U.S. Presidential Debates
With more than 60 attendees,
including academics, students, and the general public, the Public
Relations Department at An-Najah National University and U.S.
Consulate General in Jerusalem organized a seminar on October 15
to discuss the U.S. presidential elections. The seminar focused
on the televised debates between Democratic candidate Barack Obama,
and Republican candidate John McCain.
At the beginning of the seminar,
Dr. Abduljawad Abdaljwad, Head of the Journalism Department,
welcomed U.S. Consulate representatives – Cultural Affairs Officer
Stacy Barrios and Cultural Affairs specialist May Barghouthi.
During his welcome, he referred to the importance of discussing
Obama’s and McCain’s views on issues that American voters care
about on the one hand, and on issues that people around the world
care about, on the other hand.
At the beginning of the seminar
Ms. Barrios welcomed and thanked An-Najah staff and students
explaining that, “We at the U.S. Consulate are conducting this
seminar and discussion at An-Najah University because we
understand that the U.S. electoral process is not only important
to us as Americans, but also important to you and others around
the world, because the outcome of our election can affect
everyone.” Barrios added, "Americans usually watch these
televised debates to help them decide who to vote for, and
studying them helps us to understand what Americans care about and
want from their leaders. Dr. Jamil Rabah, a political analyst who
has extensive experience in the U.S, having studied and lived
there for a long time, is here today to moderate the discussion.
He has a good understanding of the American and Palestinian
political systems and cultures, and he will provide for us an
excellent link between the two peoples and systems.”
Dr. Jamil Rabah then led the discussion
about the televised debates. He drew the audience’s attention to
the fact that the candidates did not focus on Palestinian issues,
but rather on other issues such as the situation in Iraq, Iran’s
nuclear capability, the economic crisis, and environmental
pollution. The audience agreed that the candidates’ policies
regarding Israel were very similar, but that policies regarding
other issues differed greatly. At the end of the seminar, there
was a question and answer period.