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Research Guides

Public Opinion: Middle East vs U.S.?: Home

This guide was developed after 911 and is still a good starting place for considering tensions in the Middle East.

Quotatations on Public Opinion

"American foreign policy has become a liability to Americans," said political scientist Walid Kazziha of the American University in Cairo. "It has come out of its den and wreaks havoc all over the world, then Americans sit back and say, "My God, Why don't people like us?'"
--Root of hate in the Arab world, by Larry Kaplow and Jeff Nesmith. Seattle Post Intelligencer, Sept. 13, 2001, A4.

This question was asked over and over, phrased in many ways. Some factors that immediately sprang into the news were: Islam, Middle Eastern culture v.s. U.S. culture, Arabs, and good versus evil. Sept. 11 was particularly shocking to many Americans, in that the United States has generally been represented in the U.S. media as the apex of democracy, freedom, a high standard of living, and a willingness to share with other countries. No web page can fully explicate the factors leading up to Sept. 11. It is certainly not possibly to provide solutions.

In a speech on September 25, 2001, ( Congressman Ron Paul stated, "In studying history, I, as many others, have come to the conclusion that war is most often fought for economic reasons. But economic wars are driven by moral and emotional overtones."

The following sites will set out some major experiences that might cause other parts of the world to build up strong emotional and moral reactions. This does not excuse terrorism nor have most individuals turned to terrorism. It will also list some Middle Eastern and European Muslim newspapers that give more in-depth coverage to Middle Eastern conditions than some international newspapers can afford to.


Putting aside the moral values of the invasion of Kuwait, the defeat of Iraq, and Saddam Hussein's weapons and weapons testing policies, Iraq's populace is living with the results of sanctions. The effects of personal tragedies on most of the population and of resulting media coverage throughout other Arab and Muslim countries have a strong emotional effect.

International Action Center

Palestine and Israel

Both the Palestinians and the Israelis have valid problems. Whichever side one takes, and both sides can be argued, experiences as stressful as the September 11 terrorist attack have been a common experience for the local populace. These events have been regularly reported in the Middle Eastern media and throughout the Muslim world since 1948.


To Find Location of a Book, Please Check the Catalog

Bickerton, Ian J. A concise history of the Arab-Israeli conflict / Ian J. Bickerton, Carla L. Klausner. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall, 1995. CALL #=DS119.7 .B49 1995

Cattan, Henry. The Palestine question / Henry Cattan. London : Saqi Books, 2000. CALL #=DS119.7 .C379 2000

Flapan, Simha. The birth of Israel : myths and realities / Simha Flapan. 1st ed. New York : Pantheon Books, c1987. CALL #=DS126.4 .F57 1987

Hadawi, Sami. Bitter harvest : a modern history of Palestine / Sami Hadawi ; foreword by John H. Davis. New York : Olive Branch Press, 1979. CALL #=DS119.7 .H3 1979. This work has been republished several times.

Hiro, Dilip. Sharing the promised land : an interwoven tale of Israelis and Palestinians / Dilip Hiro. London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1996. CALL #=DS119.7 .H52 1996

John, Robert, 1921- . The Palestine diary, by Robert John [and] Sami Hadawi. With a foreword by Arnold J. Toynbee. New York, New World Press [1970- 2 v. CALL #=DS126 .J55 1971; v.1-2

Karsh, Efraim. Fabricating Israeli history : the 'new historians' / Efraim Karsh. London ; Portland, OR : Cass, 1997. CALL #=DS126.5 .K35 1997

Kass, Ilana. The deadly embrace : the impact of Israeli and Palestinian rejectionism on the peace process / Ilana Kass, Bard O'Neill. Fairfax, Va. : National Institute for Public Policy ; Lanham : University Press of America, c1997. CALL #=DS119.7 .K2996 1997

Lesch, Ann Mosely. Origins and development of the Arab-Israeli conflict / Ann M. Lesch and Dan Tschirgi. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998. CALL #=DS119.7 .L4665 1998

A License to kill : Israeli operations against "wanted" and masked Palestinians. New York : Human Rights Watch, c1993. CALL #=JC599.I75 L53 1993

Masalha, Nur, 1957- . Expulsion of the Palestinians : the concept of "transfer" in Zionist political thought, 1882-1948 / Nur Masalha. Washington, D.C. : Institute for Palestine Studies, c1992. CALL #=DS119.7 .M3139 1992

Masalha, Nur, 1957- . Imperial Israel and the Palestinians : the politics of expansion / Nur Masalha. London ; Sterling, Va. : Pluto Press, 2000. CALL #=DS119.7 .M31395 2000

Morris, Benny, 1948- . The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949 / Benny Morris. First paperback ed. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1989. CALL #=HV640.5.A6 M67 1989

Morris, Benny, 1948- . Righteous victims : a history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, 1881-1999 / Benny Morris. 1st ed. New York : Knopf, 1999. CALL #=DS119.7 .M657 1999

Pappe, Ilan. The making of the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1947-1951 / Ilan Pappe. London ; New York : Tauris, 1992. CALL #=DS126.92 .P36 1992

Prior, Michael (Michael P.). .Zionism and the state of Israel : a moral inquiry / Michael Prior. London ; New York : Routledge, 1999. CALL #=DS149 .P74 1999

Rejwan, Nissim. Israel's place in the Middle East : a pluralist perspective / Nissim Rejwan. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c1998. CALL #=DS119.7 .R374 1998

Rouyer, Alwyn R. (Alwyn Rudolf). Turning water into politics : the water issue in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict / Alwyn R. Rouyer. New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000. CALL #=HD1698.J58 R68 2000

Segev, Tom, 1945- . 1949, the first Israelis / Tom Segev ; Arlen Neal Weinstein, English language editor. 1st Owl books ed. New York : Henry Holt, 1998. CALL #=DS126.5 .S41513 1998 .or CALL #=DS126.5 .S39413 1986

Sherman, Martin, 1947- . The politics of water in the Middle East : an Israeli perspective on the hydro-political aspects of the conflict / Martin Sherman. Houndmills, Basingstoke : Macmillan Press ; New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999. CALL #=HD1698.I75 S53 1999

Weissbrod, Lilly, 1929- . Arab relations with Jewish immigrants and Israel, 1891-1991 : the hundred year's conflict / Lilly Weissbrod. Lewiston : E. Mellen Press, c1992. CALL #=DS119.7 .W456 1992

News Feeds

Try subscribing to feeds from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one of the Palestinian listserves. Messages from both services about the same events will be sent to subscribers within hours of each other. A clear picture of the difference in viewpoints and the two sides' respective methods of appealing to the international community soon become clear. The emotional impact of current events on individuals also stands out.

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Sign up to follow news from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Twitter, You Tube or Facebook.

Palestinian Information Center

Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet. Under "Keeping up to date," it is possible to check the most recent additions to the site, or to join the discussion listserves, including Palestinian Development InfoNet.

Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations


Arab Thought Forum. For information on the Peace Process, including all international documents, subscribe to a newsletter:

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Peace Process Newsletter

or see this page of documents:

Peace Process Documents

MERIA : Middle East Review of International Affairs.  Meria regularly publishes articles on Palestine.

Middle East Maps, Government 46.  Maps showing changes in the Palestine Region.

Palestine News Network.  Journalists from Palestine provide the Palestinian viewpoint on recent world events and terrorism, as well a Palestinian issues.

Palestine Remembered.  A record of changes in the Palestinian population of Palestine since the mid-1940s. Noteworthy for maps showing demographics of Palestine at different time periods.

Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group

Electronic Intifada. Not-for-profit, independent publication committed to comprehensive public education on the question of Palestine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the economic, political, legal, and human dimensions of Israel's 40-year occupation of Palestinian territories.

United Nations. Question of Palestine. Includes all types of United Nations materials on Palestine.


Refugees, especially those who still reside in the Middle East, although not necessarily in their country of origin, often remain in refugee camps for many, many years. The longer they are in their camps, the less is reported in international media about them. These individuals' lives have been permanently disrupted. Often with little to hope for, the refugees have little way to voice their emotions and frustrations. Their plight is common knowledge throughout the Middle East. Below are some sites that indicate the size of the problem.

BADIL, Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights. Focused statistics on Palestinian refugees since 1948 to the present.

US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.  See the World Refugee Survey.


Below is a list of newsources from a Muslim point of view along with a few U.S. newsources. Try comparing the opinions found in the two viewpoints.

Islam and Politics

Esposito, John L. Islam and politics / John L. Esposito. 3rd ed. Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, c1991.  CALL #=BP63.A4 M533 1991

Gerges, Fawaz A., 1958- . America and political Islam : clash of cultures or clash of interests? / Fawaz A. Gerges. Cambridge, UK ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1999. CALL #=DS63.74 .G46 1999

United States Foreign Policy in the Middle East

There are claims that U.S. foreign policy contributes to friction between the U.S. and the Middle East. The following books provide some background to this aspect of current problems.

Advancing common purposes in the broad Middle East : brief essays prepared for the Trilateral Commission, 1998 Annual Meeting / authors, Robert H. Pelletreau ... [et al.] New York : Trilaterial Commission, 1998. CALL #=DS63.1 .A26 1998

Aburish, Said K., 1935- ., A brutal friendship : the West and the Arab elite / Said K. Aburish. London : Victor Gollancz, 1997. CALL #=JC328.2 .A385 1997

Hemmer, Christopher M. (Christopher Michael), 1969- . Which lessons matter? : American foreign policy decision making in the Middle East, 1979-1987 / Christopher Hemmer. Albany : State University of New York Press, c2000. CALL #=DS63.2.U5 H46 2000

Neff, Donald, 1930- . Fallen pillars : U.S. policy towards Palestine and Israel since 1945 / Donald Neff. Washington, D.C. : Institute for Palestine Studies, c1995. CALL #=E183.8.P19 N43 1995

Pannikar, K. M. (Kavalam Madhusudan), 1923- . For a few barrels of oil : politics and diplomacy in the Gulf / K.M. Pannikar. New Delhi : Patriot Publishers, c1991. CALL #=DS63.1 .P36 1991

Sandstorm : Middle East conflicts & America / edited by Daniel Pipes. Lanham [Md.] : University Press of America ; [Philadelphia] : Foreign Policy Research Institute, c1993. CALL #=DS63.1 .S3 1993

Shifting sands : balancing U.S. interests in the Middle East : teacher's resource book : public policy debate in the classroom / Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, a program of the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Brown University. Providence, RI : Brown University, 1997. CALL #=DS63.2.U5 S52 1997 v.1-2

Teicher, Howard. Twin pillars to Desert Storm : America's flawed vision in the Middle East from Nixon to Bush / Howard Teicher and Gayle Radley Teicher. New York : William Morrow and Co., 1993. CALL #=DS63.2.U5 T45 1993

Terrorism in the Middle East

Chasdi, Richard J., 1958- . Serenade of suffering : a portrait of Middle East terrorism, 1968-1993 / Richard J. Chasdi. Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, c1999. CALL #=HV6433.M5 C53 199

Mishal, Shaul, 1945- . The Palestinian Hamas : vision, violence, and coexistence / Shaul Mishal and Avraham Sela. New York : Columbia University Press, c2000. CALL #=DS119.76 .M57 2000

Nasr, Kameel B., 1949- . Arab and Israeli terrorism : the causes and effects of political violence, 1936-1993 / Kameel B. Nasr. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c1997. CALL #=DS119.7 .N346 1997

O'Ballance, Edgar. Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, 1979-95 : the Iranian connection / Edgar O'Balance. Washington Square, N.Y. : New York University Press, 1997. CALL #=DS318.825 .O23 1997

O'Ballance, Edgar. The Palestinian Intifada / Edgar O'Balance. New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998. CALL #=DS119.75 .O22 1998

Patterns of global terrorism. [Washington, D.C.?] : U.S. Dept. of State, v. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 28 cm CALL #=S 1.138:

Political violence against Americans / United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. [Washington, D.C.?] : The Bureau, 1999- .CALL #=S 1.138/2:

Taheri, Amir. Holy terror : inside the world of Islamic terrorism / Amir Taheri. 1st U.S. ed. Bethesda, Md. : Adler & Adler, 1987. CALL #=BP60 .T34 1987a