The Hill: The Arab American Institute endorses USA Freedom Act

Posted by The Hill on October 31, 2013

The bipartisan USA Freedom Act, introduced Tuesday by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) in the Senate and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) in the House, contains vital reforms to our intelligence apparatus, while still retaining the basic framework set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

The bill respects the constitutional rights of Americans, infuses the intelligence-gathering process with much-needed transparency and still allows the intelligence community more than enough tools to protect our nation.

The bill already has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate and more than 70 original co-sponsors in the House, including a number of representatives...

Read more Original Article

WKTV News: President Obama appoints James Zogby to commission on religious freedom

Posted by WKTV News on October 03, 2013

A Utica native has been appointed to what could be a pretty influential position in Washington, D.C. James Zogby is one of eight members appointed to the Commission on International Religious Freedom. "Our job is to advise the president and Congress on matters of religious freedom around the world, and to be a sort of prod when they're not paying attention to make them pay attention," Zogby said. If you ask him how he's prepared for this position, it would almost seem like he was made for it. "This is what i have literally prepared my life for: my...

Read more Original Article

The Hill: Prominent pro-Israel group throws its weight behind Syria strikes

Posted by The Hill on September 06, 2013

A prominent pro-Israel group on Tuesday swung its considerable political influence behind President Obama’s call for military strikes against Syria.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) broke its silence on the Syria question, issuing a statement that urged lawmakers to grant the president “the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime’s further use of unconventional weapons.”

“The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children. Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass,”...

Read more Original Article

Arab-American Scholar Alixa Naff Dies at 93

Posted by ABC News on June 06, 2013

Alixa Naff, an early and pioneering historian who documented the lives of the first wave of Arab-American immigrants a century ago, has died after a brief illness. She was 93.

Naff died Saturday at her home in Mitchellville, Md., according to two of her friends who were with her that day.

Naff, who immigrated from what is now Lebanon when she was a toddler, is perhaps best known for a collection of oral histories and artifacts that she donated to the Smithsonian and which is still available for scholarly research at the National Museum of American History.

"Through her research,...

Read more Original Article

Arab-Americans: A ‘Growing’ Community, But By How Much?

Posted by NPR on May 30, 2013

One-and-a-half million Americans today claim Arab ancestry, according to a new Census Beaurau report.

That's less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population.

Still, Maryam Asi, a demographer at the Census Bureau who co-wrote the report, says the Arab-American community is "growing," with a 76 percent increase since 1990 and 25 percent increase since 2000.

Some advocates of the Arab-American community, however, have raised questions about whether these numbers reflect the actual size of the population.

"The census undercounts our community. It always has," says Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, an...

Read more Original Article

Barbara Boxer’s visa bill for Israel comes under concerted attack

Posted by Mondoweiss on May 18, 2013

A bill pushed by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that critics say would codify Israeli discrimination against American travelers is still on the table. But Palestine solidarity activists and their allies are ramping up their campaign to thwart it.

The bill in question is a reciprocal visa waiver program with Israel. But the legislative language would effectively give Israel the go-ahead to continue its practice of pointing to security concerns when it denies Palestinian- or Arab-Americans entry to the country.

The U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and a host of other groups are now making a...

Read more Original Article

Critics Fear Visa Waiver For Israel Glosses Over Discrimination Against Americans

Posted by Daily Beast on May 16, 2013

Nour Joudah, a 25-year-old Georgetown master's degree-holder, set out for Palestine last fall to teach English at a nearly 150-year-old school founded in the West Bank by American Quakers. But Joudah lasted only a semester at the Ramallah Friends School. The length of her stay had nothing to do with her work: by all accounts, Joudah was great with the kids. Instead, she left a classroom full of students behind because Israeli authorities refused to let her back into the country. Twice. For the second try, in February, she brought to bear her power as an American citizen, seeking assistance from...

Read more Original Article

Recognizing Israeli/Palestinian Realities Requires the US, Not the Arab League, Change Direction

Posted by Middle East Online on May 07, 2013

It is an unfortunate fact that discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and actions of some players are often misdirected since they all too often ignore important realities we know to be true, says James Zogby.  

Middle East Online Last week an Arab League committee proposed a change in their 2002 peace initiative in which they promised to normalize relations with Israel following a complete Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967 and an agreed...

Read more Original Article

H. Brandt Ayers: Bush and the bombers

Posted by Anniston Star on May 05, 2013

It is surpassing strange that last week we should celebrate the opening of the Bush library while one of the Boston bombers was telling investigators that he and his brother were radicalized by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.It would be wildly illogical and unfair to say that George W. Bush was responsible for the attacks, but it is certainly accurate to say that his wars roiled the Muslim world.There can be no arguing the fact that the two wars were unpopular in the United States and that, according to a Pew Center poll, 73 percent of the world population...

Read more Original Article

H. Brandt Ayers: Bush and the bombers

Posted by Anniston Star on May 05, 2013

It is surpassing strange that last week we should celebrate the opening of the Bush library while one of the Boston bombers was telling investigators that he and his brother were radicalized by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.It would be wildly illogical and unfair to say that George W. Bush was responsible for the attacks, but it is certainly accurate to say that his wars roiled the Muslim world.There can be no arguing the fact that the two wars were unpopular in the United States and that, according to a Pew Center poll, 73 percent of the world population...

Read more Original Article