Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 8, 2015

ANERA Dinner Raises Funds for Humanitarian Needs
"Promoting Health and Well-Being" was the theme of American Near East Refugee Aid's (ANERA) annual fund-raising dinner at Washington, DC's Washington Marriott Wardman Park on Oct. 2. Dena Takruri, host and producer for Al Jazeera's digital news channel...
A New, Fearless Generation
The atmosphere in Gaza is very tense, and everyone knows the young people demonstrating here now could be killed. Still they come, however, to protest against Israeli occupation, the provocation of Jewish settlers and Israel's economic blockade of Gaza."Either...
Building the BDS Movement for Justice in Palestine
The Jerusalem Fund in Washington, DC hosted a talk on Sept. 14 by Christopher Hedges, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Hedges delivered...
CAIR Celebrates Champions for Justice
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, held its 21st annual banquet on Oct. 17 at the Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel in Arlington, VA. In a year marked by a string of tragedies...
Dr. Jamal Barzinji (1939-2015): The Muslim American Community Is Orphaned
There is an old Arabic maxim that describes a particularly remarkable person as "a nation in a man." Such men and women are rare in history. But this description is truly the best portrayal of Dr. Jamal Barzinji, who passed away on Sept. 26, the second...
Egypt's Economic, Security and Political Challenges
The Middle East Institute held its annual Egypt conference Sept. 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. The theme of this year's gathering was "Egypt: Reducing Risks, Unlocking Potential."The conference took place several weeks before Egypt...
HCEF Conference Explores the Future of Christianity in the Holy Land
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) held its 17th annual international awards dinner and conference Oct. 16 and 17 at the Georgetown Marriott in Washington, DC. The theme of the conference, "Our Faith Is Commitment to Justice, Peace,...
Human Rights Group Calls for Justice for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation held a rally outside the U.S. Bureau of Prisons headquarters in Washington, DC on Sept. 25 in support of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuro-scientist who is serving an 86-year sentence following a 2010 conviction...
Iran Nuclear Agreement Clears Biggest Legislative Hurdle, but More Remain
The nuclear agreement with Iran was signed by all parties on July 14 and, in accordance with the "Nuclear Agreement Review Act," S. 615, passed in May and previously described in this column, agreement documents were delivered to Congress on July 19,...
Israel Ratchets Up Its Violence against a New Generation of Palestinians: A New Intifada?
Moshe Yaalon, Israel's defense minister, gave an interview to Israeli army radio on Oct. 15, after more than a fortnight in which the occupied territories, and most especially Jerusalem, had been rocked by continual unrest.The man who 13 years earlier,...
Lack of Hope, Worsening Oppression Spur Young Palestinians to Act
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sees Israel as a country at risk, betrayed by the world and under attack by enemies at home and abroad. During his speech at the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly this fall he scowled at the audience for 45...
NCUSAR Policymakers Conference Tackles Middle East's Pressing Issues
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) held its 24th annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference Oct. 14 and 15 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The conference featured keynote addresses by prominent...
Pope Francis Challenges Congress to Advance Peace and Human Dignity
Although Pope Francis did not specifically discuss the Middle East during his Sept. 24 speech to a joint session of Congress, he nonetheless addressed critical issues impacting the region. Among other things, he discussed how to confront religious extremism,...
Sabra and Shatila 33 Years Later-A Personal Account
This past September marked the 33rd anniversary of the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut.On June 6, 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and surrounded its capital, Beirut. One aim was to end the control of Beirut by the PLO. The city...
Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and the Devastating War in Yemen
Since March 25, Saudi Arabia and its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members-with the exception of Oman-have been carrying out an intense military campaign in Yemen. The stated goal of the intervention is to push back the advance of the Houthi...
The Future of Bipartisanship on Israel
The Institute for Palestine Studies in Washington, DC hosted a discussion on the issue of American partisan politics and foreign policy toward Israel on Oct. 15. Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi moderated the panel, which featured Prof. Paul...
The U.S. and Russia in Syria: War Party Targets Putin and Assad
Having established a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin on Sept. 30 began air strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad.A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad...
'Tis the Season for Charitable Giving: A Washington Report Compendium
Addameer-Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association: 3 Edward Said St., Sebat Bldg, 1st Floor, Suite 2 * Ramallah, Palestine * PO Box 17338 * +972 (0)2 296 04 46 * www.addameer.org * Supports Palestinian political prisoners through visits, aid, advocacy...
Will a Freed Pollard Become a Hero and Role Model for Israel and Its American Friends?
Jonathan Pollard, the convicted American spy for Israel who has served 30 years of his life sentence, is scheduled to be released from prison on Nov. 21. It seems likely that, upon his release, he will be hailed as a hero in Israel as well as by many...
William Yale: Witness to Partition in the Middle East, World War I-World War II
William Yale: Witness to Partition in the Middle East, World War I-World War II By Dr. Janice Terry, Rimal Books, 2015,paperback, 278 pp. List: $20; MEB: $18.Reviewed by Randa A. KayyaliDr. Janice Terry's recently published book, William Yale: Witness...
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