President Barack Obama’s foreign policies have had important successes that demonstrate creative applications of the increasingly recognized constructive conflict approach. However, Obama is widely attacked as if he were responsible for the many ongoing terribly destructive foreign conflicts. Criticisms of Obama’s administration have usually come from the political right in the United States and others committed to opposing Obama. They attack him for being naïve and insufficiently tough. Even analysts sympathetic to Obama’s foreign policies are sometimes critical of his failure to rely more on coercion and military force. Continue Reading »

By Steve Parks, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, Syracuse University

This past summer I was fortunate enough to receive a PARCC Faculty Research Mini-Grant to interview the founders of the Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers (FWWCP). The FWWCP began in the 1970’s, a period when the mimeograph machine had created the possibility of local writers publishing their own books. Using this new technology, working class writers began to record the history of their lives, their occupations, and their communities during a period of rapid social and political change in the United Kingdom. If fact, over a forty-year period (1970’s to 2010s), the publications of the FWWCP created a self- authorized and intimate history of the changing nature of the British working class as a result of the transition from industrial to service jobs and the shift from a predominantly Anglo-European ethnic background to one that, due to global immigration patterns, is more ethically diverse. In the process, the FWWCP also provided one of the first articulations in the UK of identity politics focused on issues of race, gender, post-coloniality, and sexuality. As such, their publications provide a unique insight into how the working class used writing to advocate for an expansive vision of collective rights during an intense period of transition. Indeed, during their history, the FWWCP circulated close to one million publications. Continue Reading »

The evidence favoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in July 2015, is before our eyes. It was negotiated between the Iranian government and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China and one other: Germany (P5+1). For much of the time prior to the negotiated interim agreement, the U.S. pursued a highly bellicose policy toward Iran and Iran speeded its development of a nuclear program that could be preparatory to having nuclear weapons capability. That history also makes evident why the rejection of the signed agreement is likely to have extremely grave consequences for the United States. Continue Reading »

Hatem SharrubHatem Shurrab is the head of communications with the Islamic Relief Fund in Gaza. He submitted a video report depicting the aftermath of the current conflict in Gaza. Mr. Shurrab was part of the Maxwell School’s Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF), a U.S. State Department program that hosts reformers from the Middle East and North Africa for months of academic training and professional affiliations. See the video here.

By Nimrod Goren

(Originally published on the I24News website, July 27, 2014)

Israel can no longer rely on Egypt to broker between itself and Hamas; a fundamentally new set-up is required.

The list of “wannabee-mediators” between Israel and Hamas is long. Those that have offered assistance in brokering a ceasefire include the UN, the Quartet, the US, the EU, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Tunisia, China and Russia.

It was not always like that. In previous rounds of Israel-Hamas violence the overall formula was rather clear. It was the Egyptians, with American backing, that would eventually deliver. In 2012, after operation Pillar of Defense, the Egyptians were even designated as the guarantors of the Israel-Hamas understandings. Continue Reading »

by Imran Khalid

With Palestinian deaths (overwhelmingly civilian) nearing 700, it is time for a global rethink vis-à-vis Occupied Palestinian Territories. The current crisis comes on the heels of the 2009 invasion of Gaza which resulted in over 1500 Palestinian and 13 Israeli deaths, and the 2012 crisis in which well over 100 Palestinians were killed. We don’t need a statistician to inform us of the enormous discrepancy between the two sides militarily, economically and geopolitically. Indeed, Israel’s hold on Palestinian people and land has been likened to the apartheid regime in South Africa of yore. Yet, I am increasingly shocked and awed by the heavily biased coverage of crisis by the media in the United States and beyond. While social media has been integral in highlighting their plight, major media entities in this country continue to present the Palestinians as the “other,” with lesser values. Continue Reading »

by Timothy Rodriguez

(Published on the blog “Edgy World Affairs,” July 16, 2014)

It has come again. Something that comes every couple of years now – an Israeli assault on Gaza. To see images and video of the horrific bloodshed is pain enough – around 190 Palestinians killed (80 percent civilian), up to 1,485 injured; 1 Israeli killed and about 10 injured – but to make matters worse, the lack of journalistic and intellectual integrity on the topic has been appalling to listen to and read.

Contrary to the official Israeli line – which too many unquestionably follow as if it were gospel – the current assault did not begin with Hamas shooting rockets or the abduction of three Israeli teenagers. Continue Reading »


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