Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 4, May/June

Activist Claims Israel Condones Apartheid but Objects to World's Criticism
"THE ISRAELI POINT of view is it's okay to practice apartheid, but it's not okay for the world to know they're doing it." So said Daphne Banai, Tel Aviv coordinator of Machsom ("checkpoint") Watch, who was in Los Angeles on a speaking tour with Palestinian...
Afghanistan (Past and Future) and Its Public Health
Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA hosted Dr. Abdullah Hanif at its Feb. 15 Global Issues Forum. A medical doctor pursuing a graduate degree in public health at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Hanif presented a fascinating history of Afghanistan from 328...
Against All Odds: Women Partnering for Change in a Time of Crisis
THE WOMEN'S Learning Partnership (WLP) observed International Women's Day, March 8, by screening its documentary, "Against All Odds: Women Partnering for Change in a Time of Crisis" at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies...
AIPAC Weighs in as Bills Opposing Push for War on Iran Gain Suppport
The previous issue of the Washington Report described four measures introduced to counter the push by unrepentant neocons for the U.S. to launch a "pre-emptive strike" against Iran. Overlooked in that column was H.Con.Res. 14, introduced Jan. 5 by Rep....
American Task Force for Lebanon Celebrates 20th Anniversary
THE AMERICAN TASK Force for Lebanon (ATFL) celebrated both its Annual Gala Awards Night and its 20th anniversary on March 23 at the Fairmont Washington Hotel in Washington, DC. Peter Tanous, ATFL's founding chairman and current president, introduced...
Anti-War Activists March on Pentagon
TENS OF THOUSANDS of people braved freezing temperatures and caustic winds on March 17 to protest the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq by marching on the Pentagon. According to International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), which organized...
Catholic Peace Ministry Presents Twelfth Annual Bishop Dingman Award
THE CATHOLIC PEACE Ministry (CPM) drew a record-breaking crowd for its 12th annual award celebration at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart (OLIH) Catholic Church in Ankeny, Iowa on March 3."It is most fitting that each of you should receive the Bishop Maurice...
CATO Speakers Support U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq
THE CATO INSTITUTE in Washington, DC held a March 14 policy forum to argue "The Case for Withdrawal from Iraq." Speakers included retired Lt. Gen. William Odom, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC; Ted Carpenter, Cato's vice president...
Cheryl Rubenberg Discusses Palestinian Women's Rights
TO MARK International Women's Day, the Palestine Center in Washington, DC hosted author Cheryl Rubenberg, a former associate professor of Middle East politics at Florida International University, at a March 7 lecture entitled "Palestinian Women: Power,...
Christians and a Land Called Holy: How We Can Foster Justice, Peace, and Hope
Christians and a Land Called Holy: How We Can Foster Justice, Peace, and HopeBy Charles P. Lutz and Robert O. Smith, Fortress Press, 2006, 168 pp. List: $15: AET: $12.Reviewed by Rebecca BaldwinBECAUSE IT IS A very approachable book, Christians and a...
Developing a Dual Israeli-Palestinian Historical Narrative
DR. DAN BAR-ON OF Ben Gurion University and Dr. Sami Adwan of Bethlehem University were the guest speakers at a March 23 luncheon briefing sponsored by the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) and held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace...
Dr. Rafil A. Dhafir at Terre Haute Prison's New Communications Management Unit
AT PRECISELY 7 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, 2006, 17 federal prisoners across the country were taken out of their cells, held in isolation for two days, then bused to the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Terre Haute, Indiana. Here the government...
Four Decades of Twisting Facts about Israel's Attack on the USS Liberty
SINCE JUNE 8, 1967, when Israeli air and naval forces deliberately attacked the American intelligence ship USS Liberty, Israel and its American supporters have lied about what happened.The facts are simple and straightforward. Israeli forces reconnoitered...
Gap between Jewish Values, Israeli Policies Becoming Apparent to More Western Jews
There is growing evidence that the gap between Jewish values and Israeli policies, particularly with regard to the Palestinians both within Israel and in the occupied territories, is leading to widespread alienation from the State of Israel on the part...
Georgetown Symposium on Islamist Politics
THE GEORGETOWN University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies held its annual symposium in Washington, DC March 22 and 23, on the theme "Islamist Politics: Contemporary Trajectories in the Arab World."An appreciative audience of experts, students and...
Hezbollah: A Short History
Hezbollah: A Short HistoryBy Augustus Richard Norton, Princeton Press, 2007, 200 pp. List: $16.95; AET: $13.50.Reviewed by Margeret HallAUGUSTUS RICHARD NORTON, professor of anthropology and international relations at Boston University and a former U.S....
Ilan Pappé's Latest Book Exposes Zionist Ethnic Cleansing as Premeditated
A NUMBER OF years ago a book publisher asked me to co-author a book on the Arab-Israeli dispute with Hyman Bookbinder, a spokesman for the American Jewish Committee. We each wrote half of the book, then went on a nationwide book tour which involved a...
In One of Her Final Lectures, Tanya Reinhart Discusses "The Spirit of Struggle"
LESS THAN THREE weeks before her untimely death from a stroke at the age of 63, Prof. Tanya Reinhart, formerly of Tel Aviv University and author of The Road Map to Nowhere, spoke about "The Spirit of Struggle" at the Fourth Annual Edward W. Said Lecture...
International Court of Justice Finds Serbia Innocent of Genocide, but Not Entirely Clean
THE INTERNATIONAL Court of Justice (ICJ) on Feb. 26 handed down a decision on the lawsuit filed by Bosnia and Herzegovina against Serbia for genocide. The lawsuit, filed in 1993 in the heat of war, finally was heard early last year. A year later, a majority...
Israel's Hush-Up Machine in Action: Denying Story Israel Executed Egyptian Prisoners
Israel's hush-up machine was in overdrive in March while this writer was in the Middle East. A story resurfaced that Egyptian prisoners had been executed in both the 1956 and 1967 Israeli-Egyptian wars, which is certainly true. Israel then changed its...
Jordan's King Addresses Congress on "The Denial of Justice and Peace in Palestine"
IN THE NAME of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.Madam Speaker,Mr. Vice President,Honorable Senators and Members of Congress,My friends,Thank you for such a warm welcome. It is an honor to stand, as my father did, before this historic institution....
Joseph Wilson Speaks at Iowa State University
FORMER AMBASSADOR Joseph Wilson, whose July 6, 2003 op-ed in The New York Times caused senior Bush administration officials to panic and leak to reporters the identity of Wilson's wife, CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame, spoke at Iowa State University...
Letters to the Editor
An Ominous MoveThank you very much for continuing to send me your publication. I have moved since December 2006 to a new institution and I would like for you to start sending your publication to my new address, please. My new address is Enaam Arnaout...
Life in Gaza Before-And After-The 1967 War
"AYYAM ZAMAN" is Arabic for the "old days"-a time before occupation, checkpoints, dodging bullets from Israeli military snipers, seeking shelter from the steel rain of incoming hellfire missiles or from deafening sonic booms. It was a time when tanks...
Middle East Leaders Create New Opportunities for Peace
SPRING 2007 brought a glimmer of hope for peace in the Middle East. As war casualties mounted in Iraq and tear gas filled the streets of Nablus, Arab leaders made renewed efforts to end the current violence and prevent it from spreading. After weeks...
Norma Musih, Zochrot and the Nakba
NORMA MUSIH, a young, soft-spoken teacher from Jaffa, does not look like a woman who would elicit telephone death threats. But she and the members of her group, Zochrot-which means "remembrance," and which was founded in 2002 by Israeli activists and...
Notions of Expression: The Artwork of the Young Arab-American
THE FEB. 10 debut of "Notions of Expression: the Artwork of the Young Arab-American" was an exciting addition to San Francisco's always diverse and eclectic art scene. The one-day-only event at Café Abir Roasting Company featured 25 works-paintings,...
Obituaries
Mai Antoine Ghoussoub, 54, died of heart failure Feb. 17 in London. Born to a middle-class Maronite professional football player's family in the mountain village of Beit Shabab, Lebanon, Ghoussoub grew up in Beirut, attended a French secondary school...
Open Bethlehem Exposes Israel's Systematic Strangulation of the Holy City
DESPITE MANY reports on how Israel's apartheid wall is subdividing Bethlehem, the magnitude of Israel's systematic takeover of the ancient city's holy relics, as documented in an Open Bethlehem power point presentation, was shocking.Since the brother...
Other People's Mail
Showing Bias Against ArabsTo the Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2007Your editorial ("Scaling the Arab summit") was just another prime example of The Times' bias against all things Arab. Israel's Knesset has a long history of shouting and name-calling and...
Peace Hopes Dimmed in Southern Thailand
Military coups are notoriously inefficient at solving a country's problems. While a military government can give the impression of getting a lot done in a short time by enforcing order at gunpoint and pushing through measures that a democratic government...
Problems Continue to Mount for Musharraf, as Afghan Border Heats Up
A question frequently asked in Pakistan these days is whether President Pervez Musharraf miscalculated when, on March 9, he suspended Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhri, chief justice of the country's highest court. The alternate view is that Musharraf deliberately...
Rice Picks Eliot Cohen, Neocon Champion of Iraq War, as Counselor
IN A MOVE that has surprised many foreign policy analysts here, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has appointed a prominent neo-conservative hawk and leading champion of the Iraq war to the post of State Department counselor.Eliot A. Cohen, who...
Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Challenges Arab League to Solve Mideast Conflicts
THE ARAB LEAGUE summit on March 28 and 29 was the main topic of conversation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during our March visit to the region. Every hotel room in the city was full as 21 Arab leaders, their staffs, and press from around the globe gathered...
The Nuclear Wave: Arab World Caught between Israeli Hammer, Iranian Anvil
The Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh was witness to a surprising meeting on March 4, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad convened with Saudi King Abdullah. While the two leaders seemed happy to see each other, and media coverage showed them holding...
Trial of Former AIPAC Staffers Scheduled to Begin June 4
According to the March 15 Washington Post, the often-postponed trial of two former top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-foreign policy director Steve Rosen and Iran specialist Keith Weissman-is scheduled to begin June...
Trying to Survive under Sanctions
FOURTEEN MONTHS after voters democratically elected a Hamas government, the Israeli-mandated, U.S.-enforced embargo, sanctions, and siege of Palestinians continues unabated. The World Bank has proclaimed this collective punishment the Palestinians' "worst...
U.N. Ambassador Khalilzad: An Able Representative of Inept U.S. Policy?
THE CONFIRMATION of Zalmay Khalilzad as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. may be a mixed blessing. He is certainly a more proficient diplomat than his unconfirmed predecessor, John Bolton, and much less likely to embarrass the country before the global community....
Upcoming Events
"Offering Reconciliation," an exhibition of ceramic bowls commissioned by the Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF) and designed by 135 prominent Palestinian and Israeli artists, will be on display at the World Bank in Washington, DC, April 30-May 6;...
"West Bank Story" Provokes Dialogue at Busboys and Poets
THE MUSICAL COMEDY "West Bank Story" was shown to a full house Peace Café on March 4 at the Washington, DC restaurant Busboys and Poets. The week before, the film had won the Academy Award for best live action short film. In his acceptance speech, "West...
Why Did the United States Fail in Its War on Iraq?
ON JAN. 4, 2007, Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he believes "top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster...

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