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

Strong Words Must Be Followed by Strong Action

Posted on October 08, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby I was both understanding of and puzzled by the Obama Administration's reaction to Israel's announcement of new settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands. It was just a few weeks ago that the White House signed a new 10 year agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committing a total of $38 billion in military assistance to Israel. In announcing the deal, President Obama noted that this is the most significant support package ever offered to Israel, demonstrating his unparalleled commitment to that state's security. Shortly thereafter, Obama, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly,...

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Countdown Vol. 15 No. 4: Color Me Shocked

Posted on October 06, 2016 in Countdown
This week on Countdown: The VP debate's unexpected outcomes, an unconvincing end to an FBI program, Congress regrets JASTA already, the two state solution takes a new beating, and CIA torture finds new tactics and new lows.
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FIFA Considering Status of Israeli Settlement Clubs this Month

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on October 05, 2016 in Blog
Ahead of the FIFA Council Meeting October 14-15, AAI sent letters to the President of FIFA and the President of U.S. Soccer to provide input on an important agenda item: the status of Israeli settlement soccer clubs in FIFA and in the Israeli Football Association. Currently, there are at least five Israeli clubs based in illegal Israel settlements (Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Bik’at Hayarden, Givat Ze’ev, Kiryat Arba, and Oranit) that are included in the Israeli Football Association’s league. It is our strong recommendation that FIFA should ask Israel to either relocate or suspend the settlement clubs from their national league, or else be suspended as a member of FIFA. Settlement clubs clearly violate FIFA’s own statutes governing member association conduct (Articles 11 [1], 72 [2], 73, and 3]).
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Countdown Vol. 15 No. 3: Shimmy on Down to the Gutter

Posted on September 29, 2016 in Countdown
This week on AA's Countdown: How Clinton and Trump faired on the issues the Arab American Institute cares about, Countering Violent Extremism hearings, Syria disasters, Trump's plans for an Embassy in Tel Aviv, and anti-BDS bills pass in California and Pennsylvania.
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What to Do If You Are Stopped at the Israeli Border

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on September 20, 2016 in Blog
What To Do If You Are Stopped At the Israeli Border There is a well-documented history of discriminatory treatment of Arab Americans and politically active travelers upon arrival to Israel or Palestine. This guide seeks to ensure travelers are aware of this situation and provide information on what should be done if they are detained or denied entry.
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