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Charles A. Kimball
Volume 46 , Issue 2
About This Issue
This issue reminds me of why, 46 years ago, the first directors came up with the name Americans for Middle East
. Understanding, at times, means tackling subjects that lure us back centuries into history.
This is one of those issues. So often we hear of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hizbullah, HAMAS, the Taliban, and the temptation is to round them all up as the usual suspects whenever violence erupts in the Middle East or beyond.
Our feature writer, University of Oklahoma Professor Charles Kimball, advises that, in this case, history is not only instructive—it is imperative.
During our 46 years we have, in a way, formed our own brotherhood—and sisterhood—of over 200 feature Link writers, Sadly we report the deaths of three of them.
In 1991 Jerri Bird founded Partners for Peace. The wife of Eugene Bird, a retired foreign service officer, she saw the sufferings of the Palestinians and, through her organization, worked to tell other Americans how their tax dollars were being spent. Her June-July 2001 Link focused specifically on “Americans Tortured in Israeli Jails.” Jerri died on Dec. 13, 2012, an activist to the end for peace with justice in the Middle East.
Frank Collins held a doctorate in physical chemistry that may have brought him in touch with the renowned Israeli chemist and human rights advocate Dr. Israel Shahak. To distribute Shahak’s translations from the Hebrew press—often more reliable than our own media accounts—Frank founded the Middle East Data Center. In our July-August 1994 Link, “The Post-Handshake Landscape,” he perceptively foretold what lay in store for the Palestinians.
Richard Curtiss was co-founder and executive editor of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. (
See our tribute here
.) Our Sept.-Oct. 1997 Link that he wrote on “The Subject No One Mentions: U.S. Aid to Israel” was one of the few issues to go into a second printing. Richard Curtiss died on Jan. 31, 2013.
John F. Mahoney, Executive Director, April 2013
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