AAI, ATFP Head Summit on Palestinian Aid

Posted on February 21, 2006 in Press Releases

WASHINGTON  The Arab American Institute (AAI) and the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) co-chaired a daylong summit of Arab American leaders and organizations in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 17, to discuss the humanitarian and political consequences of suspending U.S. aid to the Palestinians and what can be done to inform the U.S. government about this issue.

Participants included over 50 community leaders representing more than a dozen prominent Arab American and Palestinian American organizations traveling from ten states. The summit kicked off with a strategy session for community leaders and representatives of aid organizations, including...

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Summit on Palestine: US Should Continue Aid to the Palestinians

Posted on February 21, 2006 in Press Releases

PRESS ADVISORY

WHAT: SUMMIT ON PALESTINE: U.S. SHOULD CONTINUE AID TO THE PALESTINIANS

WHERE: National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Friday, February 17, 2006 at 2 p.m. ET

WHO: Dr. James Zogby, president, Arab American Institute (AAI), Dr. Ziad Asali, president, American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP), Dr. Peter Gubser, president, ANERA Washington, D.C.

For media inquiries please contact: Mira Browne at mbrowne@aaiusa.org or 202-429-9210

WASHINGTON  At the conclusion of a summit of Arab American and humanitarian organizations, the Arab American...

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US Must Not Stop Aid to Palestinians

Posted on January 30, 2006 in Press Releases

Let’s not compound disaster, Zogby says

The Arab American Institute (AAI) urges the Bush Administration to reject growing pressure to suspend USAID funds to the Palestinians. Despite concern with the outcome of the recent Palestinian Legislative elections, the Institute says “This is not the time to walk away from the Palestinian people.”

USAID funds are allocated to assist the Palestinian people with infrastructure capacity building, promoting democratic reform, supporting higher education and promoting economic growth. Dr. James Zogby, president of AAI, warns that a suspension of Palestinian aid could weaken Palestinian moderates. AAI is leading a campaign...

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For Palestinian Voters, Peace Is Not on the Ballot

Posted on January 19, 2006 in Press Releases

Voters Engaged but Cynical

WASHINGTON – As confidence in the peace process and the Palestinian Authority wanes, Palestinians appear to be concerned with their own internal needs. In a poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute (AAI) and conducted by Zogby International in the West Bank and Gaza Strip two weeks before Parliamentary elections, Palestinians rank issues in order of importance as: “release of prisoners” (from Israeli jails), “creating internal security,” “forging national unity,” “increasing employment,” and “fighting corruption.” Lower down the list of priority concerns are “confronting Israel” and “negotiating peace.”

“If Palestinians had any confidence...

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As AIPAC Meets

Posted on May 23, 2005 in Washington Watch

Despite recent controversy, the thousands of pro-Israel activists gathering at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference will find official Washington appearing to be as receptive as ever to the organization and its cause. But there are clouds over AIPAC and a persistent debate within the Jewish community that must be noted, as well.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver the Administration’s policy address. The Republican and Democratic leadership of both the US Senate and House of Representatives will speak and will be joined at the event by almost one-half of their respective bodies....

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Understanding History and the Path to Peace Making

Posted on May 16, 2005 in Washington Watch

I had been speaking of the role that “losing control of their history” had played in defining the Palestinian psyche during the last century, when a somewhat aggravated Israeli in the audience challenged my assessment. He disagreed, he said, because the Palestinians had had many opportunities to define their history and they had squandered each of them. In any case, he insisted, Israel bore no responsibility for this Palestinian dilemma.

I replied that he could, if he wished, deny the reality of Palestinian history and he could also deny Israel’s role in that history. But the price for...

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Congress' Bad Behavior

Posted on March 21, 2005 in Washington Watch

While the Palestinian Authority, under new leadership, is making a determined effort to reform and reorganize, entrenched anti-peace forces in the US Congress present real barriers to forward movement. Evidence of their continuing ability to define the limits of what is possible was on display this month.

When Congress acted to push through new immigration constrictions, they retained the anti-PLO provision in place since the mid-1990’s. The law classifies “an alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization…to be engaged in a terrorist activity” and, therefore, inadmissible to the United States. As...

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An Opportunity?

Posted on December 13, 2004 in Washington Watch

In the past month, following the US election and the death of Yasser Arafat, several leading US policy makers and analysts have written opinion pieces, each beginning with a variation on a single theme. Despite repetition, their mantra, “with Arafat’s death and Bush’s reelection a unique opportunity now exists to achieve Middle East peace” is not only insulting–it is wrong and dangerous.

This mantra is wrong because it ignores the many unchanging realities that continue to impede the path to peace. It is dangerous because by ignoring these realities the policymakers and analysts are merely raising expectations that...

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The OSCE Conference and the Two Anti-Semitisms

Posted on May 03, 2004 in Washington Watch

The Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference on anti-Semitism completed its first meeting without addressing the problem in its totality.

There are, in fact, two anti-Semitisms. One has historically found expression in the hatred and vilification of the Jewish people; the other has manifested itself in the equally odious hatred and vilification of Arabs and Muslims.

A decade ago I was asked to speak on this subject at a special conference organized by Hebrew University. In light of the just completed conference, I offer a summary of my remarks.

Historically, the animus of...

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Ten Years Later: The World is Upside Down

Posted on September 15, 2003 in Washington Watch

I know I have said it before but the times bear repeating it, sometimes it feels like we’ve all become Alice, the character in the Lewis Carroll classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Events these days are so bizarre, it’s as if we have fallen into that story’s “rabbit hole” and ended up in “Wonderland” where everything is upside down.

Ten years after we gathered on the White House Lawn to witness the historic Israeli-Palestinian peace accord and the Arafat-Rabin handshake, Rabin has been murdered by an Israeli assassin and Arafat is in his compound threatened with expulsion or...

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