Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 9, December

28 Years: One Palestinian Prisoner's Story
Human rights activists refer to Salim Al-Kayyali as "the dean of detainees." One of the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners Israel agreed to release in return for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, he has been incarcerated in an Israeli prison-without...
Afghanistan: Ten Years of Aimless War
The renowned military strategist Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller defined war's true objective as achieving desired political results, not killing enemies.But this is just what the U.S. has been doing in Afghanistan. After 10 years of war costing at least $450...
ANERA's Supporters Deliver
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), a leading provider of development, health, education and employment programs to Palestinian communities, held its annual dinner at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel on Sept. 30. Guests contributed more...
CAIR's Annual Fundraiser a Huge Success
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) invited Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) to give the keynote speech [see box] at its 17th annual banquet on Oct. 15, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, VA. Some 800 community members, leaders, diplomats...
Canadian War-Crimes Profiteering
Canada's unconditional diplomatic support and enabling of Israeli belligerence and intransigence vis-à-vis Palestinians is increasingly garnering critical attention. Largely escaping scrutiny, however, has been Ottawa's economic relationship with Israel....
Chamy's "Of Refuge, of Home" Explores Family Myth and History
The Jerusalem Fund Gallery in Washington, DC held a Sept. 30 opening reception for artist Adam Chamy's month-long exhibit, "Of Refuge, Of Home." Chamy's collection of family portraits and installation works explore the stories of his Palestinian-Texan...
Comedian Discusses U.S. Islamophobia, Comedy in Arab World
Dean Obeidallah, who performs regularly at comedy clubs in New York City, spoke on Sept. 23 at Georgetown University's Mortara Center for International Studies. The award-winning comedian, who has appeared on television's Comedy Central and CNN networks,...
Congress Echoes Israel's near Hysteria over Palestinians' U.N. Bid
Throughout the summer many Israeli politicians seemed to be in a state of near hysteria over the possibility that the Palestinians would seek to gain recognition of a state through the U.N. It is unclear why this was considered such a threat to Israel,...
CSU Middle East Studies Confab at Cal Poly Pomona
An impressive slate of 10 academic panels capped by a keynote address by Hastings School of Law Prof. George Bisharat was the extensive menu for the 4th annual California State University Conference on Middle East Studies Oct. 14 and 15 at California...
D.C. Rally Calls for End to U.S. Aid to Israel
Offering both a public display of support for Palestinians and a public renunciation of U.S. aid to Israel, organizers with the September15 Organization, a group named for the International Day of Democracy, led a rally that day in Washington, DC. Meeting...
Diana Buttu Addresses Palestine Children's Relief Fund "Healing Hands" Benefit
Harvard University Law School Fellow Diana Buttu was the keynote speaker at the Palestine Children's Relief Fund's (PCRF) annual Southern California chapter's "Healing Hands" benefit dinner Sept. 24 in the Anaheim Hilton Hotel. Before an audience of...
Dr. Saree Makdisi Delivers Palestine Center's 2011 Edward Said Lecture
UCLA Professor of Comparative Literature Dr. Saree Makdisi delivered the 2011 Edward Said memorial lecture, "Palestine: The Epicenter of Arab Revolutions," at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC on Oct. 3.Instead of settling for peace without justice...
Gaza Kids' Art Show a Smashing Success despite Museum's Attempt at Censorship
The long-planned opening reception for the exhibit of Palestinian children's artwork organized by the Berkeley-based Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) took place Sept. 24 in the courtyard of Oakland's Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA), rather than...
Go Palestine: An Extraordinary Summer Camp Behind the Wall
I was never a big fan of summer camps. Learning how to carve a miniature canoe out of soap wasn't my idea of fun. So when my mother first suggested I apply to the Go Palestine Camp this summer, I thought, "Here we go again." But as much as I hate to...
Hezbollah in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings
Seeking to better understand how Hezbollah will respond to the changing political landscape in the Middle East, the Middle East Institute (MEI) hosted an Oct. 11 discussion titled "Hezbollah in the Wake of the Arab Spring." Randa Slim, a Lebanese-American...
How Plausible Is the Alleged Iranian "Terror Plot"?
FBI Account of "Terror Plot" Suggests Sting OperationBy Gareth PorterA courtroom drawing of Mansour Arbabsiar (second from right) appearing before U.S. Southern District Court Judge Michael H. Dolinger (at bench) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Glen Kopp...
Inside the Mideast Prisoner Swap
In recent days, we've witnessed the rare spectacle of Israelis and Palestinians celebrating at the same time. Ironically, this was the result of negotiations between the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian resistance...
Israeli Rejectionism: A Hidden Agenda in the Middle East Peace Process
Israeli Rejectionism: A Hidden Agenda in the Middle East Peace Process By Zalman Amit & Daphna Levit, Pluto, 2011, paperback, 208 pp. List: $30; AET: $23.Reviewed by Andrew StimsonIn an all-too-familiar refrain, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu...
Jim Moran Headlines CAIR's Annual Fund-Raiser
Congressman Moran began his speech on Muslim-American civil rights by wishing Muslims throughout the United States a blessed Eid Al-Adha celebration."I am here because I want to help educate the Muslim community on the importance of civic activism while...
Letters to the Editor
U.S. "Outrage" at the U.N. LaughableRussia and China on Oct. 4 vetoed a proposed U.N. resolution targeting the unacceptable treatment of protesters by the Syrian regime. The United States-rightly-expressed "outrage" at this veto. However, the inappropriately...
Longtime Journalist Describes Iranians as Most Pro-American People in Middle East
Scott Peterson, who has covered the Middle East for The Christian Science Monitor for more than 15 years, currently is the newspaper's bureau chief in Istanbul. He is also a photographer for Getty Images and author of Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran-a...
Mideast Universities Face Challenge of Unemployed Graduates
Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies hosted Dr. Joseph Jabbra, president of Lebanese American University (LAU), for a Sept. 21 discussion on "The State of Higher Education in the Middle East." Moderator Dr. Judith Tucker guided...
Neocons Blame Obama for Iraq Disaster
With President Barack Obama's announcement of a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, the neoconservative editors of The Washington Post immediately got to work rewriting the narrative of the Iraq war, shifting the blame for the eight-year strategic...
Obama's Speech to the U.N.: In Distorting the Facts He Revealed the Truth
On Nov. 13, 1974, Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, spoke before the U.N. General Assembly and described his dream of a "Palestine of tomorrow," a democratic state in which Jews, Christians, and Muslims would live together...
Obituaries
Said Jibrin, 91, died of natural causes Aug. 27, in Bethesda, MD. Born and raised in the Syrian mountain village of Nabaa Karkar, friends remembered him carrying his violin to school. He received his B.A. from the American University of Beirut in 1942,...
Other People's Mail
Palestinian State Is RightTo the Charleston Gazette (WV), Oct. 12, 2011I'm sure you'll take some flak for your editorial about Palestine. I'd like to applaud it. Backing Palestinian statehood is the right thing for Palestinians, the right thing for America,...
Panel Explores Egypt's Changing Religious Climate
The Washington, DC-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted an Oct. 6 panel discussion titled "Post-Revolutionary Egypt: New Trends in Islam." Moderated by Marina Ottaway, senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Program, the panel...
"Price Tag" or Pogrom? West Bank Settlers Now Running Amok in Israel as Well
The interior of the mosque in the Bedouin village of Tuba Zangariya in northern Israel was left charred and blackened in early October, its stacks of Qur'ans burned beyond recognition. On the outside walls, scrawled in charcoal, were the words "Revenge"...
Protest at L.A. Chinese Consulate
The chants broke through the hot morning air: "China, China you can't hide, stop supporting genocide." Then another slogan was shouted: "China, China don't you care? Syrian blood is everywhere," followed by another: "China, China you will see, Syria's...
Publishers' Page
Our Special Message to You.For 30 years-as of next year!-the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has brought you both the fascinating and the infuriating news our mainstream media don't want you to know about U.S. and Mideast relations and the efforts...
Republican Frontrunner Mitt Romney Touts Neoconservative Foreign Policy
In his first major foreign policy address of the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney on Oct. 7 presented a largely neoconservative platform similar to that pursued by George W. Bush, although he never mentioned the former president...
Share the Water, Build the Peace
Washington, DC's World Affairs Council hosted an Oct. 3 forum featuring Gidon Bromberg, co-director of Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), to talk about the ecological, political and social implications of water resources in the region.Moderator...
Social Justice, Antiwar Activists Meet and "Occupy Iowa"
Some 500 Iowans expressed their support of and solidarity with Occupy Wall Street protests nationwide by occupying a park near the state capitol building in Des Moines on Sunday, Oct. 9. The group, dubbed "Occupy Iowa" by its organizers, represents a...
"Tennis in Nablus" Revives the Arab Revolt
"As a Palestinian-American playwright," says Ismail Khalidi, "I am deeply committed to challenging the myths and distortions about Palestinians that abound in American discourse." That's just one of Khalidi's goals in his award-winning play "Tennis in...
The Assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki, Yemen and Obama's WarBy Patrick SealeOn Friday, Sept. 30, Yemen announced that a Hellfire missile fired from a CIA-operated drone had killed Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki, in the north of the country. His grief-stricken father, once a minister...
The Myth of an Israel-Centered "Jewish Vote"-And Its Negative Consequences for Mideast Peace
As the 2012 presidential election campaign gets under way, Republicans and Democrats alike are doing their best to appeal to what many perceive to be an Israel-centered "Jewish vote"-as if millions of Americans of the Jewish faith cast their ballots...
The Political Uses of Islamophobia in Europe
For half a century after the end of the Second World War, the far right in Europe was typically anti-Semitic and worshipful of the Third Reich. Realizing that their association with Nazism alienated the vast majority of the public, those who ran for...
The Role of Youth in Ending the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Two OneVoice youth activists, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, spoke on Sept. 22 at the Case Foundation Washington, DC offices of Buxton Initiative, an organization of Muslims, Christians and Jews who are dedicated to building understanding and...
The Sins of Liam Fox
The forced resignation of Britain's defense minister, Liam Fox, has opened up a window into the way foreign policy in the "free world" is made-and a very revealing window it is.At the center of the scandal that led to Fox's ouster is his "best man,"...
The State of the Egyptian Revolution
George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs hosted a Sept. 21 panel of leading political scientists to discuss and offer their perspectives on the revolution in Egypt and its new political situation.Rabab El-Mahdi, professor...
Turkish Film "Three Monkeys" Screened in Washington, DC
An acclaimed Turkish artist chose an award-winning Turkish movie to be shown on Sept. 18 as part of the "Moving Perspectives" program at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC. Carol Huh, assistant curator of contemporary...
Upcoming Events
The Middle East Children's Alliance has found a new venue for the Child's View from Gaza exhibit, previously censored by the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland (see p. 42). It will be on display through Nov. 27 on Fridays (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), Saturdays...
U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation: Looking Back, Moving Forward
Washington, DC's Thurgood Marshall Center hosted the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation's 10th Annual National Organizers' Conference, from Sept. 16 to 18. Approximately 250 activists gathered for this year's conference, themed "Looking Back,...
Washington Impaling Itself on the Horns of a Diplomatic Dilemma
In the twisted chains of events in the Middle East, one set of links is clear. Almost 500 Palestinian prisoners-and Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit-released on Oct. 12, with a second group of 555 Palestinian prisoners to be released later, owe their freedom...
What Lay Behind the Libya Intervention?
Since the start of the Franco-British intervention in Libya, which on British and American insistence last March was turned into a NATO affair, some commentaries on the left have interpreted the action as Western imperialism. It was called an effort...
Wilson Center Event Examines Iran's Domestic and International Relations
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a Sept. 30 event titled "Iran: Turmoil at Home, Assertiveness Abroad?" The first of two panels addressed Iran's economy, educational system and internal political struggles, while the second...
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