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Rami Khouri

Rami Khouri

Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

Contact:
Email: rgkhouri@gmail.com

 

 

By Date

 

2010 (continued)

March 24, 2010

"Historic Change or Rhetoric?"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The important relationship between the United States and Israel is evolving in unpredictable ways. Their recent tensions are important for what they reveal about a more sophisticated and integrated American view of its Middle East policies, one which balances a firm commitment to Israel's security against the problems Washington suffers from its excessive pro-Israel tilt and continued Zionist colonialism in occupied Arab lands.

 

 

March 17, 2010

"The US-Israeli Feud"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

NEW YORK -- I have been in Boston and New York City following the dust-up in American-Israeli relations after the Israeli government -- during the official visit of US Vice President Joseph Biden -- made two announcements approving the construction of nearly 1800 new housing units in the occupied Jerusalem and West Bank areas. The controversy has been immense, as far as US-Israeli relations ago. Rarely do senior American officials say in public or private, as they did in the past week, that Israel has "insulted" the United States, accuse it of deliberately undermining US-mediated talks, "condemn" Israel's actions, or demand that Israel take action to prove its commitment to the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations just getting underway with US mediation.

 

 

March 10, 2010

"The Benefit of Proximity Talks"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON -- Watching US policy in the Middle East as I do these days from Boston, and seeing the deep and persistent tilt towards Israel, it is hard to see any breakthrough emerging from the US-concocted "proximity talks" to launch this week between Israel and the Palestinians. At the same time, it would be irresponsible simply to write off this effort as the latest example of that bizarre process that sees American romanticism or amateurism in mediating peace combine with strong American support for Israeli colonialism (settlements expansion), barbarism (the siege of Gaza that now results in stunting among Palestinian children), and recidivism (refusing to deal with the Goldstone Report on war crimes in the Gaza war).

 

 

March 3, 2010

"America and Islam"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BOSTON -- Americans tend to obsess about certain issues, when the national imagination is either sparked or confounded, and in recent years that issue seems to be Islam and Muslims. The strengths and weaknesses of this American focus on Islam was captured in several events in the past few weeks, including: President Barack Obama appointed a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; the Chicago Council on Global Affairs issued the results of a two-year-long study on the role of religion in American foreign policy; and the latest poll on religious perceptions in America by the respected Gallup Poll/Muslim West Facts Project was released.

 

 

AP Photo

February 24, 2010

"Provocation and Futility"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The contrast is startling between the slow pace of attempts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, on the one hand, and the relentless Israeli drive on many fronts to dominate and try effectively to destroy the concept of a distinct and sovereign Palestinian people in the historic land of Palestine, on the other. Israeli actions in recent weeks clarify the futility of trying to negotiate peace with an Israeli state that wages war on the idea that Palestinians have national rights in the same land that Israel claims as its exclusive patrimony.

 

 

February 17, 2010

"Why Chuckles Greet the Hillary Show"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- American secretaries of state have been coming to the Middle East to create all sorts of complex alliances against Iran for most of my happy adult life, and every time this show passes through our region I learn again the meaning of the phrase "lack of credibility." Hillary Clinton is the latest to undertake this mission, and like her predecessors her comments often are difficult to take seriously.

 

 

February 15, 2010

"Diplomatic Illusions"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- The likelihood that Palestinians and Israelis will soon launch indirect negotiations, or "proximity talks" intermediated by US officials, sounds positive on the surface, but in reality it is a very bad sign. It provides the illusion of progress towards peace, while in fact it mainly affirms the depressing state of play of the five primary actors in this long drama -- the Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Arabs, and the UN. (The Europeans do not figure here, because they are now all busy ski jumping. Perhaps they will re-enter the picture in the Spring.)

 

 

February 10, 2010

"Young Arab World Arising"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

DUBAI -- When the public policy institute that I work for, the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut, organized a regional seminar this week on researching "youth identity and values" in the Arab world, we decided to hold it in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in a Gulf region where "identity issues" are widely debated because nationals tend to account for less than twenty per cent of total populations.

 

 

February 8, 2010

"Peace-making Requires Applying the Law"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- Of the many long-running conflicts that see two communities competing for the same piece of land, three in particular have always caught my attention: Northern Ireland, Cyprus, and Palestine-Israel. The first is on the way to being resolved through peaceful political negotiations, with another advance this week in the areas of police powers and administration of justice. The Cyprus conflict has long lost its military edge, and shows signs of moving towards a breakthrough, due to both internal leadership changes and external pressures and inducements.

 

 

February 3, 2010

"A Bad Spell of Big Power Behavior"

Op-Ed, Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

BEIRUT -- This has been a revealing but worrying few days for the exercise of power by some of the world's strongest countries. China showed the world that it could be just as silly as other powers in trying to use economic sanctions as punitive diplomatic tools. Hilary Clinton showed that a woman can be just as idiotic as a man when articulating foreign policy principles that also relate to the use of sanctions to change the behavior of other countries. The worst moment of the week, however, was the sight of the snake-like Tony Blair once again showing us how otherwise intelligent, articulate leaders can also comfortably splash around in the underbrush of human deceit and political arrogance.

 

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