We’ve Got You Covered

Posted on May 08, 2014 in Countdown
On April 25th we hosted our annual Kahlil Gibran “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala here in Washington and social media was a buzz throughout the event. This year, we honored Senator George J. Mitchell for his extraordinary career in public service, Participant Media for their vision and leadership in social justice, and Martin Luther King III for the legacy of his family and the work he does to keep their vision alive. Gibran was an evening for our community to reconnect, celebrate our achievements, and reflect on the path that lies ahead.
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Secretary Kerry Walks Back Apartheid Remarks

Posted by Kristin Mccarthy on April 29, 2014 in Blog
By Kristin McCarthy There has been a swift and predictable condemnation of Secretary John Kerry’s behind closed doors remarks last Friday that Israel risks becoming apartheid state if peace negotiations fail. The Secretary himself couldn’t issue an apology fast enough for using the same “unhelpful” language that reportedly got former President Jimmy Carter ostracized from Obama’s inner peace circle in 2007 when he published his book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
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Pulling the Plug

Posted on March 27, 2014 in Countdown
No, not on Countdown. Keep reading:
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Arab American Institute Welcomes State Department Statement on Israel Visa Waiver

Posted on March 26, 2014 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Omar Tewfik, 202-652-4988

Arab American Institute Welcomes State Department Statement on Israel Visa Waiver

Washington, DC - March 26, 2014 - At the State Department’s daily press briefing last Friday, March 21, DoS Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters “unequal treatment that Palestinian Americans and other Americans of Middle Eastern origin experience at Israel's border and checkpoints” precludes Israel from admittance to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Psaki’s statements come amid proposed legislation in both houses of Congress that would admit Israel into the Visa Waiver Program without meeting a number of statutory requirements. Those pieces of...

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State Says Discrimination Against Arab Americans Precludes Israel From Visa Waiver Program

Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Blog
We've written a number of times about the different legislative proposals in Congress that would admit Israel into the Visa Waiver Program without meeting a number of statutory requirements. In response to a question about the Administration's position on these legislative proposals, during a daily press briefing on Friday, March 21, US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said: "The Department of Homeland Security and State remain concerned with the unequal treatment that Palestinian Americans and other Americans of Middle Eastern origin experience at Israel's border and checkpoints, and reciprocity is the most basic condition of the Visa Waiver Program."
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AIPAC and CPAC Come to Town

Posted on March 10, 2014 in Washington Watch

This past week, Washington hosted two of my least favorite annual events.

It began with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bringing their faithful to town to lobby for whatever the government of Israel might want at this particular moment. At week's end, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was in Washington rallying their crowd to bash the President and defend their "true conservative" principles.

During the past year, several commentators have, on occasion, pronounced both groups weakened and wounded, possibly fatally so. Conservatives were seen to be cannibalizing themselves, while AIPAC was reeling from having picked and lost...

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POLITICO’s Awkwardly Obvious Omission of an Obviously Awkward U.S. Ally

Posted by on March 07, 2014 in Blog

Last week, POLITICO Magazine took a stab at highlighting the United States’ “25 most awkward allies.” The list included countries like “drone anytime you like” Pakistan and Vietnam, the fastest growing major trade partner with the United States. The list also included a total of eight Arab countries. POLITICO notes in the introduction of their piece that they put together “a damning, revelatory collection of reports on the following pages about the ‘imperfect choices’ the United States has made.” After reading their list, we have to be honest – this article wasn’t exactly POLITICO’s best work....

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US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act Passes House Foreign Affairs Committee

Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Blog
On January 29, H.R. 938 “United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013,” coauthored by the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ranking Member Ted Deutch (D-FL) passed unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The section of the bill that AAI and many civil and human rights groups were concerned with was Sec. 9 which pertains to the Visa Waiver Program.
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Three Strikes, No Outs

Posted on February 05, 2014 in Countdown
Talk of the demise of what is easily rated as one of Washington’s most prominent lobby groups is nothing new and not surprisingly untrue. However, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has swung and missed on three issues they have been publicly pushing for over the past year. First, U.S. public opposition and Obama’s reversal of military involvement in Syria succeeded in trumping AIPAC’s calls for U.S. missile strikes.
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Countdown to 2014

Posted on December 17, 2013 in Countdown
We know, it’s sad, but yes, this is in fact the last Countdown of the year. We promise to come back in 2014 with even better material as we aim to give you a unique breakdown and topical analysis of issues in the U.S. and Middle East.
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