Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 29, No. 9, December

America's Lost Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq Call for a Change in Policy
When President Barack Obama reassesses the progress of the U.S. war in Afghanistan in December, as he has promised to do, he will be reviewing a lost war. Although there will be no formal surrender ceremony in Kabul, none of the goals policymakers claimed...
ANERA Tells an Important Story to Americans and Palestinians Alike
Guests at American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)'s 42nd annual dinner at the Capital Hilton Hotel on Oct. 1 enjoyed an evening of inspirational Hakawati, the Arabic world for storytelling, to focus attention on ANERA's agricultural projects benefitting...
CAIR Launches New Department to Address Islamophobia
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held its 16th annual banquet and leadership skills training conference on Oct. 9 at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, VA. Some 900 Muslim community members attending the banquet with their families,...
California Lawmakers Celebrate Ramadan with CAIR at Seventh Annual Capitol Iftar
For the seventh consecutive year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, guests of various ethnicities and faiths gathered in Sacramento's state capitol rotunda for an iftar co-hosted by California Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblywoman...
Campaign Aims to Divest State Funds from Corporations Enabling Israeli Occupation
If 434,000 signatures of registered voters can be collected by Jan. 31, California will become the first state in the nation with a ballot measure to divest state public employee and teacher pension funds from corporations that violate the human rights...
Canada Loses Bid for Security Council Seat Due to Recent Unqualified Support of Israel
"My country right or wrong" has always been a very dubiously patriotic phrase. True patriots try to correct their country when it is wrong. In Canada, as in the U.S., there is a vociferous and powerful group that believes in an even more dubious proposition:...
Colman McCarthy Receives 2010 El-Hibri Peace Education Award
Surrounded by more than 100 friends and admirers, journalist and educator Colman McCarthy was awarded the 2010 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize at an event held Sept. 25, 2010 at the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation's headquarters in Washington, DC.The annual...
Drake University Hosts Muslim Panel Discussion
A widely publicized Drake University panel discussion on Oct. 7 addressed the topic "What it means to be an American Muslim." The panelists reflected the diversity of experience and variety of perspectives that characterize the American Muslim community,...
Dr. Riad Abdel-Gawad Discusses Egyptian Sufi Musical Traditions
The Middle East Institute hosted a discussion of Egyptian Sufi musical traditions with violinist and composer Dr. Riad Abdel-Gawad on Sept. 22 in Washington, DC. Dr. Abel-Gawad, a graduate of the University of Southern California, the University of Cincinnati...
Family Members, Others Call for Independent Investigation into Megrahi Conviction
Until I began to listen to the evidence unfolding in the court at Zeist, The Netherlands, relating to the alleged guilt of Libyans Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fahima, I had anticipated watching the conviction of two executives in the plot...
Gaza Freedom Flotilla: "Fact, Fiction and the Law"
At a Sept. 22 panel discussion at Brooklyn Law School entitled "Flotilla: Fact, Fiction & The Law," attorney and Gaza Freedom Flotilla participant Fatima Mohammadi provided an eyewitness account of Israel's May 31 attack in international waters on...
Hilary Rantisi Speaks in Des Moines
Hilary Rantisi, director of the Middle East Initiative at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, spoke about peacemaking and her family's history in occupied Palestine at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 2."I was...
Holding AIPAC Accountable
Year-Long Drive to Regulate AIPAC as a Foreign Agent ContinuesBy Grant F. SmithOn the morning of Nov. 4, 2009 I headed a four-person delegation to meet with the chief and top officials of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Foreign Agents Registration...
Iowa Human Rights Activists Protest FBI Excesses
Dozens of Iowa activists rallied at Nollen Plaza in Des Moines on Sept. 30 in response to recent news reports about Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance and raids targeting human rights and anti-war activists across the nation."We are here...
Israeli Settlers Poison Olive Trees and Torch Mosques in the Wild West Bank
Americans of a certain age grew up reading children's books by Laura Ingalls Wilder or watching the popular TV series "Little House on the Prairie" (which ran from 1974-1984), based on her family's life and adventures as settlers in America's Wild West....
Mixed News from Britain: Growing Solidarity with Palestinians-And Islamophobia
I spent the month of September on holiday in Britain, so didn't give much thought to things Southeast Asian, my normal focal point. The visit wasn't all relaxation, however. For one thing, I wanted to catch up with news from organizations working in...
New Policy PAC Raises $12,000 for Congresswoman Donna Edwards
Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-4th District, MD) took some heat from the Washington Jewish Week and pro-Israel lobbies, including J Street, for attending an Oct. 16 luncheon hosted by New Policy PAC at the Washington Sheraton North Hotel in Beltsville,...
Nurse Ellen Siegel Speaks at DC Screening of "The Gaza Hospital"
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) president Sara Najjar-Wilson and vice president Nabil Mohamad welcomed a large audience to their Sept. 29 screening at ADC's Heritage Center of a moving documentary, "The Gaza Hospital." Director Marco...
Obituaries
Vance Bourjaily, 87, the Lebanese-American novelist and educator, died Aug. 30 at Marin General Hospital after suffering a bad fall at his home in San Rafael, CA. A contemporary of such post-World War II-era authors as Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut,...
Operation Cast Lead Is over, but the Nightmare Continues
The Sept. 6, 2010 issue of the leading German newspaper Der Spiegel included the article "Studies Show Nurture at Least as Important as Nature" by Joerge Blech on the findings of a groundbreaking study on intelligence. Researchers found that prolonged...
Palestinians Reject a "Compromise" That Means Surrender
"Today we return to build in all of the land of Israel."-Danny Danon, settler leader and member of the Likud party, at a ceremony celebrating the end of Israel's "settlement freeze,"New York Times, Sept. 27, 2010."Palestinians want to see their president...
Peace Talks, Palestinian Refugees and Their Right of Return
Peace Talks or No, Lebanon's Palestinian Refugees in LimboBy John RedwineAs Israeli, Palestinian and Quartet negotiators work to salvage the rapidly sinking Middle East peace process in the face of stalled direct talks, they continue to consider all...
Prime Minister Fayyad Speaks out on Building Palestine
Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad addressed a packed house at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC on Sept. 23 about his goals for Palestine. Three days later, Israel decided not to renew its temporary "freeze"...
Prime Minister of Tunisia Mohamed Ghannouchi
Tunisia's Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi discussed "Tunisia's Knowledge-Based Approach to Long-Term Growth and Job Creation" at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC on Oct. 6. After thanking World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick for his...
Publishers' Page
As We Go To Press...A divided nation goes to the polls. In its campaign to "take back" America the political right has used "wedge issues" to attack the civil, human, and religious liberties of minorities-or any other American who disagrees with their...
Rashid Khalidi Notes Changes in Public Sphere
Before a standing-room-only crowd at the Palestine Center's annual Edward Said Memorial lecture on Oct. 7, Columbia University Prof. Dr. Rashid Khalidi examined the "Palestine Question and the Public Sphere." While some media commentators were talking...
Report Shows Drone Strikes Based on Scant Evidence
New information on the Central Intelligence Agency's campaign of drone strikes in northwest Pakistan directly contradicts the image the Barack Obama administration and the CIA have sought to establish in the news media of a program based on highly accurate...
Saudi Arabia and the Arab World Choose Peace-Now It's Up to the U.S. and Israel
Editor's Note: Prince Turki gave the following speech at The National Council on U.S. Arab Relation's annual conference in Washington, DC on Oct. 22, 2010, following a luncheon presentation by Sesame Workshop CEO H. Melvin Ming on "Muppet Diplomacy."I...
Senate Letter Sought to Prepare Ground to Blame Abbas for Peace Talks Failure
On Sept. 27, 87 senators signed a remarkable, AIPAC-initiated letter to President Barack Obama commending him for his efforts to restart direct peace talks between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The...
The Case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: A Profile in Persecution and Faith
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui came to America from Pakistan as an 18-year-old student. She attended the University of Houston (Texas) as a freshman, before matriculating to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, where she earned her bachelor's degree...
The Corrie Trial in Israel: Seeking Answers and Accountability
Transparent. Credible. Thorough. These were the words used by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2003 when setting forth the terms under which the investigation into the killing of Rachel Corrie would be conducted to George W. Bush, one day after...
The Israeli-Syrian Conflict over the Golan Heights: Myths and Realities
Dr. Yigal Kipnis, an Israeli author from Hebrew University in Jerusalem who specializes in the geography and history of the Golan Heights, spoke at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC on Oct. 8, in an event co-sponsored with...
The Prophetic Vision of Zionism's Jewish Critics
From the earliest days of Zionism, the philosophy which proclaimed that Jews were a distinct nationality, not a religious community, and should return to their ancient "homeland" in Palestine represented a minority view among Jews.Religious Jews objected...
Women as Barometer of Success, Stability from Iraq to Afghanistan
Panelists at a Sept. 27 event at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC discussed the struggle women face as they try to play an active role in civil society in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, where their accomplishments are key...
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