Posted on March 11, 2019 in Press Releases


March 8, 2019

CONTACT: Omar Baddar | | (202) 652-4984

On Friday, March 8, Arab American Institute (AAI) President James Zogby and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami held a joint press briefing at AAI’s offices in Washington, D.C. The two took questions from journalists on the aftermath of the controversy surrounding Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the House resolution condemning bigotry which passed on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Jim and Jeremy argued that public debate this week raised important questions about how vulnerable communities can best stand together against anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and other forms of hatred and prejudice. However, they also noted that the controversy it distracted from a much-needed robust and nuanced debate on US foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how the US can best promote peace, security and human rights in the region.

Drawing on decades of experience as experts and advocates on these issues, the two described an urgent need for such a debate and the need for policy-makers to re-focus on the issues to better pursue a path to peace in Israel and Palestine.

You can watch video of the event below, or on our Facebook page.



Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent. AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information please visit



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