Washington Watch: The House That Bibi Built

Posted on September 16, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby  For half of the past two decades Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has served as Prime Minister of Israel. Whatever his ultimate fate (given the ongoing criminal investigations he is currently facing), it is clear that he has had a profound impact on Israel, the Palestinians, and the entire region.  There are those who have doubted that Netanyahu had any core beliefs, other than the desire to retain power. But even with his maneuvering and his penchant for prevarication, there are, in fact, core beliefs that have directed his career.  Shortly after his first election...

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Washington Watch: The DREAMers Deserve Better Than This

Posted on September 09, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby In the midst of the many immediate challenges confronting the White House and Congress, President Donald Trump just added one more. This past week, Trump told the Department of Justice to rescind the Obama-era DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program. When President Obama initiated DACA in 2012, he did so out of frustration with Congress' inability to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would have addressed the plight of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the US. Of special concern to Obama were the young people who had come into...

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Washington Watch: The Strategy Palestinians Need to Develop

Posted on September 02, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Three decades ago, I was invited to address a Palestinian American audience on the work that was needed to change American policy toward Palestinian rights. Also speaking at that event was a PLO representative who was briefing the group on the work being done at the United Nations to advance the Palestinian cause. It had not been my intention to have a debate, but that is precisely what happened. The...

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Washington Watch: Two Weakened Leaders

Posted on August 26, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have a lot in common. Both are in trouble, confronting problems that are more legal than political. And as commentators, here and in Israel have noted, both have responded to their situation in quite similar ways.   Trump is panicking over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into his campaign's alleged collusion with Russia. It was Trump's concern with then-FBI Director James Comey's pursuit of this matter that prompted him to fire Comey, creating the outrage that forced the Department of Justice to appoint Mueller...

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Washington Watch: Charlottesville and Beyond: The Never-ending Struggle

Posted on August 19, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby The tragic and deeply disturbing events in Charlottesville last week provoked a debate as old as America, itself. Our nation watched as a motley collection of bigots descended on that town, ostensibly to "save" the statues of their Confederate heroes. Some were armed, and many chanted Nazi-era slogans about racial purity and their definition of "true Americanism". They were confronted by opponents who responded with affirmations of what they called "American values" of diversity and tolerance. As the confrontation devolved into horrifying violence, we asked, "what did all this say about who we...

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Washington Watch: Senate Bill 720: Making It a Crime to Support Palestinian Human Rights

Posted on August 12, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby It is fascinating to watch some US senators tripping over themselves as they attempt to defend their support for or opposition to proposed legislation that would make it a federal crime to support the international campaign to Boycott, Divest, or Sanction (BDS) Israel for its continued occupation of Palestinian lands. What ties these officials up in knots are their efforts to square the circle of their "love of Israel", their opposition to BDS, their support for a "two-state solution", and their commitment to free speech.    The bill in question, S720, was introduced on...

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Washington Watch: Trump's Immigration Policy vs. the Soul of America

Posted on August 05, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Immigration is a personal matter for me, as it is for many Americans. Unless you are a Native American descendant of the indigenous peoples who were displaced by the settlers who first came to this country, or an African American descendant of those who were brought here in bondage as slaves, we are all immigrants or the descendants of immigrants.    Because of the central role immigration has played in shaping the American experience, many families are defined by why and how their ancestors came and started their lives in this New World,...

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Washington Watch: Overcoming Divisions to Form an Arab American Community

Posted on July 22, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby During the past century, Arab Americans have faced significant obstacles on the way to securing our place in the political mainstream—from pervasive media-projected negative stereotypes to the political pressures used by some groups to deny us a seat at the table.  In addition to these external factors, Arab Americans have also faced internal obstacles that we had to overcome as we worked to build and empower our community. In many instances, these problems were carry-overs—the impact of competing identities and loyalties that Arab immigrants brought with them as they made their way to...

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Washington Watch: The History Is Too Deep, the Pain Is Too Real

Posted on July 15, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby A week ago, a pro-Israel media monitoring group accused me of making "an unsubstantiated charge that Israel supporters are responsible" for discrimination, hate crimes, and the political exclusion of Arab Americans. Because this issue is so important to Arab Americans and because some hardline pro-Israel groups refuse to acknowledge their role in harming my community, I am obliged to respond with a few examples representing just the tip of the iceberg of painful acts of defamation, discrimination, exclusion, threats, and violence.  From the moment Arab Americans began to organize and to advocate for causes...

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Washington Watch: Poll - Negative Campaign Against Arabs and Muslims Has Consequences

Posted on July 10, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby While, as president, Donald Trump has worked to cultivate a relationship with Arab leaders, the antipathy towards Arabs and Muslims that he and his party have cultivated in recent years continues to have a worrisome impact on American public opinion and policy.   Recent polling conducted three weeks after Trump's summits in Saudi Arabia, establishes the persistence of a deep and disturbing partisan divide in American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims. On many questions, the views of Democrats and Republicans are exactly the opposite of one another, with Republican attitudes toward the...

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