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12/12/2005 Trade Forecast
US-Arab Trade Ties Deepening Despite Policy Differences
IRmep's 2006 forecast of US exports to the Arab market, cited in the Financial Times, US State Department, Middle East North Africa Financial News, presents a paradoxical picture of trade relations.  Although most members of the 22 member Arab League strongly disagree with US regional policies, their imports from the US are on the upswing.   Much of this growth is driven by booming infrastructure buildout and capital goods imports.   As industrial buyers scramble to line up suppliers in 2006, the US will also fare well as a major supplier of professional consulting and engineering services.

For a detailed analysis of IRmep's forecast quantitative regional import profile, select a data cut below:

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US Share of Arab Country Imports

Arab Market Imports from the US

  Total Market Demand

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11/21/2005 Capitol Hill Forum
US Charitable Contributions, Illegal Settlements and Retaliatory Terrorism
Russell Senate Office Building - Room 385 - 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Capitol Hill ForumIn March, 2005 Prosecutor Talya Sason revealed a vast Israeli criminal conspiracy in which "law violation became institutionalized" to enable illegal settlement growth funded by the World Zionist Organization (WZO).  But the publicly available Sason report, "Summary of the Opinion Concerning Unauthorized Outposts" raises as many questions as it answers:

1. How do booming settlements serve as a catalyst for suicide terrorist retaliation against Israel and the US according to an empirical study published in 2005?
2. Which three US based tax exempt organizations have controlling stakes in the WZO and complicity in illegal activity?
3. What is the impact of the Sason report on the larger ecosystem of US tax exempt organizations openly funding arms, infrastructure, and settler migration?
4. What US law enforcement options are available to shut down indirect terrorism generators?

The IRmep Capital Hill Forum was held Monday, November 21 at 2PM in room 385 of the Russell Senate Office building to brief law enforcement agencies and Congressional staff.  To review this hearing, choose among the following multimedia options:

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Web Seminar
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11/8/2005 Question and Answer
The Saudi Accountability Act of 2005
Adventures in Resurrecting Flawed Legislation
Question: What is an example of an outdated finding?
Many of the 2005 findings were out of date when they first appeared in 2004, yet they appear again in the 2005 Act. For example, David Aufhauser, the secretary of Treasury made statements giving kudos about the amount of cooperation and anti money-laundering enforcement in Saudi Arabia on Capitol Hill in January 23, 2004. But the 2005 Act "findings" still quote earlier year 2003 Aufhauser comments speculating about whether Saudi Arabia could be some sort of "epicenter" of activity. So we've got temporal cherry picking and selective use of evidence to support the "findings".
What are examples of "Questionable Sources?"
There are references to anonymous Israeli and American intelligence sources in the New York Times. We live in a post-Judith Miller world now. Anonymous sources with potentially questionable motives just don't cut it any more as a foundation for serious policy making.....
Full Question and Answer    HTML  PDF
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11/1/2005 Transcript
The Importance of the Arab Market to US Exporters
National Press Club
"There are two things we now know with a high degree of certainty. US exports to a number of petroleum exporting countries are at a very high level through mid year 2005. As David Hamod, president of the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce mentioned, UAE, Mauritania, Oman, and Qatar had almost reached their entire year 2004 import levels by mid 2005."

"The year 2004 was truly a turning point for exports growth the region. 2002 US exports grew -2 percent and -4 percent in 2003, followed by a burst of positive 19% in 2004. An honest look at exports to the region reveals that higher energy prices are not a zero sum game. US auto manufacturers, struggling to sell product in the US, find a ready market for automobiles in the region. Vehicle exports from the key producing states have grown, on average, 22.8% per year over the last half decade and now account for almost 17% of total US exports to the region."
Full Transcript
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10/5/2005 Policy Research Note
US Tax-Exempt Charitable Contributions to Israel:
Donations, Illegal Settlements and Terror Attacks against the US
Sixty Billion Dollars for Illegal Settlements

Israeli government officials recently disclosed that at least US $60 billion has been spent financing illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. According to Israeli prosecutor Talia Sasson, the Israeli government has systematically violated its own laws by financing settlements from foreign donations, the official state budget and secret military accounts. One global nonprofit, the World Zionist Organization, played a central role in coordinating illegal settlement activities.
Opaque and fungible assets freed up by massive yearly US foreign aid to Israel are pouring into settlement development and infrastructure building designed to partition key Palestinian territories and annex others to the state of Israel. US nonprofits are directly and indirectly financing the coordination of illegal settlement building, encroachment, and violence against Palestinians. Recently disclosed charitable contributions from US lobbyist Jack Abramoff laundered to finance violent armed Israeli activity in the Palestinian territories is only the tip of the iceberg. Considered against the findings of a groundbreaking new study revealing the causes of suicide terrorism, Americans must confront a disturbing question: "Are tax exempt donations from the US generating terrorist retaliation against America?"

Research Note  HTML PDF

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9/16/2005 Press Conference
2006 Outlook: U.S. Merchandise Exports to the Arab World
JT IRmep - National US Arab Chamber of Commerce Press Conference
2006 Outlook: U.S. Merchandise Exports to the Arab World
Executive Summary Release: Friday, September 16, 2005
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
npc.jpg (6499 bytes)National Press Club, West Room, 13th Floor
529 14th Street, N.W. in Washington, DC
Contacts:    David Hamod at (202) 289-5920 or
Grant Smith at (202) 342-7325 or

The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) releases a special report this Friday on the 2006 outlook for U.S. merchandise exports to the Arab world. 2006 promises to be one of the strongest years ever for U.S.-Arab trade, with estimated sales of $37.9 billion -- an increase of more than 40 percent over projected levels for 2005.

“These data show that the Arab world continues to be one of America's best and most reliable customers,” notes David Hamod, NUSACC's President and CEO. “Despite strife in the region and occasional ups and downs in U.S.-Arab political relations, the economic partnership is steadily climbing to new heights. Clearly, the ‘Made in the USA' label still has tremendous cachet.”

The special report contains a list of “Top Ten” U.S. exports to each nation, as well as a “Sectors to Watch” section that will be of particular interest to small and medium-sized enterprises.

NUSACC attributes the substantial growth in 2006 to a number of reasons:

1) Petroleum exporting nations are benefiting from higher oil prices, thereby boosting their import purchasing power. Several of these nations almost met their total 2004 import levels from the United States by mid-2005.

2) Local investments by the Arab private sector are at an all time high, and many of these involve U.S. goods and services. Such investment took off after 9/11, when many Arab business leaders began staying “closer to home.” One indicator of investment, stock market activity in the Arab world, has averaged gains of 90.30 percent in 2005 (YTD).

3) The size of the region's consumer market continues to grow. As a result of globalization, Arab consumers are more aware than ever about the appeal and availability of U.S. products, and they are flush with disposable income. Young consumers (and their parents) are particularly important targets for advertising and marketing campaigns. The Arab world has one of the youngest populations around the globe -- more than 36 percent of the Arab world's population is 14 years old or younger -- and one of the world's highest population growth rates at 2.3 percent annually.

The largest Arab markets for U.S. exports in 2006 are projected to be Saudi Arabia ($10.7 billion), the UAE ($10.2 billion), Egypt ($5.1 billion), Kuwait ($2.3 billion), and Iraq ($2.2 billion).

A comprehensive report -- “2006 Arab Market Outlook: Demand Forecast for U.S. Goods and Services Exports” -- is available online at
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WWRL AM New York Drive Time Dialogue with Armstrong Williams and Sam Greenfield
Mythologies of the Gaza Withdrawal and 1967 War
Armstrong Williams: Now, welcome to the show.  Obviously you are 100% supporter of the Israelis leaving Gaza.

Grant Smith:  Absolutely.

Armstrong Williams:  Now correct me if I'm wrong: Your organization believes that Israel should return to the size of its 1967 borders, even though  prior to 1967 Palestine was controlled by Great Britain, and the land was divided into Jordan and Israel, Jordan was designated as the land for the Palestinians, and all the land to the west of the Jordan River was Israel for the Jews.   Let's not forget the only reason that Israel controls the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is because she was attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and Israel confiscated the lands as spoils of the war.

Grant Smith: You've got two major misconceptions there Armstrong....

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Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition
US Policy Toward Iran
The Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition *MEASURE* fielded on 7/8/2005-7/13/2005 found that:

1. 58% of Middle East Academics polled believe the Bush Administration will not accept any level of Iranian nuclear program. However 72% believe the Administration should accept tightly monitored civilian power generation in Iran.

2. 67% of Middle East Academics polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions and security are "extremely influential" on Bush Administration regional policy, while 27% believe they are "influential".

3. 88% of Middle East Academics polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions should be a "neutral" or "non-influential" factor on Bush Administration policy toward Iran.

4. 56.2% of Middle East Academics polled believe there is a 50% or higher probability that the US will engage in military strikes against Iran within the next three years; 61.% believe there is a 50% or higher probability that Israel will strike.

5. 92.1% of Middle East Academics polled believe that the US policy formulation process toward Iran is functioning "not very well" to "poorly".

Full MEASURE results  HTML PDF

June/July 2005 Volume 5 Issue 5
Arab American Business Magazine
IRmep Export Special Report:
Fundamental Shifts Underway in US-Arab World Trade
"The US currently runs a $28 billion merchandise trade deficit with the 22-country Arab market, proportionally larger than its global trade deficit.  In 2004, US exports reached $19 billion, an impressive 20.2% increase over 2003 exports, while imports from the Arab market grew by 34.7%...

At precisely the moment when they can contribute the most to Arab development projects, US vendors may be cut out of the action if they are perceived to be supporters or agents of US regional foreign policy..."

Subscription Link
A Summit between South America and the Arab World
May 10-11 Summit of South American, Arab nations aimed to boost cooperation, register displeasure with US policy
The document signed at the event, the Declaration of Brasilia, provides insights into Latin and Arab perspectives about US foreign policy. US policymakers would do well to understand key issues in the declaration which could later emerge as coordinated demands from a larger Latin-Arab bloc pursuing mutual interests during future trade negotiations.
Full Policy Research Note  HTML
5/28/2005 Media Appearance/Book Discussion
The Middle East Hour - Radio America Network
The 'Clean Break' Plan
TFS: So give us something tangible, that we can take from this, so we have a handle on what the book's really driving at.

IRmep:....we've got to have people working on policy issues who are ideal...who have a background that is not compromised...they should have a demonstrated experience, but they shouldn't be so closely identified with a foreign government in this case, and they shouldn't be identified with framing policy and then selling it to the US as US policy...

TFS: What happened, were there people who worked for other governments...helping with this policy in the US?

IRmep: Well, Douglas Feith our under secretary of Defense, who was very influential in channeling intelligence about Iraq supporting the WMD position, he was one of the authors of this paper. It has already led many Americans to question what policy he was pursuing, whether it was really in the interest of the US, and whether he was channeling bogus intelligence to further policy positions he's always had...LISTEN TO AUDIO OF THE FULL INTERVIEW
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5/1/2005 Policy Research Note Release
Arming an Israeli Attack on Iran:
Why the US Should Cancel "Bunker Busters" for Israel
On April 28, 2005 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the sale of 100 GBU-28 "bunker buster" guided bombs to Israel. Designed to penetrate hardened command centers located deep underground, the GBU-28 is a 5,000-pound laser-guided bomb that uses a 4,400-pound penetrating warhead and contains 630 pounds of high explosives.

The Israeli target for the GBU is no secret. For months Israeli intelligence, political and policy operatives in the US have been presenting a case that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons that threaten Tel Aviv and other Israeli population centers.

American skeptics will recall similar statements by Ariel Sharon who made claims along with a network of American pundits that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had been shipped into Syria at the start of the US invasion of Iraq. Although the 1,700-member Iraq Survey Team responsible for hunting WMD in Iraq officially announced on April 23, 2005 it found no evidence of any weapons of mass destruction or transfer to Syria, proponents of conflict with Syria and Iran continue to push their case forward. Like misleading intelligence claims about Iraq, a GBU-28 sale could trigger an immediate, needless and bloody conflict, only this time between the US and Iran (see Exhibit 1).
Full Policy Research Note HTML    PDF
4/11/2005 Policy Research Note Release
Israel's Proposed Annexation of Ma'ale Adummim:
Rejecting a Partnership for Pandemonium
April 11, 2005 witnesses another meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush. Like their previous meeting in April of 2004, topics on the agenda will include inevitable requests for financial assistance along with a large debit on America's global reputation. The Israeli Prime Minister will seek US assurances for Israeli construction of 3,500 housing units on a strip connecting Jerusalem to Ma'ale Adumim, the most populous Jewish settlement in the West Bank.  The construction is highly controversial because the "road map" calls for a freeze in all colonization activity. The project is not only the largest in a decade, but cuts into land that Palestinians see as territory needed for a viable, contiguous Palestinian state and access to an East Jerusalem capital. The Israeli Prime Minister is seeking US support for annexations that would inflame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and create regional pandemonium (see Exhibit 1).

Continue (Year 2004 Research and Events)

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