The Right Messaging

Posted on October 30, 2013
AAI president Jim Zogby argues that Arab Americans and supporters of the Palestinians here in the US need to focus more on Palestinians' rights, and less on the “debate as to what the 'deal' [between Israelis and Palestinians] should include or whether no deal is the best outcome – since that result, some say, would lead inevitably to a one-state solution.” Don’t get him wrong, though, it’s not that the outcome of the “deal” doesn’t matter - it most certainly does. Instead, Zogby says we should focus on what we can do: “shine a light on the daily injustices visited upon Palestinians, and mobilize support for those whose human rights are being abused.” “As long as Palestinians are not known, discourse about the issue in the US will remain hopelessly one-sided.” “Only when Palestinians are known and their rights are fully recognized will the US feel the need to press for balanced peace that recognizes the rights and needs of all.” Cynical about this approach? Consider this: In 1977 when the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) was created, no then-existing human rights group would adopt Palestinian cases. Now, movies like “Five Broken Cameras” highlighting gross human rights violations are getting nominated for Oscars.
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Spying, Prying and Justifying

Posted on October 21, 2013
You don’t need us to tell you we like what we see from Bill de Blasio, the progressive Democrat who seems a shoo-in for the next mayor of New York City and has been harshly critical of the New York Police Department (NYPD)’s unconstitutional stop-and-frisk program. But this week he gave us the best reason yet to support his election in two weeks: he promised to end NYPD’s pervasive, widespread surveillance of Arab Americans and American Muslim New Yorkers.
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The Clock is Ticking

Posted on October 16, 2013
Washington’s nuclear-stakes game of “deal or no deal” might finally come to an end today, just hours before the Treasury Department says it the U.S. will run out of money to pay its bills. Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) just announced that they’ve agreed to a deal to reopen the government and raise the statutory debt ceiling, ending the ongoing government shutdown now in its third week and preventing an unprecedented and catastrophic default by the United States.
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Never Thought We’d Say This

Posted on October 09, 2013
Enoughda! No, that is not a spelling mistake - we know our title is a mouthful so we decided to combine the word enough and Ennahda (Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Party) because we thought it was funny. Well, and also because according to the latest Zogby Research Services (ZRS) poll, after two and a half years in power, Tunisians have had enough of Ennahda. Ennahda now has the confidence of only 28% of the population—and that 28% is almost exclusively comprised of Ennahda supporters. The Tunisia poll numbers bear striking resemblance to data from a poll of Egyptian attitudes toward the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsi conducted back in May.
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We Can Admit When We’re Wrong

Posted on October 01, 2013
Twenty years ago, AAI President Jim Zogby and the late Columbia University professor, Edward Said wrote opposing op-eds in The Nation about the Oslo accords and whether or not they would change the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The articles were printed in an AAI publication called “Nota Bene.” Two decades have passed and Jim concedes that he was wrong and Edward was right: Oslo did not pan out as many had hoped.
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The Circus Comes to Town

Posted on September 24, 2013
Welcome to the UNGA – where the rules are made up and the points don’t matter; where the world’s most contentious issues are arbitrated by the same countries that started them in the first place! The General Assembly kicks off this week with remarks from two potential and unlikely partners – Today, President Obama spoke to the General Assembly. Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani will take the stage later today.
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Spying on You for Your Own Protection

Posted on September 17, 2013
If you’ve been harassed by Israeli authorities at the border when trying to enter Israel or Palestine, you know how frustrating it is to have them search your personal electronics just because you have an Arab sounding name. But what if we told you that the Israelis don’t even need your physical laptop, phone, or iPad to sift through your personal communications? What if we told you that the US government already provides this information to them in bulk? Would you believe us?
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Syria Split Six Ways to Sunday

Posted on September 04, 2013
Fervor over a potential US strike on Syria has completely eclipsed continued unrest in Egypt. But as the most populous Arab state, Egypt and the attitudes of its people count, especially as the US potentially deepens its role in the region. A new Zogby Research poll on Egyptian Attitudes in the Post-Tamarrud, Post-Morsi Era, conducted in the second half of July 2013, shows that favorable ratings toward the US, Ambassador Anne Patterson, and President Obama are at 1%, 1%, and 3%, respectively. So what do these numbers tell us?
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A US - Islamist Exchange Program?

Posted on August 27, 2013
When Secretary of State Kerry spoke yesterday about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he called their use a “moral obscenity” and alluded to the possibility of intervention—regardless of UN support—sooner rather than later. The chemical weapons attack that occurred just a few days ago is the deadliest attack since Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on thousands of Kurds in Halabja 25 years ago.
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Calling it Like We See It

Posted on August 20, 2013
Though, in many respects, Arab American views toward Egypt’s continued unrest are in line with the deep division on the ground, we all agree the fighting must stop and that Egyptians themselves are the only ones who can carve out their own path forward.
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