Leading by Example: How States Identify Targets for Non-State Violence

Nearly 80,000 people in the UK signed a petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on war crimes charges ahead of his diplomatic visit to Britain. The growing global criticism of Israel’s military actions against Palestinians is encouraging, but is also particularly interesting to consider alongside recent acts of settler violence…

Links to Start Your Week 2/2/15

Middle East The New Yorker has a primer on the latest flare-up in tensions between Israel and Hezbollah in the larger context of Middle East politics. Occupied Pleasures is a photo book aiming to undermine the persistent narrative of the Palestinian territories as only a place of suffering. Support their Kickstarter! (For more glimpses of…

Links to Start Your Year 1/1/15

Middle East Foreign Policy reports that there is a coalition of secular, nationalist Syrian rebels based in the country’s south that may be an alternative to Assad’s rule and that of ISIL. These might be the “moderate rebels” American policymakers dream of, but there is also reason for caution: they have allied with the al…

Links to Start Your Week 12/7/14

I am in the midst of finals season, so there most likely will not be another post until next Sunday. But here is some reading to tide you over until I can write again. Middle East This is one of the best descriptions of the actual situation on the ground in East Jerusalem that I…

Links to Start Your Week 11/30/14

Asia An Afghani woman led her family, including her daughter and daughter-in-law, in an assault against Taliban militants after they killed her son at a police checkpoint. 25 militants were killed; the woman, Rezagul, is credited with killing 10 of them. Health workers providing polio vaccines were attacked in Pakistan this week. There are rumors…

Links to Start Your Week 11/2/14

Middle East Since the end of WWII, there has been more global interest in investigating and prosecuting war crimes, which ultimately led to the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC.) However, the ICC only investigates after conflicts end, which can lead to evidence being lost or destroyed. So NGOs in Syria are working to…

Links to Start Your Week 6/15/14

Sorry for the hiatus. My girlfriend and I are spending the summer in Alaska, and the past two weeks have been completely consumed by travel and training for my summer job working as a counselor at a summer day camp here. I was living at a residential camp for the past week and a half…

Links to Start Your Week 3/30/14

National Security President Obama has a new proposal for ending the NSA collection of bulk phone records, but a lot of specifics are still really unclear about the plan. It’s a good, but still way too small step towards reform. Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law was successfully tried and convicted in a civilian court. The whole…

Links to Start Your Week 1/26/14

Human Rights The American Psychological Association has decided not to pursue any disciplinary action against a member who was present and participated in torture of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. National Security Defense spending is a super expensive and inefficient way to create jobs. Drone Wars The Senate sneaked a provision into an appropriations bill…

Links to Start Your Week 1/20/14

Human Rights/Civil Rights As we recognize Martin Luther King Jr. contribution to the advancement of civil rights in this country today, I also invite my readers to remember that King was also an anti-war activist who condemned the war in Vietnam and a strong supporter of unions, workers’ rights, and opponent of inequality. In other…

Links to Start Your Week 10/13/13

Food aid for Syrian refugees has been reduced in Lebanon. The military-industrial complex dislikes the word “drone” because it has bad connotations and could –gasp- invite greater oversight and debate over their use. They prefer to say Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or “remotely-piloted.” I have noted this preference and will now make it a point…

Israel-Palestine: Relations and Fresh Talks

Israel and Palestine have agreed to renewed peace talks. This is the first time in three years that the two will engage in direct negotiations, and comes after a major push from the U.S.’s new Secretary of State, John Kerry. Israel and Palestine’s conflict is a long-simmering problem that everyone is aware of on the…