Fashion is given an opportunity

In the Fall of 2013 the Lebanese American University is launching a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. Elie Saab, a famous fashion designer from Lebanon, will be supervising the program. Acceptance to the program is projected to be very competitive because of its allegiance with such a high-profile Designer. The Lebanese American University has planned […]

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Conflict Reaches the Olympics

This past summer the 2012 Olympics forced some face to face interaction between Israeli and Lebanese athletes. Events were running on schedule but when Judokas athletes had the practice floor things did not run so smoothly. The Lebanese and Israeli Judo team had to share the practice floor.  The Lebanese team refused to practice next […]

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Where do the funds come from?

Elections in Israel will take place in January and the campaign season is already in works.  A recent report from Israel’s state comptroller’s office found that in the past two years campaign funding has prominently come from outside of Israel. A political analyst for the The Jerusalem Post, Gil Hoffman, sits in on a weekly […]

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A Heated Debate


(photo credit: AFP) Republican candidate and President Obama on Tuesday’s night debate

During the United States presidential debate, on October 16th, the topic of relations with the Middle East arose and the exchanges became very heated. Provoked by a question from the audience, Romney brought up his view that President Obama did not do everything he could surrounding the assassination of the US ambassador to Libya. The environment of the debate shifted dramatically after this accusation. President Obama responded sternly and serious stating that what has been said is offensive. He backed up all of his “team” and explained the steps he took surrounding the situation, and also claimed full responsibility for the tragedy as Commander in Chief. The even stronger accusation made here was when Romney insisted that President Obama had failed to identify the assassination of US Ambassador to Libya as an act of terror until days after the event. President Obama replied strong and confident with, “Get the transcript.” Even the moderator, although unauthorized, reinforced the President’s immediate response to addressing this as an act of terror. 

Though Israel was not directly addressed, it was inferred by Obama that the US relations in the Middle East are a matter of importance and he takes the events very seriously, responding appropriately. David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council, stated after the debate,

“Governor Romney has tried time and time again to mischaracterize President Obama’s relationship with Israel, ignoring that the relationship between these two countries is stronger than ever.”

On a related note, this past May Romney stated a fundraising event that he does not believe there is a possibility to gain a peace agreement with the Palestinians. In contrast, Romney promised this in a rally speech given this past Monday,

“recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel.”

In the same speech Romney referred negatively to Obama’s stance with Israel towards Iraq.  Adding that President Obama’s relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel has damaged the two countries relationships. After this speech former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, responded by backing up President Obama and said that, from her experience with Israelis, the relationship is very strong today.  It is obvious that the two presidential candidates are at odds with many issues, and foreign policy is no exception. The last of the presidential debates will take place this coming Monday on October 22nd, and will the address US foreign policy. This will be a debate to keep a close watch on and may help to clear up some lingering questions on the candidate’s intentions with relations in the Middle East. 

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Stances on the Syrian Genocide

In March of 2011 citizens of a small town in Syria protested the torture of students for anti-government graffiti. In response the government responded with strong force, which led to spreading protests around the country.  A civil war had broken out in the summer of 2012. Religious sects play a role in the conflict as […]

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Water War?

Water supply issues have been a long-standing issue for Israel.  In recent years Israel has faced an unceasing water shortage. Their current water deficit is equivalent to the country’s water consumption and has contributed to the decay of many important aquifers.  A four-year drought, population growth, and increased standards of living are some contributing causes […]

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Sunnis vs. Shiites in Lebanon

In Lebanon, Sunni’s make up about 30% of the population and live mostly in urban areas or in the rural Akkar region.  Shiites are widely thought to be the majority of the population, though there are no statistics proving this because there has not been a census in Lebanon since 1932. The Shiite and Sunni […]

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How does the US view Hezbollah?

Hezbollah is a powerful political and military force in Lebanon.  It is a Shiite organization and also has prominent connections to Iran and Syria. Originally founded as a guerrilla force against the Israeli dominance of Southern Lebanon, it first attracted attention for a bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Today it is […]

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