Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 2, March

Ads in Bay Area Transit Stations Promote Peace and Justice
In mid-December, Northern California Friends of Sabeel, the local chapter of a non-profit Christian organization seeking peace in the Holy Land, placed advertisements in three Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations calling for an end to U.S. military...
At MPAC Convention, Nobelist Ahmed Zewail Discusses Challenges to Muslim States
Ahmed Zewail has been a hero of the Arab people since at least 1999, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Last Dec. 18, he addressed more than 1,000 delegates at the 10th annual convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee in the Bonaventure...
Beyond the West: Expanding the Scope of Pro-Palestinian Activism
One of the problems with being closely involved with an issue is keeping a sense of perspective on it. I used to see this in an acute form in Westerners who had worked in Palestine or in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. They would return home with...
CAIR-SV Reflects on Past Successes, Future Challenges at Eighth Annual Banquet
The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) drew a record number of guests-some 800-to its eighth annual banquet at the capital city's Sheraton Grand Hotel on Nov. 30. The event's speakers reflected on the banquet's...
Congress Funds Government through March 4-But Not Israel's "Iron Dome"
As reported in the December 2010 issue of the Washington Report, on Sept. 29 Congress passed H.R. 3081, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through Dec. 3 of last year at FY 2010 levels. Subsequently, on Dec. 2 and Dec. 17, two more CRs...
Finally, Israel's Settlements Policy, Turn toward Extremism Making Impact on Jewish Opinion
The collapse of the Middle East peace process, Israel's persistence in building illegal settlements upon land which, if a two-state solution were to emerge, would constitute a Palestinian state, and the turn toward extremism within Israel have had an...
Happy New Year from Israel: The Story of the Abu Rahme Family
While hundreds of millions of people around the world celebrated New Year's Eve by going out in the streets, hugging, chanting and drinking, the people living in the West Bank village of Bil'in did not change their routine much. New Year's Eve or not,...
Iowa Veterans Demonstrate in Solidarity
Members of Veterans for Peace (VFP) Iowa Chapter 161 joined a long-running weekly vigil at Nollen Plaza in Des Moines Dec. 16 to protest U.S. wars and military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere."We're here in solidarity with...
Israeli-Imposed Apartheid Almost Complete in West Bank City of Hebron
Separation ("apartheid" in Afrikaans; "us here, them there," according to the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin) is almost complete in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. The Hebron Protocol of 1997 divided the city into two parts: 80 percent...
Israel's Original Sin: No Separation of Synagogue and State
A friend of mine in Warsaw told me about a Polish journalist who visited Israel for the first time. On his return he reported with great excitement: "You know what I've discovered? In Israel, too, there are Jews!"For this Pole, Jews are people who wear...
Israel, the U.S. and Jewish Identity: Yael Dayan in Florida
Possibly the most serious threat to stability in the Middle East is Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and U.S. support in blocking any peaceful resolution for 35 years. A possible solution to this problem was suggested by Yael Dayan, who spoke...
Israel Unwilling to Apply the Same Law to Itself That It Demands Be Applied to Others
"O wad some Power the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us!" wrote Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet. For those who need a translation, he prays for the gift of seeing ourselves as others see us after seeing a louse crawl out of a young...
It's a Myth That Israelis Support a Two-State Solution
For decades, the two-state solution has been considered the best way to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. On the other hand, there are those who argue that, due to Israel's ongoing colonization of the West Bank, this no longer is possible. One question...
Laila El-Haddad, on Gaza Mom
Laila El-Haddad-professional journalist, activist, Palestinian, and mother-discussed her new book, Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between, at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC on Nov. 18. With her husband and two children...
Lebanese Government Collapse Adds to Obama Problems
Crisis in LebanonBy Jim LobeThe collapse of the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Jan. 12 adds to the growing list of challenges faced by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama across the Middle East.Increasingly concerned...
Letters, Packages En Route to Gaza Via Israel Go "Missing"
Diplomatic correspondence released by WikiLeaks confirms that the Israeli government's continued blockade of Gaza is intentionally punitive and meant to keep Gaza on the "brink of collapse."As "Democracy Now!" reported on Jan. 5: "According to a November...
Michigan Peace Team Visits Iowa
Michigan Peace Team (MPT) members visited Iowa in December, making several presentations around the state in support of the team's work in the U.S. and abroad."MPT has a vision of pursuing peace through active nonviolence, hands-on non-violence, in places...
Muslims Lead Interfaith Prayers for Arizona Victims
The final event was a solidarity session where leaders of more than 25 interfaith alliances, peace groups, churches and synagogues spoke against Islamophobia, expressed solidarity with the Muslim community, and urged a large turnout for the April 9 rally...
Nir Rosen Discusses His New Book, Aftermath
Independent journalist, author and filmmaker Nir Rosen spoke on Jan. 5 at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC about his new book, Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World, which is available from the AET Book...
NY Area Muslims Train to Counter Islamophbia
Jan. 8, 2011 could very well turn out to be a milestone in the history of Muslim civil rights activism and interfaith bridge building. On that cold blustery morning, the Muslim Peace Coalition (MPC) organized an initiative at the Islamic Center of Long...
Obama Should Condemn Razing of East Jerusalem's Historic Shepherd Hotel
Hillary Rodham Clinton was quick to rebuke Israel for its demolition of part of the historic Shepherd Hotel in occupied Arab East Jerusalem where Jewish settlers are hoping to build 20 housing units."We are very concerned about the initiation of demolition...
Panelists Debate Closing Guantánamo
The New America Foundation in Washington, DC held an important discussion on the future of the American prison Camp X-Ray, located at the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba, on Jan. 11-the nine-year anniversary of its opening. The United States still...
Publishers' Page
After Tirelessly Championing...For the rights of besieged Palestinians living in Gaza, criticizing Israel's murderous aggression during Operation Cast Lead, and describing Israel's ongoing blockade of Gaza as a "medieval siege," John Ging, UNRWA's director...
Recognizing Palestinian Statehood-Quality as Well as Quantity
On Jan. 13, Guyana extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state within its full pre-1967 borders (all of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem). Coming soon after similar recognitions...
Reza Aslan Promotes Tablet and Pen
Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed Iranian-American author and scholar on religions, appeared at Washington, DC's Politics and Prose bookstore on Nov. 11 to discuss his latest work, an anthology entitled Tablet and Pen. A collection of contemporary...
Role of Women in the Shahnama Discussed at Sackler Gallery
A renowned scholar and a best-selling author visited the Smithsonian Institution's Sackler Gallery on Dec. 4, 2010 to discuss the role of women in the Shahnama. Dick Davis, professor of Persian and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and...
Seeing Is Believing: An American Activist's First Trip to Palestine
Ultimately, it was a package of socks I feared would get me thrown into an Israeli jail last October. After several hours of interrogations upon my arrival at the Tel Aviv airport-and after I was taken into an enclosed, locked room with six guards, policemen...
The Big Lie: Israel's Concern for "Security"
Like the self-deluding crowds that praised the king's new clothes as he strode by stark naked, U.S. policymakers have long refused to acknowledge that Israel's security is in less danger from its Arab neighbors than from maintaining an oppressive occupation....
The Vanishing Church in the Holy Land
The recent Middle East Synod (see Jan./Feb. 2011 Washington Report, p. 42) has helped focus the churches' attention on the vanishing Christian population in the Holy Land.For two thousand years, Christian communities have thrived there. Yet, over the...
Tony Blair Urges Support for Palestinian State-Building
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the representative of the Middle East Quartet, called for more international "support for [Palestinian] Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the state-building effort." He spoke at a Dec. 15 Washington, DC event hosted...
Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution
The Jasmine RevolutionBy Delinda C HanleyThe sweet smell of jasmine conjures up memories of Tunisia-of white-washed, blue-trimmed villas draped in jasmine and bougainvillea, or a teenager selling tiny nosegays to men and women lounging in cafés. Inhale...
Turkey's Role in Iraq
Qubad Talabani, a representative of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, and Can Oguz, a counselor at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, discussed "Turkey's Engagement in Iraq" at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, at a Nov. 30 event co-hosted...
Upcoming Events
The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding invites the public to attend Consensus and Cacophony: Debating the Islamic Shari`a in 21st Century Egypt with George Washington University Prof. Nathan Brown, Feb. 9 at 12:30 p.m....
Women and the Making of Men: Notions of Rugula in Cairo, Egypt
The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University in Washington, DC hosted a Nov. 1 lecture by Farha Ghannam, associate professor of anthropology at Swarthmore College and president-elect of the Middle East Section of the American...
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