Watching Gaza: "The Genovese Syndrome"

Posted on July 06, 2006 in Washington Watch

Today I thought of Kitty Genovese.

Some of you won’t remember her, but many in my generation will recall the horror and shame they felt after hearing the story of how she was raped and stabbed to death on a New York City street in 1964. What shocked the nation was the fact that 37 witnesses heard Kitty’s cries but did nothing to help. Years later, social scientists, studying this disturbing passivity, termed it the “Genovese Syndrome”.

That’s how I feel about what is happening in Gaza today. Israel is getting away with murder and the world...

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AAI Condemns Israel’s Indiscriminate Use of Helicopter Missiles Resulting in 20 Palestinian Deaths

Posted on July 06, 2006 in Press Releases

The Arab American Institute today condemned Israel’s indiscriminate use of helicopter and tank fire in highly populated Palestinian centers, resulting in the death of 20 Palestinians, including children.

AAI once again called on the Bush Administration to speak out against the deepening crisis in the Gaza Strip and urge both sides to stand down while diplomatic efforts continue to try and secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured several days ago. The Israeli soldier’s own parents recently called for the pursuit of a diplomatic solution.

“It’s unconscionable that the use of such heavy weapons should be...

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The Arab American Institute today condemned Israel’s indiscriminate use of helicopter and tank fire

Posted on June 30, 2006 in Press Releases

Dangers of Growing Humanitarian Crisis

WASHINGTON – The Arab American Institute called on President Bush to speak out forcefully regarding Israel’s ongoing offensive against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, reiterating that the ongoing operation is plunging 1.3 million people deeper into an already severe humanitarian crisis.

“Israel’s intensified siege of Gaza is now into its fifth day with over a million Palestinians without power. In addition, severe shortages of water, food and fuel are having a devastating impact on an already impoverished population,” said AAI President James Zogby. “With this disproportionate and callous use of...

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AAI Condemns Israeli Offensive: Use of Collective Punishment Exacerbates Humanitarian Crisis

Posted on June 28, 2006 in Press Releases

Zogby: American Taxpayers to Shoulder Cost of Destruction

WASHINGTON  The Arab American Institute (AAI) today condemned Israel’s ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip, which already has destroyed a power station and three bridges and resulted in the loss of water and electricity to 1.3 million impoverished Palestinians.

AAI President James Zogby called on the Bush Administration to demand that Israel halt the systematic destruction of Palestinian infrastructure and allow diplomacy to resolve the issue of the captured Israeli soldier.

“Will Israel never learn? The use of disproportionate power in acts of collective punishment that display...

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AAI Condemns Indiscriminate Israeli Bombing of Gaza Strip; Death of Innocent Children

Posted on June 23, 2006 in Press Releases

Calls on Bush Administration to Address Growing Casualty Toll; Letter Requests State Department Review Arms Exports to Israel

WASHINGTON – The Arab American Institute today condemned Israel for its ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip and called on the Bush Administration to address the growing number of children killed as a result of indiscriminate Israeli bombardment of highly concentrated Palestinian population centers.

In the last several days, at least 14 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombing raids in the Gaza Strip. This comes after Israeli shelling of a Gaza beach decimated a family of Palestinians enjoying...

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Speaking up for Palestinians

Posted on May 29, 2006 in Washington Watch

There were some little bits of good news to be found in the bad news emanating from Congress’ lop-sided vote in favor of HR 4681.

Termed the “Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act,” the bad news was self-evident. Approved by a 371 “for”–37 “against” margin (with 9 members of Congress voting “present” and 25 not voting at all), HR 4681 was much more than the anti-Hamas statement its supporters declared it to be. If signed into law, the draconian measures included in the bill would:

Not only remove the President’s ability to provide direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority, but...

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AAI Pushes President, Congress to Urge Olmert to Address Humanitarian Catastrophe in Occupied Territ

Posted on May 23, 2006 in Press Releases

‘Starving Palestinian people into submission … ought not be a basic staple of Israeli foreign policy’

WASHINGTON – The Arab American Institute (AAI) is calling on President Bush and congressional leaders to press visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to address the developing humanitarian crisis his policies have engendered in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Olmert is in Washington, D.C. to seek support from the Administration for his unilateral policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians. Among other things, AAI is calling on President Bush and others to urge Olmert to release the $55 million a month allocated to the Palestinians...

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AAI Urges House to Reject HR 4681

Posted on May 22, 2006 in Press Releases

‘A failed-state in Palestine is not in the interests of the U.S.’

WASHINGTON – In response to the worsening Palestinian humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Arab American Institute (AAI) urges Congress to reject the measures included in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act (House Resolution 4681). The legislation calls for severe restrictions on the ability of the United States to provide aid to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), requires a review of current Palestinian-related United Nations aid programs.

Some quick facts on the impending Palestinian financial crisis, according to a recent World Bank report:

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The Palestinian Crisis Can End

Posted on May 15, 2006 in Washington Watch

The humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian lands has reached unimaginable proportions, with the economy strangled by closure, salaries unpaid, and a medical emergency situation killing both the chronically ill and those requiring immediate treatment.

In one significant way, this Palestinian crisis is unparalleled in recent history. This is not because their situation is worse than that found in Darfur or Rwanda, but because this entire Palestinian humanitarian tragedy is the result of the deliberate actions of a state which holds them captive, whose policies are either supported or tolerated by the major powers.

It is former...

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AAI, ATFP Head Summit on Palestinian Aid

Posted on February 21, 2006 in Press Releases

WASHINGTON  The Arab American Institute (AAI) and the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) co-chaired a daylong summit of Arab American leaders and organizations in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 17, to discuss the humanitarian and political consequences of suspending U.S. aid to the Palestinians and what can be done to inform the U.S. government about this issue.

Participants included over 50 community leaders representing more than a dozen prominent Arab American and Palestinian American organizations traveling from ten states. The summit kicked off with a strategy session for community leaders and representatives of aid organizations, including...

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