers On
Arriving in Egypt June 24, I reveled in the euphoria and joy of Egyptians celebrating the country's first contested election after decades of one-party oppression-and the announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood's Dr. Mohamed Morsi was the victor over...
Munich Conference on One Democratic State
On June 30 and July 1, 34 international activists met in Munich, Germany to plan and focus attention on One Democratic State (ODS) in Palestine/Israel. These Jews and non-Jews, men and women, all share the belief that the only just, viable solution to...
Nine Senators, 16 Representatives in 112th Congress' "Hall of Fame"
With the November general election rapidly approaching, the Washington Report is pleased to again present its scorecard for the current members of Congress. As it has done in previous congresses, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) exerted...
Obituaries
Sattareh Farman Farmaian, 90, a daughter of Persian royalty and catalyst for the social work field in Iran, died May 21 at her home in Los Angeles. She was one of 36 children born to a prominent prince in the Qajar dynasty that ruled Iran for more than...
Other People's Mail
Palestinians Denied Their VoiceTo the Oakland Tribune, June 22, 2012The recent letters in opposition to an Alameda County Palestinian Cultural Day clearly show that there is a coordinated effort to deny Palestinians their voice, even in the most benign...
Panelists Discuss Future Strategies for Negotiating Peace in Palestine
The Jerusalem Fund held a July 12 panel discussion at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC entitled "Negotiating Peace: Motivations, Mechanisms and Methods." The event was the second of the Jerusalem Fund's annual intern-organized lecture series. This...
Panelists Suggest Cultural Solutions in Pakistan
The Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum (CPRF) presented a June 12 panel at the Johns Hopkins University's Washington, DC campus to discuss "Culturally-Based Approaches to Peacebuilding in Pakistan." It was one of the monthly talks held by CPRF,...
Post-Election Egypt
Days before Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as Egypt's first freely elected president on June 30, two events were held in Washington, DC to discuss the implications of the country's June 16-17 run-offpresidential election.At a June 25 event co-hosted by Johns...
Presbyterian Church Votes to Boycott Ahava, Settlement Dates
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States tackled a number of issues related to the Israeli occupation of Palestine during its July meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. After a heated debate about whether the Church should divest from...
Proof Found That in 1967 Israel Destroyed Centuries-Old Jerusalem Mosque
The discovery of a rare aerial photo of Jerusalem in the 1930s, taken by a Zeppelin, has provided the long-sought-after proof that when Israel occupied the Old City in 1967 it secretly destroyed an important mosque that dated from the time of Saladin...
Publishers' Page
Incredible Shrinking Lands.Suburban New York commuters are talking about billboards recently placed by 84-year-old Henry Clifford in 50 Metro-North train stations in Westchester County. Clifford's succinct ad (see Table of Contents) shows four simple...
Road Bumps in Tunisia's Transition
The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and the New America Foundation co-hosted a June 29 event titled "Road Bumps in Tunisia: Understanding Emerging Tensions" at the New America Foundation offices in Washington, DC. Leila Hilal, co-director of...
Supporters of the Egyptian Revolution Rally in San Francisco
Egyptian Americans and their supporters gathered in San Francisco's Union Square June 4 to show solidarity with the people of Egypt who are struggling to establish democracy in their country. Many at the evening rally waved the colorful red, white and...
Syrian Humanitarian Situation Sours
At a June 15 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC held by the Syrian Expatriates Organization, activists from the cities of Hama, Al-Houleh, Homs and Damascus spoke to reporters via Skype.The activists chose to use pseudonyms...
The Challenge Facing the Islamists
The triumphant emergence of Islamic movements after decades of repression is one of the more striking features of the Arab revolutions of the past 18 months. How these movements behave once they are in government will be closely watched. Each of them...
The Destruction of Syria
Once one of the most solid states in the Middle East and a key pivot of the regional power structure, Syria is now facing wholesale destruction. The consequences of the unfolding drama are likely to be disastrous for Syria's territorial integrity, for...
The Poisoning of Yasser Arafat
For me, there was no surprise. From the very first day, I was convinced that Yasser Arafat had been poisoned by Ariel Sharon. I even wrote about it several times.It was a simple logical conclusion.First, a thorough medical examination in the French military...
"Unbiased" Levy Commission Only Serves to Reinforce Israel's Political Isolation
At the time of the Oslo accords, the mild-mannered Edward Said was intemperate in his denunciation of Yasser Arafat and the PLO for accepting the deal. I could see there were problems, but thought he was a bit over the top in his rhetoric. Within a year...
Upcoming Events
The Jerusalem Fund will host "Yalla Idhak!" A Night of Comedy with Maysoon Zayid, Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. at Busboys and Poets, 1025 K St NW, Washington, DC. Along with the comedy of the nationally renowned Zayid, the event will feature local comedian and...
What Occupation? No Such Thing, Say Israeli Jurists
Israel has destroyed more than 24,000 Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza since 1967, and the process continues today as Israeli bulldozers demolish homes from East Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley to make way for Israeli colonies. The...
Yael Dayan Urges American Jews to Resist "Enforced Solidarity" with Israel
Yael Dayan, daughter of the late Israeli Gen. Moshe Dayan, is a former member of the Knesset and currently deputy mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. She watched the June 3 Israel Day Parade in New York City from a Fifth Avenue window, feeling that it was not for...
Yitzhak Shamir (1915-2012): Not the Only Terrorist Elected Prime Minister of Israel
What was most remarkable about Yitzhak Shamir's life was how little his thinking changed from his youthful days as a member of Betar (1929-33), the Zionist brown shirt organization in Poland, where he was born Yitzhak Yezernitzky, to his last days in...