Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 33, No. 7, October

American Teenager Beaten by Israeli Police Speaks on Capitol Hill
Tariq Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old Palestinian American from Tampa, FL, appeared at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill Aug. 1 to discuss the vicious beating he received July 3 at the hands of Israeli police while visiting his family in East...
Are Evangelicals Abandoning Israel?
A screed is a lengthy bit of writing that most readers generally find tedious. And tendentious. But today this has become a common genre among evangelicals of a certain tribe who are keen to shore up Christian support for the state of Israel at all costs....
As Right-Wing Jews Attack Arab Citizens, Knesset Suspends Palestinian Lawmaker
Israel's large Palestinian minority faced an unprecedented backlash of incitement and violent reprisals as Israeli Jews rallied behind recent military operations in Gaza.Human rights groups and political activists noted that statements from public figures...
BDS: A New Path to Peace
"Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions: A New Path for Peace," was the subject of a July 24 lecture organized by Palestine Center summer interns in Washington, DC. More than 700 Palestinians had been killed in the two prior weeks during Israel's "Operation...
Block the Boat, Oakland: A Big Success for BDS
Between Aug. 16 and 20, 2014, five and a half weeks into Israel's brutal air, land and sea assault on the Gaza Strip, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and social justice activists-along with many people who were simply stunned and horrified by...
Bosnian National Elections to Take Place amid Flood Damage, Political Indifference
Once again, Bosnia-Herzegovina will be holding national elections, this time set for Oct. 12. After a year of political upheaval and devastating floods, the question is whether the upcoming contest can bring desperately needed change.Recently certified...
Can the U.N. Bring Peace and Justice to Palestine?
"International Organizations: A New Forum for Discussion?" was the title of an Aug. 5 discussion held at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC. Panelists Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and Nidal Sliman of Al-Shabaka Palestinian...
Cease-Fire Follows Cease-Fire but Gaza Remains a Prison
Israel began the process of dismantling Gaza's economy almost as soon as it captured the strip of territory from Egypt in 1967. Most of Gaza's inhabitants were refugees from Palestine who had been forced offtheir land in 1948 when Israel became a state....
Congress Backs Israel's "Right" to Slaughter Palestinians in the Name of "Self-Defense"
During Israel's July-August onslaught against Gaza, members of Congress eagerly supported Israel's "right" to slaughter a couple of thousand Palestinians and level much of Gaza's infrastructure in the name of "self-defense." At least eight bills and...
Emotional Ceremony Marks Dedication of Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural
The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural, a public works and community project, was formally dedicated in an Aug. 10 public ceremony. Spanning 157 feet along 26th St. between Telegraph and Broadway and reaching a height of 22 feet, the mural pays homage...
"Even If Israel Destroys Our Homes, We Will Never Leave," Gazans Vow
It has taken more than two weeks for Maliha Al-Ommor, 85, to return to her home in the village of Al-Fokhari, on the far eastern border of Khan Younis-but she is back.She returned to a scene of devastation and destruction. Her son, Khaled Al-Ommor, watched...
Experts at Levantine Center Assess Damage from Israel's 50-Day Rampage on Gaza
The anger was palpable in the Levantine Cultural Center Aug. 27 as panelists discussed the aftermath of Israel's 50-day rampage across Gaza. Audience members visibly shared a respite from the resentment which had built up over nearly seven weeks of watching...
Foreign Journalists Face Growing Obstacles in Yemen
On May 8, 2014, two prominent American journalists were deported from Yemen-the latest event in a continuing trend to limit the activities of foreign journalists in the country. Adam Baron, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor and McClatchy,...
From Ferguson to Palestine: "Hands Up, Don't Shoot!"
Witnesses say Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African American, was shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 after raising his hands and surrendering. The following night a candlelight vigil turned violent and local police...
Holocaust Survivors Call for Justice in Gaza
Forty Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and 287 descendants of survivors and victims issued a letter printed in the Aug. 23 New York Times condemning Israel's actions in Gaza. The letter's signatories, from 26 countries, represented four generations...
Iowa City Rallies for Gaza Continue
About 25 people holding signs and a Palestinian flag gathered at the Pentacrest in Iowa City on the afternoon of Aug. 14 to show support for the captive population of Gaza under siege and attack by Israel."We are here today to urge our government to...
Is Space for Free Speech Shrinking in Post-Coup Egypt?
The Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East hosted Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for Egypt's Al-Dostour Party, at its Washington, DC headquarters on July 22 to hear his views on the current challenges facing NGOs, the media and political...
Jewish Moral and Ethical Values Also a Victim of Israel's Assault on Gaza
Israel's assault on Gaza has taken a terrible toll in human lives, the majority of them Palestinian civilians, many of them women and children. Sadly, the organized American Jewish community has embraced this attack, held rallies in its defense, and...
Kurdish Performer Omar Souleyman Dazzles Washington, DC Audience
Omar Souleyman is not the kind of artist one would expect to be a big hit in Washington, DC. Born in Ra's al-'Ayn in Kurdish-dominated northern Syria, Souleyman became well-known in Syria after releasing hundreds of tapes of his performances at weddings....
Latin Patriarch: Christians under Occupation Face Dire Situation
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal updated guests about the grave challenges facing Christians in the Holy Land during the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)'s dinner in his honor at Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant in Washington,...
Muslim Relief Organizations Pledge to Help UNRWA in Gaza
Representatives of a coalition of Muslim relief organizations gathered at the Washington, DC?offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Aug. 27 to pledge $500,000 in support of UNRWA's urgent...
Obituaries
Hashim Khan, approximately 100, a Pakistani squash player, died Aug. 18 at his home in Aurora, CO. Born in what is now northern Pakistan, but at the time was part of the British Raj of India, he began to play squash at a young age and even became the...
Other People's Mail
Map Shows Israeli AggressionTo The News-Press, Aug. 20, 2014Look at a map of Israel in 1947 and look at a map of Israel today. Please ponder who needs protection from whom. The Israeli/U.S. propaganda machine keeps saying the Israelis must protect themselves....
Palestine and Israel Following "Operation Protective Edge"
What impact did this summer's conflict between Hamas and Israel have on Israeli and Palestinian domestic politics? Were war crimes committed during the 50-day confrontation, and will those who carried out such crimes be held accountable? These were the...
Palestinians and Israelis Tell a New Story despite the Conflict
Their countries are at war. For some, their families are in peril. The history of the conflict between them stretches back seven decades. For all intents and purposes, the participants in New Story Leadership should not get along. Five are Israeli, five...
Protesters to John Kerry: Help Free American from Egyptian Prison
Supporters of Mohamed Soltan, an Egyptian American who has been imprisoned in Egypt for more than a year, gathered at Secretary of State John Kerry's Georgetown home in Washington, DC on Aug. 25 to demand that the U.S. government do more to secure his...
Publishers' Page
Obama Outlines Strategy.After more than a decade of wars, drone strikes and covert operations meant to defeat terrorism, President Barack Obama appeared on prime-time television on Sept. 10 to make the case for a new round of American military activity...
Rally to Stop Ongoing War Crimes against the People of Gaza
A dozen diverse and outstanding speakers addressed the urgent need to "Stop Israel's Ongoing War Crimes Against the People of Gaza!" The World Can't Wait organized the event, which was held in the historic Great Hall of Cooper Union on Aug. 14 and was...
Samir Altaqi Urges Non-Sectarian Diplomatic Solution for Syria
The Washington, DC-based Middle East Institute (MEI) held a July 16 discussion with veteran Syria researcher and activist Samir Altaqi, who discussed the demise and collapse of the Syrian state, the status of the ongoing civil war and potential resolutions...
"Son of Death" Mohammed Deif
The war was over. Families returned to their kibbutzim near Gaza. Kindergartens opened up again. A cease-fire was in force and extended again and again. Obviously, both sides were exhausted.And then, suddenly, the war came back.What happened? Well, Hamas...
Study: When Informed, Americans Support Diplomacy with Iran
Sixty-one percent of Americans favor striking a deal with Iran that would limit the capacity of its uranium enrichment program in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions, according to a new study conducted by the Program for Public Consultation...
The Barton-Howe "Report" and the Middle East, Past and Present
From the beginning of America's direct strategic involvement in the Middle East, immediately following World War I, cogent advice abounded about how the region should be treated. Col. Edward M. House, the close friend and adviser to President Woodrow...
The Lobby Doesn't Care If the Senate Stays Democratic or Goes Republican-As Long as It's Pro-Israel
With the House of Representatives expected to retain its Republican majority-currently 234 seats to Democrats' 201-all eyes are on the Senate to see if Democrats can hold on to their 8-seat majority (10 seats if one counts Independant Sens. Bernie Sanders...
The Orange Trees of Baghdad: In Search of My Lost Family
The Orange Trees of Baghdad: In Search of My Lost Family By Leilah Nadir, Smith Books, 2014, paperback, 336 pp. List: $17.96; MEB: $15.The Orange Trees of Baghdad traces the personal stories of members of author Leilah Nadir's family in Iraq. After the...
The Ottoman Empire and World War I: It Could All Have Been Very Different
When ISIS, the extreme Salafist group, seized control of most of northern Iraq in June, it announced that it was changing its name to the Islamic State, dropping "in Iraq and the Levant," and defined its territory as the lands it currently held in both...
The War around Us
The War Around Us By Ayman Mohyeldin, MPI, DVD/Blue-Ray Combo, 2014, 75 minutes. List: $24.98; MEB: $22.Reviewed by Kevin A. DavisOn July 16, 2014, four young boys were playing soccer on a beach in Gaza when an Israeli warship offshore fired two missiles...
Tunisia's President Asks for Increased Economic and Security Assistance
Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki delivered a public address at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on Aug. 5, urging the United States and Europe to provide adequate support to his country so it does not fall prey to what he described as...
Turkey under President Erdogan
The Brookings Institution held a Sept. 4 event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC to discuss the results of Turkey's recent presidential election. Not surprisingly, former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won 52 percent...
Understanding ISIS: Frequently Asked Questions
Since September 2001, Americans have viewed al-Qaeda as the face of global terror. Accordingly, many have been taken aback by the dramatic rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a Sunni group more powerful and brutal than al-Qaeda. In the...
Understanding Israeli Apartheid
Samer Abdelnour, co-founder of Al-Shabaka Palestinian Policy Network, gave a thought-provoking lecture on Israeli apartheid on Aug. 14 at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC. He compared apartheid as practiced in Israel and South Africa to a packed...
Upcoming Events
C3 Summit, in partnership with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will host its annual U.S.-Arab Business Summit Oct. 6 at the Union League Club in New York City. Aimed at promoting partnerships between the U.S. and Arab countries,...
Will Palestine Transcend Western Pressure and Join the International Criminal Court?
The Palestinians consider the U.N. to be indispensable for their efforts, but, like many others, can see it is all too fallible. In the real world of politics, at every level, people have to make compromises. In the face of ubiquitous Israel lobby pressure...
Women in the News
For the first time in nearly 80 years, a woman has won the world's most prestigious mathematics prize, the Fields Medal.Maryam Mirzakhani, a 37-year-old mathematics professor at Stanford University, was awarded the "Nobel Prize of math" at a ceremony...
Would-Be Peacocks and Tiny Red Poppies
Israeli politicians and spokespersons sound like roosters who think they are peacocks when they boast of "the most moral army in the world," its "surgical strikes," their wonderful "Iron Dome" (paid for by the U.S.), and their status as "the only democracy...
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