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Omar Baddar
Omar Baddar is a Political Scientist and Human Rights Activist based in Washington, DC. He earned his M.A. in International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Memphis, where he wrote his Master's thesis on US policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is the former Executive Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Massachusetts. Omar travels to the Middle East on a biennial basis, and has participated in dozens of panels, lectures, and debates on college and university campuses throughout the US on conflicts in the Middle East and on US policy towards the region. He has made several media appearances, including BBC World Service, Al-Jazeera English, Palestine TV, and several local TV and radio programs.

The views expressed here are solely those of Omar Baddar and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of any organization with which he is otherwise affiliated.

Email: omarbaddar[at]

Entries by Omar Baddar

This 3-Minute Video Will Change the Way You Look at the War in Gaza

(19) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 9:30 AM

One year ago today, Israel launched a massive assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including more than 500 children. One of the common claims made by the Israeli government, and repeated on many mainstream media outlets, was that Hamas's use of "human shields" was the reason for the massive Palestinian civilian death toll. But now that human rights organizations and the UN have conducted investigations into what really unfolded in Gaza, some shocking revelations emerge, which I expose in this three-minute video...

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A Neglected Weapon in the Global Fight for Justice (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 1:35 PM

Contentious debate for the sake of contentious debate has become an international phenomenon that bogs down public discourse on a variety of critical issues. Whether we're talking about climate change, social inequality, racial profiling, or foreign policy, it often feels like the informed and the misinformed yell past each other, with very little education or progress actually happening. But what if there were a secret weapon that could diffuse people's reflexive defensiveness, and make them more open to absorbing a new perspective?

I've spent almost my entire adult life surrounded by activists fighting to make this world a better place. Through them, I've learned how much more meaningful life can be when we dedicate some of our time righting wrongs and making a difference in people's lives. However, I've also seen plenty of "activism burnout" and bitterness at the world from people who have spent too much time dealing with everything wrong with it, and that bitterness could alienate people who otherwise would've been open to learning about one issue or another.

To avoid these problems, I made the video above to remind people of a neglected weapon that can make the global fight for justice all the more pleasant and...

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5 Things Bill Maher Got Wrong In Latest Islam Rant

(147) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 12:53 PM

As a liberal agnostic, I might better enjoy my time critiquing religion with fellow skeptics. But when skeptics single out a particular faith or group for unfair demonization, I do feel compelled to respond. It is, of course, old news that Bill Maher is one of the skeptics...

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Why I'm Not an Atheist: The Case for Agnosticism

(838) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 1:00 PM

I had my falling out with religion in my early 20s, and a few years ago I published a piece making the case against religious certitude and blind faith. I also read some of the works of "the new atheists" with great interest, and watched them

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5 Lies the Media Keeps Repeating About Gaza

(469) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 2:34 PM

As Israel continues to pound Gaza, the Palestinian death toll of the latest round of violence has crossed the 100 mark. Thus far, the American media has given Israeli officials and spokespersons a free pass to shape the narrative of this conflict with falsehoods. Here are the top 5 lies...

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Joe Scarborough Dead Wrong About "Why They Hate Us"

(81) Comments | Posted September 18, 2012 | 3:12 PM

This week, after supposedly "talking to intelligence people all weekend," Joe Scarborough shared with us the insight that people in the Middle East "hate us because of their religion, they hate us because of their culture." He went on to add: "Think about the savagery, just the sheer...

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Cairo and Benghazi Attacks: Addressing the Deeper Problem

(31) Comments | Posted September 12, 2012 | 4:07 PM

The attacks on the U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi that took place last night were deplorable, and the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff in Benghazi was particularly outrageous. Yes, the anti-Muslim movie of the allegedly Israeli-American filmmaker in California that sparked the riots...

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Arab American Visitors Facing New Invasive Measures By Israeli Authorities

(290) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 7:40 PM

If you find TSA screenings at U.S. airports invasive, wait until you hear this: Arab Americans attempting to enter Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories are now frequently being forced to open up their emails so Israeli border security can go through their messages and chats. When 42-year...

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Romney's Self-Defeating Attacks on Obama

(79) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 11:53 AM

Counting on America's reliance on short-term memory, politicians commonly profess positions and beliefs that are inconsistent with the ones they held under different political climates. Their political expedience always looks smart until The Daily Show (or some random YouTube video) compares their recent statements to conflicting ones they...

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UFC 143 Shows Judging Still a Problem in MMA

(150) Comments | Posted February 5, 2012 | 2:28 PM

Something quite bizarre happened last night: the main event at UFC 143 consisted of Nick Diaz stalking Carlos Condit while the latter spent the entire fight either backtracking or literally running away. One can sum up the bout by saying that Nick Diaz came to fight, and Carlos Condit didn't....

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Is Michele Bachmann a Compulsive Liar or Just Clueless?

(172) Comments | Posted December 16, 2011 | 2:53 PM

When people say factually inaccurate things, you can often tell whether they're deliberately mischaracterizing the truth or whether they just don't know what they're talking about. With Michele Bachmann, I really can't quite tell.

A couple of months ago, CNN's Anderson Cooper put together an

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Herman Cain, the Biggest Indictment of American Political Culture

(88) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 11:57 AM

It had been a while since Herman Cain first caught my eye when he said he wouldn't appoint Muslims to his cabinet. Since then, his bigotry had been eclipsed by his stupidity and ignorance (to say nothing of his alleged sexual harassment), from repeatedly contradicting himself...

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Bill Maher Wrong Again About the Culture of "These People"

(20) Comments | Posted November 4, 2011 | 4:43 PM

I've written a more elaborate piece on the problem with Bill Maher's conception of the Arab and Muslim worlds before, but his latest comments on the video of Gaddafi's violent capture merit another reaction. Commenting specifically on the video of rebels sodomizing Gaddafi with an object before he...

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God's Progressive Prophets

(54) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 10:13 AM

Imposing 21st century standards on social evolution from thousands of years ago, many secularist atheists and agnostics tend to regard religion with contempt, seeing it as a major source of divisiveness, superstition, and violence. But just as one would adjust for inflation when comparing the cost of certain commodities over...

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Eric Cantor's Disgraceful Comments on Arab Culture

(366) Comments | Posted May 24, 2011 | 4:09 PM

Many Republicans have been wasting no time in trying to capitalize on the contrived dispute that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu picked with President Obama over the uncontroversial statement that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be based on the 1967 lines. The statement is uncontroversial because it...

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On the So-Called Goldstone "Retraction"

(25) Comments | Posted April 5, 2011 | 5:43 PM

(Update below) The Mideast-focused blogosphere erupted over the weekend after Justice Richard Goldstone wrote a piece in the Washington Post about "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report" in which he stated, "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different...

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Mubarak is Gone: The Day Young Arabs Will Never Forget

(63) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 11:34 AM

The past few weeks have been incredibly moving and emotional for me, watching millions of Egyptians take to the streets with fierce determination to bring fundamental change to Egypt. For those of us who grew up in the Middle East in the 1980s and 1990s, certain political figures and realities...

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An Initial Reaction to the Palestine Papers

(65) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 8:43 AM

It will be a few days before anyone can offer a thorough reaction or analysis of the over 1,600 confidential documents, known as the Palestine Papers, leaked to Al Jazeera about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations spanning a decade. But an initial reaction is warranted to the central revelation made in...

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The Big Strange Party

(5) Comments | Posted December 13, 2010 | 8:56 AM

She opens her eyes, not quite sure where she is, shocked to find herself at a strange party full of strange people. She's overwhelmed by the confusion and chokes up, with a conspicuous look of concern on her face. People whom she feels instinctively comfortable with approach her and assure...

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Alternate Universe or Inside Bet? Gohmert and Weiner on the Middle East

(28) Comments | Posted November 17, 2010 | 7:30 PM

Media Matters Action Network highlighted a very interesting C-SPAN video of Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) complaining about illegal Palestinian settlement expansion on Israeli lands. Yes, you read that correctly, and it can only be described as the most perfect inversion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Congressman Gohmert, who gained...

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