Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 27, No. 5, July

50 Years Later, U.S. Marines Remember the 1958 U.S. "Intervention" in Lebanon
IT WAS JULY 15, 1958, and Second Lieutenant Simon L. Leis Jr. was nervous. As he waited for orders aboard the USS Taconic, he peered across the rough waters of the Mediterranean toward the yellow sands of Khalde beach, just five miles south of Beirut....
60 Years of Israel, 60 Years of Al-Nakba
Israel at 60FOR ALL ITS achievements over the past six decades, Israel has failed one crucial test: integration into and peaceful co-existence with the Arab world around it. Although it claims to want security above all else, it has refused to take the...
Accused Toronto 18-Now Toronto 11-Undergo Trial by Media
THE TRIAL of the only remaining youth in the Toronto 18 case commenced in late March in a Brampton, Ontario courtroom. Reminiscent of that fateful day in June 2006 when police arrested 17 Muslim men and youths on terrorism charges (see August 2006 Washington...
An Open Letter to Canadian Authorities regarding the "Toronto 11"
April 22, 2008During the week of April 14, 2008, charges against four more of the "Toronto 18" were stayed. Along with the three men who were previously released, the case of the "Toronto 18" has now been whittled down to the "Toronto 11."As representatives...
ATFL Honors Entrepreneurs, Heroes
LEBANESE-AMERICAN opera singer Cristina Nassif launched the American Task Force for Lebanon's (ATFL) Annual Gala Awards Night at the Fairmont Washington, DC Hotel on March 26 by singing both the American and Lebanese national anthems. Master of ceremonies...
Beirut on the Brink
"If we wanted to stage a coup, you would have woken up this morning in prison, or in the middle of the sea. We do not want that. It is a political issue, with a political solution through early elections."-Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, in comments directed...
Can Hip Hop Beat Conflict?
THE UNITED STATES Institute of Peace hosted an April 18 panel discussion on the effects of hip hop music and culture in zones of conflict. Marc Sommers, associate professor of humanitarian studies at Tufts University, who studied the effect of hip hop...
Dead in the Water: Israel's Fuel Blockade of Gaza
THE SILENCE seeps in, deafening in its void. Along the seashore, one hears no shouts of men preparing for a day's work. No clanging of hooks, creaking cranes or thumping of nets piling upon decks. Engines, normally puttering and spewing forth exhaust,...
Dennis Ross Dismisses International Law as Basis for Resolving Israel-Palestine Conflict
IN A WIDE-RANGING presentation at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa on April 30, former Clinton administration "peace process" point man Dennis Ross characterized as "ass-backwards" former President Jimmy Carter's call for Israel to comply with international...
Does the Land Remember Me?: A Memoir of Palestine
Does the Land Remember Me?: A Memoir of PalestineBy Aziz Shihab, Syracuse University Press, hardcover, 2007, 145 pp. List: $19.95; AET: $15.Reviewed by Pat McDonnell TwairTHIS FINAL BOOK by Palestinian-American journalist Aziz Shihab is bittersweet....
Donald Alford Weadon, Jr. (1945-2008)
DON WEADON, who died in the early hours of March 23, following a series of strokes, was born in Brisbane, Australia and grew up in Westport, Connecticut. He earned a B.A. degree from Cornell University, a J.D. degree from the University of California...
Freedom Walk for All Americans
THE TENTH ANNUAL Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk began with an opening ceremony at the National Japanese American Memorial near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on April 5. The walk's purpose was summed up in the program: "We continue in our mission to...
Gore Vidal Backs Byron DeLear in Missouri Race
WHENEVER GORE VIDAL agrees to speak at an event, progressives are assured of being entertained with a scathing review of George W. Bush's presidential performance.There were plenty of laughs and applause when the historian, novelist and critic of American...
Has Protecting U.S. State Secrets Gone Too Far?
THE AMERICAN Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) organized an April 4 panel discussion entitled: "The State Secrets Privilege: Time for Reform?" ACS is a national network of lawyers, students and policymakers whose mission is to ensure equality...
Hinduism, Islam Discussed at San Francisco Ladies Consular Corps Luncheon
"I BELIEVE that knowledge is power and ignorance is our worst enemy," Dr. Thoraya Elkhadrawy told the Ladies of the Consular Corps and special guests gathered at her San Francisco residence April 11. "The only way to understand, respect and live in peace...
In a Typical Week in Gaza, No News Is Good News
"TAKE A PHOTO of me now, for tomorrow I may be dead," young Gazans shout as they attend their friends' funerals. Death found the man buried today, for example, while he was at yesterday's funeral for his friend. Such uncertainty about life, with everyone...
Iran: A Perspective from Within
IRAN'S FORMER Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi discussed "The Situation in Iran" at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC on April 3. Dr. Yazdi, who currently resides in Tehran, serves...
Israel at 60 Has an Increasingly Troubled Relationship with American Jews
Israel's 60th anniversary has revealed an American Jewish community increasingly divided with regard to its relationship to the state which proclaims itself the "Jewish homeland" and which persists in telling American Jews, according to the traditional...
Land Day Commemorated at National Museum of American Indian
THE AMERICAN-ARAB Anti-Discrimination Committee Washington, DC Area Chapter (ADC-DC) commemorated the 32nd anniversary of Yom al-Ard, or Land Day, in a novel way. ADC-DC members and friends gathered on March 30 at the National Museum of the American...
Let Me Stand Alone: Book Tour, Reading Events Share Writings of Rachel Corrie
MANY ARE familiar with the tragic story of Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist killed at age 23 in Rafah, Gaza Strip while trying to block an Israel Defense Forces-driven Caterpillar bulldozer from demolishing the home of a Palestinian physician....
Letters to the Editor
Nakba Brochure?I WANT TO thank you for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. I have just finished reading the special feature, "Voices of the Nakba, 1948-2008" (May/June Washington Report, pp. 16-43), and I wish everyone could read it. Would...
Lucille Martha Ablan (1928-2004)
LUCILLE ABLAN did not know us personally at the American Educational Trust, yet she named the Trust as a residuary beneficiary in her Last Will and Testament. She knew us only from the pages of our magazine, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,...
Malaysia's Islamists Going for the Mainstream?
ELECTORAL POLITICS in Malaysia has brought changes in the declared policies of its major Islamist party, just as it has to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the AKP in Turkey.The Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) was shaken by the outcome of the 2004 general...
Mohammad Jaradat and Eitan Bronstein Discuss 1948, Right of Return
MOHAMMED JARADAT, co-founder of Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, and Eitan Bronstein, director of the Israeli organization Zochrot, spoke on "Acknowledging the Past; Imagining the Future: Palestinians and Israelis on...
Name That Terrorist
It was only slightly amusing the other day when one of the television news networks did a short segment on Nelson Mandela visiting George W. Bush at the White House. The newsperson describing the meeting happened to mention that Mandela was on America's...
Naomi Shihab Nye at Busboys
ARAB-AMERICAN poet and writer Naomi Shihab Nye participated in a March 21 poetry reading for children at Busboys and Poets Bookstore in Washington, DC. Her appearance was part of this year's Split This Rock Poetry Festival, the goals of which are "To...
Navy Memorial Service for Admiral Thomas Moorer
THE U.S. NAVY Memorial in Washington, DC held a moving memorial service for Admiral Thomas H. Moorer on March 4, co-sponsored by the USS Liberty Veterans Association and the USS Liberty Alliance. Rear Admiral Clarence A. Hill, Jr., who also gave the...
NIAC Iran Conference on Capitol Hill
THE NATIONAL Iranian American Council (NIAC) organized an April 8 conference titled "Breaking the U.S.-Iran Stalemate: Reassessing the Nuclear Strategy in the Wake of the Majlis Elections." The event was moderated by NIAC's president and co-founder,...
Norman Finkelstein Speaks on Illegitimacy of Israel's Occupation
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN, author of the international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, the controversial Beyond Chutzpah, and Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (all available from the AET Book Club), spoke at Iowa's Grinnell College on April...
Omani Ambassador
SPECIAL WOMEN'S Foreign Policy Group (WFPG) event featured an informative talk by the Sultanate of Oman's Ambassador Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy on April 24 at her official residence in Washington, DC. After dinner Patricia Ellis, president and co-founder...
President Mahmoud Abbas Addresses Kahlil Gibran Award Dinner
MASTER OF ceremonies Jean AbiNader welcomed 800 guests to the Arab American Institute Foundation's (AAIF) 10th annual Kahlil Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" Awards gala at Washington, DC's J.W. Marriott Hotel on April 23. No matter if they're fifth-generation...
Remembering the Palestinian Nakba
Nearly 30 years since she had seen her Northern Galilee home in what she called "48 Palestine," Rasmiya Barghouti was finally given a permit by the Israeli military authorities to visit. She decided to take two of her daughters and four of her grandchildren...
Riad Elsolh Hamad (1952-2008)
Thanks for your work and support for the children of PalestineSalamatRiadTHAT WAS always the way Riad signed his e-mails to us-words that many of us felt we should be saying to him. But the founder of the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund (PCWF) was...
Saudi Aramco Celebrates 75th Anniversary
DAVID BOSCH, director of the Washington, DC office of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), welcomed guests to an elegant May 1 reception and dinner at the Library of Congress to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Aramco. Mary Jane Deeb, chief...
Some Congressional Democrats See Improved Chances of Modifying Course in Iraq
In their April reports to Congress, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and then-senior U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus essentially repeated what they had said to Congress last September: Iraq's armed forces continue to improve; the security...
Spying Operation Causes German-Afghan Rift
AFGHANISTAN'S government said it is "disappointed" with revelations that Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) has been spying on the country's trade and industry minister, Deutsche Welle radio reported April 25.The BND allegedly read e-mail correspondence...
Tails Wagging Dogs, Dogs Barking
TORTURE APOLOGIST Alan Dershowitz wrote a book on Chutzpah. Any later edition should have a special chapter on Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Dan Gillerman, who has often treated the international organization as if it were occupied territory rather...
Tails Wagging Dogs, Dogs Barking
Candidates for public office, high and low, are bewitched-frightened is the more accurate word-by an unwarranted but costly fear of the U.S. lobby that functions on behalf of the State of Israel.Comb through the millions of words expressed by the "final...
The Man Who Pushed America to War
JOURNALIST AND Emmy Award-winning NBC producer Aram Roston discussed and signed his latest book, The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures and Obsessions of Ahmed Chalabi, at Washington, DC's Busboys and Poets Restaurant on...
The Much Too Promised Land
AARON DAVID MILLER spoke on April 18 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC, to promote his new book, The Much Too Promised Land. His talk was co-sponsored by the American Task Force on Palestine and the Foundation for Middle...
The Nakba Continues: The Ethnic Cleansing of Jaffa's Ajami Neighborhood
THE 1948 EXPULSION of 90 percent of the Palestinians of Jaffa destroyed one of the region's most economically thriving and developed urban societies. Sixty years later Israel continues to evict Palestinians remaining in Jaffa-but this time it is targeting...
The Necessity of Religious Reconciliation in Iraq
CANON ANDREW White, speaking April 29 at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC on religious reconciliation in Iraq, began his lecture by stating a fundamental bias. "I need to be perfectly honest with you," he said. "I love Iraq...
The Un-American Treatment of Sami Al-Arian
WHEN OUR government acts, it acts in our name. If its acts are lawful and honorable, all's well and good. When they are dishonorable, we have a choice: Either we dissent or assent, even if by our silence.In the case of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, the Bush Justice...
The Unintended Consequences of America's Middle East Wars
Petraeus and his fellow surge advocates are driving flat out in Iraq with no destination in sight.-Steve Coll, in the New Yorker, April 14, 2008The more we try to explain such events in history reasonably, the more unreasonable and incomprehensible do...
Three Months after Independence Declared, Kosovo Still Faces Uncertain Future
ON FEB. 17 of this year, the Albanian citizens of Pristina, Kosovo ate cake. Created in the shape of Kosovo, the cake in question, weighed one and a half tons and was served to hundreds of thousands of people gathered at Mother Teresa Square, in the...
Turkey's Risky Politics Makes for Risky Business as Well
WHEN, IN EARLY April, the international ratings agency Standard & Poor's announced it was dropping Turkey's investment grade from "stable" to "negative," it cited "political and external uncertainties" as the reason.While external uncertainties are...
Who Speaks for Islam?
THE MIDDLE EAST Institute presented another in its series of book launches by introducing the new book Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think (available from the AET Book Club) on March 20 at the Carnegie Endowment for International...
Women: Politics and Leadership
THE WOMEN'S Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP) held a joint panel on April 3 with the Dialogue Project of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) titled: "The Politics of Participation: Women...
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