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Prof. Rashid Khalidi says the handwriting is on the wall for Israel. There is now a “growing disenchantment among liberal young American Jews, especially college students,” which was the focus of a remarkable article by Peter Beinart in the June 10, 2010 issue of the New York Review of Books, the professor noted. “Israel will continue to be protected in pretty much anything it chooses to do by our Congress and by our government,” Khalidi said, “But I think the handwriting may be on the wall.” Israel’s “system of domination and control through the calculated dosed use of violence and overwhelming power...cannot be hidden forever.” While it’s up to Palestinians and Israelis to end the occupation and make peace, Khalidi concluded, “Americans bear a very, very, very heavy responsibility in this matter.” Clearly, a new direction in the public sphere in this country has begun, Khalidi added, concluding: “I would strongly argue that true peace with justice in Palestine for both peoples who live there depends on the continuation of this process in this country.” Khalidi’s lecture was covered by C-SPAN, and both the transcript and video are available on the Jerusalem Fund’s Web site, <www.thejerusalemfund.org>. —Delinda C. Hanley

Blogging Out of Conflict A fascinating two-part panel discussion examined “New Media and the Palestine Question: Blogging Out of Conflict” at the Palestine Center on Sept. 23. The first panel, on “Changing the Public Discussion,” was moderated by the Palestine Center’s Will Youmans and featured blogger Jerome Slater, a professor of political science at SUNY/Buffalo (<www.jeromeslater.com.>), and Adam Horowitz, co-editor of the Web site Mondoweiss <http://mondoweiss.net>. The bloggers discussed how new media is DECEMBER 2010

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(L-r) Jerome Slater, Will Youmans and Adam Horowitz.

(L-r) Prof. Stephen Walt, Yousef Munayyer and MJ Rosenberg. changing the public debate on Israel/Palestine and how the mainstream media responds to new media. MJ Rosenberg, senior policy fellow at Media Matters Action Network, and Harvard Professor Stephen Walt held a lively, and sometimes hilarious, discussion moderated by Palestine Center director Yousef Munayyer. They discussed new media’s effect on policymaking, and whether Congress or lobby groups pay any attention to bloggers. Does the openness created by blogging/new media, not present in the past, make elected officials think twice about their actions? Visit <www.thejerusalemfund.org> to watch both talks online. —Delinda C. Hanley

New Policy PAC Raises $12,000 for Congresswoman Donna Edwards Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-4th District, MD) took some heat from the Washington Jewish Week and pro-Israel lobbies, including J Street, for attending an Oct. 16 luncheon hosted by New Policy PAC at the Washington Sheraton North Hotel in Beltsville, Maryland. Before introducing Edwards to the enthusiastic audience, NewPolicy.org founder Sama Adnan described his new political action committee that funds campaigns of congressional candidates committed to the cause of peace. NewPolicy.org encourages citizens, lawmakers and administration officials to implement long-standing American positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and advocates for a peaceful and just resolution of the conTHE WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS

flict in the interest of enhancing American security, Adnan said. NewPolicy.org is working with members of Congress to enact legislation to end the Gaza siege, freeze Jewish settlements and establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It takes no position on whether a negotiated end to the conflict should result in a two-state or one-state solution. “As American citizens concerned for America’s interests and long-term security, we do not pretend to know what’s the right solution for the Israelis and Palestinians,” Adnan said. “However, we do proclaim our right to protest our taxpayer money going into supporting the Israeli occupation, Jewish settlements or any illegal activity by the Israeli government.” Edwards earned 2010 “Hall of Fame” status in the Washington Report by voting against H. Res. 34 “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself” during Israel’s 200809 assault on Gaza. She also voted against H. Res. 867, calling on President Barack Obama to “stop any further consideration” of the U.N. Human Rights Council-commissioned Goldstone Report. (See Sept./Oct. 2010 Washington Report, pp. 25-37, for the complete congressional scorecard or visit <www.wrmea.org/pdf/111th_congress_vo ting_records.pdf>.) “As many of you know already,” Edwards told her audience, which included a representative from J Street, “my attendance here today has caused quite a stir within the Jewish community and on the blogosphere.” She proudly stated that she “has been involved in issues of Israel/Palestine 59

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  

Published to help provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs  

Published to help provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.