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Dear Former and Current Washington Report Subscribers, and others,

Everything seems uncertain as we write this letter. For one thing, we are not at all sure we can afford to print the next issue of the Washington Report. The world’s economy is a mess and, if predictions are true, things may go from bad to worse. Most of our readers at home and around the world are worried about paying their bills–so how can we ask you to dig into your pockets to help save this magazine? We hope this economic uncertainty doesn’t cause you to turn your backs on the Washington Report, because it truly is one of the few sources of unbiased information about U.S. foreign policy and civil rights at home. (And think what the U.S. economy would be like if we hadn’t given $114 billion to Israel and didn’t have to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!)

Even though the magazine’s future is uncertain, we are certain that it is more essential than ever to keep “telling the truth.” The next administration will have to change this country’s foreign policy, and our articles can help make that happen. The image of the United States is overwhelmingly negative in most parts of the world, especially in predominantly Muslim countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey released in June 2008. A majority of people polled around the world believe the next president may well change U.S. foreign policy for the better. A majority of Americans polled, 71 percent, now sees the loss of international respect for the United States as a major problem. The situation is critical–we need to rebuild the international friendships which have been so badly damaged in the past few years. Together we can do this.

Israel will have to make peace with its Arab neighbors. The international sanctions and embargo and Israel’s border blockade have crippled health care, education and infrastructure in Gaza, but have not broken the spirit of Gazans. In the West Bank, Palestinians are just trying to survive. American Jews strongly favor using U.S. leverage to help resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, according to a J Street poll released in July 2008. Political leaders and the next administration must look beyond the loud voice of the “pro-Israel” lobby and listen to the opinions actually held by the broad majority of Jewish–as well as Arab and Muslim–Americans, and others who want peace.

They also need to hear that war with Iran is not an option. Nor is Washington’s current policy of publicly threatening, provoking and insulting Iran. It is possible to resolve the nuclear dispute through diplomacy, and this magazine will continue to advocate peace with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and other nations.

There are some who seek to launch a war against Islam and even target Muslims living in the West. One troubling example of their strength is the distribution of the hateful DVD called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” to 28 million American households in battleground states right before elections. We must each work to end this Islamophobic undercurrent in the West–and all attempts to polarize people. With your help the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs will continue to provide accurate information to lawmakers, voters and taxpayers so they can take the high road and aim for peace, not war.

This is Your Magazine and We’re Listening to Your Concerns!

According to our surveys our readers identify themselves as “concerned citizens.” Slightly more men than women read the Washington Report, and more readers are Christian (33 percent) or secular (21 percent) than Muslim (8 percent) or Jewish (3 percent). We’d like to thank you all for your informative articles, letters, calls, and e-mails. Many of you have mentioned in your calls that you appreciate our immensely improved circulation department, and we’d like to thank Nina Hamedani, our new circulation director, for all her hard work.

In our previous survey many of you encouraged us to support Palestinian workers by building up our fledgling store, Palestinian Arts and Crafts Trust (PACT). Thanks to the vision and tireless efforts of AET Book Club director Matt Horton, we’ve accomplished this exciting–and expensive!–task.

We now have a wide variety of special gifts, so please do your holiday shopping in our store on 18th Street in northwest Washington, DC, or log onto < www> to make your selections. Instead of spending your money on splashy gadgets and gifts, choose something lovely and affordable–pottery, embroidery, fair-trade olive oil and soap–to help support a struggling Palestinian artisan or farmer. Purchase a book, DVD, CD, solidarity item, or subscription to the Washington Report to help educate someone you care about. Your gift will also tell the recipient that peace and justice matter to you.

Year after year the Washington Report has managed to squeak by. Just when things look hopeless, a generous donation–or more often, many hundred smaller ones–come along to save the day. Please help this magazine survive to show the next administration what changes will bring real peace and justice to this world.

Thank you for your continued support. Together we can Make a Difference Today!

Please consider making your 2008 gift to the American Educational Trust early this year. We are mailing our year-end donation appeal in the next few weeks, but we could use your help sooner. You can download an order form by clicking here, mail it to the address below, or fax it to (202) 265-4574. You may make an online donation using the secure PayPal payment system on our Web site:

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, PO Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, Published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed with out charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.