Khody Akhavi

Poll backs greater UN role in Mideast peace

WASHINGTON (IPS) - A majority of global publics say their governments should “not take either side” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instead supporting a call for the United Nations to play a greater role in regional peace, according to a new international poll of 18 countries released here Tuesday. World publics gave low marks to Israeli, Palestinian, US and Arab leaders when asked how well the international actors were doing to resolve the 60-year old conflict, according to the poll conducted by 

Pledging allegiance to AIPAC

WASHINGTON, 9 June (IPS) - With the Iranian nuclear “threat” in the crosshairs, discussion of Palestinians or a Syrian-Israeli detente was virtually non-existent. But then again, one should not expect many overtures for peace when attending the annual policy conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). 

Washington rallies behind embattled Lebanese government

WASHINGTON, 12 May (IPS) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledged her administration’s support for the Lebanese government Friday in the aftermath of Hizballah’s takeover of West Beirut, accusing the Iranian-backed group of “killing innocent civilians” in a bid to “protect their state-within-a-state.” Three days of intense clashes between government and opposition supporters last week left at least 18 people dead and 38 wounded 

New Middle East scholars group seen as close to White House

WASHINGTON, 12 November (IPS) - A small group of Middle East and African studies scholars in the United States has announced the creation of a new professional association to change the direction of scholarship in the field. And it boasts several big name albeit controversial scholars, among them Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami, two academics who advised the George W. Bush administration’s policy towards the Middle East. 

Bush peace confab a swan dive or belly flop?

WASHINGTON, 21 September (IPS) - This past summer, President George W. Bush extended a hand where he never has before, calling for a Middle East conference to find a solution to the long-moribund Palestinian-Israeli peace process. This time, says US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, her boss expects results. Yet as with most of Washington’s diplomatic overtures to the region over the last seven years, Bush’s recent demands for a “viable Palestinian state” — which critics argue simply aim to spit-shine an already tarnished presidential legacy — may crumble under the weight of stark realities on the ground. 

US Congress to curb Bush enthusiasm for Abbas

WASHINGTON, Jun 26 (IPS) - US President George W. Bush threw his full support behind President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) last week, declaring the Fatah leader “the president of all the Palestinians.” With Hamas, the Islamist political party backed by Iran and described by the US as a terrorist organization, firmly in control of Gaza, the administration is now attempting to bolster Abbas, who formed a new government in the West Bank following the Hamas takeover in Gaza. 

U.S. State Department Pushes for Palestinian Resettlement

WASHINGTON, 24 April (IPS) - U.S. State Department officials confirmed this week that they have been in discussions with Israel and the Kurdish regional government about possible resettlement solutions for the estimated 15,000 Palestinian refugees currently stranded in Iraq.”At this point, we have had no positive response, but we continue to work on this,” said Ellen Sauerbrey, Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, during a press briefing. 

Film on "Radical Islam" Tied to Pro-Israel Groups

WASHINGTON, Mar 26 (IPS) - A controversial documentary on the threat of radical Islam, promoted by the two most-watched U.S. cable news networks, was marketed and supported in part by self-described “pro-Israel” groups, according to an IPS investigation. Abbreviated versions and segments of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West ran on FOX News and CNN, but neither station disclosed the film’s connection to HonestReporting, a watchdog group that monitors the media for allegedly negative portrayals of Israel.