Statement on the U.S. Presidential Announcement Regarding Jerusalem

President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel not only contradicts international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and dozens of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. In a fundamental way, it threatens the security and stability of the region, undermines American national needs and key U.S. foreign policy goals, and gives the lie to those the world over who have an interest in a secure and recognized Israel living in mutual recognition with and alongside a sovereign and secure State of Palestine.

The decision rewards Israel’s continued violent appropriation of Palestinian land and resources. It de facto legitimizes Israel’s subjugation and dehumanizing occupation of the Palestinian Arab Christian and Muslim people. It pulls the rug out from beneath what little was left of any American pretense at an honest and effective approach to an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord with Jerusalem as the national capital of both peoples. In so doing, it antagonizes allies, provokes partners, galvanizes extremists, and inflames anti-U.S. sentiments across the globe.

The United States’ friends and allies, including those not only in the Arab world but in virtually every other corner of the earth as well, have clearly warned about the consequences of such a move. They have underscored the sensitivity of the question of Jerusalem to billions worldwide. Given the importance of the city to all three of the monotheistic faiths – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism — America’s decision undermines its stated efforts to bring a fair and viable solution to the seemingly intractable conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

President Trump’s decision moves the Palestinian people further from a fair and just end to their illegal occupation. Ultimately, it undermines efforts to achieve the reality of physical and military security, political stability, and a degree of peace without which there can be no realistic prospect, let alone any likely achievement, of sustained prosperity.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit and nongovernmental organization, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations as a matter of policy takes no position on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for office.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations President & CEO Aids Eisenhower Memorial

Washington, DC: In March 2017, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chair, and General (Ret.) P.X. Kelly, Co-Chair, announced the appointment of National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations [] Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Advisory Committee. In so doing, they emphasized that the appointment “signals our gratitude for your unique insights and support,” adding that “you join as fellow members celebrated patriotic leaders Senator Bob Dole, Tom Brokaw, Tom Hanks, and Secretary James Baker.” Dr. Anthony assisted the Memorial Commission for several years in its efforts to obtain public and private sector funding for the Memorial’s construction. His and others’ efforts reached an important milestone on November 2, 2017, when the Memorial’s groundbreaking ceremony took place in the center of the nation’s capital.

The Eisenhower Memorial is designed to commemorate and honor the life and legacy of the 34th President of the United States. Present and addressing guests for the event, among other distinguished American leaders, were Susan and David Eisenhower, granddaughter and grandson of President Eisenhower, former Secretary of Defense and Senator Chuck Hagel, and Members and former Members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives whom Dr. Anthony has escorted on familiarization visits to the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world.

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The 1990-1991 Kuwait Crisis Remembered: Profiles in Statesmanship

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For the last twenty-seven years, today has marked the anniversary of an infamous event: Iraq’s brutal invasion and subsequent occupation of Kuwait, which began on August 2, 1990, and which was brought to an end on February 28, 1991. The regional and international effects of numerous aspects of the trauma then inflicted upon Kuwait remain ongoing. Like Kuwait itself, the world, even now, has yet to fully recover.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony was one of the first American civilians into Kuwait following its liberation. He would return there twelve times over following year with delegations of American leaders tasked with assisting in one or more facets of the war-torn country’s reconstruction. He is here with his escort observing one among over 650 of Kuwait’s oil wells set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi armed forces. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Over a quarter century later, important postwar facets of what Iraq did to Kuwait fall short of definitive closure. And they defy effective description. The international legal requirement that an aggressor provide prompt, adequate, and effective compensation for a war’s victims was not honored at the end of hostilities. Despite continuing United Nations-supervised efforts to collect on this inhumane debt, what is due has still not been paid.

The Missing in Action and Context

A full accounting of Kuwait’s and other countries’ missing citizens swept up and carted off to Iraq in the war’s waning hours – in the immediate aftermath of the conflict its main cause celebre – continues to remain incomplete.  The reason is not for lack of effort.  After Kuwait’s liberation, an informal and unofficial effort was mounted by George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs to provide an estimate of the MIAs’ status.

The focus group included diplomats, scholars, media representatives, American armed forces’ civil affairs personnel, and other individuals who fought to liberate Kuwait. Their unscientific consensus reported that more than 400 of the missing Kuwaitis died after they were captured. The fate of more than 200 of the missing, however, was unknown.

In the immediate hours and early days following Kuwait’s liberation, when none of the country’s electric power, desalination water purification plants, and far more of the country’s infrastructure were left operative, and domestic security prospects had been rendered uncertain, armed personnel carriers and mounted automatic weaponry units were omnipresent in the country. Photo: Dr. John Duke Anthony.

That possibly countless others remain missing is no small matter. The numbers in question, to some, may seem few. Not so, however, for those among the loved ones who tear up at the thought of them. Not so either for those who, despite the absence of grounds to warrant optimism for a fortuitous ending to their pining, and continue to wait and pray for their return.

We Americans would do well to stop and think about this for a moment. We are often criticized, and rightly so, for having an empathy deficit when it comes to understanding the suffering of people in other countries and situations. An irony in this needs to be understood and underscored. The irony is that many in the United States demand that people in other countries understand us. For those in front of an American Consular Officer with ticket in hand to visit a friend or relative in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, or wherever, but who lack such empathy along with the understanding and civility that comes with it, they need to be wished good luck in obtaining a visa to the United States.

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Dr. John Duke Anthony Meets With Mahmoud Abbas

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony met privately with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today following Abbas’ visit with President Trump at The White House.

Dr. John Duke Anthony with Mahmoud Abbas.

Dr. John Duke Anthony with Mahmoud Abbas in Washington, D.C., on May 3, 2017.


Dr. John Duke Anthony on “America, Arabia, and the Gulf: At a Crossroads?”

On May 11, 2016, Dr. John Duke Anthony spoke to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs on the subject “America, Arabia, and the Gulf: At a Crossroads?” A video recording of the program is available below, and a podcast of the program is also available below as well as in iTunes with recordings of other National Council programs:

Dr. John Duke Anthony – “America, Arabia, and the Gulf: At a Crossroads?” podcast (.mp3)