Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 25, No. 8, November

Advocating Change for Women in Muslim Countries
To launch its campaign for "Women as Equal Citizens: Advocating for Change in Muslim-Majority Societies," The Women's Learning Partnership, in cooperation with the Dialogue Project of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies...
A Fragile Truce in Lebanon, but No Peace If Hard-Liners Have Their Way
Israel and the United States have shown they are prepared to destroy an entire country to assert their interests, if not also their dominance, in this region.-Rami G. Khouri, Agence Global, Aug. 15, 2006.We need a dialogue of civlizations, not a clash...
A Little Piece of Ground
A Little Piece of Ground By Elizabeth Laird with Sonia Nimr, Haymarket Books, 2006, 221 pp. List: $9.95; AET $8.As all those interested in the issue of Palestine know, the historic facts have been deliberately obscured, the people dehumanized, the truth...
American Jewish Opinion Divided over Israel's Role in Lebanon
Israel's role in Lebanon was embraced without any apparent reservations by most major American Jewish organizations. On July 28, 2006 The New York Times reported that, "With Israel at war again, American Jewish groups immediately swung into action, sending...
Amnesty International Holds Vigil
Amnesty International held a worldwide silent vigil on Aug. 7 in response to the increased violence and civilian deaths in the recent Israeli-Lebanon conflict. Activists gathered to advocate a cease-fire and "stand together in solidarity with those who...
Arab-Jewish Comedy Highlights Journalists ConFab
The Holy Land Comedy Tour performances of Jewish-American comedian Aaron Freeman and Palestinian partner Ray Hanania were featured this year at the annual convention of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held in Chicago Aug. 24 to 27.Hanania...
As India Awaits Congressional Approval of Nuclear Deal, Musharraf Has His Hands Full
The invisible epaulets on the shoulders of former Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's nominally civilian president who continues to serve as army chief of staff, seem to be loosening with each successive week. For the first time in the five years of his...
Bethlehemites Unite
Arab-American ActivismBethlehemites gathered from around the world Aug. 3 to 7 in Whippany, NJ for the Bethlehem Association's annual conference. Events included a film series, lectures, entertainment, dancing, field trips, and a moving slide show composed...
Bombing Campaign a Response to Ankara's Kurdish Policies, or "Deep State" Plot?
A string of bombs in some of Turkey's top tourism resorts this past summer has once more plunged the country's Kurdish policy back into the headlines. The attacks also reinforced calls for a restoration of emergency rule in Kurdish areas, while leaving...
Could Aging Dimona Reactor Become an Israeli Chernobyl?
Israel could bring about its own demise through negligence of its Dimona nuclear reactor. This possibility was raised during the question-and-answer follow-up to a Sept. 10 talk at the Liberty Hill Foundation center by Israeli activist Aliya Strauss.Responding...
Creative Resistance: The Nassar Family's "Tent of Nations"
Amid the olive trees and rocks, in the stone amphitheaters and shaded groves, young residents of Bethlehem's refugee camps working alongside European volunteers presented "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's immortal drama of the warring Capulet and Montague...
Edmund R. (Ned) Hanauer (1938-2006): A Prophetic Voice Is Stilled
The death of Edmund R. (Ned) Hanauer on Aug. 10, 2006 from pancreatic cancer, at the age of 68, means the loss of a prophetic voice who devoted his life to the quest for justice-in particular to a fair and equitable peace between Israelis and Palestinians.This...
Egypt Calls on Nations to Address the "Root Cause of the Middle East Conflict"
Egyptian Consul General and Mrs. Abderahman Salaheldin hosted more than 400 friends, diplomats and members of San Francisco's Arab community July 24 in a commemoration of the Free Officers Revolution of July 23, 1952. Special guests at the reception...
Hezbollah's Victory Has Transformed the Middle East
In the Aftermath of the Mideast's "Sixth War"As the smoke clears from the battlefield of the 34-day war in Lebanon, it would be a mistake to count the cost only in fallen masonry and fresh graves. All is changed, changed utterly, by the defeat that the...
Hilton Hotels in Saudi Arabia: From Fine to Fabulous
More than 30 years ago, the Hilton opened its first hotel in the Arabian Peninsula. The company now operates 31 hotels in the Middle East, including four in Saudi Arabia. The most recent opened in August: the incredibly luxurious Hilton Qasr al Sharq...
Illinois Governor Addresses Arab Americans
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich spoke to the Arab-American community on Sept. 12 in the southwest Chicago suburb of Bridge view, IL. Blagojevich, who is running for a second term, was invited to address a dinner sponsored by the Arab American Democratic...
In Sixth Arab-Israeli War, Hezbollah Survives, Israel Loses, Bush Missing in Action
A seminal moment in American history occurred 225 years ago when, in 1781, British Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered with his troops at Yorktown, Virginia. A band was playing a tune of that era called "The World Turned Upside Down." And, in fact,...
It's the Palestinian Problem, Stupid
To paraphrase the rather rude slogan of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, "It's the Palestinian problem, stupid."During the hearings the 9/11 Commission conducted, Lee Hamilton asked a group of FBI agents to explain the motivation of the 19...
Jordanian Ambassador Prince Zeid among Candidates to Succeed Kofi Annan
The entry of an Arab candidate, Jordan's ambassador Prince Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, into the race for United Nations secretary-general raised some interesting questions. Almost everyone agrees that it is Asia's time for the position-but the ambivalence...
Kosovo: Calm Now, but Nervously Approaching Final Status
Seven years have passed since the 1998-99 war in Kosovo and NATO's intervention, which forced the withdrawal of Serbian troops. Today, the atmosphere on the streets of Kosovo towns is noticeably less tense than it was a few years ago, when in the spring...
Letters to the Editor
Rare ObjectivityThank you for the excellent Sept./Oct. issue of the Washington Report detailing some of the events in Lebanon. It is so rare to have an objective view about what is happening in the Middle East.Julester Haste, Oxford, IAThank you for...
On the International Day of Peace, Israel's Wall Looms over Bethlehem
In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring Sept. 21 of each year as the International Day of Peace. For the third year in a row, the World Council of Churches invited member churches around the globe to pray for peace...
Organizations Strive to Enrich Lives of Palestinians Living under Occupation
As Palestinians struggle daily to support their families and lead a semblance of normal life, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits and cultural organizations strive to improve the daily lives and futures of Palestinians living under...
Other People's Mail
Some letters by or to other people are as informative for our readers as anything we might write ourselves.Covering the Mideast WarTo The International Herald Tribune, Aug. 18,2006The Israeli-Lebanese war began while my wife and I were at home in France....
Palestine's Teachers: Its Last National Resource
On the first day of the new academic year, and in response to a call by the Fatah-based Palestinian Teachers' Union, teachers in the occupied Palestinian territories launched a strike to protest the fact that they have not been paid since last February-a...
Palestine to Be Represented in World Weightlifting Championships
Ahmed Abukhater feels lucky and honored to be the first athlete to represent Palestine in the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) World Championships. Growing up in war-torn Rafah, a small city in the southern part of the Gaza Strip,...
"Papa, Where Is My Backpack?"
The pursuit of knowledge is a sacred duty, an obligation, of every Muslim, male and female alike. It is no accident that "Iqra," the first word in the Qur'an, literally means "read." Not only did Arab and Persian societies develop the disciplines of...
Paradox of the Free Press in Egypt
The United States Egypt Friendship Society and the George Washington University Arab Student Association co-sponsored a panel discussion on contemporary media in Egypt on July 26, 2006 at George Washington University. Les Janka, founder and president...
Pope Benedict XVI and Islam
The primary purpose and message of Benedict XVI's address in Regensburg, Germany was not about Islam, referred to in only four paragraphs of his eight- page lecture. And yet, this Papal address to a university audience turned into an occasion for an...
Pressures Mount on Bush to Bomb Iran
President George W. Bush is coming under enormous pressure from Israel-and from Israel's neoconservative friends inside and outside the U.S. administration-to harden still further his stance toward Iran. They want the American president to commit himself...
Pro-Israel PACs Putting All Their Chips on Sen. Lincoln Chafee's Democratic Opponent
Despite having "angered" pro-Israel PACs, Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) survived a primary challenge by Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey. According to a Sept. 13 Forward article by Beth Schwartzapfel, Chafee "most recently...blocked the [resubmitted] nomination...
Protesters Demand End to Israeli Assault on Lebanon
Waging PeaceTwo days before the U.N. security Council adopted a cease-fire resolution ending the 33-day war between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition (ANSWER) sponsored an Aug. 12 national march on Washington....
Protesters Meet Moshe Ya'alon
On Aug. 14 the day the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah took effect former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon gave a briefing to congressional staffers to give the Israeli perspective of its bombardment of...
Publishers' Page
AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL TRUSTA Storm Is Brewing in Kurdistan.We couldn't help but notice a well-funded U.S. advertising campaign promoting investment in Kurdistan. Then, on Sept. 20, the BBC-TV program "Newsnight" showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq,...
Shi'i Imam Moustafa Qazwini Casts Critical Eye on Iraq's Future
In the weeks leading to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Southern California-based Shi'i imam Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini enthusiastically anticipated the liberation of his country from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussain.He had reason to feel this way....
Surviving the War Was One Thing, Living Its Consequences Is Another
Sitting in a coffee shop with my daughter is a luxury that a few weeks ago was unthinkable. Being here makes me aware of the little freedom we enjoy following a devastating war that not only brought much death and destruction on the country, but also...
The Clean Break Plan
At an Aug. 29 presentation at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC, Grant Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP) examined "The Clean Break Plan: A Conspiracy of Theories?" In 1996, he explained, leading neoconservatives-including...
The Kidnapping of Nablus Professor and Journalist Dr. Farid Abu Dheir
The last time I saw Farid was in the garden of my home in Shari'a Imreij, on a glorious Nablus summer afternoon last year, when he and his wife, Basmah, and their youngest son, Bara'a, spent some very happy hours with us (and where the above photograph...
The Terrible Costs of Bush's Reckless "War on Terror"
Five years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans are finally examining the human and financial tolls of the "War on Terror" (see box) and deciding if the world is now a safer place. As the Nov. 7 congressional elections approach, more...
The Unmasking of a Collaborator
"Loose Lips Sink Ships," World War posters warned, cautioning citizens to remain ever watchful of their words. An innocent mention of gasoline deliveries, for example, could provide useful information to the enemy. While theirs may not be the oldest...
U.N. Force in Lebanon Said to Have "Limited Possibilities"
Most European newspapers welcomed the EU's Aug. 25 decision to contribute 7,000 troops to a United Nations mission to police the Israeli-Lebanon cease-fire. "It demonstrates that the EU is now more capable of playing a role in the world," commented Germany's...
Upcoming Events
Andrew Courtney's "African Palestinian Portraits" will be on view through Oct. 8 at the Upstream Gallery in Dobbs Ferry, NY. For more information, call the WESPAC Foundation's Nada Khader at (914) 682-4690 or visit <www.wespac. org>."Out of Place:...
Virginians Hold Town Hall Meeting
The Arab-American community of Northern Virginia held an Aug. 23 town hall meeting at Mason District Government Center in Fairfax Country, to discuss Israel's bombing of Lebanon. Co-sponsored by the Arab American Institute (AAI) and the American-Arab...
War Crimes in Recent Lebanon Conflict
Human RightsHuman rights and international law organizations have called for inquiries into breaches of humanitarian and international laws, some potentially amounting to war crimes, in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. "If respect for rules...
West Bank Wall: Security or Settlement?
The Palestine Center in Washington, DC hosted a July 25 lecture and book signing by Ray Dolphin, who discussed his new book, The West Bank Wall: Unmaking Palestine (available for purchase through the AET Book Club). Dolphin, who has spent the past several...
With Friends like These.Members of the Libby Legal Defense Trust's Advisory Committee
In preparation for the January 2007 trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on federal charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury during the investigation into the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Flame's name, friends of Vice President...
With Notable Exceptions, Congress Rushes to Support Israel's Attack on Lebanon
When Israel invaded Lebanon, ostensibly to recover two soldiers captured by Hezbollah, most members of the U.S. Congress were quick to go on record backing Israel's actions. Nine resolutions were introduced in the House and Senate-but not all of them...
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