Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

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Washington Report on
Middle East Affairs
January/February 2002 issue
Executive EditorDelinda C. Hanley
CategoriesArab–Israeli conflict, Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Frequency8 times a year
PublisherAndrew I. Killgore
First issue1982
CompanyAmerican Educational Trust
CountryUnited States
Based inWashington, D.C.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (also known as The Washington Report and WRMEA) is an American foreign policy magazine that focuses on the Middle East and U.S. policy in the region.[1]

It has been characterized as "critical of United States policies in the Middle East".[2] and "a non-partisan publication that has been critical of Bush's policies".[3] Pro-Israel organizations accuse the magazine of being anti-Israel and conspiratorial in its criticism of Israel.


The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit founded in 1982 in Washington, D.C. by Edward Firth Henderson, former British Ambassador to Qatar, Andrew Killgore, who was U.S. Ambassador to Qatar when he retired from the United States Foreign Service in 1980, and Richard Curtiss, a former head of the Arabic Service of the Voice of America. Killgore is the publisher and Curtiss was the Executive Editor until his death in 2013. Delinda C. Hanley, Curtiss's daughter, is the current editor.[1][better source needed]

To counteract what the magazine's publishers viewed as a "pro-Zionist bias" in libraries, AET donated 3,200 free subscriptions and dozens of books "from its approved list" to libraries.[4]

In 1989, Washington Report founders Andrew Killgore and Richard Curtiss joined other plaintiffs in complaining that the Federal Election Commission had improperly refused to label AIPAC a "political action committee" (PAC) and require AIPAC to disclose the sources and uses of money. The case went to the United States Supreme Court.[2] The Supreme Court ruled in a majority decision that the plaintiffs had the right to raise issues regarding AIPAC, but referred the PAC matter back to the FEC because the FEC was drafting its membership threshold rules to directly address the unclear issue. The FEC decided that AIPAC did not spend an amount of time or money on political issues to make it a PAC, and in 2010 the last of WRMEA's appeals to have the FEC ruling reversed was dismissed.[citation needed]

In 2008, a number of publications reported that Mohammed Omer, the Gaza correspondent for the Washington Report, was hospitalized after Israeli soldiers cracked his ribs and inflicted other injuries at a crossing from Jordan into the occupied West Bank.[5][6] The Israeli government disputed Omer's claims.[7]

In 2004, AET's Andrew Killgore spearheaded a letter to President Bush signed by a number of former British and U.S. diplomats objecting to US policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, especially then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to leave Gaza without bothering to negotiate with Palestinian representatives.[8][9]

AET sponsored a day-long seminar at the National Press Club in April 2015 entitled "The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the U.S.? Is It Good for Israel?". According to the Baltimore Jewish Times, the seminar discussed "the so-called Jewish lobby’s power to influence politicians on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration," noting that "factual inaccuracies throughout the day were plenty".[10]

Editorial positions

According to the BBC, WRMEA's reporting is meant to counter what it considers the "too pro-Israeli stance of the U.S. media".[11] The Washington Free Beacon described WRMEA as "staunchly anti-Israel," noting its publication of articles questioning the national loyalty of American Jews and opposing taxpayer funding to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.[12] The Baltimore Jewish Times described WRMEA as an "anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian semimonthly publication."[10]

As early as 1990, WRMEA argued that criticism of Israel should not be equated with antisemitism.[13]

WRMEA publishes listings of pro-Israel political action committee contributions to congressional candidates for each Congress, as well as elected representatives' voting records during each Congress. This resource has been quoted by a number of publications over the years.[14][15][16]


Pro-Israel and Jewish activists have criticized the Washington Report as conspiratorial and polemical in its criticism of Israel. In the Middle East Quarterly in 1997, Michael Lewis of AIPAC claimed the Washington Report was the "most conspiratorially-minded of the anti-Israel forces" for promoting conspiracy theories about Israel, including regarding the USS Liberty incident, and for accusing Israel and Zionists of being collectively responsible for many issues in the United States and the Middle East.[17]

Pro-Israel critics quoted in Jewish Journal have criticized the Washington Report as guilty of frequent factual distortion, accusing the magazine as "an unrelenting polemic against Israel".[4]

In 2000, Jonathan S. Tobin wrote in Jewish World Review that the publication was "the guidebook to the Arabist lobby in the United States," that it "specializes in defaming Israel", and that it is "a must-read for friends of Israel who want a reliable indicator of the thinking of the anti-Israel crowd."[18]

Rafael Medoff of the David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies wrote in 2002 that "in addition to the standard denunciations of Israeli policies, the Washington Report published articles belittling the magnitude of the Holocaust, listing the names of Jewish publishers of leading U.S. newspapers to demonstrate 'Zionist' control of the media, and accusing Israel of 'Nazi-style' genocide against the Arabs. Each issue is filled with wild conspiracy theories about Israel and pro-Israel lobbying groups, accusing them of orchestrating everything from the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the assassination of John F. Kennedy."[19]

During the George W. Bush administration, the Anti-Defamation League criticized the publication for hosting an essay by Paul Craig Roberts in which he writes the "fanatical neoconservatives and Israelis are using Bush to commit the United States to a catastrophic course."[20] The pro-Israel media watchdog[21] Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America ("CAMERA") describes Washington Report as being "virulently anti-Israel".[22]

In February 2010, Fox News reported that the Washington Report had deleted from a 2007 article a comment by Rashad Hussain, the newly appointed U.S. envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), calling the prosecution of Sami Al-Arian a "politically motivated persecution". Editor Delinda Hanley told Fox News she believed the change was made in February 2009, because the comments attributed to Hussain were actually made by Sami al-Arian's daughter, Laila, who also attended the event. But article's author, Shereen Kandil, told Fox News that she had not confused the two people. The White House also attributed the comments to Al-Arian's daughter.[23] Hussain himself said he had made the remarks in response to a question from Laila Al-Arian, but had complained to the Washington Report shortly after they were published that they "lacked context", and the publication eventually removed the remarks.[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b "About Washington Report on Middle East Affairs".
  2. ^ a b Linda Greenhouse, "Justices Hear Arguments in Suit Against Election Agency", New York Times, January 15, 1998.
  3. ^ Judy Keen, 'Scooter' packs lot of power but runs quietly, USA Today, October 18, 2005.
  4. ^ a b Ballon, Marc (2006-01-19). "Libraries: The New Mideast Battlefront". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  5. ^ Gaza journalist claims held at gunpoint; Israel denies, USA Today, July 10, 2008.
  6. ^ Gideon Levy, 'Why did they treat me like that?', Haaretz, July 10, 2008. Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Gaza reporter alleges was mistreated by Israel" By Karin Laub, Associated Press. Fox News, July 10, 2008.
  8. ^ Former US Diplomats Criticize Bush Mideast Policy, Voice of America, May 4, 2004.
  9. ^ Paul Reynold, Why Bush is likely to ignore letter, BBC, May 4, 2004.
  10. ^ a b Brown, Ebony (2015-04-17). "Taking on the 'Israel Lobby'". Baltimore Jewish Times. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  11. ^ Reynolds, Paul (2004-05-04). "Why Bush is likely to ignore letter". BBC. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  12. ^ Goodman, Alana (2021-02-18). "Biden Nominee for Top State Dept Post Contributed to Book About How 'Israel Lobby' Controls American Politics". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  13. ^ Richard Curtiss, "Who Suffers When Criticism of Israel Is Equated With Anti-Semitism?", Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 1990.
  14. ^ "Why the presidential candidates won't talk about Israel". Christian Science Monitor. 12 May 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  15. ^ Online, Asia Time. "Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs". www.atimes.com. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  16. ^ "Gulfnews: Bush must know he cannot get peace deal". www.gulfnews.com. Archived from the original on 2008-09-29.
  17. ^ Lewis, Michael (December 1997). "Israel's American Detractors - Back Again". Middle East Quarterly: 22–25. Retrieved 22 September 2023.
  18. ^ Tobin, Jonathan. "The Friends of our Foes", Jewish World Review, Sept. 15, 2000. Retrieved Dec 1, 2006.
  19. ^ Medoff, Rafael, Jewish Americans and Political Participation, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA 2002, page 246
  20. ^ Syndicated Columnist Paul Craig Roberts Promotes Anti-Semitism, Anti-Defamation League web site.
  21. ^ Media Watchdog Takes Aim at 'Israel's Jewish Defamers', Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), October 26, 2007
  22. ^ Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Retrieved Dec 1, 2006.
  23. ^ Bream, Shannon (February 16, 2010). "Obama's Islamic Envoy Quoted Defending Man Charged With Aiding Terrorists". Fox News. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  24. ^ Gerstein, Josh (February 19, 2010). "Islam envoy retreats on terror talk". Politico. Retrieved February 22, 2010.

External links