Jim Lobe

Poll shows Arab Americans favor Obama by wide margin

WASHINGTON (IPS) - With less than two months before the November elections, Arab American voters in the United States are poised to vote heavily Democratic, according to a poll released here today by the Arab American Institute. The poll, which was conducted by Zogby International for AAI, a Washington-based lobby and public education group, found that the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, currently leads his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, by some 20 percentage points among Arab American voters — 54 percent to 33 percent — in a two-man race. 

Bush tour diminished by Hizballah show of force

WASHINGTON, 12 May (IPS) - While this week’s trip by US President George W. Bush to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt was never conceived as a triumphant “victory lap” around the region, the swift rout of US-backed forces by Lebanon’s Hizballah Friday has provided yet another vivid illustration of the rapid decline in Washington’s influence in the Middle East during his tenure. 

New Jewish lobby seeks to redefine "pro-Israel"

WASHINGTON, 15 April (IPS) - A new group of prominent US Jews who believe that the so-called “Israel Lobby” has been dominated for too long by neo-conservatives and other Likud-oriented hawks has launched a new organization to help fund political candidates who favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a stronger US role in achieving it. 

US Jews tilt rightwards on Israel

WASHINGTON, December 12 (IPS) - US Jews appear to have become more opposed both to Israel’s making key concessions in renewed peace talks with Palestinians and to the US carrying out a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to the latest in an annual series of surveys of Jewish opinion released here this week by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The poll, which was carried out during November before the formal resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Annapolis late last month, also found continued skepticism in the Jewish community over both the war in Iraq and the “war on terror” as conducted by the administration of President George W. Bush. 

Likudnik hawks work to undermine Annapolis

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (IPS) - Despite near-universal skepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at next week’s Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, a familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks close to the Likud Party leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, isn’t taking any chances. Hard-liners associated with the American Enterprise Institute and Freedom’s Watch, a bountifully funded campaign led by prominent backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition, among other like-minded groups, are mounting a concerted attack against next week’s meeting which they fear could result in pressure on Israel to make territorial concessions. 

New Bush initiative met with skepticism

WASHINGTON, 16 July (IPS) - A major policy address Monday by US President George W. Bush promoting a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine has been greeted with considerable skepticism by Middle East specialists here. Most analysts said Bush’s speech — including his pledge to provide some 190 million dollars to support Palestine Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and convene a regional conference to support renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — was too little, too late and included too many conditions to rally strong Palestinian or Arab support. 

Bush Faces Crises from Palestine to Pakistan

Four years after the emergence of the first signs of a serious insurgency in Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush finds himself beset with major crises stretching from Palestine to Pakistan.With U.S.-backed Fatah forces routed by Hamas in Gaza this week, Bush’s five-year-old vision of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict now looks more remote than ever, while a new Pentagon report in Iraq suggests that his four-month-old “surge” strategy is failing in its primary objective of reducing the violence there. 

Tentative moves toward new Palestine government

WASHINGTON, D.C., 23 March 2007 (IPS) - How seriously and to what ends is the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush willing to engage the new Palestinian government of national unity? As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes her seventh visit to the Middle East in the last eight months, that is the question that foreign policy analysts and diplomats here are asking, and the answers are as yet far from clear.Is the administration committed to resuming a genuine peace process designed to fill out the “political horizon” of a final settlement to which both Israel and the Palestinians, including Hamas, will be willing to commit?