Arab Americans Meet with White House and NSC on Israel/Palestine

Posted on August 13, 2013
No doubt you’re aware that ongoing US-brokered negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are underway this week. Secretary of State John Kerry has made it his job to get both sides to the table. In addition to Israelis and Palestinians, Secretary Kerry and the White House are bringing Arab Americans into the conversation. Last Friday, Secretary Kerry and White House National Security adviser Susan Rice met with Arab American leaders at the White House to discuss the negotiations.
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Reading the Signs on Renewed Peace Talks

Posted on July 31, 2013
As we’ve told you before, we never want to write off the prospect for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But John Kerry’s months of diplomacy and recent announcement of renewed negotiations has left us wanting to be optimistic but still wondering whether or not conditions for peace exist. Yesterday in a press conference, Secretary Kerry announced that within the next two weeks Israelis and Palestinians will sit down together somewhere in the region and that all final status issues will be on the table. The goal is to have an agreement within nine months.
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Better Late Than Never

Posted on July 25, 2013
Last week, we asked you to help us drive a conversation about some of the country’s most pressing foreign policy issues: Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. Our first week of conversation began Tuesday with a robust Twitter chat that included some of the foremost experts and journalists on Egypt and US policy toward the region. Community members from a range of backgrounds, and with a number of viewpoints, also participated to tackle some tough questions like whether the deposition of President Morsi constitutes a coup and what (if any) should the US role be in Egypt.
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Because Arabs Don’t Lack the “Mental Ingredients”

Posted on July 16, 2013
As uprisings continue across the Arab world, policymakers here in Washington are wrestling with tough decisions on how to measure a response. We know that Arab Americans have a unique role to play in these ongoing policy debates, and that’s why AAI is responding to calls from the community to convene national Arab American conversations on Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. We cannot let Arab American perspectives on the events unfolding in the Arab world go unheard. Unlike David Brooks’ assertion, we understand that there is more to the story than a lack of “mental ingredients.”
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A Taste of Their Own Medicine

Posted on July 09, 2013
Before we get right into this week's edition of "Countdown," all of us at AAI would like to wish those observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan a Ramadan Mubarak.
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Countdown to Coup?

Posted on July 02, 2013
One need only watch the news for five minutes to come to the conclusion that Egyptians are deeply divided politically, and regardless of what you think about protests to oust Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, it’s clear that he’s in trouble. Polling and ongoing protests both reflect an anti-Morsi sentiment that may have profound implications for the president himself and for the office going forward.
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Idols, Immigrants, and Voting Rights

Posted on June 25, 2013
The Supreme Court strikes down an essential part of the Voting Rights Act; the New York Times editorial board accuses the NYPD of "overreach" in its spying and Stop-and-Frisk programs; a vote on the Senate immigration bill is expected this week; and wedding singer Mohammed Assaf of Gaza is crowned "Arab Idol," giving Palestinians something to cheer about.
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Adding Fuel to The Fire

Posted on June 19, 2013
Think our politicians have problems coming to consensus on fundamental issues? Well, the divisions among Egyptians highlighted in the new Zogby Research poll make finding consensus in Congress look like a walk in the park. One year ago, 57% of Egyptians said Morsi’s victory was either “a positive development” or “the result of a democratic election and the result need to be respected.”
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They Know You’re Reading This

Posted on June 12, 2013
You’ve heard of the SPOT program, right? Well, next time you go to the airport in just about any major city, remember this Countdown item. SPOT, which stands for Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, is a behavioral detection program used by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to screen passengers boarding planes.
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The End of a “Countdown” Era

Posted on June 04, 2013
You probably guessed by the title of this “Countdown” item that we’re not exactly heartbroken our favorite conspiracy theorist and five-term member of Congress, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann, isn’t running for office next year. That’s right, in a video address last week Bachmann announced that she is not seeking a sixth term in Congress.
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