Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 9, December

7th Annual Arab Festival a Hit
Israeli Knesset member Azmi Bishara was the keynote speaker, Dr. Nabil Azzam's Middle East Star Orchestra performed twice, and more than 50,000 people attended the 7th annual Arab American Day Festival Sept. 2022 in Garden Grove's Village Green Park....
A Chronology of U.S.-Middle East Relations
Aug. 1: The Defense Department agreed to fund covert operations by the dissident Iraqi National Congress. After a White House meeting with President George W Bush, Jordan's King Abdullah warned that foreign leaders were increasingly concerned about U.S....
AMA Holds 7th Annual Convention
The American Muslim Alliance held its 7th Annual National Convention Oct. 5 at Edison, New Jersey. Workshops and panels addressed issues of citizenship, building civic institutions, and forming coalitions. The Alliance brought together at the convention...
American Attorney Examines Israel's "Separate and Unequal" Legal Systems
Jane Adas is a free-lance writer based in the New York metropolitan area.Attorney Audrey Bomse recently returned from East Jerusalem, where she spent the past year working with the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. Her aim was to examine how...
ANERA Launches 35th Anniversary Campaign at Annual Dinner
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) held its annual fund-raising dinner Sept. 20 at Washington, DC's Omni-Shoreham Hotel. Founded in 1968 to relieve suffering in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan in the wake of the 1967 war, AN-ERA expanded...
Ankara Seethes as Parliamentary Reforms Fail to Open Door to EU
"Unfair," "in bad faith" and "a slap in the face" were some of the milder reactions from Turkish politicians and media pundits in early October, when the EU's European Commission turned in a "must do better" report on the country's progress toward a...
Anti-War Protesters ANSWER the Call
Sara Powell is the public relations director of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Hundreds of thousands of people from all 50 states and several foreign countries converged on Washington, DC Oct. 26. Assembling at the Vietnam War Memorial,...
Arabian Peninsula
Bahrain Plans Financial Harbor The Oct. 9 Arab News revealed architectural plans for Bahrain's new $1 billion Financial Harbor, which will consist of approximately 25 internal developments, to be completed by 2009. The new harbor, located on the northern...
A Tale of Two Boycotts: The Campus Debate on Israel Heats Up
Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.The pro-Israel Middle East Forum, headed by Daniel Pipes, launched a new Web site this fall. Called Campus Watch, it criticized eight professors and 14 universities...
Azmi Bishara Predicts Palestinian State in the near Future
Pat McDonnell Twair is a free-lance writer based in Los Angeles."Statehood is about to happen. That's why we must have nerves of steel, or conditions will be set for us and they will be final."This extraordinary statement was made by Israeli parliamentarian...
Bali Bomb Blasts Undermine Extremists' Support
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.Kuta seems far removed from the popular image of Bali. Over much of the Indonesian island quiet villages...
Bali Bombing Leads to Questioning of Whether Bush War on Terror Is Working
Lucy Jones is a free-lance journalist based in London.The European press was reeling in October from the Sari nightclub bomb attack on the Indonesian island of Bali which led to the death or injury of over 500 people, including many Australian and British...
Black Voices for Peace Calls War on Iraq Unjust
Representing a segment of American society that has felt the brunt of racism and learned the lessons of political action, Black Voices for Peace issued a call for "at least 100 witnesses for justice and peace" to "take a stand against the march toward...
Cairo Communique: Signs Increasingly Point to Gamal Mubarak as Egypt's Next President
Andrew Hammond is a free-lance writer based in Cairo.A favorite parlor game among Egypt's educated classes in recent years has been guessing who the next president might be. The current president, Hosni Mubarak, has never appointed a deputy--a policy,...
Canada Calling: Montreal Protesters Prevent Netanyahu Speech
John Dirlik is a free-lance writer based in Montreal.A Sept. 9 lecture by former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Concordia University in Montreal was cancelled after a group of pro-Palestinian students entered the building and clashed with...
Canadians Rally for Peace on the 20th Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila
Delinda C. Hanley is news editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Ottawa's commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre and the second anniversary of the al-Aqsa intifada on Sept. 27 and 28 could be a blueprint...
Caving Congress Gives Bush Authority to Launch Unilateral War on Iraq
Shirl McArthur, a retired foreign service officer, is a consultant in the Washington, DC area.Late in the evening of Oct. 11, President George W. Bush finally won congressional authority to unilaterally attack Iraq. Although the final compromise version...
Central Asia
Afghanistan Surfs the Net The Sept. 25 Khaleej Times reported that war-torn Afghanistan has finally logged on to the Internet revolution-thanks to the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC), which earlier this year established the country's first...
Charitable Organizations
Make your holiday donations to these - Compiled by Lisa Viscidi AFSC 1501 Cherry Street Philadelphia, PA 19102-1479 www.afsc.or American Friends Service Committee is collecting family hygiene kits and cash donations for food, medicines, tents and blankets...
Children Are a Chief Target as the Israelis "De-Develop" Palestinian Society
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."It is part of a systematic destruction of the Palestinian entity, the Palestinian infrastructure,...
Christian Churches and Christian Zionism
Rev. Dr. Michael Prior, C.M., chair of Living Stones of the Holy Land Trust, U.K., said he has concluded that "it is one of the anomalies of recent church history that while Christians, embarrassed by past association with colonial enterprises, have...
College Students Say the Darndest Things: "Divest from Israel", for Example
Roxane Ellis Rodriguez Assaf is a free-lance writer based in Chicago.Whoever said that college is wasted on the young should make an exception for the likes of University of Michigan senior Fadi Kiblawi and his associates. Kiblawi's school, along with...
Cyprus Anticipates EU Membership
Entering her fifth year as her country's envoy to Washington, Cypriot Ambassador Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis invited members of the press to her official residence for an Oct. 29 luncheon briefing. Speaking extemporaneously at the informal yet gracious...
Deaths
Dr. Mahsoun Jalal, 66, former chairman of the OPEC Fund Governing Board, died July 24 in Tunis. Jalal represented Saudi Arabia on the governing board of the OPEC Fund for International Development from the institution's inception in 1976 until 1979,...
Does Islam Need a "Reformation"?
An Oct. 12 seminar organized by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) in Washington, DC addressed whether there was a need for "a reformation" in the teaching and practice of Islam today. The panel comprised Prof. Akber S. Ahmed, Ibn-e-Khaldoon...
Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945-Epilogue, from Madrid to Camp David II and beyond, 1991 to 2002
Andrew I. Killgore, a retired foreign service officer and former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, is publisher of the Washington Report.In his landmark Fallen Pillars (1995), Donald Neff examined six aspects, or pillars, of U.S. policy toward Palestine and...
Fertile Crescent
Jordanian Woman Trounces Harassers According to a Sept. 22 Associated Press report, witnesses in the town of Zarqa were stunned as an unidentified Jordanian woman removed her cloak and beat three young men who had been verbally harassing her. The men...
Freedom Summer Volunteers Share Stories of Occupied Palestine
The Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine in Washington, DC held a Sept. 18 briefing entitled "Freedom Summer Report: Personal Accounts from Occupied Palestine," in which five International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteers answered questions and...
Gen. Zinni's Keynote Address
The conference's keynote address was delivered by four-Star Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, "a man who is both a soldier and a diplomat." The general, who spent years as a U.S. military commander in the Gulf, gave his perspective on U.S. foreign policy objectives...
Halper, Shawamreh on Rebuilding Campaign
Jeff Halper, coordinator of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Salim Shawamreh, Palestinian engineer and three-time home demolition victim, spoke in San Rafael Oct. 11 on the Global Campaign for Rebuilding Homes. The Marin Peace...
Halper, Shawamreh on Rebuilding Campaign
Jeff Halper, coordinator of The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Salim Shawamreh, Palestinian engineer and three-time home demolition victim, spoke in San Rafael Oct. 11 on the Global Campaign for Rebuilding Homes. The Marin Peace...
House Parties to Rebuild Palestinian Homes
There's a new kind of house party sweeping the United States, Canada, England, France and Italy that may shake roof rafters as far away as the occcupied territories. Washington Report readers and activists who enjoy throwing parties should check out...
Iowa Film Festival on "Boundaries: The Holy Land"
Well over 200 Iowans came together in Des Moines in mid-September for "Boundaries: The Holy Land," a film festival unlike any other ever organized in Iowa. Controversial by virtue of its subject matter--Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands--the...
Iran/Iraq
Iran, Bahrain Study Expanded Mutila Cooperation Iranian and Bahraini officials have held an introductory meeting to discuss possible expansion of mutual ties, reported the Oct. 10 Tehran Times. Iran's new Ambassador to Bahrain Mohammad Farazmand called...
Iraqi Americans Demonstrate
Several hundred Iraqi Americans gathered in the rain at Washington, DC's Dupont Circle Oct. 11 to voice their support for a regime change in Iraq. "We say no to Saddam," demonstrators said. "We are fed up! We call on Saddam Hussain to step down now to...
Israel Has Too Many Things on Its Plate-But Is Greedy for More
Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.Retired four-star General Anthony Zinni, speaking at an Oct. 10 Middle East Institute forum in Washington, DC, cited some of the reasons why the United States should...
Israeli Peace Movement "Alive and Well"
Israeli pacifist Aliyah Strauss told her audience at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine in Washington, DC on Oct. 9 that, despite the renewed bloodshed in Israel and Palestine, the Israeli peace movement survives. "We don't get much press,"...
Israelis and Americans Should Fear Christian Right
Rev. Dr. Donald Wagner of Chicago's North Park University addressed the influence of the Christian Right in the United States.Reminding listeners that the Christian Right is not "newly" Zionist, Wagner cited an Anglican priest who called for the creation...
Israel/Palestine
Yoko Otto Honors Israeli, Palestinian Artists Reuters reported Oct. 9 that artist Yoko Ono inaugurated a new peace award in honor of her late husband, John Lennon, by giving prizes of $50,000 to Israeli and Palestinian artists. Before an audience of...
Israel Plans to Demolish Homes in Beit Sahour
Fred Strickert is professor of religion at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.As Christians prepare to celebrate Christmas throughout the world, descendants of the Christmas Shepherds are facing the threat of homelessness. The well-known story in Luke...
Israel's Fruits of War Now Seen Spoiling on the Vine
Thomas R. Stauffer is a Washington, DC-based engineer and economist who has taught the economics of energy and the Middle East at Harvard University and Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.Israel is now victim of a war of attrition--one...
Jerusalem Journal: The "Good" Israeli Soldier Is Still a Soldier of Occupation
Samah Jabr is a medical resident in her native city of Jerusalem.Awhile ago, people in my neighborhood were talking about one "good" Israeli soldier stationed at the Al-Ram checkpoint. For one full month, a neighbor would go to the checkpoint to determine...
Let's Get Back to the Underlying Problem of Palestine
Richard H. Curtiss is executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.As the current joke goes, the United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq might have moved more rapidly had it not been necessary to translate everything into...
Letters to the Editor
More Dangerous Than Iraq George W. Bush could be right to be deeply concerned about Saddam Hussain's potential for creating chaos in the Middle East, and to wish for a regime change in Iraq. Saddam may well still possess weapons of mass destruction he...
Massive Anti-War Rally Held in Westwood
Pat and Samir Twair are freelance journalists based in Los Angeles."Rise Up!""Rise Up!""Rise Up!"Throbbing drums accompanied the crowd's hypnotic chant as thousands of demonstrators marched for one mile along busy Wilshire Boulevard from the Westwood...
Michael Tarazi Reports Peace Options
There is good news and bad news, reported Michael Tarazi, adviser to the Palestinian Authority. The bad news is that, despite agreeing to give up 78 percent of historic Palestine, Palestinians still have not achieved statehood. The good news, Tarazi...
Middle East Institute Holds 56th Annual Conference
"Turbulence and Transition in U.S.-Middle East Relations" was the theme for the Middle East Institute's 56th annual conference held Oct. 10 and 11 at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC. In welcoming remarks Ambassador Edward Walker, Jr., MEI's president,...
Middle East Institute Holds 56th Annual Conference / Gen. Zinni's Keynote Address
Arab-American Activism "Turbulence and Transition in U.S.-Middle East Relations" was the theme for the Middle East Institute's 56th annual conference held Oct. 10 and 11 at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC. In welcoming remarks Ambassador Edward...
Montreal Protesters Prevent Netanyahu Speech
Sept. 9 lecture by former Israeli Prime Winster Binvamin Netanvahu at Concordia University in Montreal was cancelled after a group of pro-Palestinian students entered the building and clashed with riot police inside. The students were furious because...
More Conference Notes
THE FIRST SESSION of The United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People was devoted to "The daily face of occupation." Gabi Baramki, president of the Palestinian Council for Justice and Peace in Ramallah,...
Muslim American Heritage Day
The first annual Muslim American Heritage Day was held Oct. 6 at Washington, DC's Freedom Plaza. The site of many protests in support of Palestine and against the war in Iraq, on this day American Muslims presented a different face to downtown DC, educating...
Muslims Invite Falwell to Explain His Bigotry
As soon as the Muslim Public Affairs Council was alerted to a forthcoming "60 Minutes" segment in which the Rev. Jerry Falwell called the Prophet Mohammed a terrorist (see p. 68), MPAC phoned and faxed an invitation to Christian fundamentalist preacher...
NCR Warns Iran Developing Deadly Ballistic Missiles
The Iranian regime completed "Shahab-4" missile tests in May and August 2002, Soona Samsami, the U.S. representative of the National Council of Resistance (NCR), told reporters gathered for an Oct. 16 press conference at the Willard Hotel in Washington,...
Nonviolent Resistance Spokesman in L.A
At a Sept. 13 meeting sponsored by the Pasadena Coalition for a Just Peace, Ghassan Andoni, a physics professor at Birzeit University, outlined the goals of the International Solidarity Movement which he co-founded in December 2000.Hundreds of people...
North Africa
Egyptian Artifacts Reclaimed Lebanon's Daily Star reported Sept. 24 on the determination of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA) to bring ancient Egyptian treasures back home-and off the auction block. In an editorial, SCA Secretary-General...
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves. Cheney on Iraq To the San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 22, 2002 (as published online). This is a comment by Dick Cheney then secretary of defense,...
Pakistan Elections Produce More Problems Than Solutions
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 president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has kept his word. Defying skeptics and critics alike, general elections...
Pakistani Ambassador Speaks at International Student House
International Student House, which provides housing for 98 students from some 30 different countries attending Washington, DC-area universities, invited Pakistan's new ambassador to the United States, Dr. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, to talk to his first U.S....
Palestinian Children's Drawings Displayed
"We want peace," read the caption on a colored-pencil sketch of the Dome of the Rock with soldiers around it by Rashad Jaber, an 8th grader at Jerusalem's Ibrahimieh College located outside the Old City's Bab al Zahr (Herod's Gate). Rashad's drawing...
Palestinians Living Inside Israel Grapple with Discrimination
Four activists from Baladna Association for Arab Youth in Haifa, all Palestinian citizens of Israel, discussed the reality of living in a Jewish state that discriminates against non-Jews at an Oct. 8 briefing at Washington, DC's Center for Policy Analysis...
Publishers' Page: American Educational Trust
The U.S. Media's Focus... On Iraq, snipers and, eventually, elections gave Israel the opportunity to reoccupy much of the West Bank and Gaza. By now Israel's military incursions are considered so routine they no longer provoke an international outcry...
Religious Zionism: A Growing Impediment to Middle East Peace
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.When reasons...
Remembering Sen. Joseph McCarthy with a New "Campus-Watch" Witch Hunt
Bill L. Turpen teaches history at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics and is an adjunct instructor for the University of Central Oklahoma.Many of us remember Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a fine American who, after a distinguished war record as a...
Saudi Arabia under Pressure from All Sides
Andrew North is a free-lance journalist based in London."We're going to nuke Mecca, we're going to really destroy you guys, you camel jockeys." So reads just one of thousands of hate e-mails received by the English-language Saudi newspaper Arab News...
Sharon/labor Coalition Collapses.All Because of a Small Olive
Uri Avnery, a former Knesset member, is a founder of Gush Shalom.Why has the Sharon-Ben-Eliezer-Peres government collapsed? Because of a small olive.It started like a children's tale: Once upon a time there was a small olive in a Palestinian village....
Signs Increasingly Point to Gamal Mubarak as Egypt's Next President
A favorite parlor game among Egypt's educated classes in recent years has been guessing who the next president might be. The current president, Hosni Mubarak, has never appointed a deputy-a policy, analysts say, designed to maintain his grip on power....
Sudan's Foreign Minister in Washington
Sudanese Ambassador Khidir Haroun Ahmed hosted a press conference at his official residence Sept. 19 to offer members of the American press a chance to meet Foreign Minister Dr. Mustapha Osman Ismail in an informal atmosphere. Dr. Ismail wanted to address...
Talking Turkey: Ankara Seethes as Parliamentary Reforms Fail to Open Door to EU
Jon Gorvett is a free-lance journalist based in Istanbul."Unfair," "in bad faith" and "a slap in the face" were some of the milder reactions from Turkish politicians and media pundits in early October, when the EU's European Commission turned in a "must...
The "Good" Israeli Soldier Is Still a Soldier of Occupation
JerusalemJournal while ago, people in my neighborhood were talking about one "good" Israeli soldier stationed at the Al-Ram checkpoint. For one full month, a neighbor would go to the checkpoint to determine if that soldier was on duty. If he was, our...
The Subcontinent
Bangladesh Schools in Trouble According to the Oct. 8 Gulf News Online, Bangladesh's education ministry has ranked nearly 70 percent of educational institutions in the country as "substandard." A survey covering 23,000 non-government schools and colleges...
The War's Effect on Palestinian Children
Many Palestinians, said Claudette Habasch, director of Caritas International, Jerusalem, are working to raise their children and grandchildren without hate and to prepare them for reconciliation. Even so, she said, students ask their teachers at school,...
Turkish Election Result No Surprise - but Extent of AKP Victory Unexpected
Turkish general elections are never short of surprises, and Nov. 3's ballot was no exception. Although almost everybody knew the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) would win, few predicted by how much.When the dust settled, the AKP--with...
UC Berkeley Conference on Islam in America
Professors, students, activists, journalists, and political leaders discussed "Islam in America: Rights and Citizenship in a Post-9/11 World" at a one-day conference sponsored jointly by the American Muslim Alliance and the University of California,...
U.N. Conference on Palestinians Emphasizes Activism to "End the Occupation"
Sr. Elaine Kelley is administrative officer of Friends of Sabeel-North America.The United Nations convened the first international conference on Palestine in four years at its New York headquarters Sept. 23 and 24, drawing over 400 participants from...
U.S. Go-It-Alone Stance, Fear of Iraqi Compliance Alienates Rest of World
Ian Williams is a free-lance journalist based at the United Nations.For most of October, only a fan of Japanese Sumo wrestling could appreciate watching the Security Council at work: bloated but mighty combatants, seemingly immobile, straining and grappling...
U.S. Go-It-Alone Stance, Fear of Iraqi Compliance Alientates Rest of World
United Nations Report For most of October, only a fan of Japanese Sumo wrestling could appreciate watching the Security Council at work: bloated but mighty combatants, seemingly immobile, straining and grappling for the strategic hold that will give...
Washington's War Drama Moves toward Final Act
SpecialReport So now we observe the next scenes in the strange drama that seems to speed toward its last act, and once again the promise does not coincide with reality. This week was supposed to have marked a turning point, as Tony Blair proffered his...
"Why Are They Taking My House?"
Since they were married 20 years ago, Faraj and Nahida Lati have lived in the same apartment in Bethlehem. There they have done their best to raise three children while Faraj has served as a diaconal minister at the Beit Sahour Lutheran Congregation...
World Affairs Council Delegation Visits Sabra/Shatila on Anniversary of Massacre
Omar Turbi is Senior Board Member of Trustees, World Affairs Council of America. WAC chairman Sir Eldon Griffiths contributed to this report.As a member of the World Affairs Council of America's delegation to Lebanon, I realized that we could not have...
World Affairs Council Delegation Vists Sabra/Shatila on Anniversary of Massacre
As a member of the World Affairs Council of America's delegation to Lebanon, I realized that we could not have arrived at a more challenging-and intriguing-moment. As our plane landed in Beirut, the United States was preparing to commemorate the first...
Yesterday's Friends Today Are the Enemies of America
Sami Moubayed is a Syrian political analyst.In 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched a fact-finding commission to Syria to inquire on the advisability of imposing a French Mandate in the Middle East and to hear out the worries of the Syrian...
Zionist Israeli Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza
Dr. Jad Isaac, director general of the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), began his remarks by reminding listeners that the current boundaries of the West Bank and Gaza represent only 22 percent of the British Mandate of Palestine (the land...
Zion's Christian Soldiers: The "60 Minutes" Transcript
SpecialReport What's the number-one item on the agenda of the Christian right? Abortion? School prayer? No and no. Believe it or not, what's most important to a lot of conservative Christians is the Jewish state, Israel; its size, its strength, its survival....
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