Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 8, November/December

"After Zionism" Forum Sparks Lively Dialogue in Westwood Hills Church
"What Happens After Zionism?" was the controversial topic of a Sept. 20 public forum sponsored by the Levantine Cultural Center that drew Israel-proponents and Palestine supporters alike to the Westwood Hills Congregational Church.Prof. Mark LeVine,...
After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine
After Zionism: One State for Israel and Palestine Edited by Antony Loewenstein & Ahmed Moor, 2012, paperback, 287 pp. List: $15.95; AET: $12Reviewed by Dale Sprusansky and Andrew StimsonEditors Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor reject the current...
Ambassadors Engage American Muslims
Representing the diversity of the Muslim world, the ambassadors to the U.S. of Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar and South Africa participated in a Sept. 2 forum at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The forum, part of the Islamic...
American Syrians Raise Funds for Humanitarian Aid
American Syrians launched a weekend of fund-raisers to address emergency humanitarian and medical needs of hundreds of thousands of civilians injured in the ongoing conflict in Syria.A fund-raiser at the Auburn Marriott in Pontiac, Michigan, north of...
A Modest Proposal: A Constitution for Israel Based on "Shared" American Values
Constitutions usually set forth the principles by which a country will govern itself, enshrining the basic rights and obligations of citizens, as well as broadly defining the duties of government itself. They provide a yardstick by which to judge government...
Analyzing Muslim Film Protests
Responding to the recent wave of protests across the Muslim world against the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," Georgetown University's Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding held a Sept. 24 event titled, "The Prophet Muhammad...
ANERA Donors Inspired by "Faces of the Future"
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) held its annual dinner on Oct. 5 at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. Guests were deeply moved by the fund-raiser's theme, "Faces of the Future: Meeting the Needs of the Children Who Inspire ANERA's Work." Palestinian-American...
Domes, Arches and Minarets: Islamic Architecture in America
Domes, Arches and Minarets: Islamic Architecture in AmericaIt is a style recognizable from Spain to India: horseshoe arches, epigraphic friezes and majestic minarets. The widespread influence of Islamic architecture reflects the expanse of Islam far...
Exhibition Highlights Muslim Inventions
Following its immensely popular appearances in Los Angeles (see August 2011 Washington Report, p. 30), New York, Istanbul and London, National Geographic's award-wining interactive exhibition "1001 Muslim Inventions" opened its doors to audiences at...
French Author Alain Gresh
Alain Gresh, editor of Le Monde diplomatique, spoke at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Beirut on Sept. 18 to an audience which included 120 members of the international group Not to Forget Sabra and Shatila Committee, visiting Lebanon to commemorate the 30th...
General Assembly "Debate": From Netanyahu's Cheap Farce to Morsi's Urbanity
It will be right up there with Khrushchev taking offhis shoe and pounding it on the table in front of him, or poor misled Colin Powell fumbling with pictures and diagrams. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu waving cardboard cutout cartoons of...
How a Group of Christians Smearing Muslims Benefits the Jewish State
In the course of his much-ridiculed albeit deadly serious ACME bomb speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asserted that "the medieval forces of radical Islam" stand in the way of Israel's desire for "a Middle...
Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives and Trillions of Dollars Later
Ten years ago today the debate over the Iraq war came to Congress in the form of a resolution promoted by the Bush administration. The war in Iraq will cost the United States as much as $5 trillion. It played a role in spurring the global financial crisis....
ISNA Annual Convention: Striving for the Common Good
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) held its 49th annual convention Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. With the theme of "One Nation Under God: Striving for the Common Good," the convention focused...
Israeli Occupation Destructive Not Only to Palestinians, but to Jewish Morals, Ethics
Since 1967, Israel has transferred, in defiance of international law, more than half a million of its Jewish citizens, almost 7 percent of the state's total Jewish population, to almost 300 distinct locations outside its borders.While Israeli governments...
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Blatantly Tries to Influence the U.S. Elections
In early September, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu launched what appeared to be a conscious effort to influence the U.S. elections by accusing the Obama administration of failing to strongly counter Iran's supposed nuclear threat. First, on...
Israel's Apartheid Wall Threatens to Cut through History
Dating back to the late 1890s, the historical Jaffa-Jerusalem railroad winds in a U-shape at the base of the valley. Olive groves adorn the bottom of one steep hill. Further up the slope, pine trees and an Israeli army patrol road lead westward toward...
Israel's "Separate and Unequal" Policies toward Its Palestinian Citizens
The struggles of the 1.5 million indigenous Palestinians in Israel may be less familiar and more misunderstood than of those on the other side of the Green Line, in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian citizens of Israel are, in theory,...
Libya's Security Situation
In the wake of the horrific killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi on Sept. 11, several events were held in Washington, DC to discuss Libya's troubled security situation.Speaking at the Johns Hopkins University's Washington, DC campus...
Moving Film "The Other Son" Questions Essence of Israeli, Palestinian Identity
Imagine finding out that the son you have raised, cherished, and instilled with your values turns out to be, biologically, your enemy. Imagine growing up proud of your heritage, then discovering that you are, genetically, one of those you have learned...
New AAI Poll: Arab Americans Continue to Drift to the Democrats
The Arab American Institute (AAI) released the results of its survey "The Arab American Vote: 2012" at a Sept. 27 press briefing at its Washington, DC headquarters. Presented by AAI founder and president Dr. Jim Zogby, the poll was the latest installment...
Obituaries
Morteza K. Yahyavi, 93, former deputy chief at the Voice of America (VOA), died Aug. 2 in Oceanside, CA. Born in Tabriz, Iran, he attended the Univeristy of Tehran, subsequently receiving a Fullbright Scholarship to study for a doctorate at the University...
Of Bombs and Comics
My first reaction to Binyamin Netanyahu's exhibition of comics at the U.N. General Assembly was shame.Shame that the supreme elected representative of my country would stoop to such a primitive rhetorical device, bordering on the childish.(One Israeli...
Only a Muslim Brotherhood President Can Speak to America and about Religion
On Sept. 11, a group of angry Egyptian protesters were chanting in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The previous few weeks had seen a reduction in security personnel along the usually well-guarded streets leading to the embassy. Nor had the lax security...
Other People's Mail
News Coverage of ProtestsTo The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sept. 19, 2012There were two articles with pictures of protesters in Sunday's Enquirer on pages A6 and A7, titled "Investigating Libyan siege won't be fast, easy for U.S." and "Al-Qaeda calls for more...
Persian Gulf Politics
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC held a Sept. 28 discussion on "Iran, Iraq, and the GCC: New Realities in Persian Gulf Security."Cornell University professor David Siddhartha Patel began by addressing the nature...
Publishers' Page
Please Let it End, Already!We confess that even we news junkies can't wait until the November elections are behind us. The rancor of political ads, the post-debate media spin about zingers, gaffes or perceived weaknesses have become a real distraction...
Quakers Divest from Hewlett-Packard, Veolia Environment
Friends Fiduciary Corporation, an investment firm serving over 300 Quaker institutions in the U.S., has dropped its holdings in Hewlett-Packard and Veolia Environment. The two multinational corporations are the focus of a global divestment and boycott...
Regional Dynamics of the Syrian Crisis
The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Institute for Turkish Studies at Georgetown University co-hosted a Sept. 27 event titled "Turkey and the Regional Dynamics of the Syrian Crisis" at Georgetown's Washington, DC campus. Gonul Tol, director of MEI's...
Response to Anti-Islam Film Reflects Long-Standing Grievances
"Blowback" was a term once used by the CIA to describe the unintended and unwanted consequences of a covert operation. One example was the CIA's arming of anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan during the 1980s, only to have those fighters turn their guns...
Rising Tuition Costs Threaten Future of a Generation of Palestinians
Outside the office of the dean of student affairs at Islamic University in Gaza, students sit on the floor, awaiting their turn. The wood-paneled hallway represents a kind of educational gauntlet, with the students trying to make headway through the...
Romney Assails Obama's "Passivity" in Foreign Policy, Middle East
In what was billed as a major foreign policy address, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Oct. 8 assailed Barack Obama for "passivity" in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, arguing that it was "time to change course" in the Middle East,...
Saudi Arabia's Challenges
While the street protests of the Arab Awakening never made their way to Saudi Arabia, David Ottaway, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, believes that the Kingdom faces a wide array of potentially destabilizing challenges....
Senate Hearing on Sikh Shooting and Domestic Extremism
Concerned by the spree of violent crimes that took place this past summer, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a Sept. 19 hearing on "Hate Crimes and the Threat of Domestic Extremism" at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Sen....
Senators Take Money from Friends of IDF, Vote against Jobs Bill for American Veterans
Like other elected officials, U.S. senators never miss an opportunity to tell an American veteran, "Thank you for your service."This past Sept. 19, American senators had an opportunity to put their money where their mouths are by supporting The Veterans...
Sen. Tom Harkin Speaks at Des Moines Peace Sculpture Dedication
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) delivered an emphatic call for peace in a Sept. 24 address at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)."After so many disastrous and counterproductive wars-Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the proxy wars, need I mention Chile,...
Syrian, Palestinian Refugees Flee Hostilities in Syria for Uncertainty in Lebanon
Stranded in a school building seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Umm Yousef and Umm Mohammed have managed with the scarcest of resources to make the classrooms in which the two mothers and their children took refuge a few months ago somehow resemble...
The Heroes of Sabra and Shatila and Lebanon's Other Refugee Camps
Ellen Siegel, a Jewish American nurse and respected Washington, DC peace activist, invited the Washington Report to attend the 30th commemoration of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut, Lebanon from Sept. 16 to 23. Ten years ago the late Italian...
The Time Remaining
The Time Remaining By Samuel Hazo, Syracuse University Press, 2012, paperback, 232 pp. List: $19.95; AET: $16.Reviewed by Delinda HanleySamuel Hazo's modern-day political thriller intrigued this reader-after I got past the racy three-page bedroom scene...
Time Is Running out for Peace
The Palestinian Question has been temporarily shelved, hopefully only until November, much to the disappointment of many Palestinians who were expecting the ball would start rolling in September.In his Sept. 27 address to the U.N. General Assembly, the...
Turkish Arts, Music, Culture Celebrated at 15th Annual Monterey Festival
The Turkish American Association of California held its 15th annual Turkish Arts and Culture Festival in Monterey's Custom House Plaza on Aug. 25 and 26. Whirling dervishes, belly dancers and folk dancers entertained the hundreds of people attending...
Two Ad Campaigns: One Urging Hate, the Other Tolerance
Anti-Muslim ads which ran in New York subways and San Francisco's BART trains and buses are coming to Washington, DC's Metro system. The ads read: "In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat...
Upcoming Events
Oct. 25 and 26: The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) hosts its 21st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004. Arab and American...
VFP and Friends Vigil for Bradley Manning in Des Moines
Members and friends of Veterans for Peace (VFP) Central Iowa Chapter 163 gathered to vigil in support of accused whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning in front of Obama campaign headquarters in Des Moines on Sept. 6."I'm out here in support of a political...
Why Do Arabs and Muslims Hate America?
Faced with a dramatic outbreak of anti-American violence by Arabs and Muslims in a score of countries-including the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi-the American reaction has been one of puzzlement, outrage and a thirst for revenge. Send...
Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis: The Should-Be Headline
Yemen is experiencing a severe and growing humanitarian crisis-and at a particularly inopportune time. News coverage of the Middle East has been dominated by political developments in post-uprising countries, the Iran-Israel nuclear standoff, and the...
Yemen's President Addresses American Audience
In a Sept. 28 address at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, Yemeni President Rabbo Mansur al-Hadi spoke warmly of his country's military relationship with the United States.Noting the devastating impact terrorism...