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Ziad J. Asali, M.D.
Ziad J. Asali, M.D., is the President and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, a 501(c) 3 non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2003 and based in Washington, DC.

Dr. Asali is a long-time activist on Middle East issues. He has been a member of the Chairman's Council of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) since 1982, and served as ADC’s President from 2001-2003.

Dr. Asali was born in Jerusalem and received his M.D. from the American University of Beirut (AUB) Medical School in 1967. He is a Diplomat of the Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Asali has testified before the Senate on the issue of Palestinian education, and before the full U.S. House Committee on International Relations. He most recently testified before Congress regarding the aftermath of the Gaza war. In December 2007, he was appointed co-chair of the U.S. Public-Private Partnership, an initiative launched by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. In May 2008 he served as a member of the U.S. Presidential delegation to the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem. Dr. Asali is also a member of the bipartisan and interfaith Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement.

Dr. Asali is founder and Chairman of the American Charities for Palestine (ACP). In August 2008 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ACP initiating a partnership to help harness the generosity of the American people to help meet Palestinian humanitarian needs.

Entries by Ziad J. Asali, M.D.

Confronting ISIL: The Day and Decade "After"

(17) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 1:07 PM

As the United States assembles a coalition-of-the-threatened against the ISIL terrorist organization, now is the time to begin planning for the "day after."

ISIL is a new and uniquely disturbing threat to the peoples of the region, its state system, and Western interests in the Middle East and beyond. It...

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Crisis in Iraq Risks Regional Conflagration

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 5:44 PM

A potential calamity is brewing with lightning speed in the Middle East, and the world is paying insufficient attention. Extremist sectarian organizations, most notably Hezbollah and the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), are crossing borders at their own whim in an exceptionally volatile, explosive and toxic conflagration...

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Men Must Play Their Part in the Battle for Arab Women's Rights

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 9:07 AM

I feel compelled to write this article because the issue of women's rights in the Middle East is not, strictly speaking, a "women's issue," but a pressing and urgent concern for the whole of society, and perhaps even more so, men themselves.

After all, the culture that marginalizes women --...

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Let Americans Never Have to Ask Ourselves, 'Who Lost Egypt?'

(12) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 8:28 AM

As Egypt approaches a crucial moment of transition, both Americans and Egyptians should take careful stock of the value of their long-standing but currently stressed strategic relationship. We must never find ourselves asking, "who lost Egypt?"

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi's cabinet had resigned as Egypt finds itself in the midst...

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Israel Needs Peace with Palestine to Avoid Looming Boycotts

(9) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 2:11 PM

The Israeli government is worried, and it has every right to be. There is an international consensus that Israel's continued settlement activity is illegitimate and a major obstacle to peace, and much of the world may be running out of patience. In particular, Europe is beginning to take action on...

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Palestine and Israel in the New Regional Context

(14) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 11:19 AM

The United States is striving to achieve Palestinian-Israeli peace amid a backdrop of increasing unrest in the Arab world. To borrow an image from quantum physics, we are speeding up to try to protect the peace process from the powerful gravitational pull of a developing Middle East black hole.


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Salam Fayyad: Emerging as he Exits

(17) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 2:44 PM

The following is an Issue Paper released on Friday, April 19, 2013, by the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). Dr. Asali is the President of ATFP.

ATFP Issue Paper

Salam Fayyad: Emerging as he Exits

April 19, 2013

If outgoing Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is just a technocrat...

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America's Challenge in the Arab World

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 4:28 PM

When the "Arab Spring" erupted, the cry of demonstrators to their rulers was Irhal ("get out"). And now, in Cairo, Tunis and elsewhere, we again hear cry of Irhal, directed at the new leaders of what increasingly seem like the old systems, unconvincingly repackaged.

Arab governance systems are yet not...

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This Is What the Challenges for Israel and Palestine Look Like

(242) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 4:58 PM

As President Obama prepares to visit Israel and Palestine later this month, he's facing a set of political and diplomatic impasses that seem virtually insurmountable. Israel and the Palestinians have never been further apart on final-status issues since formal negotiations began more than 20 years ago. Hamas and Fatah appear...

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The Palestinian Implosion

(14) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 12:49 PM

Co-authored by Ghaith al-Omari

Three years ago, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched an ambitious plan to build effective, responsive, and clean government institutions. The results were impressive, and Fayyad was hailed as a figure who was making true progress toward a two-state solution even as formal negotiations faltered.


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American Elections Matter and the System Is Open

(6) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 12:50 PM

The silly season -- the protracted multibillion-dollar period of escalating frenzy leading up to U.S. national election -- is coming to a close. All that is said or done in this season is fair if it is deemed legal. The game ends with one winner while two parties share the...

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No Drama at Turtle Bay

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 11:05 AM

At the United Nations General Assembly meeting, the world will be watching -- though with markedly less intensity than last year -- to see what the Palestinians will do.

The prevailing mood among Palestinians appears to have assimilated some lessons from last year's experience -- that uncoordinated diplomatic initiatives can...

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Another Look at Palestinian Culture

(125) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 11:32 AM

Given the current conversation about issue of Palestinian culture and its relationship to politics and economics, I feel it's appropriate for me to add my own Palestinian-American perspective.

Palestinian culture has developed in the broader Arab, and more specifically Levantine, contexts. Contemporary Palestinian Arabs are among the...

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Ten Questions + One for the One-Staters

(240) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 3:46 PM

The supporters of the two-state solution are often told that this vision is unrealistic and has become unachievable. Young, idealistic seekers of justice and equality are increasingly offering what they claim is a more "realistic" solution: a single state for all Israelis and Palestinians, including refugees.

Because I am deeply...

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The West Must Support Universal Values in the Arab World

(49) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 3:26 PM

Over the past 14 months of uprisings in the Arab world, Iran has steadily lost influence throughout the Middle East. Recognizing this is crucial for understanding the way in which Palestine, Syria and other key strategic battlegrounds now play into Iranian calculations, and how new opportunities have emerged for both...

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Decisions in the Interregnum in Palestine and Israel

(71) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 4:25 PM

The year 2011 will go down in history as the year when the two-state solution went into deep freeze. Yet even during this hibernation there is much that can, and indeed must, be done to prevent an even graver crisis.

The causes of the freeze are many: continued settlement building;...

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Arabs Deserve a Party of the Citizen

(5) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 3:05 PM

As the Arab uprisings enter their second year, a new political movement based on the concept and values of citizenship is needed.

A lacuna now exists on the Arab political scene. The Arab uprisings shattered the old order but have yet to coalesce into a clear model for the future....

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'Price Tag' Attacks Pose Test for Israel

(343) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 11:27 AM

Israeli society has been confronted recently by a troubling new trend: vigilante attacks by some settlers and their supporters against Palestinians in the occupied territories, Arab citizens of Israel and, increasingly, Israeli peace groups. These began as the settlers' own form of retaliation -- exacting a "price" for any Palestinian...

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Owning a Piece of Palestine: Syria's Assad Regimes and the Palestinian Question

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 8:39 AM

What follows are my opening remarks at Carnegie-ATFP.

Wednesday, July 27, Moderator Ziad Asali: Thank you very much, Marina. It is a privilege to be doing this program with Carnegie and have you with us, and we look forward to more association in the future. Thank you, everyone, for attending...

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ATFP Backgrounder on the Question of Palestinian UN Initiatives

(7) Comments | Posted June 27, 2011 | 1:10 PM

The process for acquiring UN membership

With the exception of the founding states of the United Nations, the UN Charter, Article 4, Section 2, provides that, "The admission of any... state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the...

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