Yearly Archives: 1978

1978: Protest Against the Camp David Accords

In November, 1978, the PLO Information Bulletin reported on a PSC-led protest rally at the United Nations. Sheila is quoted as the rally’s organizer, and is shown in the second picture, holding the “No to the Camp David Pact; Yes to Palestinian National Rights.” banner.


NY Palestine demo

Demonstrators against the Camp David accords delivered messages to the U.S., Israeli and Egyptian missions to the United Nations during a protest march in New York City on September 23. The messages criticized the pact for ignoring the central issue in the Mideast conflict, the Palestinian national question, and declared that this question can only be solved by realization of Palestinian national rights.

The demonstrators protested in particular the role of U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the negotiations; the marchers chanted “Carter, your Camp David Pact won’t bring peace and that’s a fact.” In banners, placards and speeches they demanded that the U.S. government stop its aid to Israel.

The march began with a rally in front of the United Nations, where Hassan Abdul Rahman of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s U.N. office told some 200 demonstrators that only the PLO represents the Palestinian people, and that peace is not possible until the people have their national rights.

NY Palestine demo

Pro-Palestinian Demonstration in New York

The demonstrators bore Palestinian flags and colorful banners, including one proclaiming, “No to the Camp David Pact; Yes to Palestinian National Rights.” As they marched through crowds of Saturday shoppers the protestors chanted, “Carter, Carter, we’re no fools: Sadat and Begin are your tools.”

Sheila Ryan, speaking for the Palestine Solidarity Committee, which organized the event in coordination with Arab community groups, declared that if Carter were genuinely interested in peace in the Middle East, he would stop U.S. aid to Israel and arms shipments to the region. “Carter is a false prophet of peace,” Ryan said. “This is not a peace but a pact for a new kind of war against the Palestinian people.”

— From “Protests Rally In New York Against Camp David“, Palestine: P.L.O. Information Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 19, Nov 1, 1978. (Screenshot) Archived by New Jersey Solidarity–Activists for the Liberation of Palestine.

Claremont Research and Publications

From 1978 to 1989, Sheila worked with George on Claremont Research and Publications.

Claremont Research ran a clipping service called Mideast Press Report that collected press reports about the Middle East, indexed and summarized them, and sent out a binder full of photocopies each week to interested subscribers. As the Institute for Palestine Studies described it:

… articles from over 80 publications, including the major US, European, Israeli and Arab English-language press … are contained in Mideast Press Report, a weekly clipping service of Claremont Research and Publications in New York.

Claremont Research also published a monthly news magazine called Update: Mideast, and several books, including one by Noam Chomsky.

Sheila wrote the news analysis section of Update: Mideast every month, as well as a weekly news analysis for subscribers of the Mideast Press Report.

Every week she would read through hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles clippings about the region, come up with a mental synthesis of what it all meant, and sit down at her Selectric typewriter and bang out several pages that coherently summarized everything that had been reported that week, just in time for her report to be photocopied and express-shipped to various organizations and international clients who relied on this service to stay abreast of how their region was being described in global news reports.

As one example, the Iraqi National Library in Baghdad had a subscription for a while, although when they re-indexed their remaining holdings after the chaos and destruction of the war, they seem to have only retained a dozen or so issues from 1981: