Two Congressional Resolutions That Won’t Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Posted on July 13, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

In the coming week, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will move on four bills – all of which, I believe, drive more nails in the coffin of Israeli-Palestinian peace. While two of the proposed bills are blatantly pro-Israel, it is the two more benign pieces of legislation that cause me real concern.

House Resolution 246 (HRes246) "Opposing efforts to de-legitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions" is a non-binding resolution putting Congress on record in opposition to BDS. Unlike earlier versions, HRes246 does not impose penalties on BDS supporters nor does it...

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Most Democratic Candidates Still Afraid to Criticize Israel's Violations of Palestinian Rights

Posted on June 22, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

The attitudes of Democratic voters toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have become decidedly more balanced in the past two decades. Favorable attitudes toward Palestinians are up while attitudes toward Israel appear to be in decline. While, overall views of Israel remain positive, substantial numbers of Democrats are opposed to Israeli policies – namely settlement construction and violations of Palestinian rights. Israel's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is also viewed negatively by most Democrats.   These shifts in opinion have placed many Democratic presidential candidates in a bind – especially those who have served in Congress or as Governors....

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Why the US “Workshop” For Palestinians Will Fail

Posted on June 01, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

Twenty-five years ago, I moderated the panel discussion on the Palestinian economy at the international economic summit in Casablanca, Morocco. I was there in my capacity as co-chair of Builders for Peace (BfP), a project created by Vice-President Al Gore to help grow the Palestinian economy in support of the still-fledgling Oslo peace process. I learned a great deal both at the Casablanca Summit and in my more than three years with BfP and it is from that vantage point that I want to comment on the Trump Administration's proposal to sponsor an economic "workshop"...

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Irish Affinity for Palestinians Runs Deep

Posted on May 25, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

It is always gratifying to see the strength of Irish solidarity with the people of Palestine. This was brought home again last week during a visit to Ireland. While Eurovision was in Tel Aviv, a coalition of Irish Senators, non-governmental groups, and entertainers held a counter-concert "Palestine: You're A Vision" – to demonstrate Irish "solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people living under occupation, under siege, or in exile." And while in Dublin, we met with political leaders preparing for the final parliamentary vote, later this summer, on a bill to ban products originating in...

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US Complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Law

Posted on May 18, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

Last week I addressed a United Nations Security Council meeting on "Israeli Settlements." Because I knew other speakers, experts and diplomats, would address the illegality of Israeli settlements, the economic and human rights impact on the Palestinian people, and the stated design of the entire settlement enterprise to eliminate the possibility of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state – I focused my remarks on my government's role in enabling Israel's settlements and its complicity in Israel's violations of international law. This may seem like harsh language, but when nothing is done to stop an activity...

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Justice Prevailed

Posted on May 11, 2019 in Washington Watch
a jury in US District Court for Washington, DC found a former US diplomat guilty on 14 counts
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Playing 20 Questions to Figure Out the "Deal of the Century"

Posted on May 04, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

I believe that it was Henry Kissinger who described his approach to running Arab-Israeli negotiations as creating the illusion of momentum to compensate for the lack of momentum. The goal wasn't the outcome. It was to keep everyone involved in the process. 

Adhering to this maxim, successive generations of US diplomats have "led" a peace process more for its own sake than for establishing a just and lasting peace. For decades, we had, what the Palestinians would say was "all process, no peace." The Trump Administration has, it appears, now taken this approach one step further....

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Bringing Light to the Darkness

Posted on April 27, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

Daily, we are inundated by a numbing and dizzying array of outrageous horrors and painful tragedies occurring both here at home and abroad. There are reports of: families torn apart by war, domestic strife, or callous authorities; innocent lives taken by cruel acts of terror or brutally insensitive governmental action; and the freedoms of individuals and groups denied by repressive regimes or discriminatory policies. With so much accumulated pain and suffering, it often becomes difficult to sustain the confidence that good will triumph over evil and the hope in a better tomorrow. At the times...

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Protecting Americans’ Right to Hear from the Leader of BDS, the Palestinian Non-Violent Campaign for Human Rights

Posted on April 13, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

I awakened early Wednesday to listen to a voicemail message from Omar Barghouti, a leading member of the Palestinian movement to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) Israel. In the message, Omar told me that he was at Ben Gurion Airport and despite holding a valid US visa and a boarding pass for his flight to Washington, D.C., the airline would not let him board the plane. He was informed that American immigration officials had notified the airline that he was being barred from entry into the US. 

We had invited Mr. Barghouti to Washington to...

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Irish Senator Frances Black Makes the Case Against Israeli Settlements

Posted on March 30, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

This past week, we hosted Irish Senator Frances Black in Washington. Black is the Chair of the Irish Seanad's (Senate) Palestine Working Group and the lead sponsor of the legislation to ban the import of products from Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian lands into Ireland. The "Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territory) Bill of 2018" (CEA-OT) has passed the Seanad and successfully completed two rounds in the lower house (Dail) of the Irish parliament. In the Dail's first vote the bill passed by a wide 78-45 margin. All of Ireland's major parties, except for the...

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