Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. XIX, No. 3, April 30

Another Massacre Uncovered
ANOTHER MASSACRE UNCOVEREDMost of the world has long ignored the testimony of Palestinian survivors and scholars on the forced expulsions, indiscriminate destruction, and mass killings carried out by Zionist soldiers in 1947-48. But Israeli researchers...
Bethlehem Bulletin: West Bank Public School Teachers Escalate Strike
BETHLEHEM BULLETIN: West Bank Public School Teachers Escalate StrikeOver 19,000 teachers from every level of the West Bank public school system took to the streets in early February to demonstrate for salary increases promised two years ago by the Palestinian...
Cairo Communique: Davos Clash between Israel's Peres and Egypt's Amr Moussa Spotlights Contrasting Visions for Future
CAIRO COMMUNIQUE: Davos Clash Between Israel's Peres and Egypt's Amr Moussa Spotlights Contrasting Visions for FutureThe clash of visions for the future of the Middle East region is on, and it was starkly in evidence at the World Economic Forum held...
Canada Snubs U.N. Ruling on Religious School Funding
CANADA SNUBS U.N. RULING ON RELIGIOUS SCHOOL FUNDINGThe Ontario government has rejected a decision by a United Nations human rights committee that it must extend public funding to all religious schools, not just Catholic institutions.A Toronto man, Arieh...
Canadian Charity Linked to Israeli Election Scandal
Canadian Charity Linked to Israeli Election ScandalA Calgary-based family charitable foundation has been linked to the Israeli election finance scandal. The Kahanoff Foundation reportedly gave $273,000 in 1998 to three groups currently under criminal...
Catholic Churches of the Holy Land Hold Historic First Synod in Bethlehem
CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF THE HOLY LAND HOLD HISTORIC FIRST SYNOD IN BETHLEHEMConcern about the future of Christianity in the Holy Land was a major focus of a five-day assembly in Bethlehem from Feb. 8 to 12 of over 300 members representing the Catholic churches...
Christianity and the Middle East: Muslims and Coptic Christians of Egypt; an Uneasy Peace
CHRISTIANITY AND THE MIDDLE EAST: Muslims and Coptic Christians of Egypt; An Uneasy Peace"When you conquer Egypt, be kind to the Copts for they are your protégés and kith and kin." So the Prophet Muhammad enjoined his Arab troops setting out for northern...
Clinton Visit to Subcontinent Highlights Deteriorating India-Pakistan Relations
Clinton Visit to Subcontinent Highlights Deteriorating India-Pakistan RelationsA leading Washington foreign affairs columnist suggested on Feb. 13 that President Clinton should not go to Pakistan during his coming visit to South Asia. That seems to this...
Congress Begins Election-Year Session with Budget Posturing, but Some Restraint on Middle East Issues
Congress Begins Election-Year Session With Budget Posturing, But Some Restraint on Middle East IssuesAs is usually the case, political posturing over budget priorities dominated the opening weeks of this election-year congressional session. However,...
Council for Palestinian Reparation Holds Inaugural Press Conference
COUNCIL FOR PALESTINIAN REPARATION HOLDS INAUGURAL PRESS CONFERENCESome Palestinians say it's 52 years late, while others say better late than never. In any case, the March 3 National Press Club inaugural press conference of the Council for Palestinian...
Edward W. Walker Speaks on War in Chechnya at San Francisco World Affairs Council
EDWARD W. WALKER SPEAKS ON WAR IN CHECHNYA AT SAN FRANCISCO WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL"The War in Chechnya: Islamic Jihad or National Liberation Struggle?" This question was discussed by Dr. Edward W. Walker, executive director of the University of California...
Egyptian-American Publisher Dresses Up Boston Fashion
EGYPTIAN-AMERICAN PUBLISHER DRESSES UP BOSTON FASHIONWhen it came to clothes, Boston was once considered conservative, even dowdy. But no more. The city now boasts a fashion scene ready to take on all comers, even New York, according to a woman who is...
Election-Year State Department Human Rights Report Retreats on Israeli Violations
Election-Year State Department Human Rights Report Retreats on Israeli ViolationsFor 20 years, the Department of State issued an annual report on all countries concerning their human rights record for the previous year. Finally, in the 1998 report, the...
Eric Rouleau Discusses Political Islamic Movement at UCLA Conference on "Fundamentalism"
Eric Rouleau Discusses Political Islamic Movement At UCLA Conference "Fundamentalism"One of the first things Prof. Afaf Marsot accomplished after her appointment as associate director of UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies was to schedule an international...
Fallout from "Earthquake Diplomacy" Leads to Unprecedented Thaw in Greek-Turkish Relations
Fallout From "Earthquake Diplomacy" Leads to Unprecedented Thaw in Greek-Turkish RelationsTwo massive earthquakes, more open dialogue, and the forward-looking perspectives of two foreign ministers of a new generation have combined to produce perhaps...
Forum Discusses Iranian Elections and Impact on U.S.-Iran Relations
FORUM DISCUSSES IRANIAN ELECTIONS AND IMPACT ON U.S.-IRAN RELATIONSThe Iranian Trade Association (ITA) and the American Iranian Council (AIC) co-sponsored a breakfast forum on Feb. 4, two weeks before the Iranian elections, at the Rayburn House Office...
India Undergoing an Ominous Slide Away from Secularism into Hindu Fascism
India Undergoing an Ominous Slide Away From Secularism into Hindu FascismWhat was latent all these years is finally surfacing. The autumnal wind of the right-wing Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is shedding the fig leaf of secularism that was pasted...
In Memoriam: Issa Khalil Sabbagh (1917-2000)
IN MEMORIAM: Issa Khalil Sabbagh (1917-2000)Issa Khalil Sabbagh died in Saudi Arabia on Jan 15. He and his Swedish-born wife, Ulla, were visiting her son by a previous marriage, Samir, a Saudi resident, who had arranged for them to welcome the third...
Islam and the Middle East in the Far East: Malaysia; Clipping the Opposition's Wings
ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST IN THE FAR EAST: Malaysia; Clipping the Opposition's Wings"It's like another sunset," my companion said, but the red glow came from behind a headland to our north, not from the west. The light is visible from far away and would...
Islamic Law May Spread in Nigeria
Islamic Law May Spread in NigeriaDespite complaints from Christians and opposition from President Olusegun Obasanjo, shariah, Islamic law, appears to be spreading in the West African nation of Nigeria. In January, Islamic courts were declared open in...
Israel Balks at Peace - Again
Israel Balks at Peace -- AgainHope of an early peace between Israel and Syria went up in flames last February as Israeli warplanes pounded Lebanon, while talks between Israel and the Palestinians that were supposed to culminate in a final agreement on...
Israeli and Palestinian Peace Advocates Describe Home Demolitions
Israeli and Palestinian Peace Advocates Describe Home DemolitionsJeff Halper, coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and Palestinian engineer Salim Shawamreh toured the U.S. Jan. 13 through Feb. 13 speaking on "House...
Israeli Media Pressure Builds on Barak to Leave Lebanon Now
Israeli Media Pressure Builds on Barak to Leave Lebanon NowIn early January, Israeli media commentators were criticizing Prime Minister Ehud Barak for planning to give away too much land for peace with Syria. Now Israeli journalists, after concluding...
Israelis, Palestinians Discuss "Media and Human Rights"
ISRAELIS, PALESTINIANS DISCUSS "MEDIA AND HUMAN RIGHTS"As part of the Basic Trust Film Festival a panel came together in Ramallah on Feb. 8 to discuss "Media and Human Rights." Daoud Kuttab, director of the institute, television producer and columnist,...
Jailed Professor Talks about Palestinian Authority's Intolerance of Criticism
Jailed Professor Talks About Palestinian Authority's Intolerance of CriticismDr. Abdul Sattar Qassem, a 56-year-old professor of political science at Al Najah University in Nablus, Palestine was in the news recently when he was arrested, along with 10...
Kashmir's All-Parties Hurriyet Conference Rejects Hijacking, Terrorism as Legitimate Political Means
Kashmir's All-Parties Hurriyet Conference Rejects Hijacking, Terrorism as Lagitimate Political MeansThe Indians are charging Pakistan with the terrorist hijacking of an Indian Airlines jet, the killing of an Indian hostage on the aircraft, and with a...
Kuwait Opposition Leaders Meet Washington Journalists
KUWAIT OPPOSITION LEADERS MEET WASHINGTON JOURNALISTSThe Kuwaiti government's information office in Washington, DC hosted a Feb. 23 press conference for two members of the Kuwait Democratic Forum, Kuwait's newest liberal opposition party. Introduced...
Lebanese-American Writer Examines His Outsider Status
LEBANESE-AMERICAN WRITER EXAMINES HIS OUTSIDER STATUSPeople living outside the mainstream are in the best position to understand what is going on in society because they can watch from a distance, according to Lebanese-American writer Rabih Alameddine....
Mahjabeen's Musings: A Pakistani-American Pilgrim along the American Way; Stand Up and Be Counted
MAHJABEEN'S MUSINGS: A PAKISTANI-AMERICAN PILGRIM ALONG THE AMERICAN WAY; Stand Up and Be CountedJanuary 3 was a day of achievement in the Toledo area, where a number of Arab and Muslim Americans stood for places in the Ohio delegation to the Democratic...
Members of Congress Call for Lifting Economic Sanctions against Iraq
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL FOR LIFTING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQDemocratic and Republican members of the U.S. Congress joined more than 10 Arab-American and American-Muslim groups at a Capitol Hill press conference on Feb. 16 to urge the United Nations...
More in Common Than You Think: The Bridge between Islam and Christianity
More in Common Than You Think: The Bridge Between Islam and ChristianityU.S. Muslims are often cited as the second most numerous religious community in America, exceeded only by Christians. Estimates usually show six million or more adherents, some reach...
Most of Pro-Israel Community Rallying Behind Gore but Muslim- and Arab-Americans Far from United
Most of Pro-Israel Community Rallying Behind Gore But Muslim-and Arab-Americans Far From UnitedPeople who regularly read a couple of daily newspapers carefully don't have any trouble following which presidential candidates are anointed by the Israel...
Muslim and Arab American Activities in Election 2000
MUSLIM AND ARAB AMERICAN ACTIVITIES IN ELECTION 2000Lacking a nation-wide network of weekly community newspapers, and about a century of prior experience enjoyed by Jewish organizations, Arab-American and Muslim-American political and educational organizations...
Muslim- and Arab-American Community Energized by Secret Evidence Hearing
MUSLIM- AND ARAB-AMERICAN COMMUNITY ENERGIZED BY SECRET EVIDENCE HEARING.The House Judiciary Committee's Immigration and Claims Subcommittee held a Feb. 10 hearing on proposed legislation, H.R. 2121, the Secret Evidence Repeal Act, that would ban the...
Nazareth: A Case of Israeli Political Propaganda
NAZARETH: A CASE OF ISRAELI POLITICAL PROPAGANDAFather Emil Salayta, priest of the Diocese of Jerusalem and general director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools (covering the entire West Bank and Gaza), spoke on Feb. 14 at the Center for Policy Analysis...
New York City and Tri-State News: Museum of the City of New York Examines Local Arab Americans
NEW YORK CITY AND TRI-STATE NEWS: Museum of the City of New York Examines Local Arab AmericansThe Museum of the City of New York hosted a two-day symposium on "A Community of Many Worlds: Arab Americans in New York City." Feb. 5 was devoted to "Early...
Non-Jewish Immigrants Forcing Israel to Choose between Being a "Jewish" State and a Democracy
Non-Jewish Immigrants Forcing Israel to Choose Between Being a "Jewish" State and a DemocracyThe Law of Return -- which permits Jews to emigrate freely to Israel and defines who is eligible for such immigration in the broadest terms, including those...
One Muslim's Choices in Picking a President
One Muslim's Choices in Picking a PresidentThe race to win party nominations for presidential elections 2000 has now reached a very interesting stage. In a manner of speaking the tables have been mined in both the Republican as well as Democratic primaries....
On the Front Lines with the Christian Peacemakers in Hebron: Planting Trees Is Forbidden
On the Front Lines With the Christian Peacemakers in Hebron: Planting Is Forbidden; No Trees AllowedOn Friday, Jan. 21, five members of the Christian Peacemaker Team celebrated the Jewish Festival of Trees with over 150 Israeli peace activists in the...
OPEC's Embarrassment of Riches - Now What?
OPEC's Embarrassment of Riches -- Now What?What a difference a year -- and production cutbacks -- can make. Just over a year ago, in January 1999, OPEC's market basket price for crude averaged $10.74 a barrel. This was the lowest it had been in constant...
Overwhelming Parliamentary Election Victory by Iran's Reformers a Major Stop toward Real Democracy
Overwhelming Parliamentary Election Victory by Iran's Reformers a Major Step Toward Real DemocracySixty-five of the 290 seats in the Majlis, Iran's parliament, remain to be decided in runoff elections in April. But the results of the Feb. 18 first round...
Pessimism Follows Earlier European Hope for Syrian-Israeli Peace Settlement
Pessimism Follows Earlier European Hope for Syrian-Israeli Peace SettlementAt the start of the year, European editorial writers had been widely optimistic that an agreement between Israel and Syria on the disputed Golan Heights territory could be reached....
Pope John Paul II Completes Egypt Visit
POPE JOHN PAUL II COMPLETES EGYPT VISITA highlight of his Jubilee year pilgrimage to the Middle East was a Feb. 24 mass celebrated by John Paul II before 20,000 in Cairo's indoor stadium -- a mass characterized by calls for peace, religious tolerance,...
Postcards from Palestine: Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Al Quds University Co-Host Human Rights Film Festival
POSTCARDS FROM PALESTINE: Tel Aviv Cinemathèque, Al Quds University Co-Host Human Rights Film FestivalThe Tel Aviv Cinemathèque held its first human rights film festival jointly with a Palestinian institution -- Al Quds University. Entitled "Basic Trust,"...
Russian Troops Take Grozny
RUSSIAN TROOPS TAKE GROZNYThe capturing by Russian troops of Grozny, capital of the breakaway republic Chechnya, pushed this awful war back onto Europe's newsstands. This apparent sign of victory comes just at the right time for Acting President Vladimir...
Shimon Peres Speaks to Four Bay Area Audiences
SHIMON PERES SPEAKS TO FOUR BAY AREA AUDIENCESFormer Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, currently minister of regional cooperation, spoke to four Bay Area audiences the week of Jan. 10th, including a capacity audience at the Marin Center Theater in...
Snow in Jerusalem
Snow in JerusalemDear Friends,I imagine that many of you have already seen pictures in these last few days of Jerusalem under a cover of snow. The newscasters reported that it was one of the largest snowfalls in the century. Of course, the fact that...
Sowing Seeds of Peace in Sudan: Can Reconciliation Bloom in a Strife-Torn Land?
Sowing Seeds of Peace in Sudan: Can Reconciliation Bloom in a Strife-Torn Land?Last November, a little boy in the southern Sudan town of Waat stood in the morning sun outside a building, weeping. Asked why he was crying, he replied: "Because I want to...
State Department Permits Travel of Libyan Ambassador to U.N
STATE DEPARTMENT PERMITS TRAVEL OF LIBYAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.After two decades of frozen diplomatic relations between the United States and Libya, the U.S. State Department granted permission to Libya's permanent representative to the U.N., Ambassador...
Talking Turkey: Discovery of 50 Murdered Bodies Spotlights Links between Turkish Government, Kurdish Islamist Group
TALKING TURKEY: Discovery of 50 Murdered Bodies Spotlights Links Between Turkish Government, Kurdish Islamist GroupWith the 15-year-old conflict between the military and Kurdish rebels winding down in Turkey, the first months of the new millennium have...
The Coptic Church
THE COPTIC CHURCHThe name Copt is derived from the Greek word "Aigyptos." The Coptic language is the ancient language of the Pharaohs, previously written in Hieroglypics, but by the second century written down in Greek characters.The Coptic Church sees...
The Reformers' Stunning Victory in Iran: How and Why Did It Happen?
THE REFORMERS' STUNNING VICTORY IN IRAN: HOW AND WHY DID IT HAPPEN?At a roundtable in Washington on the eve of the Iran parliamentary elections, experts agreed that the country was amidst a quiet revolution every bit as significant as the tumultuous...
The Story Behind "Nation of Islam" Leader Louis Farrakhan's Acceptance of Orthodox Islam
The Story Behind "Nation of Islam" Leader Louis Farrakhan's Acceptance of Orthodox IslamIt appears that the long-anticipated moment has arrived of real integration into America's Sunni Muslim mainstream of the Nation of Islam's 100,000 members. The group...
The Turkish-Israeli Alliance Is a New Destabilizing Factor in the Middle East and Southern Europe
The Turkish-Israeli Alliance Is a New Destabilizing Factor in the Middle East and Southern EuropeIn February 1996, a military union was formed between Israel and Turkey. It marked the most important political development in the region since the 1991...
Two Prominent Palestinian Legal Experts Look to Future in Peace Institute
TWO PROMINENT PALESTINIAN LEGAL EXPERTS LOOK TO FUTURE IN PEACE INSTITUTE PANELAt the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington on Jan. 19, two of the architects of the legal system in an embryonic Palestinian state assessed the status of law there and its...
United Nations Report: Blix Appointment May Set in Motion an End to Iraq Sanctions
UNITED NATIONS REPORT: Blix Appointment May Set in Motion an End to Iraq SanctionsBetween them, Iraq and the U.N. are guaranteed public attention. Things keep changing but, in the end, they always look the same. Saddam Hussain and sanctions are still...
U.S. Embassy Site in Jerusalem Challenged
U.S. EMBASSY SITE IN JERUSALEM CHALLENGEDThe American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ) hosted a Feb. 17 briefing on Capitol Hill to reveal the true ownership of land on which a new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is slated to be built. In a three-year investigation...
Victims Speak out at Secret Evidence Summit
VICTIMS SPEAK OUT AT SECRET EVIDENCE SUMMITThe National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, American Muslim and Arab organizations, the Peace and Justice Foundation and members of Congress held a summit on secret evidence on Feb. 16 with a standing-room-only...
"Who Is an Arab?" Asks Palestinian-American Poet
"WHO IS AN ARAB?" ASKS PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN POETHaving Palestinian parents and being raised in Paris, Boston, the West Indies and Latin America can make ethnicity a complex question, explains poet Nathalie Handal. "I feel I'm a Bostonian Parisian," she...
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