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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GCC Countries Score High in "Quality of Life" Survey

Posted on October 22, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby

Citizens in several of the Arab Gulf states appear to have a higher appreciation for the quality of life available to them in their countries than do citizens in most European countries. This was one of the key findings of a Zogby Research Services (ZRS) study conducted earlier this year.  As part of a larger omnibus study that surveyed a range of attitudes of 24,000 citizens in 22 countries, ZRS measured rates of satisfaction, optimism, confidence, and perceptions of personal security. The countries covered in the study included all of the GCC and Egypt....

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Strong Words Must Be Followed by Strong Action

Posted on October 08, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby I was both understanding of and puzzled by the Obama Administration's reaction to Israel's announcement of new settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands. It was just a few weeks ago that the White House signed a new 10 year agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committing a total of $38 billion in military assistance to Israel. In announcing the deal, President Obama noted that this is the most significant support package ever offered to Israel, demonstrating his unparalleled commitment to that state's security. Shortly thereafter, Obama, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly,...

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JASTA: Irresponsible and Dangerous

Posted on October 01, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby Congress' vote to override President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was both embarrassing and irresponsible. The bill, known as JASTA, amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act allowing US citizens to sue foreign governments and entities for damages resulting from acts of terrorism committed on US soil on or after September 11, 2001. Clearly directed at the Government of Saudi Arabia, JASTA has caused enormous concern and not only in that country. In his veto statement, President Obama cited three reasons for his strong opposition to the bill. 

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Washington Watch: Don't Play Politics With Syrian Christians

Posted on September 24, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby  Elliott Abrams, a former Reagan and Bush Administration official and a former colleague on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), has written an article "The United States Bars Christian, Not Muslim, Refugees From Syria". It is provocative, as its title suggests, but it is deeply flawed in its argument, its evidence, and its conclusions.   Abrams begins by noting that of the more than ten thousand Syrian refugees admitted this past year, only 56 are Christian. Out of that single thread he weaves a whole cloth using unsubstantiated anecdotes, bad math and...

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Washington Watch: Stymied (and Appalled)

Posted on September 22, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby I am stymied. I've been writing this column each and every week for almost 24 years now. Since it appears in papers across the Arab World, I've attempted to explain American politics and policy to Arab readers.         

Most weeks, the columns practically write themselves. This week is different with the news dominated by events that almost defy explanation. In the first place, there's Donald Trump leading or tied in a number of national polls. Added to this, Congress overwhelming passed legislation allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi...

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That Fateful Day

Posted on September 10, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby 

September 11, 2001 was a lovely day in Washington. I was driving to work, stopped at a red light. I looked over at the woman in the next lane because she was frantically motioning to me to roll down my window. As I did, she shouted "Did you hear? A plane flew into the World Trade Center. My father works there." The light changed to green and we drove off. I never saw her again. But I don't think I'll ever forget the fear in her eyes, just as I will always wonder if her...

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Ghassan's Prediction and the Emerging New Palestinian Reality

Posted on September 01, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby During the past year, I've had the pleasure of receiving visits from Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi, and most recently Basel Ghattas—as they passed through Washington. All are Palestinian citizens of Israel. And all are Members of the Israeli Knesset, part of the Joint Arab List that won a record 13 seats in the last Israeli election. It was a delight to sit with them and learn from them not only about the difficulties they face, but the progress they have made.   I have written about how I first became attached to the...

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Khalid Jabara: Victim of Hate and Negligence

Posted on August 22, 2016 in Washington Watch

by James J. Zogby One week ago, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Stanley Vernon Majors murdered his next door neighbor, 37 year old Khalid Jabara. He shot Khalid dead on the front porch of the Jabara home. It was a horrific crime, but it could have been prevented. As I have reflected on the developments leading up to this murder, I have been both saddened and outraged, because while there is no doubt that Majors pulled the trigger, there are others who share varying degrees of culpability for this violent act.   Majors was a sick hate-filled man who for...

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