2020 Candidate Watch

Posted by Tess Waggoner on June 21, 2019 in Blog

Earlier this week the New York Times published an online interactive feature in which they asked twenty-one participating 2020 Democratic candidates 18 different questions, including, "Do you think Israel meets international standards of human rights?"

We were glad to see candidates asked about the issue of Palestinian human rights. 

Here's how each candidate responded:

  I have great concerns about the role Netanyahu is playing in Israel and their relationship with the Palestinians. As I’ve said many times, I believe 100 percent...

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An Introduction to Disinformation, Interference, and the 2020 Census

Posted by Guest on June 17, 2019 in Blog

In 2020, for the first time ever, the US Census will allow for online responses. This will be accompanied by an increase in official Census Bureau advertisements, particularly online, including social media. However, Census officials are anticipating targeted campaigns on social media designed to spread disinformation about the decennial census, which will compete with official advertisements for space on timelines and in respondents’ memory.

Ever since the 2016 election, the question of how to deal with disinformation – that is, maliciously spread false information – on social media has made headlines, and social media companies ranging from Facebook...

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Summer Brown Bag Series Kicks off With Reflections from AAI President

Posted by Guest on June 11, 2019 in Blog

On Friday, June 7, 2019, AAI interns sat down with AAI President and Co-Founder Dr. James Zogby for the first brown bag lunch of the summer. His talk gave us insight on the treatment of Arab Americans 50 years ago, the advancements made in community activism during that period, and the work still needed to be done. 

Dr. Zogby began the lunch by introducing his background and history. As a young, first-generation Arab American, Dr. Zogby’s emergence as an activist began with the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. At a time when nearly every major advocacy organization refused to...

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AAI Statement on Hofeller memo, decennial census

Posted on May 30, 2019 in Press Releases
This morning, news of the Hofeller memo brought to light what AAI and other civil rights groups feared from the moment Secretary Ross announced the addition of the citizenship question to the census: that it was politically motivated to suppress the count of various hard to count communities across the country.
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AAI Submits Testimony in Hearing on Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism

Posted by Tess Waggoner on April 12, 2019 in Blog

On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism.” The Arab American Institute submitted a statement for the record in which we called for continued examination of hate crime in American communities and efforts to improve federal hate crime data.

Additionally, we felt the minority's selected witnesses derailed this important hearing with insensitive, disingenuous, and downright inflammatory remarks. As we note in our statement: "In particular, we were distressed with one witness’s persistent denigration of American Muslims, student advocates for Palestinian human rights, and Representatives Ilhan...

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Bringing Back Memories of the Nightmarish Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

Posted on April 06, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

The New York Times headline on April 4th was simple enough, "After 37-Year Search, Israel Recovers Body of a Fallen Soldier," but the memories it dredged up were both painful and complicated. Here's the simple news story that appeared this past Thursday: Four days before Israelis will go the polls to vote, the remains of Sergeant Zachary Baumel, who had gone missing in 1982 during Israel's invasion of Lebanon, were returned to his family for burial. The remains reportedly were found by Russian and Syrian troops and then sent by Russia to Israel. The entire event...

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Commerce Secretary Ross' Testimony to House Oversight Committee

Posted by Suher Adi on March 27, 2019 in Blog

Two weeks ago, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testified in front the House Oversight committee on his role in the administration’s proposed addition of a citizenship question to Census 2020. This long-overdue hearing took place after the Trump Administration fought to keep Ross from being deposed during the New York citizenship question case. In a shocking move, while current litigation about the question is taking place and has been elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States, Ross agreed to testify at the hearing.

Republicans on the committee stated their concern with the hearing being used as part...

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Don't Miss Frances Black in D.C. on Monday!

Posted by Tess Waggoner on March 22, 2019 in Blog

In the absence of U.S. leadership, how can the world hold Israel to account for the occupation of Palestine?

The U.S. under the Trump administration continues to encourage the entrenchment of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, but Ireland is on a different path, leading the way towards a boycott of Israel’s illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories, thereby potentially presenting a different and meaningful course to affirm respect for international law and basic human rights.

Watch this incredible video, which highlights discussion in the Irish Senate prior to the passage of legislation proposing a boycott of settlement...

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AAI Responds to New Zealand Mosque Attacks

Posted on March 15, 2019 in Press Releases


March 15, 2019

CONTACT: Omar Baddar


(202) 652-4984

WASHINGTON, DC – The following is a statement from Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry on the fatal mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which at least 49 worshippers were killed in horrific acts of xenophobic, anti-Muslim violence:  We are called once more to condemn an unspeakable act of hatred. Today's atrocities in Christchurch are a devastating reminder of the burgeoning, unbridled threat of white supremacist and white nationalist violence.   ...

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Anti-BDS Legislation Threatens First Amendment Rights

Posted by Guest on February 22, 2019 in Blog

By Claire Bechtel 

These days, in too many places in the "land of the free," you can be a teacher, or you can support Palestinian human rights. But in states with anti-BDS legislation, you can't do both-- at least not to the extent that the First Amendment allows. 

But before we discuss the issue of anti-BDS legislation, we should remind ourselves of some important facts. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws that abridge the freedom of speech or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. The same prohibition applies...

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