"The Pressure Should Be on the US and Israel to Recognize the PLO"

An Interview with Hilton Obenzinger

by Joel Beinin
published in MER146

Hilton Obenzinger is a member of the executive committee of the November 29 Committee for Palestine, and on the staff of their bimonthly, Palestine Focus. His book of poems, This Passover or the Next I Will Never Be in Jerusalem, was reviewed in our February 1982 issue. Joel Beinin interviewed him in San Francisco in February 1987.

Tell us about the kind of organizing work that you’ve been involved in with the November 29 Committee.

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"The US Must Start Negotiations with the PLO"

An Interview with Gail Pressberg

by Joe Stork
published in MER146

Gail Pressberg is the Middle East coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Joe Stork spoke with her in Washington in late March 1987.

Where is the peace movement at now with regard to Middle East issues?

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"They Control the Hill, But We've Got a Lot of Positions Around the Hill"

An Interview with Jim Zogby

by Joe Stork
published in MER146

Jim Zogby is the director of the Arab American Institute in Washington. He was a founder of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Joe Stork spoke with him on March 18, 1987.

How did you get engaged in Middle East organizing?

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AWACS in the Gulf

by Joe Stork
published in MER148

The Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft that Pakistan wants to get from Washington has played an important part in the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf region. In 1978, the Carter administration sold seven of the planes to the Shah of Iran. One motivation was to reduce the unit cost for the 34 planes ordered by the US Air Force. Iran canceled its order after the revolution, and Washington then pressed NATO to order 18 of them.

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Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf

by Ahmed Rashid
published in MER148

After the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark in mid-May 1987, senior State Department officials scurried around the Gulf to drum up political support. Pakistan received a more significant visit. In late June, Gen. George Crist, commander-in-chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) arrived in Islamabad with 15 military experts for a five-day visit. It was Crist’s second visit to Pakistan in eight months, and it underlined the growing importance of Pakistan in Washington’s military plans for the Gulf.

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Interventions

Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

Do We Know Enough?

by Stephen R. Shalom | published February 2013

In January 2007, amid the furor over Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, former President Jimmy Carter made his first major public appearance about the book at Brandeis University, which defines itself as “the only non-sectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university” in the United States. He received a standing ovation, going on to say that he had chosen the word “apartheid” for his book’s title “knowing that it would be provocative” and to deliver a speech describing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands as “cruel oppression.” Carter then departed, and Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel, rose to offer a response. Half the audience walked out. A year later, the Brandeis student senate voted not to congratulate Israel on its sixtieth anniversary.

The Reagan Doctrine and the Secret State

by Christopher Hitchens
published in MER148

The Tower Commission has been taken as evidence for very many things. It’s been taken as evidence for President Reagan’s lack of attention to foreign policy; it’s been taken as evidence of a glitch in the chain of command and control in the White House. It can as easily be taken as evidence of the view, held by some people, that this planet Earth is used as a penal colony and lunatic asylum by more advanced civilizations around the solar system. And that view would certainly be as difficult to prove wrong as the one that is offered, which is that it shows a president who is not in control! What the Report shows in bold contours, with ferocious clarity, is the operation in detail of the Reagan Doctrine.

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Reagan Reflags the Gulf

by Joe Stork
published in MER148

As the Iran-Iraq war moves into its eighth year, it threatens to explode into a shooting war between Iran and the United States, a war that could involve the Soviet Union as well. Escalation of the US military presence in the Gulf involves more than the 11 Kuwaiti tankers now flying the stars and stripes. What the Reagan administration wants to do is “reflag” the Gulf itself, using the US Navy’s protective service to draw the Arab states there into open and explicit military alliances with Washington against Tehran and Moscow.

Young, Missed Opportunities for Peace

by Joe Stork
published in MER152

Ronald J. Young, Missed Opportunities for Peace (Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1987).

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Pakistan After Zia

by
published in MER155

Just a few weeks before he died in the plane crash with Zia ul-Haq, even General Akhtar Abd ul-Rahman Khan was anxious over the possibility of a shift in US policy under a new administration. General Khan had engineered and administered the secret war in Afghanistan, first as director of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and then as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. “The outcome of the war in Afghanistan may not be decided by November,” he told us. “We can only hope that the US will continue to see the great benefits of the mujahidin’s victory.”

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