Washington Watch: Balfour: the Shame and Dangers of Ignoring Arab Opinion and Rights

Posted on November 04, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby In 1919, following the first World War, the victorious Allied Powers met in Paris to remake the world. The prime ministers of Italy, France, and Great Britain as well as U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, collectively known as “The Big Four,” were the decisive diplomatic players at the meeting. Under their leadership, the lands of the defeated Central Powers were picked apart. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved into smaller central European nations. Germany lost territory and was served with an extremely punitive and expensive peace treaty. In several cases, the triumphant Big Four parceled out bits...

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Washington Watch: Balfour Declaration: A Convergence of Zionist Ambition and the British Imperial Enterprise 

Posted on October 28, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in which Great Britain's Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, stated in a note to his colleague, Lord Rothchild, that "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object..."  Zionists have long viewed this document as a "promissory note" giving a Great Power "seal of approval" to their quest to establish a state in Palestine. They will, therefore, be celebrating this anniversary. In reality, however,...

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Washington Watch: This Fight Isn't Over

Posted on October 21, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Having come through a difficult 2016 primary campaign and a hotly contested 2017 race for party Chair, what Democrats desperately need is to unify their ranks to confront the challenges they will face in the 2018 mid-term elections and beyond. What happened over the last three days of Democratic National Committee (DNC) meetings not only didn't contribute to unity, it added to our division. It hasn't been an easy three days. There were a few personal setbacks. The new Chair removed me and a few other colleagues from the party's Executive Committee. What we...

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Washington Watch: The Challenge to Restore Our Sanity

Posted on October 14, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Despite the fact that the stock market is at record highs and the unemployment rate, which began its substantial decline during the Obama Administration, is now at record lows, we spend our days haunted by the gnawing sense that life has spun out of control.  In recent weeks we've been hit by hurricanes that devastated islands in the Caribbean, parts of Texas and Louisiana, and most of Puerto Rico.  Then came the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas. And now monstrous fires are ravaging northern California.   It's always difficult to wrap your...

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Washington Watch: The Transformation of Jerusalem

Posted on October 07, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week a group of Likud members and experts presented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a plan to carve up Arab Jerusalem in somewhat the same way that Hebron was dismembered. Some saw news of this effort as a positive sign that the Netanyahu government might be considering ideas that would end direct rule over almost 300,000 Palestinians. In fact, the intent was quite different.  The design behind the plan was both financial and racist. By shedding Israel of the responsibility of providing support for these Palestinians, "billions of shekels" would be saved....

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Washington Watch: Apartheid in Hebron

Posted on September 30, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week Israel announced that the heart of Hebron would henceforth be a separate municipality directly governed by Israel's Civil Administration. There are about 700 extremist Israeli settlers currently living in a few compounds in the center of the city protected by the Israeli military. While this disruptive and provocative presence has been ongoing for more than two decades, the decision to formally sever Hebron into two cities was profoundly unsettling, though not entirely unexpected. Twenty-two years ago, I wrote down my observations of what was happening in Hebron—in an effort to convey how...

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Washington Watch: The Importance of Civil Discourse

Posted on September 23, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week I became the Chair of The Sanders Institute (TSI), an initiative that grew out of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign of 2016. While as a sitting senator, Sanders cannot be involved in the work of TSI, we are committed to elevating the issues on which he based his run for the White House.  TSI's purpose, as defined in our mission statement, is to revitalize our democracy by fostering an informed electorate and advocating progressive ideas through civil discourse. The foundation of TSI's effort will be built on a collection of remarkable founding...

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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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