On an ongoing basis, the Arab American Institute works with members of Congress, their staff, White Office officials, and key policymakers in the administration to advance the policy concerns of the Arab American community. Foreign policy is of particular concern to Arab Americans – many of whom cherish strong personal, business, and cultural ties to countries in the Middle East. In all cases, the Arab American Institute advocates for strong, pragmatic U.S. leadership in assisting the people of the Middle East towards justice, well-being, and freedom.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s long-held prominence in the international community has been overshadowed by a myriad of crises that are redefining the regional balance in the Middle East. Those crises include the Iran nuclear deal and its reception by leery Gulf Arab states, the war in Syria, and the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). All the while, many parts of the long-held status quo and facts on the ground have changed for the worse, including new violence, unabated settlement growth final status dependent areas, consolidation of Israeli control over far- flung settlements, and a prolonged string of attacks on Israeli military and civilians by Palestinians, typically wielding knives. Read our full issue brief here.
Lebanon has become “the forgotten front” since all too often, the ongoing conflict within Lebanon is ignored in discussions about the war against ISIL. The immediate danger, however, is real. Lebanon may not recover unless attention is paid to the impact the last three years have had on the country and the Lebanese people. While we remain concerned with the continued war in Syria and the humanitarian needs of the Syrian refugees, attention must be finally be paid to the dangers and hardships all of this has created for Lebanon. As a member of the international coalition fighting ISIL, Lebanon needs U.S. support to effectively combat ISIL and to provide for those who have been impacted by the conflict. Read our full issue brief here.
Over the past five years the Syrian conflict has taken a devastating toll on the Syrian people. The casualties are inherently difficult to record given the operational risks to international staff in Syria, so much so that the United Nations (UN) stopped counting the death toll after it reached 250,000. Read our full issue brief here.
The instability and violence that Iraq faced as a result of the 2003 U.S. war has been alarmingly exacerbated by the territorial gains and violence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL’s military successes, coupled with the growing sectarian divisions within Iraqi society have eroded any progress in governance and civil society. The Arab American Institute continues to support U.S. policies that support the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and a stable government based on tolerance, transparency, and respect for democratic institutions. We also advocate for greater U.S. assistance to Iraqi refugees and vulnerable communities, and we promote the establishment of safe zones for these groups. We push for the fulfillment of U.S. assurances to our Iraqi allies, who served as translators, drivers, and aides for U.S. officials over the past 12 years – these Iraqis deserve to be protected, resettled, and assisted by the U.S. government. Read our full issue brief here.