Eric Holder: Profiling Continues

Posted on December 15, 2014 in Washington Watch
I first met Eric Holder during the Clinton years when he was serving as Deputy Attorney General. Back then, my community was deeply troubled by FBI harassment, the government's use of "secret evidence" to detain individuals, and profiling of Muslim or Arab-looking individuals at airports around the country.
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‘Protect and Serve’ or ‘In Your Face’

Posted on December 08, 2014 in Washington Watch
In 1971, I was working at a Boy's Club in the Germantown section of Philadelphia running an after-school program. One day, the Police Athletic League representative dropped off a pile of coloring books for the younger kids. On the cover was a picture of a policeman walking hand-in-hand with a little girl, clearly (or so I thought) helping her across the street. My assumption, however, wasn't shared by 7-year-old Tanya. The minute she was handed her book she shouted out: "Oh, oh, she's in trouble. He's taking her away to jail."
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The Arab and Iranian Disconnect

Posted on December 01, 2014 in Washington Watch
There is widespread upset in capitals across the Arab World at having been sidelined by the Obama Administration in the on-going P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Many are suspicious of U.S. intentions and worried that their concerns with Iran's regional role will be given short shrift in the effort to reach a nuclear agreement.
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Arab Americans: Confident and Concerned

Posted on November 25, 2014 in Washington Watch
Over the many years I have been involved working within the Arab American community, I have had to contend with a range of myths and misunderstandings about both the nature and composition of the community as well as their attitudes toward major issues of concern facing the United States. On the one hand, we have engaged in demographic work to better know who we are, where we come from, and where we are living in the US today.
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Arab Americans Getting Ready for 2016

Posted on November 17, 2014 in Washington Watch
Next week, Arab American leaders and activists from a dozen key electoral states will convene in Washington to map out a political strategy for 2016. Despite the very real challenges facing the leaders who will gather, this generation of Arab Americans can approach the future with some confidence given the progress that has been made the last three decades.Thirty years ago, the obstacles confronting the community were quite different. Back then, Arab Americans, as an organized constituency, were excluded from the mainstream of American political life.
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A 2014 Postmortem

Posted on November 10, 2014 in Washington Watch
A few observations about this week's elections: 1. Our politics continue to be distorted and corrupted. In October, 1994, I was in the lounge at Kennedy Airport in New York City waiting to board an Egypt Air flight to Cairo. My fellow passengers, mostly Egyptians, were seated near a television watching a rather engaging program. Being just a few weeks before Election Day, each of the commercial breaks that interrupted the show featured hard-hitting political ads. They were dramatic and graphically compelling as such ads can be, with both the Democratic and Republican candidates' campaigns ferociously attacking each other.
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More to the US-Israel Spat Than Meets the Eye

Posted on November 03, 2014 in Washington Watch
In case you haven't noticed, the Obama Administration is in the midst of an on-going and very public spat with the Netanyahu government in Israel. The "tit for tat" exchanges have been noted in the press, with reporters and some analysts providing banal motives for the acrimony. Some have suggested "revenge" -- pointing to Netanyahu's support for Obama's 2012 rival, Mitt Romney.
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My Mother, My Values, My Vote

Posted on October 27, 2014 in Washington Watch
Back in 1996, my mother was interviewed on Good Morning America. They were doing a story on the November election and wanted to know why she, an 89-year-old Catholic woman, was voting for Democrats. In her responses to the GMA reporter, Mom related how her life experiences had shaped her politics. Her words are as relevant today, as they were 18 years ago.
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We Need to Know More, But the “Experts” Aren’t Helping

Posted on October 20, 2014 in Washington Watch
With the U.S. currently engaged in an air-war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and with voices now calling for deeper engagement in both conflict zones, the American public is being bombarded with commentary and analysis about ISIS, Syria and Iraq, and Muslims.
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The Fateful Decision: British House of Commons Votes on Palestine

Posted on October 11, 2014 in Washington Watch
On Monday, the British House of Commons will vote on a resolution recognizing the "State of Palestine." Passage of the motion will not create a state nor will it end the Israeli occupation. A "yes" vote is, nevertheless, important for several reasons. Though symbolic, passage will provide a much needed boost to the beleaguered Palestinian people. It will send a message that the world is paying attention to their plight and recognizes their rights.
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