Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 24, No. 1, January/February

"10,000 Kites for Peace" Slated to Be Launched April 27 at Israel's Apartheid Wall
"The whole idea is absurd, but it's just what Israelis and Palestinians need."So said Rabbi Leonard Beerman as he addressed more than 250 guests Dec. 2 at the "10,000 Kites" dinner in the Los Angeles Skirball Cultural Center."Negotiations between the...
2004 Election Sees Second American-Muslim Bloc Vote
In the 2004 presidential election, 93 percent of American Muslims voted as a bloc for Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry in an effort to help restore civil liberties and human rights for all. It was the largest turnout of American Muslim voters in...
After Years of Silence, News of Treatment of Turkey's Kurds Begins to Emerge
For many years, Turkey's generals and politicians claimed that some "30,000 people" had been killed by the country's Kurdish rebels in their campaign of violence, aimed at establishing a separate Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey. Of course, few who...
Amr Moussa Secures Partial Victory in Quest for Arab Security Council Seat
At the end of October, "elections" were held for five of the security Council's ten temporary seats. In fact, only one of the five actually was contested: Japan won by 188 votes to one against Bhutan. Argentina, Denmark, Greece and Tanzania all were...
Arafat Mourned in Washington, DC
Diplomatic DoingsOn Nov 12, the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, hosted a press conference at the Palestine Liberation Organization's Washington, DC headquarters to reiterate to the mainstream press...
Brit Tzedek's Marcia Freedman Discusses Role of American Jewish Community
Former Israeli Knesset member Marcia Freedman, now president of the Chicago-based Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, spoke Nov. 18 at Portland's Congregation Beth Israel on "The Road to Peace in Israel: The Role of the American...
Bungling and Brutality Stir Anger in Southern Thailand
An insurgency in southern Thailand that had almost sputtered out for lack of support could soon be turned into a fierce regional conflict through the callous treatment of the local Muslim population by the Thai army and the insensitive response of the...
Continuing FBI Investigations Mean Potentially Serious Trouble for Israel
Two ongoing FBI investigations could M cause serious problems for Israel. One concerns Larry Franklin, an Iranian analyst who worked at the Pentagon under neocon/Zionist Douglas Feith, under secretary of defense for policy. According to press reports,...
Dinner Raises Awareness as Well as Funds for Shoufat Refugees
George Washington University's Students for Justice in Palestine held a Nov. 22 fundraising dinner to benefit the Shoufat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem.About 300 people attended the event, which featured guest speakers Huwaida Arraf, one of the founders...
Elections Alone Can't Bring Peace to Occupied Palestine and Iraq
"They made a wasteland and called it a democracy."-Jonathan Schell, on the U.S. assault on Fallujah, the Nation, Dec. 12, 2004.If all goes according to plan, Palestinians will vote on Jan. 9 for a new president to replace the late Yasser Arafat, and...
Ensemble Al-Kindi Offers Audiences A Portal to Sufism's Richness
Muslim-American ActivismAt Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH on Nov. 10, as well as at nine other venues across the country, standing-room-only audiences were able to experience firsthand the exquisitely beautiful blend of Islam's mystical dance and music...
Exhibit, Film Festivals, Distinguished Lecture, Journalism Scholarship, and Deaths
Islamic Art at National Gallery"PALACE AND MOSQUB: ISLAMIC ART FROM THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM," featuring over 100 works from one of the most renowned Islamic art collections in the world, will remain on view through FEB. 6 at the East Building...
Final Choice for the Palestinians and Israelis Will Be a Deadly One
The late president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, used to say Arabs were always willing to fight Israel until the last Egyptian. That is why, at some point in the 1980s, he disconnected from the Arab world, signing a peace treaty with Israel for which Egypt...
First Month of Campaign to Succeed Yasser Arafat Full of Surprises
The first month between the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Nov. 11, 2004 and the Jan. 9, 2005 election to succeed him was full of surprises. Many Palestinians, as well as Americans and Israelis, hoped that Mahmoud Abbas (also known as...
Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Kattouf Speaks to Church
Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of Potomac, Maryland launched a lecture series on the Middle Bast Oct. 31 with an address by former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Ted Kattouf. For a time, Kattouf noted, Christianity was the dominant...
Hague Conference Considers Ways to Implement ICJ Ruling on Israel's Wall
Days after George W. Bush was re-elected president of the United States, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reiterated the importance of "pursuing.. .peace in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine," and as Yasser Arafat lay dying in a Paris...
Hawks Flying High with Posting of Condoleezza Rice to State Department
U.S. President George W. Bush's nomination of National security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to replace secretary of State Colin Powell consolidates the control over U.S. foreign policy of the coalition of hawks that promoted the war in Iraq, led by Vice...
Holy Land Christians: Rooted in Bonds of Peace
Human RightsMore than 450 participants from 15 states and five countries attended the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation's sixth international conference, held Oct. 22 to 24 at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington, DC....
In Memoriam Yasser Arafat (1929-2004)
The Icon of the Palestinian CauseBy The Electronic IntifadaYasser Arafat, chairman of al-Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization and elected president of the Palestinian Authority, died in Paris Nov. 11 from complications stemming from a blood...
Iowa Activists Protest Iraq War
Eleven anti-war protesters voted with their feet by trespassing at the Iowa National Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters STARC Armory near Des Moines on election day, Nov. 2."Our main objective here is to bring our message to the powers that be in the...
Israel Washes Away the Sins of Former Army Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan
"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle."-Rafael Eitan, April 14, 1983"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of...
Jerusalem Fund Concert Features Rapper Iron Sheik
Arab - American ActivismPalestinian-American rapper Iron Sheik performed songs from his new album "Yet We Remain" at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC, on Nov. 11. Event organizers asked the audience of about 50 to observe a moment of silence prior...
Jerusalem Women Speak at MEI
Three women, each committed to peace, described how the Israeli occupation of Palestine affects their lives back home. The women-Marianne Albina, a Christian Palestinian; Hidaya Said Najmi, a Muslim Palestinian; and GiIa Svirsky, a Jewish Israeli-spoke...
Jewish Groups Criticize Presbyterian Vote to Divest from Israel
Leaders of the nation's largest Presbyterian denomination, believing that Israel is denying human rights to Palestinians in the occupied territories, have voted to review their investments in Israel.With the decision, approved in a 431-62 vote at the...
Letters to the Editor
No Connection to CNIAs I consider my response to your financial appeal, I have become confused about the connection between the AET, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Council for the National Interest. Recently I have contributed...
London Conference a Prelude to Academic Boycott of Israel
On Dec. 5, some 270 academics from around the world convened in London to discuss the implementation of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions and the severing of cultural links with Israel. The aim of the conference was to refine the arguments,...
MESA Encourages Academic Courage
Waging PeaceAgainst high odds, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) met in San Francisco Nov. 20 through Nov 23. As has been the case for the past few years, draconian U.S. visa requirements prevented many important scholars from Middle Eastern...
Naji Al-Ali's Cartoons Still Relevant Today
Eminent Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali was the subject of a Nov. 17 lecture at Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Artist and San Francisco State University professor Fayeq Oweis discussed the "symbols, characters and relevance"...
Oil, Power, and Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda
Oil, Power, and Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda By Larry Everest, Common Courage Press, 2004, 391 pp, List: $19.95; ABT: $14.50.The quest for empire has been authoritatively exposed and damned -largely in the words of the power-hungry crusaders...
Omnibus Appropriations Bill Drops or Modifies Most Ill-Advised Provisions
On Nov. 20 Congress finally passed the $388 billion "omnibus" appropriations bill, funding 13 departments and countless federal agencies. The vehicle chosen was the conference report, H.Rept. 108-792, to the Foreign Operations (foreign aid) appropriations...
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are an informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves.The Other American MuslimsTo The Sacremento Bee, Oct. 28, 2004If, as the Zog by organization and other analysts purport, the African Americans...
Panel Examines Life after Arafat
A panel at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC examined "Palestinian Politics after Arafat: What's next?" The panel, planned following news of the Palestinian president's illness and hospitalization in France, was held Nov. 11, the day of Arafat's...
"Peace Must Be Grasped" after Arafat, Says the Independent
The death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Nov. 11 was seen as a new chance for peace in the Middle East by some European newspapers, while others feared his departure may mean the further deterioration of the regional situation.Mr. Arafat's death...
Publishers' Page
By the Time You Read This Page...Sharif Omar's citrus farm may be leveled. Readers may recall Omar's powerful story (see October 2004 Washington Report, p. 49). After fighting-and winning-in Israeli courts for years, testifying at European conferences,...
Rafah Home Demolitions Leave Families Caught between Displacement and Poverty
In front of a simple tent he and his family had erected in the middle of a small plot, refugee Ahmed Al Lahwani was sitting with his eight kids, surrounded by walls on all sides. He was speaking to them in an optimistic tone, trying to console them after...
Shibley Telhami Examines Role of Religion in U.S. Foreign Policy
In the recently published book, Liberty and Power: A Dialogue on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy in an Unjust World, six distinguished authors examine the role of religion in Washington's foreign policy decisions. One of those authors, Dr. Shibley Telhami,...
The Fate of Jerusalem: "An Inevitable Tragedy?"
Professor Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University and Meron Benvenisti, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem and columnist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, are in agreement: where Jerusalem is concerned, "xenophobic bigots exploit religion as a political...
The Schoolgirl Who "Needed to Be Killed"
To this day, the family and friends of I 3-year-old lman al-Hams are at a loss to explain how or why she wandered into the "closed military zone" in TaI al Sultan in Rafah on her way to school on the morning of Oct. 6, 2004. Early wire service reports...
Tunisian Ambassador Spoke out on U.S.-Arab Relations
TransitionsAmbassador of Tunisia to the United States Hatem Atallah and his wife, Faika, returned to Tunis in November, ending a four-year action-packed tour in Washington, DC. Atallah took every opportunity to speak to audiences across the country in...
"Under the Circumstances," Targeted UNRWA Head Says He Looks to Stay On
Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Dan Gillerman, has called for the resignation of Peter Hansen, the outspoken Danish head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Gillerman's call, predictably echoed...
Upcoming Iraq Elections: Too Many Scorpions in the Desert
Even as many Arab writers follow the various bloody events inside Iraq, a flurry of diplomatic and political news has attracted a lot of attention of late. Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi traveled abroad to confer with a variety of world leaders,...
Why the West Loves Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas was recently selected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. As the sole candidate of Fateh, the faction that dominates the PLO and the Palestinian National Authority, he is almost certain to be elected on Jan. 9 as president...
With U.S. Prodding Behind the Scenes, Confidence-Building Measures Continue
As a matter of both short-term strategy and long-range U.S. policies, it clearly is in Washington's interest to rein in the subcontinent's two nuclear-powered rivals, India and Pakistan. This, however, is not an easy task, given the imbalances between...
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