Washington Watch: Iranians are Dissatisfied

Posted on January 07, 2017 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby In the lead-up to Iran's presidential elections, a new Zogby Research Services (ZRS) poll shows that the Iranian people are not happy with either their economic situation or their government's priorities and performance. The ZRS poll was conducted in the last quarter of 2016 for the Sir Bani Yas Forum (SBY) and involved face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 Iranians nationwide. The results of this year's survey established growing dissatisfaction among Iranians and stood in marked contrast to the findings of our 2014 and 2015 SBY surveys of public opinion in Iran.  

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Washington Watch: What Kerry Did

Posted on December 31, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Secretary of State John Kerry's valedictory speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unleashed a firestorm of criticism from the very same folks who had just finished hyperventilating over the US abstention on a Security Council resolution a few days earlier.   The speech, itself, was divided into three parts. Kerry opened with an accounting of all that the Obama Administration had done for Israel in the past eight years. And he closed with a list of principles he said should serve as the basis for a future Israeli-Palestinian peace. The largest part, the middle, was...

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Washington Watch: Big Day at the United Nations

Posted on December 24, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby There was considerable drama leading up to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (UNSCR 2334) reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements.    It began with all hell breaking loose Thursday morning when it became clear that the Egyptians would submit their resolution on Israeli settlements for a vote at the Security Council and that the Obama Administration would support the effort, either by voting in favor or by refusing to veto it. On Wednesday, there had been a hint that something was up. The White House spokesperson appearing on...

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Middle East Perceptions of the Roles Played by Global and Regional Powers

Posted on December 15, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby The tumult that has rocked the Arab World, has contributed to dramatic changes in the Arab public's attitudes toward important global and regional powers. This is one of the findings of a recent Zogby Research Services (ZRS) poll of over 7,000 adults in six Arab countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Iraq), Turkey, and Iran. The wide-ranging study, prepared for the annual Sir Bani Yas Forum, covered a number of topics asking respondents to identify: obstacles to stability and...

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Washington Watch: What Democrats Must Do

Posted on December 10, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby We went into this election cycle knowing that both political parties faced real challenges. Republicans had created and fostered a radical populist movement they had intended to use to oppose President Obama but which, in the end, turned on the GOP and devoured their establishment. Trump's victory may, for a time, serve to mask this internal crisis, but it will no doubt resurface in short order. As the Sanders' candidacy demonstrated, Democrats also faced an internal challenge. Many rank and file Democrats had lost confidence in their establishment and were looking for an...

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Washington Watch: Senate Passes a Dumb and Dangerous Bill

Posted on December 06, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, without debate or an actual vote, the US Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). Called "The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016" (AAA), the Scott-Casey bill requires the Department of Education (DOE) to apply the State Department's (DOS) definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses.  The DOS definition of and guidelines on anti-Semitism were designed to help US officials monitor anti-Semitism abroad. They were not intended to be applied to police speech on college...

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Washington Watch: Standing Rock and Palestine: The Struggle for Justice is One

Posted on November 28, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Last week, I joined several hundred protesters in a sit-in in front of the Army Corps of Engineers' Headquarters in Washington, DC. We were protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline designed to daily transport over 500 thousand barrels of fracked oil southward to be refined.   The DC protest was part of an international day of solidarity with efforts led by Native Americans at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. In all, demonstrations were held in over 300 cities worldwide. On one level, the issues involved are presented as complicated matters...

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Washington Watch: What Will Trump Do?

Posted on November 19, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Commentary on the US elections has shifted from postmortems to predictions; from how did Donald Trump win, to what will he do now that he has won. Projecting what any President-elect will do is often a fool’s errand and in Trump's case is made even more difficult by the fact that it's not at all certain that he knows what he'll do. Running a government is different than running for office. Campaigning is, at least on one important level, an individual sport. A candidate can go out and say whatever works for an...

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Washington Watch: What Just Happened...

Posted on November 12, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby My wife came down to breakfast Thursday morning still in a daze over the outcome of the election. She said, poignantly, "I feel just like I did after my father died. I used to wake up each day with a sense of dread saying 'that really didn't happen, did it?' But it did happen, just like this election happened, and I'm having that same sense of dread". She's not alone. Millions of Americans, myself included, are reeling and in shock. That Donald Trump is the president-elect is simply unbelievable. Some are telling us...

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Washington Watch: Arab American Voters

Posted on October 29, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby  For years, Arab American voters, like most other ethnic communities, slightly leaned toward the Democratic party but were swing voters in national and local elections. This was the pattern we observed in the early years of our more than two decades of biannual surveys of the community's voting behavior. It is no longer the case, as Arab Americans have increasingly come to identify themselves as Democrats and vote for Democratic candidates.  In a book I wrote back in 2001 on the values and voting patterns of a number of ethnic American communities ("

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