The GOP: Reaping What It Sowed

Posted on August 03, 2015 in Washington Watch
The 2016 Republican presidential contest has barely begun and it has already grown alternately tiresome and old or just downright scary.
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Israeli Prime Minister in Denial of Gaza Blockade

Posted by Sabrin Qadi on July 30, 2015 in Blog
On June 25, the third Gaza Freedom Flotilla set sail from Greece to Gaza in an attempt to deliver tons of medical equipment and humanitarian aid. The Swedish-flagged vessel named “Marianne” carried dozens of anti-occupation activists and dignitaries, including a former President of Tunisia and a current member of the Knesset party, committed to breaking the siege imposed by Israel on the city of Gaza since 2007. The convoy was intercepted, nonviolently but with disproportionate resources used, on June 29 by the Israeli Navy through a series of negotiations in Arabic between Israeli-Arab Knesset member, Basel Ghattas and a Shin Bet officer. Thirteen vessels surrounded the flotilla while drones buzzed above them all while being escorted to the port of Ashdod; preventing it from delivering much needed aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.
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Iran Nuclear Deal is a Diplomatic Victory

Posted by Hunter Headapohl on July 29, 2015 in Blog
On July 16 the Middle East Policy Council hosted a Capitol Hill forum about the recently negotiated Iran Nuclear Deal. The panel, made up of experts in defense, economics, and public policy, looked not so much at the deal itself but on the broader strategic and economic impacts of the agreement. The forum began with remarks from James Miller, former undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense and board member of the Atlantic council. Mr. Miller discussed the security implications of the agreement, arguing that we could not have gotten a better deal given the strict inspection standards of the agreement and the ability to snap back sanctions. Like many others, he shared concerns that Iran would try to cheat under the agreement, but argued that we are prepared to respond if they do so. He also countered the narrative of Iran’s military supremacy in the region, highlighting Iran’s relatively low military spending compared to Saudi Arabia and its restricted access to weapons under the sanctions.
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Tunisia's Transition: How Can We Help?

Posted by David Curtis on July 28, 2015 in Blog
Is Tunisia the last hope for democracy after the uprisings of 2011? If indeed there is hope, especially in the wake of recent and appalling terrorism, the United States must play an integral role in supporting the democratic transition. Last week, a group assembled on the hill and alerted congressmen of the best ways to assist Tunisia’s democracy, which is still in its delicate infancy. Witnesses at a July 14th Congressional Subcommittee Hearing, titled “Tunisia’s Fragile Democratic Transition,” were in almost complete agreement about how to bolster prospects for democratic success in the Maghreb country. Their general consensus is both revealing and refreshing, considering the diverse backgrounds of panelists: representatives from both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute spoke in harmony on how the U.S. can augment the chances for a Tunisian triumph.
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Transforming Higher Education

Posted by Nicole Khamis on July 27, 2015 in Blog

Discussion of the Higher Education Act, a hot topic on the Hill ahead of its budget reauthorization this fall, was accompanied by talk of decreasing federal regulations and de-mystifying financial processes for students who are struggling to pay and stay in college.

A hearing, titled “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Exploring Barriers to Innovation” was held in the Dirksen Senate Building Wednesday morning to discuss problems and possible solutions to the flawed post-secondary education system. 

Signed into law by President Johnson in 1965, the HEA must be reauthorized every five years. Last reauthorized in 2008, members of Congress have been...

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AAI Interns Visit Representative Keith Ellison

Posted by Gabrielle Borg on July 27, 2015 in Blog
U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN-5) took time out of his busy congressional schedule to meet with the AAI interns last week. Before playing some chords on his guitar, the congressman discussed issues ranging from activism to gridlock in Congress. Representative Ellison, the first American Muslim in congress, has long championed the cause of Palestinian rights and continues to be an ally to the Arab American community.
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Urge Your Representative To Demand Congressional Oversight On Domestic Terrorism

Posted on July 22, 2015 in Action Alerts
Urge Your Representative To Demand Congressional Oversight On Domestic Terrorism
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U.S. Congresswoman Demands Protection for Palestinian Village

Posted by Nicole Khamis on July 20, 2015 in Blog
The continued illegal land grabs and settlement building committed by Israel is not going unnoticed. State Department spokesperson John Kirby has said that the demolition of Susiya committed by Israel would be “harmful and provocative.” Members of congress are standing by the Palestinian villagers as well. Congresswomen Anne Eshoo (D, CA-18) along with 8 of her colleagues, has submitted a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, demanding “immediate action to prevent the demolition of the Palestinian village of Susiya and prevent the continuing demolition of Palestinian neighborhoods,” which has already been signed by other members of congress. Demolition could happen as soon as this week, but Israel may be holding off because of the mounting pressure being contributed by the already cracked U.S-Israel relationship. What is clear is that Israel’s façade of baseless justification for its unjust policies are fading-and more are seeing the truth.
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Humanitarian Violations During "Operation Protective Edge"

Posted by Hunter Headapohl on July 20, 2015 in Blog
An independent commission of inquiry for the UN Human Rights Council recently published its report on last summer’s war in Gaza, referred to by Israel as "Operation Protective Edge." It investigated incidents on both sides that might amount to violations of international humanitarian law.
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A US-Iran Realignment Is Not in the Cards

Posted on July 20, 2015 in Washington Watch
With the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran, some are panicking in despair, while others have visions of a dramatically realigned Middle East.
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