Arab American Institute Welcomes Passage of UNSC Vote on Illegality of Israeli Settlements

Posted by Arab American Institute on December 23, 2016 in Blog

The Arab American Institute released the following statement today: The Arab American Institute welcomes the passage of today’s U.N. Security Council vote on the illegality of Israeli settlements and in support of a political resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For the past four decades, the United States has pursued a consequential – and ultimately failed – strategy of shielding the state of Israel from U.N. action. This uncritical approach has allowed Israel to act with impunity, grossly expanding settlements in occupied territories in direct violation of international law while, at the same time, systematically violating the human rights of...

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Postponed U.N. Vote on Israeli Settlements

Posted by Ali Albassam on December 22, 2016 in Blog

In an odd series of events, Egypt proposed a UN Security Council resolution that would demand an end to Israeli settlement building last night, then postponed the vote today. Whether postponed indefinitely or until an Arab League meeting is scheduled—both are circulating—the impact of the delayed vote is clear: more inaction. Instead of the vote at 3:00 today, there has been much discussion about the expectation that the U.S. was intending to abstain or possibly support rather than veto, which would have dramatically increased the odds of such a resolution passing. Formal public U.S....

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Two Problematic Reasons Why Trump Apparently Wants to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 17, 2016 in Blog

*Originally published on December 15, 2016 The foreign policy establishment in Washington, D.C. is rightfully losing sleep over President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to open a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. While many presidential candidates have flirted with the idea of moving the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, each and every elected President since 1967 has refused to do so. However, there is ample reason to fear that Donald Trump might just be the President to follow through on this particular promise in defiance of...

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David Friedman Should Not Be Confirmed As Ambassador to Israel

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 16, 2016 in Blog
Last night, President-elect Trump’s transition team announced that David Friedman is their pick for U.S. Ambassador to Israel, a position which Friedman said he “looks forward to to doing from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jeruslam.”
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Palestinian Activists Highlighted on International Human Rights Defenders Day

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 09, 2016 in Blog

On International Human Rights Defenders Day (Dec. 9, 2016), AAI is working to bring attention to Palestinian activists who have been silenced, intimidated, harassed, imprisoned, and even killed for their advocacy efforts. Non-violent Palestinian human rights defenders are critical voices exposing the oftentimes brutal reality of living under occupation. Palestinian journalists, activists, and civil society organizations are important forces for justice and accountability, and today we honor...

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Political Dissent is Not Hate

Posted by Ali Albassam on December 07, 2016 in Blog

Last week, the Senate passed a bill called the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” to counter rising anti-Semitism. Sounds like a sensible bill, right? But dig deeper, and you will find the legislation vaguely defines anti-Semitism in a way that conflates well founded criticisms of Israel’s human rights abuses and discriminatory policies with hatred. This bill, which was presented in a manner that provided no opportunity for debate, used the State Department's working definition of anti-Semitism and applies it in domestic settings of schools and college campuses. It seeks to expand...

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Washington Watch: Senate Passes a Dumb and Dangerous Bill

Posted on December 06, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Called "The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016" (AAA), the Scott-Casey bill requires the Department of Education (DOE) to apply the State Department's (DOS) definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses.  The DOS definition of and guidelines on anti-Semitism were designed to help US officials monitor anti-Semitism abroad. They were not intended to be applied to police speech on college...

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No Help from U.S. in Death of Arab American Mahmoud Shaalan

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 06, 2016 in Blog

Last week, the White House issued a long overdue response to the death of U.S. citizen Mahmoud Shaalan. In a letter from the State Department, the Obama administration issued its first and only substantive comments on Mahmoud's death at the hands of the Israeli army in the 10 months that have expired since. During the same time, President Obama signed a massive Memorandum of Understanding with Israel promising $3.8 billion in annual aid for the next 10 years.  The letter is a disappointing admission that the U.S. is near powerless to ensure justice for Mahmoud. AAI President Jim Zogby said, "The State Department’s response to...

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Support Free Speech

Posted on December 01, 2016 in Action Alerts
Senator Casey (D-PA) and Senator Scott (R-SC) co-sponsored a bi-partisan bill titled “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016.” This bill uses the State Department definition of anti-Semitism and applies in domestic settings of schools and college campuses. It would expand the definition of Title VI protection to include criticism of Israel. This would threaten free speech. At a time when hate crimes against minority communities have increased, it is imperative that our elected officials do not conflate criticisms of policies and political opposition with instances of hate.
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Countdown Vol. 15 No. 7: 12 DAYS!

Posted on October 27, 2016 in Countdown

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