McCain and Obama at AIPAC

Posted on June 09, 2008 in Washington Watch

NOTE: This column is based on a more detailed, individual treatment of both candidates’ speeches at AIPAC. Click here to read Dr. Zogby’s analysis of McCain’s speech, and here to read his analysis of Obama’s speech.

Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, the presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees for President, addressed AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) last week. Always a depressing spectacle, this year’s conference, at least, provided some interesting insights into the differences that divide the candidates, and the way they played out with the AIPAC audience.

First up was McCain, whose hawkish...

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J Street: A Much-Needed Pro-Peace Lobby Is Born

Posted on June 03, 2008 in Washington Watch
Last month’s launch of J Street marks the culmination of a two-decades old evolution within the pro-Israel community in the U.S.
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AAI Applauds LaHood-Price Letter Sent to President Bush Ahead of May 2008 Middle East Trip

Posted on May 21, 2008 in Press Releases

Letter to President Led by Representatives LaHood and Price and Signed by 50 Others Urges End to Gaza Blockade and Exploration of Ceasefire

WASHINGTON – May 21, 2008 –The Arab American Institute (AAI) commended the bipartisan efforts of Congressmen Ray LaHood (R-IL) and David Price (D-NC) calling for bolstered U.S. engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. LaHood and Price sent a letter to President Bush on the eve of his May 2008 trip to the Middle East expressing the urgent need for the U.S. to work to stabilize Gaza in order to strengthen and support ongoing peace talks....

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Bush Visits the Messy World He Created

Posted on May 19, 2008 in Washington Watch
President George W. Bush may attempt to sound visionary, talk tough, and criticize opponents as naive, but the Middle East which he visited last week is in shambles, due in no small part to policies he has pursued or failed to pursue during his two terms in office.
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U.S. State Department to Israel: “An American Citizen Is an American Citizen”

Posted on March 31, 2008 in Washington Watch
For thirty years now, I have been demanding that my government, in Washington, protect and defend the rights of its citizens of Arab descent when they travel to Israel and the Palestinian lands occupied since 1967.
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AAI Co-sponsors Capitol Hill Briefing on the Crisis in Gaza and Future Prospects for Israeli-Palesti

Posted by AAI on February 25, 2008 in News Clips

WASHINGTON – The Arab American Institute co-sponsored a Capitol Hill briefing, entitled “Recalculating Annapolis: Understanding the Crisis in Gaza and Southern Israel and Its Impact on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process,” on Tuesday, February 12, 2008. The event included a roundtable discussion featuring leading experts on Middle Eastern affairs, including perspectives on Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, U.S. and U.N. policy, and drew a large and diverse audience of congressional staff, policy-makers and academics, as well as university students and local community members.

AAI partnered with the American Task Force on Palestine, Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Israel Policy...

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"Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace" - Is Peace Possible?

Posted on February 25, 2008 in Washington Watch

This month the U.S. Institute for Peace released “Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East,” the report of a study group which examined U.S. peacemaking efforts over the past four decades. Headed by Daniel Kurtzer (former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel), the group met during 2006-2007 and interviewed over 100 officials and experts from seven countries and three international organizations.

The main body of the report is a concise and precise look at successes and failures, and strengths and weaknesses of the past three administrations’ efforts at Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. It concludes by detailing ten lessons...

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Campus Attacks on Palestinian Students Part of Disturbing National Trend

Posted on January 26, 2008 in Press Releases

WASHINGTON – The Arab American Institute is deeply concerned by recent attacks on three Palestinian students at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.

According to the Wilmington Star, Faris Khader, Osama Sabbah and Omar Awartani were “beaten with fists, feet and brass knuckles in an attack early Saturday involving at least 15 members of the school's football team…The attackers called the Palestinians ‘terrorists’ and used racial slurs during the attack.”

“This is a hate crime plain and simple and should be treated on the federal level as such,” said AAI President James Zogby. “It is a sad fact...

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He Came, He Spoke, He Left

Posted on January 22, 2008 in Washington Watch

Failing at home, President Bush traveled to the Middle East in an effort to secure success and respect in the last year of his presidency. During his recent seven nation tour of the region, he promoted the themes around which he hoped to build his legacy.

Overall, there were some interesting rhetorical highlights, but not much else. In fact, the rhetoric was so detached from the region’s current realities (many of which are due to Bush’s own blunders and neglect) as to render the effort surreal.

Nowhere was all of this more in evidence than on the...

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The Presidential Elections and Middle East Peace

Posted on December 10, 2007 in Washington Watch

Despite the acknowledged centrality of Arab-Israeli peace to U.S. interests and Middle East stability, the recently convened peace conference in Annapolis drew scant attention from the sixteen Democratic and Republican party candidates for president. Only a few offered comments, and then only when asked. On CNN’s “Late Edition,” Republican Mike Huckabee protested that Israel shouldn’t be pressured to give back the West Bank since the Arabs already have too much land, while on the day of the Annapolis meetings, Senator Chris Dodd, again on CNN, was supportive of the effort, but criticized the Bush Administration for having neglected the...

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