Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 4, June/July

ANERA Employee Gives Students a Glimpse of Daily Life in Gaza
Rania Elhilou, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)'s communications officer in Gaza, shared her first-hand view of the humanitarian crisis back home with students at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs on April 19....
Angela Davis and Others Discuss Israeli Prisons, Detention
Dr. Lila Abu-Lughod, a Palestinian-American professor of anthropology, introduced a distinguished panel of speakers to discuss "Carceral Politics in Palestine and Beyond: Gender, Vulnerability, Prison," on April 5 at Columbia University. Although unable...
Applying "Responsibility to Protect" to Syria No Cakewalk
The current Syrian imbroglio epitomizes all the dilemmas and contradictions of the "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) doctrine adopted by the U.N. in its 60th anniversary summit (see May/June 2011Washington Report, p. 44). It is perhaps fitting that KofiAnnan,...
Arab American Heritage Month Celebration in Rockville, MD
Arab Americans and their friends celebrating Arab American Heritage Month in Montgomery County, Maryland, entered the Executive Office Building in Rockville, MD on April 26 to find walls adorned with artwork by Ahmad Belal and the aroma of delicious...
Arab League Ambassador Speaks, Washington Report Honored at Model Arab League
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) presented awards to Ambassador Andrew Killgore and Richard Curtiss, publisher and executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Magazine, at NCUSAR's annual National University Model...
Artist Manal Deeb Is FROM THERE
From April 20 to May 11, 2012-during a very hot spring-the walls of the Jerusalem Fund Gallery in Washington, DC were cloaked in cool white paintings by Palestinian-American artist Manal Deeb. White-like the clouds of her reflections, as she explores...
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) at Brooklyn's Park Slope Food Coop
At a general membership meeting on March 27, 2012, members of the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, New York decided against holding a referendum on whether to boycott products of Israel and of companies that support Israel's occupation of Palestinian...
Civil Society in the Arab World
Freedom House hosted an April 20 panel discussion titled "Empowering Civil Society after the Arab Spring" at its Washington, DC headquarters. Charles Dunne, the organization's director of Middle East and North Africa programs, moderated the discussion.According...
Clashes Threaten to Derail Democracy as Egyptian Women, Copts Pushed Aside
As many as 15 activists were leftdead as unknown assailants attacked protesters in central Cairo during an eruption of violent clashes the final week of April and into early May. With only three weeks before Egyptians headed to the polls, it was a stark...
Creative Styles Abound in "Muslim Eyes," a Marin Community Foundation Art Exhibit
The Marin Community Foundation exhibition "Muslim Eyes," featuring works of religious and secular art by Muslim artists, opened at the foundation's Novato headquarters on Feb. 14 and remains on view through May 31. The well-attended show reflects the...
Debate over Crisis of Zionism Ignores That Zionism Was Flawed from the Start
In his book The Crisis of Zionism, Peter Beinart-a prominent liberal, former editor of The New Republic, Orthodox Jew and self-declared Zionist-argues that Israel's occupation of the West Bank poses a serious threat to that country's liberal democratic...
Declaring War on "Political Islamism"
Like George W. Bush, Mitt Romney has responded to his lack of foreign policy experience by surrounding himself with clever neoconservatives who are now looking forward to expanding Bush's "global war on terror" into what neocon ideologue William Kristol...
Deir Yassin Day 2012 Commemorated in Geneva, NY
At One Mile Point in Geneva, NY, people gathered on April 9 to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre. Those in attendance included an Israeli and two Palestinians, as well as two professors from nearby Hobart and William Smith...
Dr. James Zogby Speaks in Des Moines
During his March tour of Iowa, Dr. James Zogby, author, activist and founder/president of the Washington, DC-based Arab American Institute (AAI), spoke before a capacity audience in Waveland Hall at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines on March...
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits Washington
In an effort to quell the unease surrounding their sudden ascent to power, representatives of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) visited Washington, DC in early April. Over the course of their stay, the FJP delegation spoke...
Elections Reshaping Political Life in Southeast Asia
So far this year, elections have been held in three areas of Southeast Asia, and rival parties are preparing for polls in one more.In Myanmar, the National League for Democracy, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, won 43 of 45 seats in by-elections held on April...
Electricity Blackout in Gaza, Media Blackout Everywhere Else
"I am just returning from a long day of work," explains 34-year-old father of two Osama Abdullah. "I want to shower, but the electricity is off." After a short pause, he explains: "To get water up to your house, you need an electricity generator.""I...
In Israel, a Putsch against War
Generals and secret police chiefs get together for an attack on the politicians.In some countries, they arrest the president, occupy government offices and TV stations and annul the constitution. They then publish Communiqué No. 1, explaining the dire...
Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions
Invisible War: The United States And the Iraq Sanctions By Joy Gordon, Harvard University Press, 2012, paperback, 376 pp. List: $21.95; AET: $15.Reviewed by Dale SprusanskyAll too often, government officials portray sanctions as a biting but effective...
Iowans March for Peace on Palm Sunday
About a hundred Iowans gathered at the capitol in Des Moines on April 1, Palm Sunday, for the annual Procession for Peace. "We are a group of folks who have a passion for peace," said David Sickelka, pastor of the Urbandale Church of Christ and a member...
Israel's Back-Room Deal Strengthens an Authoritarian Trend
Israelis barely had time to absorb the news that they were heading into a summer election when, on May 8, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pulled the rug from underneath the charade. Rancorous early electioneering had provided cover for a secret agreement...
Israel's Members of Congress Continue to Beat the Drums of War with Iran
As reported in the May issue of this magazine, the major theme of AIPAC's March 2012 annual meeting seemed to be a call for war with Iran. AIPAC's chosen congressional vehicles for this call were the identical S.Res. 380, introduced in February by Sen....
It's Time to End Racial, Religious and Ethnic Profiling of Americans
Last year, the Islamic Community Center in Gaithersburg, MD held a 4th of July barbecue and invited all the neighbors. Pastors, rabbis, police officers, teachers and friends-as well as passersby who'd spotted the huge welcoming sign outside-enjoyed an...
Marc Lynch Discusses Arab Uprising
George Washington University professor Marc Lynch appeared at the W Hotel in Washington, DC on March 27 to discuss his latest book, The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East (available from the AET Bookstore). The event was...
Marco Rubio: Tomorrow's Man-Or Yesterday's?
Among the GOP victories in 2010, none was sweeter than that of Marco Rubio.The charismatic young Cuban-American challenged Gov. Charlie Crist in a Senate primary, ran him out of the party and swept to victory by 19 points in a three-way race.Among those...
Mona El-Bayoumi's "Subliminal Seduction of Spring"
In her latest exhibition at Washington, DC's Jerusalem Fund Gallery from May 18 to June 22, Egyptian American artist Mona El-Bayoumi once again uses her prodigious painting skills to provoke the viewer into thought and, perhaps, action. This time she...
NAAP-DC and PITAPOLICY Host Panel on Media Freedom
"Journalists have been successful in changing the state's narrative," opined Omid Memarian of the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency at an April 9 panel on "Media Freedom" held at the K Street Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC. Journalists and...
Obituaries
Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, 47, a founding member of the hip hop trio the Beastie Boys, died May 4 of cancer. As his band accepted a lifetime achievement award from MTV in 1998, Yauch took the opportunity to say it was a real mistake for the U.S....
Other People's Mail
Pursue Diplomacy With IranTo Newsday, May 1, 2012As the drumbeats for war with Iran get louder, some in Congress are seeking a diplomatic path to a peaceful alternative ["Tech sanctions put on Syria, Iran," News, April 24].Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has...
Panels Discuss "Challenging Islamophobia" and "Fear, Inc." Report
Two panel discussions addressed the issue of anti-Muslim activities in America. Jews Against Islamophobia sponsored "Challenging Islamophobia" at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in New York on March 29. Chairing the panel was Debbie Almontaser,...
PLO Ambassador Decries Israeli Occupation, American Complicity
Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO's chief representative to the U.S., appeared at George Washington University in Washington, DC on March 21 to address a student audience. Throughout his remarks, Ambassador Areikat criticized Israel for its unrelenting...
Publishers' Page
'Tis the Season of Beginnings, Hope.In Kabul, Kirkuk and Kansas City, committted couples are walking down the aisle full of love, dreams, and plans for their future. Exhuberant young people are tossing their caps high in the air as they celebrate graduating...
Saudi Arabia and the Arab Uprising
Two Washington, DC universities held events in March to analyze the extent to which regional unrest has affected Saudi Arabia.On March 21, Boston College professor Natana DeLong-Bas appeared at Georgetown University to discuss "Saudi Arabia and the Gulf:...
Saudi Arabia Welcomes Expats and Others Returning Cherished Antiquities
I was recently invited by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) to attend the International Symposium on the Retrieval of National Antiquities and Exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For years I had wanted to return several artifacts...
Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala Honors Ambassador Kattouf
The Arab American Institute (AAI), which works to promote Arab-American participation in political life, held its annual Kahlil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel on April 18, 2012. More than 500 attendees joined...
Statement upon Being Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison
In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful.Exactly four years ago this month I was finishing my work shiftat a local hospital. As I was walking to my car I was approached by two federal agents. They said that I had a choice to make: I could...
Stewart Nozette Sentenced to 13 Years for Attempted "Mossad" Espionage
Dr. Stewart D. Nozette pled guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud, and attempted espionage against the United States on Sept. 7, 2011. Nozette attempted to sell missile defense and nuclear secrets to an undercover FBI employee posing as a Mossad...
That Other David Ben-Gurion
Who is the real David Ben-Gurion?There is no doubt that David Ben-Gurion, who was born in 1886 in Poland, then part of the Russian Empire, has correctly been recognized everywhere as the founder of Israel, created in 1948 by a U.N. resolution. But the...
The American Task Force for Lebanon Gala Awards Night
The American Task Force for Lebanon raised funds to help the victims of landmines in Lebanon and celebrated the contributions of Lebanese Americans at its annual awards night, April 27 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC. Before this year's honorees...
The Arab Awakening: One Year Later
The Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), along with the French Embassy and the Alliance Française, hosted an April 18 event to consider "The Arab Awakening: One Year Later."...
The House That Sabri Built
In the May 3 edition of the International Herald Tribune (but not its domestic sister publication, The New York Times), Raja Shehadeh wrote a personal observation resulting from his experience as a human rights worker in Palestine. Here are two paragraphs...
The Legacy of Revolutionary Algerian Statesman Ahmed Ben Bella (1916-2012)
News of the April 11 death of Ahmed Ben Bella, Algeria's first president, marked the end of an era and the loss of a great revolutionary and elder statesman.Born Dec. 25, 1916 into a modest family during French colonial rule, Ben Bella enlisted in the...
The President's Private War
Did you know that the United States government is using drones to kill innocent people in Pakistan? Did you know that the Pakistani government has asked President Obama to stop it and he won't? Did you know that Pakistan is a sovereign country that has...
Turkey's Kurdish Leadership on Autonomy, Political Violence
Three members of Turkey's Kurdish leadership appeared at the Brookings Institution's Washington, DC headquarters on April 24 to discuss the various issues facing Kurds in Turkey and the greater Middle East. Brookings scholar Ömer Ta?põnar moderated the...
UC President Yudof Enlists ADL, Museum of Tolerance to Monitor Campus Civility
In a March 8 open letter, University of California President Mark Yudof decried an alleged climate of anti-Semitism and intolerance on the 10 campuses that comprise the lofty UC system. Yudof went on to announce that he was calling in the Museum of Tolerance...
Understanding Arab Islamists
The rise of Islamist parties in post-uprising Arab countries has caused many in the West to respond with anxiety and unease. In an effort to provide a clearer picture of what Islamists believe and how they intend to govern, the Woodrow Wilson International...
Upcoming Events
The city of Clarksburg, MD will host its 5th Annual Muslim FunFest Family Carnival on Saturday, May 26, beginning at 12 p.m. The event will be located at High Point Farm, 23730 Frederick Rd., and will feature helicopter, camel and carnival rides, as...
U.S.-Afghan Pact Won't End War-Or Special Operations Forces Night Raids
The optics surrounding the Barack Obama administration's "Enduring Strategic Partnership" agreement with Afghanistan and the Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) accompanying it emphasize transition to Afghan responsibility and an end to U.S. war.But the...
U.S. Diplomats Honored in Detroit as Arab Americans of the Year
Ambassadors Selwa "Lucky" Roosevelt and Edward M. Gabriel accepted awards as 2012 Americans of the Year at the Detroit Marriott on April 28. ACCESS, the largest Arab-American human services nonprofit in the U.S., bestowed the awards on the former diplomats...
U.S. Escalating Drone War in Yemen
Even as President Barack Obama touts his progress in extracting the U.S. from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his administration appears to be deepening its covert and military involvement in strife-torn Yemen.Washington is worried about recent advances...
U.S.-Pakistan Bipolar Relations
Rife with controversy and mistrust, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship has been the source of much discussion in Washington, DC. Two recent events analyzed various dynamics of the two nations' bipolar relationship.At an April 10 talk at the Woodrow Wilson...
Vanishing Illusions: Israeli Democracy and A Two-State Solution
As Israel celebrated the 64th anniversary of its independence on April 26, the 3 million Palestinians living under Israeli occupation were barred from entering the country, denied access to their jobs, their holy sites and, for many, their families....
Visionary Hala Maksoud Commemorated
On Sunday, April 22, Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, along with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), held a commemorative evening to honor the late Dr....
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