Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 8, November

9/11-Black Reflections
Black Voices for Peace held a community forum at Howard University Law School in Washington, DC on Sept 9, to both commemorate the victims of terrorism, and to reflect on the last year from the perspective of the African-American community. BVFP founder...
9/11 Commemorations Top Southern California Agendas
Pat and Samir Twair are free-lance journalists based in Los Angeles.Muslims and Arab Americans played a prominent role in a week of ceremonies commemorating 9/11 throughout Southern California. Their participation was especially noticeable during an...
A Blank Check - but to Whom?
"Do you have a view of the U.S. Constitution that says that Congress is just supposed to be a rubber stamp, sign the blank check and you guys fill in the world `Perle' or `Powell' and the dollar sign and take the check to the bank?" That was the question...
Abu Nidal: "Nationalist Turned Psychopath"?
Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst.One of the most destructive figures in Palestine's modern history, who has brought nothing but blood and disgrace to the Palestinian cause, was the late Sabri al-Banna (Abu Nidal). His life--drenched in rivalry,...
Abu Nidal: The World's Most Deadly Terrorist
The story of Abu Nidal began in Jaffa in 1937. His given name was Sabri al-Banna. His mother was a much younger second wife who had been a maid in the family.When Sabri's father died in 1945, his mother was sent back to her home in Syria. Sabri was left...
A Chronology of U.S.-Middle East Relations
Compiled by Sara Powell JULY 1: US. warplanes mistakenly strafed a wedding party in a central Afghan village, killing an estimated 40 to 100 civilians and wounding from 70 to 130. *In federal court in Alexandria, VA, Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called...
After Decades of Civil War, Can Sudan Survive Peace?
Andrew Hammond is a free-lance journalist based in Cairo.Since obtaining independence from Britain in 1956 Sudan has seen almost nothing but fighting between successive governments in Khartoum and the south. Now peace talks between the two sides have...
Agitation for Iraq War Again Raises Question: Who Really Speaks for American Jews?
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.As the debate...
AIPAC Power: This Dog Don't Hunt
Pro-Israel Bankroll Claims Another Victim," screamed the headline of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article that also read in part, "and now the message is clear: Unless you want the kiss of political death, stay clear of any Arabs and Muslims."...
Alison Weir Discusses Attack on the USS Liberty
Alison Weir discussed Israel's attack on the USS Liberty at an Aug. 21 luncheon briefing at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine. On June 8, 1967, in the middle of the SixDay War between Israel and the Arabs, the USS Liberty, an American electronics...
American Ambassador Recalls Israeli Assassination Attempt-With U.S. Weapons
Andrew I. Killgore, a retired foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, is publisher of the Washington Report.Just before John Gunther Dean was to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing as...
American Jews Not Flocking to Republican Party, Poll Shows
Janet McMahon is managing editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Results of a recent Gallup poll put the kibosh on any hopes President George W. Bush might have had that his conversion and apprenticeship to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel...
A Not-So-Diplomatic Exchange
Despite disclaimers from Secretary of State Colin Powell that there was "no daylight" between him and the Department of Defense, it was obvious that there had been--and that it will continue to widen as the countdown toward a U.S. attack on Iraq begins....
Arab Boycotts, Both Formal and Informal, Well under Way
Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs."Blue and white, all the way, to keep Israel in the pink," one Jewish American buyer proposed. The message of the Jewish press--which knows what it wants to say and...
Arabian Peninsula
ISSUES IN THE NEWS Bahrain Goes Online The Sept. 11 Gulf News Online reports that Bahrain's government has accepted a plan that will bring every government ministry into the age of e-government. The plan, proposed by the country's telecommunications...
Ashrawi Appearance at Sept. 11 Conference Protested
At the end of August an on-line organization called "Stand With Us," formed to enhance Israel's image in the media, called on its members to protest Dr. Hanan Ashrawi's appearance as a keynote speaker on the opening day of a conference at Colorado College...
Asians Oppose U.S. Attack on Iraq; Foreign Workers' Treatment in Israel, 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.A Straits Times poll of 97 senior government officials, diplomats, think tank experts and businessmen--people...
Ballot Box Barbecue-Texas Style
When Texans proposed holding a large picnic for Arab-American and Muslim families with a focus on voter registration and political participation back in the summer of 2000 all they got were yawns. Sept. 11 changed things, however, and when the idea was...
Bush and Sharon's Agendas: War with Iraq, Continued Occupation of Palestine
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.With Rumsfeld and Cheney beating the drums, the Bush administration continues to hurtle toward...
Bush Okays Support for United Nations
Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.President George W. Bush turned to the United Nations for support in the Iraq crisis, and the whole world turned upside down--and all for the better. Finding that...
Bush's U.N. Speech Deemed Effective-Except by Bush
Ian Williams is a free-lance journalist based at the United Nations.At this year's opening of the General Assembly, there were two eloquent speeches in favor of multilateralism. The differences between them, however, became apparent within days. Kofi...
CAIR Launches Library Project
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced Sept. 9 at the National Press Club a nationwide initiative to educate the American public about Islam and counter anti-Muslim bigotry. Launching a year-long campaign to "Explore Islamic Civilization...
Central Asia
Afghan Wood Scarce Afghanistan's Konar Province is home to the nation's largest remaining forests-but perhaps not for long. Trees are being cut down at a breakneck pace to provide timber for the country's rebuilding efforts. According to the Aug. 15...
Church Leaders Question President's Rush to War
Fred Strickert is professor of religion at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa."It is deplorable that the world's most powerful nations continue to regard war and the threat of war as an acceptable instrument of foreign policy, in violation of the ethos...
Concerns over Kurds, Turcomens Bolster Ankara's Opposition to Attack on Iraq
Jon Gorvett is a free-lance journalist based in Istanbul.With general elections, European Union deadlines and IMF economic targets still to meet, it seems the last thing Turkey needs right now is a foreign war. Yet, with the long overture of U.S. war...
Congressional Delegation Visits Palestine
Probably the best $20,000 spent for a peace project to date was done by Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel and American Muslims for Jerusalem, which paid to take six congressional staffers to Palestine/Israel for one week in early August.Although...
Congress Resisting War Hawks on Iraq
Returning from their August recess after hearing constituents' concerns about the possibility of war, members of Congress intensified their criticisms and questioning of the apparent determination of the George W Bush administration-led by a small but...
Deaths
Yousuf Karsh, 93, famed Armenian-Canadian photographer of the celebrated and powerful, died July 13 in Boston, MA. Best known for his World War II portraits of Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower and other Allied leaders, Karsh was known as a sympathetic...
Diana Buttu Addresses Prospects for Peace, Grave Humanitarian Crisis in Palestine
Elaine Pasquini is a free-lance photojournalist based in Ignacio, CA.On July 23, PLO legal adviser Diana Buttu was in Gaza City, one mile from the heavily populated residential neighborhood which Israel targeted in its most devastating military air raid...
Dr. Zahi Hawass Expounds on Golden Mummies, Preserving Egypt's Treasures
Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities, was the speaker and guest of honor at an Aug. 30 dinner at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco. The event was hosted by the Consulate General of the Egyptian Press...
European Press Review: No "Convincing Evidence" for War on Iraq, Says France's le Monde
Lucy Jones is a free-lance journalist based in London.Washington's intention to topple Iraq's Saddam Hussain has been widely criticized by the European press. "If we must go to war, for God's sake tell us why," wrote London Times columnist Simon Jenkins...
Exploring-Rather, Exposing-Some Myths about Israel-Palestine
Robert V. Keeley, a former U.S. ambassador to Greece, delivered this talk at the April 29 closing dinner of the Council for the National Interest conference in Washington, DCThere have been so many mythologies generated over the years about the Israel-Palestine...
Fertile Crescent
Jordanian Revolutionary Dies at 125 Fneikher Fawaz, a 125-year-old Jordanian who fought a century ago in the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule, passed away Aug. 11, according to the Arab News. A piece of Arab history passed with him: Fawaz accompanied...
Helping Democracy in Egypt
Democracy has a long history in Egypt-of being done in by rulers who declared their devotion to it. Now the Bush administration, treating Cairo as a miscreant regime, holds back some foreign aid as punishment for the jailing of Saad al-Din Ibrahim, the...
Helping Democracy in Egypt
Henry Precht, a retired Foreign Service Officer, was Deputy Ambassador in Cairo 1981-85.Democracy has a long history in Egypt--of being done in by rulers who declared their devotion to it. Now the Bush administration, treating Cairo as a miscreant regime,...
In Memoriam: William Rex Crawford, Jr. (1927-2002)
Andrew I Killgore, a retired foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, is publisher of the Washington Report."They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead;They brought me bitter news to hear, and bitter tears to shed;I wept,...
Iran/Iraq
Iranian Veils Lifted For the first time since the 1979 revolution, schoolgirls and teachers in Iran's capital of Tehran may remove their veils while at woman-staffed girls' schools. The official directive, which reads that "all schoolgirls and female...
Is AIPAC Invincible? AIPAC Power: This Dog Don't Hunt
Issam M. Nashashibi, a U.S.-based director of Deir Yassin Remembered, is a recent resident of Dawsonville, GA."Pro-Israel Bankroll Claims Another Victim," screamed the headline of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article that also read in part,...
ISNA Civil Rights Panel
A Saturday afternoon, Aug. 31 ISNA panel examined Muslim civil rights post 9/11--one of many panel discussions on this vital topic. After an introduction stressing that the concepts of justice and peace were inherent to Islam, Jean AbiNader of the Arab...
ISNA Holds Its 39th Annual Convention
More than 30,000 American Muslims gathered in the nation's capital to attend the 39th annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America during the long Labor Day weekend Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. ISNA's annual meeting is the single largest congregation...
Israel Arrests Greek Orthodox Priest
The Arab Greek Orthodox Church councils, committees and institutions in Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Jordan circulated an appeal Aug. 23 on behalf of one of its priests.On Aug. 22, 2002, Israeli police arrested Archimandrite Dr. Theodosios (Atallah)...
Israel Created Two of Its Own Worst Enemies-Hamas and Hezbollah
Donald Neff is author of the Warriors trilogy, 50 Years of Israel, and the newly reissued Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy Towards Palestine and Israel Since 1945, all available from the AET Book Club.The decade of the 1980s saw the emergence of two of Israel's...
Israel/Palestine
Ancient Drug Trade Uncovered Archeologists have pieced together a puzzle that reveals the details of the world's first drug trade, which spanned the entire Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean and distributed narcotics primarily for medical purposes. According...
Jewish Volunteer Recalls Trip
Tamara Rettino is the only Jewish activist from the Los Angeles area who spent six weeks under fire in Ramallah, Gaza and Jenin as a volunteer with the international Solidarity Movement's Freedom Summer. Days after her return, the health care worker...
Journey of Hope: Cypriot Youths Cross Atlantic, Ethnic Lines to Build Peaceful Future
Jeffrey Kosmacher and Gregg Orifici are communications directors at World Learning, a U.S. NGO, and its college, the School for International Training.It took a 6,500-mile journey from the town of Larnaca in the Republic of Cyprus to Brattleboro, Vermont...
Letters to the Editor
Spreading the Word I wanted you to see the ad in the New People newspaper distributed in the Pittsburgh area. I contributed money to allow them to furnish all the blue boxes (25) with their newspapers. This should really increase circulation. They said...
Liberating America from Israel
September 11 would not have occurred if the U.S. government had refused to help Israel humiliate and destroy Palestinian society. Few express this conclusion publicly, but many believe it is the truth. I believe the catastrophe could have been prevented...
Middle East Madness
David Glick is a psychotherapist in Fairfax, CA and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, the Social Justice Center of Marin and the Marin Peace and Justice Coalition.The historic conflict between Israelis and Palestinians now is being driven by extremists...
Midwestern ISNA Conference Addresses Post-9/11 Issues
In late June, more than 500 Muslims from seven Midwestern states met at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to address issues surrounding Sept. 11. The Kansas City conference, entitled "Muslims for Peace and Justice," was one of several similar gatherings...
Milk Down the Drain
Samah Jabr is a medical resident in her native city of Jerusalem.Were it not for the Shahrour farm's dairy products I could have been a vegan (no animal products). I never could tolerate dairy products until I tried the real, preservative-free taste...
MPAC Condemns Extremism (Again)
The Muslim Public Affairs Council's Washington, DC office sponsored a press conference at the National Press Club Sept. 9 to commemorate the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and condemn extremism, which all Muslims have done repeatedly in the...
Muslims Host Media Panel on Coverage of 9/11 Aftermath
"One fact you have to grapple with is that the perpetrators of 9/11 were Muslims acting in your name." So said Jeffrey Kaye of PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" during a Sept. 10 panel on the "Media and Muslim Americans" sponsored by the Muslim Public...
National Council Discusses Effects of Sept. 11
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in coordination with the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a Sept. 9 conference on U.S.-Arab relations to discuss the year after the Sept. 11 attacks. Distinguished panelists and lecturers discussed...
No "Convincing Evidence" for War on Iraq, Says France's le Monde
Washington's intention to topple Iraq's Saddam Hussain has been widely criticized by the European press. "If we must go to war, for God's sake tell us why," wrote London Times columnist Simon Jenkins on July 31. Jenkins criticized British Prime Minister...
North Africa
Algerians Lack Housing, Water Despite a decade-long civil conflict, many Algerians do not consider Islamic militants the biggest problem affecting their daily lives. Rather, the nation's chronic lack of water and proper housing has left citizens so discontented...
Nuclear Tension in South Asia
Moderator Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai of the Kashmiri American Council opened the Saturday, Aug. 31 ISNA session on peace and justice in Kashmir by citing Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), who said the U.S. was physically present in South Asia to defuse tension....
On Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila, Israel Puts Marwan Barghouti on Trial
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 first stage of Marwan Barghouti's trial in a Tel Aviv courtroom began Sept. 5, with Israel...
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves. Oil Above All? To the Financial Times, Sept. 10, 2002 (as published online). At last-words of wisdom, from Sir Michael Howard! ("Smoke on the...
Palestinian Resistance Poetry Class Creates National Controversy
After three months of widespread publicity, criticism from pro-Israeli groups, and a re-writing of the course description, a new class on Palestinian resistance poetry debuted Aug. 27 at the University of California at Berkeley. The main target of the...
Panel Examines Islam in Media
As one of many ISNA panel discussions to focus on the media, ISL Software Corporation sponsored a panel examining "Islam in the Media: Why Are Muslims Portrayed as Being Against Peace and Justice? Washington Report news editor Delinda Hanley, noting...
Panel Looks at Road Map to 2004 Elections
At the annual ISNA conference American Muslim leaders furnished a status report on Muslim-American politics before and after Sept. 11, and drew a road map for the national and presidential elections in 2004.Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) boardmember...
PCRF Brings Falastin to Washington, Hope to Palestine
Falastin needed someone to fix her heart. The Palestinian infant, named affectionately after her homeland, suffered from a condition called Atrial Septal Defect, which left her with a 2-centimeter-hole in the wall separating the left and right chambers...
Peaceniks Call on Feinstein's Office
A delegation of peace and civil rights supporters visited California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's West Los Angeles office Aug. 22 but the Democratic senator's staff showed little if any reaction to testimony on Israeli war crimes.In fact, when the group's...
Ramsey Clark Says No Iraq War
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was the keynote speaker at a Sept. 4 press conference held by ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Clark was joined by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Catholic...
Second or Commission Hearings Produce Same Old Excuses, Some New Revelations
Jonathan Cook is a free-lance journalist based in Nazareth.Eighteen months of judicial hearings into the killing by Israeli police of 13 Arab citizens of Israel at the start of the current intifada came to a hurried end in August, as secret documents...
Selective MEMRI: Is the "Independent" Media Institute Quite What It Seems?
Special Report For some time now, I have been receiving small gifts from a generous institute in the United States. The gifts are high-quality translations of articles from Arabic newspapers which the institute sends to me by email every few days, entirely...
Shibli Telhami Discusses Consequences of War on Iraq
On Aug. 28 Washington, DC's Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine hosted a lecture by Dr. Shibli Telhami, professor of politics and government at the University of Maryland.Professor Telhami, whose latest, soon-to-be-released book is entitled, Mistakes:...
The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity
Sara Powell is AET's administrative and public relations director.There's an old saying that you can't judge a book by its cover. With Tariq Ali's latest offering, however, many people do. You can't miss it: a picture of George Bush in Osama bin Laden's...
The "Other" Fundamentalists
Nizar Wattad is editorial assistant for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.For nearly two years, a "new" intifada has raged across Israel and Palestine, thanks in part to Washington's tacit support of Israel's occupation, in part to wrong-headed...
The Revival of Democracy in Pakistan-An Historical Perspective
Prof. M.M. Ali is a Washington, DC-based specialist on South Asia and a consultant with the United Nations Development Program.As ordered by the country's Supreme Court, elections to Pakistan's National Assembly are scheduled to be held Oct. 10. When...
The Subcontinent
New Delhi Approves Slum Village The government of Maharashtra state has granted approval to a group of slum-dwellers living on the edge of Bombay's largest forest, the National Park, to stay where they are. The government had previously launched a campaign...
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia: A Mutually Beneficial Partnership
War in Peace On Aug. 27 John Duke Anthony, president and chief executive officer of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, briefed a packed room at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine about the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. Although...
Two Exceptional Letters Published Sept. 11, 2002 in Boulder, CO's Daily Camera Newspaper
Question of Israel Deserves Full Airing So CU Regent Tom Lucero and company have issues with Dr. Hanan Ashrawi coming to speak in Boulder. Time and time again, I keep hearing that it's not appropriate for her to come to speak "so close to the anniversary...
Upcoming Deadlines for Teachers and Scholars on the Middle East
Bill L. Turpen teaches history at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and is an adjunct instructor for the University of Central Oklahoma.As November approaches, those of us seeking to learn more about the Middle East, who want to take advantage...
U.S. Foreign Policy and Muslims Discussed at ISNA
At a session of the Islamic Society of North America's 39th conference entitled "9/11 Beyond the Blame Game: Between Flawed U.S. Foreign Policy and Distortions in Muslim Societies," speakers discussed the implications of U.S. foreign policy on American...
What's Not Funny about an Arab? Ask the Famous Jewish Comic Jackie Mason
Roxane Ellis Rodriguez Assaf is a free-lance writer based in Chicago.It all started after Sept. 11. Ray Hanania, a Chicago media consultant, took to the stage at Riddles, a suburban comedy club which offers a weekly open mike to aspiring stand-up comics...
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