Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 2, March/April

2016 "Deadliest Year" for West Bank Children in a Decade
ISRAELI FORCES have killed more Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016 than any other year in the last decade, rights group Defense for Children International (DCI) has said.The organization's chapter in the...
Although Media Coverage Has Dwindled, Refugees Continue to Flee for Their Lives
ON A DAY in late January I heard that a young Syrian woman I knew slightly at Eleonas Refugee Camp in Athens, Greece, had gone missing. She and her family had finally made it to Germany in December, and just about a month later she was gone.A young Afghan...
Ambassador Areikat Responds to U.N. Resolution, Kerry Speech
Ambassador Maen Areikat, chief representative of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S., spoke at a Jan. 10 luncheon hosted by the Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. His talk, titled "Prospects for Palestinian...
America and Gaza after the U.S. Elections
I FLEW OUT of Boston's Logan Airport two days after the Nov. 8 presidential election. Airports are usually noisy, busy and exciting mazes through which to navigate. But on that day something was different from the other days I had traveled from Boston...
American Arabesque Festival Closes with Artists Reception
The month-long American Arabesque Festival concluded with a Jan. 8 "Meet the Artists Reception" at the Durant Arts Center in Alexandria, VA. Thirty-four local contemporary Arab-American and Arab artists had displayed and sold their work from Dec. 3,...
Andrew I. Killgore (1919-2016)
RETIRED U.S. AMBASSADOR Andrew Ivy Killgore, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, died Dec. 20, 2016 in a Washington, DC hospice at the age of 97. He drove himself to work here every day-as dependable and beloved to his staffas...
Barack Backhands Bibi
DID THE COMMUNITY organizer from Harvard Law just deliver some personal payback to the IDF commando? So it would seem.By abstaining on that Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal and invalid,...
Ben Ehrenreich on Life and Death in Palestine
Ben Ehrenreich discussed his recent book, The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, on Dec. 9, 2016 at the Jerusalem Fund in Washington, DC. Ehrenreich is an American journalist who lived in various cities in the West Bank from 2011 to 2013,...
Canada Not Immune from a Legacy of Fear-Mongering
ISLAMOPHOBIA IS REAL. President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry to the U.S. from 7 Muslim-majority countries, and the Jan. 29 terrorist attack on the Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City, killing 6 and wounding 19 innocent worshippers,...
Congressional Resolutions Slam Obama's Non-Veto of U.N. Resolution Criticizing Israel
ON DEC. 23, 2016 President Barack Obama's administration took the unusual, but not unprecedented, step of abstaining on U.N. Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334, which says that Israel's continuing expansion of its colonies ("settlements") is an...
Death of Rafsanjani Leaves Iran in Grip of Power Struggle
THE DAY AFTER Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani lost the run-offpresidential ballot in 2005, he arrived early for work at the Expediency Council, the state body he led.Rafsanjani knew politics had ups and downs, and he was a great survivor. His death-due to heart...
East Jerusalem Neighborhoods Behind the Separation Barrier
As Americans we take many things for granted. But imagine if you lived in a place where there is no proper garbage disposal, no real road infrastructure, and no clean water supply-and that a few miles to the west of you, people have better living conditions,...
Exploring the Relationship between Religion and Politics
Everyone knows that two things one should never discuss in social settings are religion and politics. However, religion plays an important role in the decisions made by leaders around the world. This often underappreciated relationship between religion...
Frank Gaffney Is Behind New Anti-Muslim Interfaith Group
THE DAY BEFORE Donald Trump's inauguration, a new interfaith coalition of clergy announced their launch with a press conference urging the new president to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Such a designation might allow the...
Go-To Resource Maktabatee Helps Children Love the Arabic Language
It's hard to teach a child Arabic while living in a non-Arabic speaking country like the United States, especially when they are using English at school, on play dates, and even at home. Non-native Arabic-speaking moms or dads have an especially tough...
Hamzah Jamjoom Delves into Saudi Culture
"The biggest problem I see with Saudi culture is our ego-fear of self-image," Jeddah- born filmmaker Hamzah Jamjoom said during a conversation with John Hanshaw, director of the Washington Film Institute, at the Carroll Street Busboys & Poets in...
Handed a "Loaded Gun," Donald Trump Inherits Gitmo and Permissive War Powers
AS THE JAN. 20 transfer of power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump took place in Washington, DC, 41 men at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba knew their odds of experiencing a transfer from captivity had just greatly diminished.On his...
How to Expel: Advice to Trump from an Israeli
BARELY A WEEK has passed and you've screwed things up, Donald Trump. The reason is simple: You didn't consult Israel on how to deny entry into your country without rousing half the world against you. But when it comes to your other promise- actual expulsion-you...
It's Not Just a Muslim Ban, It's Much Worse
WITH A STROKE of the pen on a misdirected and, I believe, malicious Executive Order (EO), President Donald Trump unleashed a dynamic that will, I fear, have consequences as farreaching and damaging to my country and my community as the Bush administration's...
Land Law Is Final Nail in the Two-State Solution Coffin
THE ISRAELI PARLIAMENT passed the legalization law on the night of Feb. 6-a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the last fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank...
Milton Viorst Discusses His Latest Book: Zionism
"At the 19th century's end, Theodor Herzl, an assimilated Viennese writer, founded Zionism, a movement to provide Jews with a refuge from Europe's abuse, in a land of their own," began Milton Viorst, at a Nov. 13, 2016 book reading in the Brentwood,...
MPAC Convention Builds Bridges, Breaks Barriers
More than 1,000 Muslim Americans attended the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) Convention Dec. 11 at the Long Beach (CA) Convention Center. The theme of the convention, which featured two keynote speakers and five banquet speakers, was "Building...
Obituaries
Col. Lawrence Doran Thompson, 95, died at a northern Virginia hospice Sept. 10, 2016. A native of Akron, OH, he enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was deployed to Saipan, winning a commission in 1948. After being seriously wounded in Korea, he was posted...
Other People's Mail
LEARNING FROM A 1797 TREATYTo the Salisbury Post, Feb. 5, 2017At this moment in our nation's history, it might be worthwhile to look at one of our country's first foreign policy conflicts. Commercial shipping in the Mediterranean Sea, during the last...
Palestine: Unlimited
Throughout the month of December, photographs from the first annual Karimeh Abboud Award Competition were on display in St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco. The exhibition, "Palestine: Unlimited," was presented by the charitable organization...
Palestinian Israeli Math Teacher Killed as Israel Targets Minority Villages
THEY CAME IN their thousands, from across Israel and from occupied East Jerusalem, for Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan's funeral. In Muslim tradition, the dead should be buried as soon as possible. But Abu al-Qiyan's family had to wait a week before the Israeli...
Paris and the End to a Western-Dominated Era in the Middle East
NO, IT WAS NOT just "another Middle East peace conference," as a columnist in the Israeli Jerusalem Post attempted to depict the Paris Peace Conference held on Jan. 15, with top official representations from 70 countries attending. If it was, indeed,...
Poll: Iranians Distrust the U.S., Unhappy with Their Economy
A poll of Iranian attitudes conducted by the University of Maryland in December revealed that Iranians are frustrated with the state of their economy, don't trust the U.S. to keep its side of the multilateral nuclear deal, and are increasingly less likely...
Publishers' Page
Netanyahu Meets With Trump.As we went to press, President Donald Trump was preparing to welcome Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to Washington, DC on Feb. 15. Several weeks before his visit, Netanyahu again injected himself into American politics by...
Remembering Andy Killgore
Bernice and I first met Andrew I. Killgore and his lovely wife, Marjorie, in the mid-'70s, in Doha, Qatar, during Andy's tenure as the American ambassador. I was in Doha lecturing on Arab stereotypes, courtesy of the now defunct United States Information...
Rohingya Issue Creates More Waves in Region
VIOLENT ATTACKS ON the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2012 displaced many. The problem rumbled on, resulting in a refugee crisis in the region in 2015. Tens of thousands fled Myanmar and, in mid-2016, more than 100,000 Rohingya still...
RT: Call Iran!
A LINK NEEDS to be urgently established between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and newly sworn-in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson amid the needless escalation in tension between the Trump administration and Iran. This week alone, the...
Sen. Chris Murphy Extols Importance of Diplomacy with Iran
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) used his Jan. 30 remarks at the Atlantic Council to caution the Trump administration against rashly imposing new sanctions against Iran. Iran's recent testing of ballistic missiles warrants a reasoned discussion about the possibility...
Sen. George Mitchell Describes U.S. Role in Talks as "Imperative"
Retired Sen. George Mitchell (D-ME) and Alon Sachar, former adviser to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, spoke Dec. 9 at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club in a noon program moderated by former U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich.In addition to tackling...
The Big Lie and Foreign Policy
WE ARE LESS than a week into the Trump presidency, and it is apparent that one of the more disturbing practices of Mr. Trump's campaign he intends to continue while in office. The practice involves the president's disdain for truth, but it is not just...
Trump Could Have Done Much Worse Than Pick Nikki Haley for U.N. Ambassador
THE APPOINTMENT OF Nikki Haley as U.S. permanent representative to the U.N. almost counts as a reprieve-like a prisoner's flogging being commuted from 100 to a mere 80 lashes. Compared with some of the other candidates touted-Rick Grenell, Rudolph Giuliani...
Trump's Foreign Policy: An Unwise
THE presidential campaign, Donald Trump's foreign policy positions were anything but consistent. One day we heard that NATO was obsolete and the U.S. needs to pursue better relations with Russia. But the next time he spoke, these sensible positions were...
U.N. Resolution Is a Breath of Hope in a Sea of Darkness and Despair
ON NOV. 29, 1947, the U.N. General Assembly voted to establish a Jewish state (alongside an Arab state) in the Land of Israel. Sixty-nine years later, on Dec. 23, 2016, the U.N. Security Council voted to try to save it. Resolution 2334 that was approved...
U.N. Resolution on Settlements Reveals Growing Divide in American Jewish Opinion
WHEN, IN DECEMBER, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the Obama administration chose to abstain from the vote rather than exercise its veto to block it, the...
"We the People" Posters an Iconic Image at Protests
On Inauguration Day The Washington Post printed a full-page image from Shepard Fairey's "We the People" series, a woman wearing an American flag hijab. Many demonstrators cut out the page from the Post to use on their inauguration protest signs, and...
What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars
What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars By David Wood, Little Brown and Company, 2016, hardcover, 304 pp. List: $28; MEB: $24.It's not often that a war correspondent reveals the darker consequences of mil - itary service. David Wood does...
What Kerry Did
SECRETARY OF STATE John Kerry's valedictory speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unleashed a firestorm of criticism from the very same folks who had just finished hyperventilating over the U.S. abstention on a Security Council resolution a few...
Why Trump's Anti-Muslim Immigration Ban Is Ineffectual
TO QUOTE FROM The Wizard of Oz: "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Or perhaps William Butler Yeats: "All changed, changed utterly." Recent weeks in American politics has been like a tornado destroying everything in its path.U.S. President...
Will the Iran Nuclear Deal Survive the Trump Era?
How the new administration of President Donald Trump will manage U.S. relations with Iran is one of the many questions confronting foreign policy experts in Washington. On the campaign trail, Trump criticized the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan...
Will Tunisian Democracy Survive and Thrive?
Tunisia has emerged from the Arab Spring as a model for what a democracy can look like in the Arab world. Despite facing corruption, terrorism and economic hurdles, the Tunisian people remain faithful to the idea of a democracy.To reinforce this idea,...
Women's Marchers Say, "Love, Not Hate, Makes America Great"
Nearly a million protesters came by plane, train, chartered bus and car from across the country to attend the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world,...
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