Last updated on: 9/23/2015 | Author:

James J Zogby, PhD Biography

Founder and President of the Arab American Institute (AAI)
Pro to the question "Is a Two-State Solution (Israel and Palestine) an Acceptable Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?"

“In the late 1970s I founded the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. We were a coalition that included Arab Americans, African-American civil rights leaders, representatives of major U.S. churches and prominent peace activists. We defended Palestinian victims of torture, imprisonment without charge, and land confiscation, opposed all violence and supported two states. Despite winning broad public support, we were shunned by Washington’s political establishment….

The political battle for acceptance of a Palestinian State has been won. Supporters of two states must now assess the circumstances which define the current reality on the ground. The old battles are just that, old battles. There are now new challenges to face. What confronts us today is how, given where we are, we can realistically achieve the goal for which many have struggled for decades, and that is a secure, independent, contiguous and viable Palestinian State.”

“A Palestinian State Is Now Plausible But No Easier to Win,” Al Arabiya News,, July 20, 2009

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and President of the Arab American Institute (AAI), 1985-present
  • Writes a weekly column published in 14 Arab countries entitled Washington Watch, 1992-present
  • Host of “Viewpoint with James Zogby” on Abu Dhabi Television, LinkTV, Dish Network, and DirecTV
  • Led a U.S. delegation, along with U.S. Congressman Mel Levine, to the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement in Cairo, 1994
  • Chaired a forum on the Palestinian economy at the Casablanca Economic Summit, 1994
  • Asked by Vice President Al Gore to lead Builders for Peace, a private sector committee to promote U.S. business investment in the West Bank and Gaza, 1993
  • Worked with a number of U.S. agencies to promote and support Palestinian economic development, including AID, OPIC, USTDA, and the Departments of State and Commerce
  • Representative of the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Committee to the DNC’s Executive Committee, elected in 1999
  • Co-founded Save Lebanon, Inc., a private non-profit, humanitarian and non-sectarian relief organization which funds health care for Palestinian and Lebanese victims of war and other social welfare projects in Lebanon, 1982
  • Co-founder and chairman of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in the late 1970s
  • Co-founder and Executive Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • Serves on the Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Committee
  • National Advisory Board Member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Advisory Board Member of the National Immigration Forum
  • Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of State “in recognition of outstanding contributions to national and international affairs”
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Princeton University, 1976
  • PhD, Temple University, Islamic Studies, 1975
  • BA, Le Moyne College
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