Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. X, No. 5, November 3

AAI: New Hampshire and Iowa Polls
In October the Arab American Institute (AAI) released the findings of public-opinion polls of New Hampshire and Iowa voters which revealed that citizens of these kickoff states for presidential politics have a heightened concern about US Middle East...
After the Iraq-Kuwait Storm: Smooth Sailing for Arab Gulf States
A month after the August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the publisher and the executive editor of this magazine visited Arab countries in which US Desert Shield military forces were stationed, and reported on the trip in the November 1990 issue. One year...
Bethlehem Bulletin: Palestinian Graduation; July 27, 1991
"I felt great happiness; this graduation ceremony meant that we did not give up; we did not give up teaching during the intifada and the three-year closure of our university!" Tall, dignified, bearded, Dr. Mahmoud Abu Kitteh, the Muslim dean of the faculty...
Bush's Bombshell Is Shattering the Political Status Quo in Israel
President Bush's decision to confront the Shamir government and its supporters in Washington over Israel's request that the US government guarantee $10 billion in loans to the Israeli government has produced an outcry among the "usual suspects" in the...
Bush Sweeps the Field in Loan Guarantee Confrontation
The debate over providing upward of $10 billion in housing loan guarantees to Israel has been postponed at least until early February. The delay, which was requested by President Bush in early September because of concerns that the loan might scuttle...
California Republicans Reject AIPAC Attempt to Dominate Convention
Washington, DC wasn't the only place where the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) overextended itself in September. Israel's US lobby for years has nurtured the image of an unbeatable, unstoppable force. Repeatedly it brings up electoral...
Canadian Loan Guarantees to Israel Will Go Ahead, External Affairs Says
The first official meeting between newly appointed External Affairs Minister Barbara McDougall and a delegation of Canadian Arabs was described as "difficult" but "useful" by Jim Kafieh, president of the Canadian Arab Federation.Fearing a change in the...
EDEN Postponed
An innovative proposal to boost environmental protection efforts in the Middle East has been removed from the foreign aid authorization bill pending in Congress. The proposal, which grew out of concern in the Senate about the impact of the Desert Storm...
Four-Year-Old Palestinian Child Severely Burned in Settler Attack
Narimann Bilal Farrah, a four-year-old Palestinian girl from the Old City of Jerusalem, was injured on Aug. 11, 1990 when, reportedly, Israeli settlers threw a flammable object into her car while her father went to buy cigarettes. This event occurred...
Frank Maria
In the US foreign service, career officers are on a first-name basis. Between 3,000 and 4,000 officers are Bill, Joe, Bob, Norm and now Mary, Sally or Barbara. Exceptions are ambassadors, who from their first such appointment become Mr. or Madame Ambassador,...
Iraq: Military Victory, Moral Defeat
By Thomas C. Fox, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City, MO, 1991. 192 pp. List: $9.95; AET: $7.95 for one, $9.95 for two.Thomas C. Fox's book on the US-led war to eject Iraq from Kuwait is a clear statement of a highly critical view of US motivation and means....
Issues in Islam: The Centrality of the Qur'an to Islam
The Qur'an, the sacred text of Islam, is the fundamental basis of the religion and the cornerstone of the faith. While there are often vast differences of interpretation among Muslims, no one can deny the Qur'an's authenticity as divine revelation and...
Is Zionism a Form of Racial Discrimination? the Zionism Debate at the UN Is beside the Point
Using one of the murkiest non sequiturs in the history of international discourse, President Bush told the UN General Assembly at its opening session on September 23 that to equate Zionism with racism is to "forget the terrible plight of Jews in World...
Kuwait Cleanup Reaches a Milestone
The cleanup of Kuwait reached a milestone in mid-September, as crews working to put out the environmentally and economically devastating oil field fires raging throughout that Gulf country capped their 375th well--the halfway point in repairing the largest...
Letter from Lebanon: The Wives Who Wait for the Beirut Hostages
Jean Sutherland's students once gave her a plaque that reads: If anything can go wrong, it will.And so it did. On June 9, 1985, Sutherland's husband Tom was kidnapped along Beirut's then-infamous airport road as he was returning to the American University...
Maghreb Mirror: North African States Eager to Play Roles in Middle East Peace Talks
Although the heads of state of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania, and Libyan representative Abdessalam Jalloud, convened their Casablanca conference only months after the war in the Gulf and months before the scheduled referendum in the Western...
Middle East Watch Alleges Kuwaiti Abuses
In the continuing outcry over Kuwaiti human rights violations, Middle East Watch (MEW), a New York-based independent human rights monitoring organization, released its September 1991 report documenting ongoing and repeated violations of human rights...
Prince Abdullah Bin Faisal Bin Turki Al-Saud
You've probably seen him if you follow televised events from the Middle East. You may not have realized, however, that the unassuming but articulate and self-possessed Saudi "government official" explaining to English-speaking television audiences everything...
Pro-Israel Supporters Concede Defeat on Housing Loan
For the first time since 1981, when they failed to prevent the sale of sophisticated AWACS planes to Saudi Arabia, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the other pro-Israel lobbies lost a major battle in Congress. AIPAC and the National...
Samir Shihabi
Samir Shihabi was born in Jerusalem in 1925, and studied at the American University in Cairo, and at Yale, Cambridge, and New York Universities. He joined the Saudi Foreign Ministry in 1949. After many diplomatic appointments, including Turkey, Somalia,...
Seeing the Light: Re-Examining the Myths by Which We Live
I have never been to Palestine, and only recently have I come to know some people from that occupied nation, but since I was a little boy, I have heard many first-hand accounts of what it is like to live under an occupying power. My mother, a Dutch woman...
Soviet Jewish Emigration: Second Thoughts in Moscow?
Soviet coup survivor Mikhail Gorbachev made plain in his poignant message to survivors of the infamous Babi Yar massacre in the Ukraine that he hoped anti-Semitism was dead enough in the Soviet sovereign states and republics that Jews would not feel...
The Golan Heights: A History of Israeli Aggression
As the prospects of a Middle East peace conference inched toward realization and the "land-for-peace" principle moved to center stage, Israel's apologists in the United States launched an effort to persuade the American public that asking Israel to give...
The Gulf War Reader
Edited by Micah L. Sifry and Christopher Cerf. Random House, 1991. 526 pp. List: $15; AET: $11.95 for one, $15 for two.It is one of the ironies of the 20th century that information translates not into knowledge but confusion.The assassination of President...
The Real Reasons for the Israeli Loan Guarantee Demand
There is no question that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir is desperate for the $10 billion in loan guarantees that he is so angrily demanding. According to his Finance Ministry's figures, Israel will have to borrow some $20 billion during the next...
The True Purpose of the Middle East Peace Conference
"The objective of the effort is nothing less than a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict." --President George Bush, Oct. 18, 1991It's axiomatic that when President George Bush tells the world exactly what he plans to...
The United Arab Emirates: "Americans Are Our Friends"
Even before leaving Qatar, we had encountered some young men from the United Arab Emirates who politely asked our nationality. Informed that we were Americans, they broke into smiles and exclaimed, "That's good. Americans are our friends."Beguiled at...
Two Courageous Women Behind the Change in Bangladesh
The lightning speed of major events in the former Soviet empire, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East have caused some very worthwhile developments around the globe to go unnoticed. Amid dizzying changes that have universal implications, the less dramatic...
UN Debate Will Necessitate Re-Examination of Resolution 3379
In 1952, the UN General Assembly settled a long-standing debate, overruling South Africa's argument that its racist ideology and policies should be excluded from consideration as a matter of South Africa's domestic sovereignty. By its resolution 615...
United Nations NGO Meeting Calls upon UN to Protect Palestinians
"Palestine Now" was the theme of the three-day United Nations Eighth International Meeting for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, hosted by the Austrian government in the sprawling Vienna International Center. The 250 organizations...
Vatican Initiative for Lebanese Renewal
Pope John Paul II has challenged the four Lebanese Eastern-rite Catholic Patriarchs to take a prominent role in mustering "the energy and good will to rebuild, with mobility and freedom, a society worthy of the historical vocation of Lebanon." He sees...
What Was That Question?
Those of us who follow Arab-Israeli affairs have gotten used to stories in the "mainstream" media that give only one side--guess which!--of the particular issue being discussed.But what are we to make of an important story in which the media gives neither...
Why Israel Can Never Repay the Loans to Be Guaranteed by the US
All conceivable questions have been discussed about scheduling and conditions of the $10 billion in loan guarantees requested by Israel from the US government except one: How can Israel possibly repay such a huge sum? After all, if Israel cannot repay...
Why Shamir Lost and Bush Won
"Bashing the Israelis--and Americans who support Israel--proved popular; polls appear to show that most of the public backs the president."--Lally Weymouth, Washington Post, Oct. 3, 1991"Jews normally vote about 25 percent Republican. This might drop...
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