Washington Watch: Pence’s Middle East

Posted on January 27, 2018 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

US Vice President Michael Pence's recent foray into Middle East politics has been nothing short of a disaster. Because he sees the world through the lens of right-wing Evangelical Christianity, he trampled on regional realities, leaving a mess in his wake.  

One might have hoped that American political leaders had learned the dangers of an ideologically-driven foreign policy from the failed presidency of George W. Bush. Bush, whose world view was a mish-mash of Evangelical and neo-conservative doctrines, led the US into a disastrous invasion of Iraq. Guided by ideology, Bush saw that war as a necessary...

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Pence, Trump, and the End of the US Peace Process

Posted by Guest on January 23, 2018 in Blog

By Mollie Todd

“We stand with Israel, because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil” – This was just one of several insensible statements from Mike Pence’s speech before the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, on Monday. To some, the speech seemed more like a sermon, as Pence’s rhetoric relied heavily on Biblical references. The event drew much criticism from the Palestinian community and from Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament. During the speech, Palestinian members of parliament were ejected for holding up signs declaring “Jerusalem is the capital of...

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Instead of criminalising political speech, pass the NO HATE Act

Posted by Ryan J. Suto on January 10, 2018 in Blog

On 29 December the Jerusalem Post published an interview with the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. In that article, Friedman stated that reactions were "largely emotional" to the Trump administration's announcement of support to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

He went on to state: "We expected the reaction, although we were disappointed with some of the rhetoric, which was ugly, needlessly provocative and anti-Semitic [sic]". The anti-Semitism charge

Friedman does not elaborate how political disagreements with an international policy change constitute bigotry against Judaism as a religion or Jews as a people....

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Top 5 Israel Related Bills from the Last Congress to Watch in 2018

Posted by Ryan Suto on January 08, 2018 in Blog

With congress reconvening this week, we will be watching a few bills which might resurface in the new session. While there are always many concerning bills introduced each Congress, most linger without significant support. As such, the below is an abbreviated list of the bills we would highlight that have not yet been enacted, but may find new life in 2018 as Congress looks toward midterm elections later this year.

S.1697 / H.R.1164 - Taylor Force Act. This bill calls for cutting US funding for the Palestinian Authority (PA) for what is misleadingly described as the PA’s policy of “rewards for terrorism”. For...

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Washington Watch: Why I Accused Israel of Cultural Genocide

Posted on January 06, 2018 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I became embroiled in what The Jerusalem Post termed a "Twitter war" which they claimed "raised eyebrows on both sides of the Atlantic". 

What started the heated exchange was my response to a tweet by celebrity chef Rachael Ray in which she called "Israeli"—"meze, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, beet dip, eggplant and sun-dried tomato dip, walnut and red pepper dip, and tabouli".  

I hadn't intended a war, but my blood boiled when I saw Ray's tweet and so I tweeted a response—"Damn it! This is cultural genocide. It's not Israeli...

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Trump’s National Security Strategy

Posted on December 21, 2017 in Countdown Vol. 17 no. 9: Oh, What a Year!

It’s hard to put Trump and “strategy” in the same sentence, given the President’s tendency to fire reckless, unadvisable tweets at all hours of the day, but he did release his official “National Security Strategy,” so we had to put that sentence together. But when you see the Washington Post reporting that Trump “may not have read” his own national security strategy, you realize we’re back in la la land where we belong. So how is this strategy document different from previous administrations’? For starters, it fails to note the seriousness of climate change as a threat to...


A Palestinian Teenage Girl

Posted on December 21, 2017 in Countdown Vol. 17 no. 9: Oh, What a Year!

Ahed Tamimi is a 16-year old Palestinian girl, and her videos have been going viral for years, as she fearlessly confronted heavily-armed Israeli troops in her village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank. But after a new video showed her getting physical with Israeli occupation troops she was pushing out of of her neighborhood, she was arrested by the Israeli military. While some in mainstream coverage described her actions as “provocative,” fewer focused on the fact that she was on Palestinian land, and that Israeli troops were there to serve an illegitimate occupation that is actively...


Isolated at the UN

Posted on December 21, 2017 in Countdown Vol. 17 no. 9: Oh, What a Year!

To those who have observed our Commander in Chief over the last year, it is not surprising anymore to see him lash out. To those who understand, you know, the world, it came as no surprise that when the UN Security Council held a vote on whether the US should reverse its decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the vote was unanimous, except for the US of course. And the US “no” vote has veto power. This is just one of some four dozen vetoes the US has cast to shield Israel from accountability for its actions, including illegal takeover...


Washington Watch: Trump's Jerusalem Decision: A Fatal and Fateful Blow

Posted on December 09, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

President Donald Trump's decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was irresponsible and dangerous for more reasons than I can count. Let me outline just a few of the principle concerns: While we have all grown weary of hearing the over-used mantra "this is the end of the peace process", Trump's decision may, in fact, be the nail in the coffin for any negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the first place, there is no peace process. It has been replaced, instead, by a breath-holding exercise with Israelis and Palestinians waiting for Trump...

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