Rami G. Khouri at PostGlobal

Rami G Khouri

Beirut, Lebanon

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune. An internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, he is also the first director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard University and the Dubai School of Government. He was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006. He teaches annually at American University of Beirut, University of Chicago and Northeastern University. He has been a fellow and visiting scholar at Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, Syracuse University and Stanford University, and is a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Jerusalem), and a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard University Divinity School. He also serves on the board of the East-West Institute, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University (USA), and the Jordan National Museum. He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and for 18 years he was general manager of Al Kutba, Publishers, in Amman, Jordan, where he also served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites. He has hosted programs on archeology, history and current public affairs on Jordan Television and Radio Jordan, and often comments on Mideast issues in the international media. He has BA and MSc degrees respectively in political science and mass communications from Syracuse University, NY, USA. Close.

Rami G Khouri

Beirut, Lebanon

Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper. more »

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Obama's Israel Stance Still Unclear

The Current Discussion: Are Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama on a collision course over Iran and the Palestinian problem? What would be the consequences of a breach between the United States and Israel?

Netanyahu's policies are clear - and widely rejected by virtually the entire world because they smack of Zionist colonialism that perpetuates the European colonialism of the 19th century. Obama's policies vis-a-vis Israel-Palestine, on the other hand, are less clear, because he has not articulated them in any depth beyond saying he favors a two-state solution. This conforms to the prevalent international norm and UN resolutions, but does not indicate much else about whether the U.S. will lean on Arabs and Israelis alike to move towards this goal, or how the U.S. views options to address the central issue in the conflict from the Arab perspective, which is the fate and rights of the Palestinian refugees.

American support for Israel's existence and security is ironclad, including a formal commitment to keep Israel militarily stronger than any combination of Arab states around it. We are likely to find out soon if Washington's commitment to Israel's security also means supporting Israeli colonialism and criminality in the form of continued settlements and land expropriations that contravene international law, conventions and UN resolutions. Obama will have to decide soon whether confronting Israel is worth the risk of being a one-term president, given the proven capacity of pro-Israel groups in the U.S. to cut short an American politician's career by accusing him or her of being pro-Arab, anti-Semitic, or endangering Israel.

Israel has tried to shift attention away from its treatment of Palestinians to the threat it sees from Iran. Obama has been trying to negotiate with Iran to resolve nuclear and other issues, and says he wants a two-state solution in Palestine-Israel. We shall soon find out if U.S. policy in the Middle East is made in Washington, or in Israel.

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