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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
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...Read more
Posted on June 09, 2003 in Washington Watch
With the United States’ standing in the Arab world at an all time low, President George W. Bush met with Arab leaders at Sharm el Sheikh and renewed his pledge to implement his vision of a viable Palestinian State. The President’s commitment, while viewed with skepticism by many Arabs, comes with great political risk to his Administration.
Despite having the support of the majority of the American people, many components of Bush’s electoral base oppose his Middle East peace plan. Already significant pressure has been forthcoming. Republican congressional leaders have harshly criticized the “Road Map” and fundamentalist Christian...Read more
Posted on February 25, 2002 in Washington Watch
News that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah is contemplating a major initiative to break the impasse in Middle East peace making efforts is a most welcome development. While the Crown Prince has indicated that he has some reservations about moving forward with his effort, given the intransigence of the Sharon government, I would encourage him to do so for several reasons.
If the Crown Prince were to give his intended speech and if this were to be followed by a sustained international effort to sell this initiative, it could have a dramatic, even revolutionary, impact on several key...Read more
Posted by on February 24, 2002 in Blog
The Arab American Caucus of the Democratic Party of California is promoting civic engagement among the Arab American community in preparation for the 2012 election season. The group encourages Arab American community members to be delegates to the national convention, which excites the local community and incites participation.Read more
Posted by on February 24, 2002 in Blog
City Supervisor Jane Kim introduced legislation in January 2012 that would subject an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Francisco to local oversight. The bill aims to prevent racial profiling and civil rights abuses in counter-terrorism surveillance efforts by prohibiting officers from investigating San Francisco residents without “reasonable suspicion that they are involved in significant criminal activity.”Read more
Posted on October 15, 2001 in Reports
Arab Americans are proud and committed Americans, who give strong support to President Bush's efforts to combat the terrorists who struck the United States. At the same time, Arab Americans are very concerned about the backlash that occurred after the September 11 terrorist attacks.The community, however, has remained committed to its beliefs and heritage.
These are some of the results of a Zogby International (ZI) poll of Arab American attitudes commissioned by the Arab American Institute (AAI).The ZI/AAI poll surveyed 508 randomly selected Arab Americans from October 6-8 and had a margin of error of +4.5%.The poll results can be...Read more
Posted on May 04, 1998 in Washington Watch
Poll Reveals Americans Support Balanced Approach to Peace Process; Americans Reject Congressional Attempts to Dictate Middle East Policy
On April 3, 1998, 81 U.S. Senators (out of 100) sent a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton insisting that he not use public pressure against Israel in an effort to break the impasse in the Middle East peace process.
A recent poll of U.S. voters, however, demonstrates that this one-sided view held by the U.S. Congress is totally out of touch with U.S. public opinion on Middle East issues.
The poll, commissioned by Al Majallah Magazine and the Arab American Institute...Read more