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Dr. Zogby

Profiling Should End

Because Arab Americans and American Muslims have been waiting to see when the Obama Administration would finally act to end Bush-era ethnic and religious profiling guidelines and practices, we were troubled to read press accounts this week indicating that Attorney General Eric Holder may be proposing to keep in place many of the programs that have so compromised our rights. Read More »

Russell Conwell: His Theology of Wealth and Today’s GOP

I did my doctoral work at Temple University, whose founder was a nineteenth-century Baptist preacher, Russell Conwell. Conwell was, to be sure, an accomplished writer, a captivating preacher, and a visionary entrepreneur, but the theology he helped to popularize was, in a word, disturbing. It provided divine justification for the acquisition of money and legitimized the gap between extreme wealth and extreme poverty. On reflection, it sounds a lot like today's GOP. Read More »

Biases versus Realities

Western biases are not only transparently self-serving and flat-out wrong, they can also be so annoying. As an example, a few weeks back, the Washington Post featured a long lament by a British intellectual pointedly suggesting that because Europe was in decline, the world was witnessing the end of the liberalism. It was 19th century Europe, the author wrote, that gave birth the liberal ideal and democracy and its attendant freedoms. Read More »

The US-Saudi Meeting

President Obama's upcoming meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah comes at a time when transformative developments are convulsing the regional and world order and relations between the US and the Kingdom have become strained. It is a situation that the President is smart to address. Read More »

Language Matters

While reviewing polling data on Israeli and Palestinian attitudes toward the current US-led peace effort, what comes through quite clearly is not just the obvious disconnect between the views of both groups, but the extent to which this disconnect is driven by the Israeli-centric language used in framing many of the issues covered in these polls. Read More »

AIPAC and CPAC Come to Town

This past week, Washington hosted two of my least favorite annual events. It began with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bringing their faithful to town to lobby for whatever the government of Israel might want at this particular moment. At week's end, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was in Washington rallying their crowd to bash the President and defend their "true conservative" principles. Read More »

Netanyahu’s Games

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never tires of inventing new hoops through which he insists Palestinians jump. As he acknowledged a few weeks back, it's all part of a cynical game that he plays in an effort to kill the chances for peace. First, he insisted on the need to maintain Israeli control over the Jordan Valley. Next came his pledge that he would not "uproot a single Israeli" from West Bank settlements, so that in addition to forcing Palestinians to accept Israel's annexation of whatever West Bank settlements are deemed "new realities," the Palestinians would also have to swallow the "right" of settlers to remain in their settlements after peace.  Read More »

The Ukrainian Struggle Is Right

The Ukrainian struggle for independence speaks to me on so many levels. Because I know the history of the Ukraine, I understand their resentment and fear of their often domineering Russian neighbor. I also understand their deep attachment to their land, their culture, and the story of their people.  Read More »

Jesse Jackson, 1984: A Transformative Campaign

This past week I traveled to New York City to speak at an event honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Jesse Jackson for President campaign. It was an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable political transformations made possible by that historic movement. Read More »

Black History Month

This is Black History Month in the United States—a time to reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to our nation's history and to take note of the progress that has been made in advancing racial equality and the challenges that remain. A special focus of this year's programs will mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 by then President Lyndon Johnson. That historic legislation marked a turning point in American life, ending racial discrimination in public accommodations. In this context, Black History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on a past we should never forget and the extent to which the legacy of racial inequality is still with us. Read More »

This Time Must Be Different

Two decades after Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed an interim peace agreement in Washington, DC, the task of achieving a final resolution to the conflict has become significantly more difficult. Not only have the physical impediments to peace grown-- for example, the number of Israeli settlers living on occupied Palestinian lands has increased three-fold to more than a half-million-- but the political ground today is less fertile than it was back then. Read More »

Syria: Enough Is Enough

I wish I could be optimistic about Geneva II, but I cannot. That it happened at all is good. But "good for what" remains unclear. Listening to the speeches at the opening session established quite convincingly that none of the participants were ready to deal with the reality of what has become the most horrific tragedy of this new century. Read More »

Myths That Are Impediments to Peace

In a meeting I had this week with a congressional candidate, I was reminded of the power of the myths that define conventional wisdom about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the challenge they pose for rational discourse. In rapid succession my visitor rattled off a number of statements revealing how much he didn't know about the conflict and how steep the climb for those who seek a just peace. Read More »

Take a Deep Breath

At this point we have no idea what US Secretary of State John Kerry is going to propose to the Israelis and Palestinians. Because no comprehensive peace agreement is within reach, we are told that the Secretary is working, instead, on a "Framework Agreement." Precisely what this document will look like, what it will include, say, and propose to do is still unclear. Will it merely lay out the issues to be resolved? Will it define the gaps that separate the sides and propose US "bridging proposals?" Read More »

What “American Hustle” Doesn’t Tell You About ABSCAM

"American Hustle," the hit comedy/caper film loosely based on ABSCAM, is currently showing in theaters nationwide. For those who haven't heard of the movie or who don't remember the late 1970's, ABSCAM was a sting operation organized by the FBI featuring operatives dressed up like Arab sheikhs. The FBI videotaped the fake "sheikhs" offering envelopes of cash to Senators and Congressmen seeking their assistance with a range of illegal activities. The Congressional culprits were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms for bribery and conspiracy. Read More »

The Challenges of the New Year

A few months back, the Arab World was shaken by a New York Times article claiming to detail Obama Administration's efforts to disengage from the Middle East in order to facilitate its "pivot toward the East." It didn't matter that the President had just delivered his annual address the United Nations General Assembly in which he spelled out his priorities for the year -- largely focused on his commitment to address: the Israel-Palestinian conflict; the war in Syria; the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program; and the effort to build more democratic societies. Despite his words and the actions that followed, the perception that the US was abandoning the region persisted. Read More »

A Precarious Christmas

In the face of growing insecurity, Christians throughout the Arab East will soon be celebrating Christmas. While the conditions they face today are as frightening as they were at the time when Jesus was born, there are bright spots, as well, that point the way forward. Two thousand years ago, Palestine was under harsh Roman rule. Jews were allowed to worship at their Temple in Jerusalem, but owing to the multiple hardships they faced under occupation, many had abandoned their homeland, settling in far-flung colonies throughout the Roman Empire. Read More »

Mandela and Arafat II

Last week, I wrote a piece about a poster that has been hanging in my office for more than two decades. It features a photo of Nelson Mandela embracing PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat taken when the two leaders first met following Mandela's release from prison. The poster also included a quote from Mandela in which he likened his struggle against apartheid to the struggle of the Palestinian people. I noted that I was pleased to have had the poster signed by both men. Read More »

What Iranians Think

We've heard what Israel Prime Minister and members of the U.S. Congress think about the interim nuclear deal the Iranian government concluded with the P5 + 1. What we don’t know is how the Iranian people will react? What do Iranians want from their newly elected government and how will this deal play at home? In September, 2013 Zogby Research Services (ZRS) conducted a nationwide face-to-face poll of 1,205 Iranian adults in an effort to better understand their political priorities and expectations, and, in particular, their attitudes toward their country's nuclear program and its regional foreign policy. Read More »

Using and Abusing Polls

By now, I should be used to the fact that people will "cherry-pick" polls or try to "spin" results to fit their agendas. But, it still rankles. For example, I still get upset when I recall how then Vice-President Dick Cheney famously tried to find good news in the first poll Zogby International conducted in Iraq in October, 2003. Our poll findings demonstrated that even at that early date America was in real trouble with the Iraqi public. But Cheney would not accept bad news. Appearing on "Meet the Press" a few days after our poll release, he praised the "carefully done...Zogby poll" saying that there was "very positive news in it". Read More »

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