Publishers' Page: The State of the World…

An artist’s collage juxtaposes the real-life conditions Palestinian workers face in the occupied West Bank with Scarlett Johansson’s role as SodaStream spokesmodel. (Courtesy Electronic Intifada)

Kerry Lowers His Sights as Netanyahu Creates More Obstacles

Outside the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, activists demonstrate against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his peace proposal, Jan. 29, 2014. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

On the “Jewish State of Israel”

A Jewish settler (unseen at left) places the Israeli flag on a road sign as Israeli troops encircle Palestinian villagers protesting the army’s cutting branches off olive trees on a road leading to the illegal Jewish settlement of Tekoa, south of Bethlehe

In Memoriam: Dr. Eyad El Sarraj (1943-2014)

Dr. Eyad El Serraj at a 1993 press conference in East Jerusalem denouncing Israel’s use of torture. (Ruben Bittermann/Photofile)

United Nations Report: Despite Outcome, Ban Was Right to Invite Iran to Syria Talks

U.N. and Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (l) and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the Jan. 22 press conference closing the Geneva II peace talks on Syria. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

Yemen’s Insecurity Dilemma

Smoke rises from the site of a suicide car bombing at the Yemeni Defense Ministry building in the capital of Sana’a, Dec 5. 2013. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

WRMEA, April/May 1997, pg. 122

Publishers’ Page

Bumper Stickers Provide a Handy...

Source of political wisdom. But for real profundity, we look to T-shirts. The other day we saw an extra-large Calvin and Hobbes number that said something like, “God put me on earth to do important things and right now I’m so far behind. . . “

I’ll Never Die.”

Calvin and Hobbes did die, however, or at least they seem to be taking a sabbatical. But of course if the creative spark reignites in cartoonist Bill Watterson, the imaginative everykid in the striped T-shirt and his stuffed tiger soon will be burning bright across funny papers around the globe again.

It’s Not So Easy for a Magazine...

To come back. Most of the companies that supported us literally vanished with the smoke and flame that marked the end of the Gulf war. Then came Oslo agreements I & II and many of our well-meaning individual subscribers thought it was peace in our time. They just didn’t renew. Now...

Binyamin Netanyahu Is...

Bringing back our subscribers, as he wrecks the peace process. But the big, big donors, most of whom were Middle East branches or representatives of major U.S. companies, are gone forever and the Arabs...

Are Buying European or Japanese...

If they can, and the Middle East representatives of those foreign companies couldn’t be happier with current Clinton administration policies. Every U.S. veto in the U.N. generates more Arab consumer resistance to American products. Forgotten are European colonial excesses of the past.

The Guy They’re Mad at Now...

Is Uncle Sam played by Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright, with scenario written in Tel Aviv and translated by the Israelists holding every foreign policymaking position in the White House and State Department.

That Leaves the U.S....

With a problem that you’ll never read about in the mainstream press. Muslims, that one-fifth of humanity American media would prefer to ignore, believe the U.S. has handed over control of its foreign policy to Israel and its U.S. agents, and not just in the Middle East. Most Europeans and Asians agree, and don’t hesitate to say so. For one thing, it’s good for their business. We believe that among informed Americans who have an opinion on the subject...

A Clear Majority Agree as Well.

From student hangouts on university campuses to the small-town coffee shops and bars where the voiceless militiamen gather, that’s part of what’s stirring, in an inchoate way, in the increasingly alienated and absolutely authentic American psyche. But not an inkling of any of this will be found in the daily media, weekly or monthly American journals of opinion, or even in most of the academic quarterlies that purport to deal with the Middle East. (Of the “established” quarterlies in this field we’ll except the Journal of Palestine Studies and Middle East Policy and not much else.) There are some newer or smaller quarterlies that haven’t yet stood the test of time, and of course a totally admirable bimonthly, The Link, that’s been around even longer than we have.

But None Have the Potential...

For mass circulation that comes with a presence on newsstands and in public libraries. So that’s why we find our present situation so paradoxical. Our circulation is on the upswing again. But for another year or two it’s still going to cost us more to publish than we can recoup from subscriptions and limited advertising. However...

We Can’t Just Take A Sabbatical...

While we search full time for big donors, and then come back on the market as a full-blown magazine again when we feel like it. By that time our subscription base of thousands of libraries and many thousands of individuals would have been lost, not to mention a hundred skilled writers and, of course, a loyal paid staff, now down to five people, every one of whom could and would get better-paid jobs with other less ideological publications if we folded our tent.

So That’s One Thing We Won’t Do.

We started as a tiny biweekly newsletter 15 years ago. Two years later, when we began the rapid conversion to a monthly magazine, we had only 600 paid subscribers. We could revert to a newsletter again, or to something between that and the present format like a quarterly or a bimonthly.

But We Would Pay a Huge Price...

For reducing size and frequency. Instead of having a paid circulation greater than that of all the Middle East quarterlies combined, we’d just be another of them. We’re not even sure another one is needed.

So This Year, Instead of Mailing...

One fund-raising letter in the fall, as we’ve been doing for many years now, we’re sending one in April and, Inshallah, another in October. There’s a little more than pro forma submission to the Will of God in that “Inshallah.”

This First Appeal Has to Hit Big...

If we’re to get to the second one in our present format. We’re hopeful. We were at a 15-year financial low when we sent out last November’s appeal entitled “Cut the Gobbledegook!”

It Got the Biggest Response Ever.

We paid off our debts and started 1997 with a clean slate, but no money for this year. We’re continuing to do everything further to cut expenses. We’ve cut staff and pages, reverted back to an earlier printer who gave us a lower bid, and we keep adopting new labor- and money-saving technology. But what we desperately don’t want to do is reduce the frequency of the magazine. We have a lot to say that no one else can or will. But it doesn’t do much good if, instead of widening...

The Audience Starts Narrowing.

At present the magazine goes to every congressional office and some congressional committees, and sometimes to several recipients in a congressional office, depending upon the donations from constituents. It also goes to a lot of media and talk radio recipients, some at our expense and many as donations from readers and listeners. Last year we were in 4,600 public, university and school libraries. This year the number is increasing again thanks to a new offer just mailed to 20,000 U.S. libraries.

So Like Calvin and Hobbes...

We still have too many important things to do to die. Please help us live and grow. We know not everyone can contribute $100 or more in cash or gift subscriptions. Do what you can. But those who qualify for one of those $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000 places in the AET Choir of Angels help in another way. When people see a big swatch of names in our very first listing of the 1997 choir in the July issue, they will realize we’re really going to make it if all of our readers pitch in again this year.

So Please Don’t Wait.

Use the envelope in the middle of this issue for your donation right now and...

Make a Difference, This Month!

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