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(Pete Souza / White House Photo)

Israel Lobby Watch

House Passes Anti-Palestinian Legislation, Senate Fight Continues

23 May 2006

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The House of Representatives today passed a controversial bill (H.R. 4681) that would punish all Palestinians, not just members of Hamas, for electing a Hamas-led government in January’s legislative elections. The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 passed the House under suspension of the rules by a vote of 361-37 (with 9 members voting “Present”), despite nearly four months of strong opposition from the Council for the National Interest and other national organizations, including Churches for Middle East Peace, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Americans for Peace Now, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

A Letter to AIPAC

Betty McCollum
23 May 2006

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During my nineteen years serving in elected office, including the past five years as a Member of Congress, never has my name and reputation been maligned or smeared as it was last week by a representative of AIPAC. Last Friday, during a call with my chief of staff, an AIPAC representative from Minnesota who has frequently lobbied me on behalf of your organization stated, “on behalf of herself, the Jewish community, AIPAC, and the voters of the Fourth District, Congresswoman McCollum’s support for terrorists will not be tolerated.” Ironically, this individual, who does not even live in my congressional district, feels free to speak for my constituents.

Is Arab-American irrelevance our goal?

Hussein Ibish
18 May 2006

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What was amazing in the response to the much-publicized recent paper written by Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer on the influence of the pro- Israel lobby on American foreign policy was not the chorus of condemnations from Israel’s supporters, but similar criticism from some on the Arab-American left. The paper, a set of fairly obvious observations about the workings of one of the most influential centers of power in Washington, combined with a few debatable claims and a couple of minor errors, should have produced little comment.

Pro-Israel Congressional Spokesmen Rethinking Democratization

Terry Walz
18 May 2006

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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the pro-Israel chairman of the House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, scheduled a hearing today to discuss the annual request for military and economic aid to Egypt, and those attending came away with the impression that the top Zionists of the subcommittee were changing their minds about the usefulness of promoting democracy in the Middle East. For the last several decades, the US has supported aid to Egypt as a way to promote democratization of its civil institutions.

Israel at 58: A Failing Experiment

Sam Bahour
14 May 2006

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Since its inception, Israel has arrogantly refused to address the most crucial prerequisite of its establishment as a conventional State — accepting the Palestinians — those people that just happened to be living in that ‘empty’ land of Israel. The Palestinians, those that were forcefully expelled from their homes in 1948, 1967, and more recently in 2001, have been living in squalid refugee camps throughout the region. The Palestinians, those that did not flee Israel-proper in 1948 are today fourth class Israeli citizens. The Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem that have lived under Israeli military occupation for 40 years, to the day, will continue to haunt the international community until justice is served and the Israeli occupation is ended, in its entirety.

I will not be silenced

Fadi Kiblawi
7 April 2006

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“Last week, Hillel Director Robert Fishman sent an organizational e-mail over the Hillel listserv accusing me of being a terrorist,” writes GW law student Fadi Kiblawi, “The claims include that I have ‘led chants (of) ‘Death to Jews.’” In this contribution to EI, Kiblawi, a leading advocate of divestment from Israel, demands an apology for these falsehoods, calumny and intimidation, and warns he will take legal action to clear his name against those who launched this scurrilous campaign. He affirms that he and other students who insist on open debate about how to confront Israel’s human rights abuses will not be silenced.

Asking Hamas for the moon: Severing ties illustrates flawed policy

Arjan El Fassed
31 March 2006

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Canada and the US are the first governments that have severed all ties with the Palestinian Authority. The US administration and Canada accordingly want Hamas to denounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previous agreements, including the Road Map. EI’s Arjan El Fassed argues that this move shows how inconsistent foreign policy is towards Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These governments have failed to denounce violence on the part of Israel, have not recognized Palestine themselves and have failed to ensure Israel’s for signed agreements. This latest move has formally exposed the bias of the Quartet.

Blaming the lobby

Joseph Massad
24 March 2006

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In the last 25 years, many Palestinians and other Arabs, in the United States and in the Arab world, have been so awed by the power of the US pro-Israel lobby that any study, book, or journalistic article that exposes the inner workings, the substantial influence, and the financial and political power of this lobby have been greeted with ecstatic sighs of relief that Americans finally can see the “truth” and the “error” of their ways. “But,” asks Jospeh Massad, “when and in what context has the United States government ever supported national liberation in the Third World?”

Britain's Duplicity and the Siege of Jericho Jail

Jonathan Cook
15 March 2006

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To Palestinians, the British broken promise, as well as the hasty exit from Jericho and apparent collusion with Israel, all smacked a little too painfully of other episodes of British foreign policy in the Middle East. There were echoes of 1956 and London’s pact during the Suez Crisis with Israel on the invasion of Egypt. And there were echoes too of 1948, when Britain hurriedly abandoned Palestine, though not before it had effectively fulfilled the Balfour Declaration’s promise of creating a Jewish homeland by allowing hundreds of thousands of Jews to immigrate.

Building an edifice on blackmail

Saree Makdisi
10 March 2006

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Richard Rogers, the noted British architect, was recently summoned to the offices of the Empire State Development Corp. to explain his connection to a group called Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine which has called for a boycott of Israel’s construction industry to protest the apartheid wall. Empire State is overseeing the redesign of New York’s $1.7-billion Javits Convention Center, and Rogers is the architect on the job. EI contributor Saree Makdisi explains how pro-Israel groups, enraged at Rogers’ association with the architects’ group used their political clout to force Rogers into obsequious professions of loyalty to Israel.

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