Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Blog
As part of its Emerging Leaders Program, the Arab American Institute (AAI) hosted an event last night with Al Jazeera's Rami Khater (left), Senior New Media Producer for The Stream, as well as veteran journalist Jeffrey Ghannam (right). Ghannam talked about his extensive experience in the world of journalism, as well as the challenges he faced as an Arab American, and offered advice to young Arab Americans who either wanted to break into the field or learn how to get journalists' attention to cover their stories. Ghannam also noted that Occupy Wall Street and other protest movements were...Read more
Posted by on March 07, 2012 in Blog
Santorum A 'tragic disconnect'
Rick Santorum said nothing new today in his address at the AIPAC policy conference. From the very beginning it was clear that he, as one expects, would use his time to deliver a political message and take the opportunity to lash out at Obama’s Israel policy, especially with regard to Iran. Santorum’s political message was simple: Obama has “turned his back on the people of Israel,” he said. “A clear and unfortunate, tragic disconnect,” he proclaimed emphatically, exists between the administration and the Israelis with regard to Iran’s...Read more
Posted by on March 07, 2012 in Blog
President Obama is in a tough spot. On the one hand, he wants to bring about a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians (which requires pressuring Israel), as well as avoid a catastrophic war with Iran (which requires pushing back on AIPAC’s war rhetoric). On the other hand, he needs to make the Israel lobby happy with him in the lead up to the election. The task of balancing these competing goals is further complicated by the fact that the Republican field is bent on falsely portraying him as anti-Israel. Can he pull it off?
On Sunday, Obama addressed AIPAC’s...Read more
Posted by on March 06, 2012 in Blog
By Jeffrey Wright
2012 Spring Intern
The annual convention of pro-Israel activists convened by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has dominated the news out of Washington this week. The group’s annual gala on Monday night featured speeches by political elites from both Israel and the U.S., culminating in an address by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Much like the conference itself, Netanyahu focused on Iran and its nuclear program, never mentioning the Palestinians once. The only section of the speech that vaguely related to the Palestinians was in Netanyahu’s opening lines, noting that the audience’s applause could...Read more
Posted by on March 02, 2012 in Blog
This weekend will be a special one for Washington, DC, as the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is about to host its largest annual policy conference here. Speakers include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres, a large list of high-ranking Democratic and Republican politicians, and (of course) President Obama.
Those of us who are familiar with previous AIPAC conferences have a decent idea of what to expect this time around: a lot of pandering about the unique/special/eternal/magical bond between the U.S. and Israel, allegations of Israeli self-defense with no mention of its...Read more
Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Blog
As AAI’s new Government Relations Manager on Foreign Policy, I wanted take the opportunity to update you with some of the work the Arab American Institute has been carrying out to ensure that U.S. policy toward the Arab world reflects the changing realities of the situation on the ground.
In December, AAI submitted a formal request to the Obama Administration to grant Temporary Protected Status to Syrian citizens currently residing in the U.S. in order to keep them safe from on-going violence at home. We’re maintaining pressure while the request works its way through...Read more
Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Blog
Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and things are not looking up in the way of civil liberties. Just under a month ago, president Obama - in one of the worst assaults on American civil liberties in U.S. history - signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 into law. Under certain provisions of the act, Americans suspected of terrorism can be detained without trial for an indefinite period of time. Fortunately, efforts to repeal those provisions have been brought forward, but if these moderating...Read more
Posted by on January 05, 2012 in Blog
The Middle East Policy Council held its 67th Capitol Hill Conference today at the Rayburn House Office Building. The focus of the conference was “Israel, Turkey & Iran in the Changing Arab World.” The event included a distinguished panel of speakers: Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group, Karim Sadjapour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Omer Taspinar of the Brookings Institution.
Malley offered a grim but realistic view of the peace talks currently underway between Israelis and Palestinians, saying no one believes that they will work, in part because Israel wants to wait and see the outcome of...Read more
Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Blog
On the one-year anniversary of the Arab Spring, AAI hosted a roundtable discussion with Syrian democracy activist Rami Nakhle, Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” co-host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, a select group of journalism and communications students from all across Egypt, and Arab American students and activists. The purpose of the discussion was to connect agents of change from the Arab World with Arab American activists to exchange experiences and learn how best we can bring change about here at home. The event was part of Yalla Change, a national campaign to energize and empower Arab Americans and...Read more
Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Blog
By Maha Neouchy
Turaath: Celebrating Arab Culture in America, hosted by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) on Thursday, November 10th was a huge success. This event, the first of its kind, was hosted by the newly-formed ADC Women’s Initiative. Turaath kicked off with a surprise dance performance by the Meejana Dabkeh Troupe, who helped pump up the audience with their energetic dance moves and lively Arabic music. The performance was followed by Rima Fakih, the beautiful Dearborn native and winner of the Miss USA pageant in 2010, who was extremely endearing with her humorous jokes and sentimental...Read more