Not a foreign policy piece, but this is an issue I find very important.
Earlier this week, a former staffer for then-Senator Joe Biden renewed her accusation of sexual harassment against the Democratic front-runner and upgraded it to an accusation of sexual assault. The reaction to the story has been disturbing in its absence, demonstrating a desperate need to de-politicize #MeToo in a way that empowers women to, finally, have a reliable, and reasonably safe way to hold their assailants accountable, whether they are an hourly worker or a prominent politician. Read more at Medium
Big news, and something to take up some of that free time the coronavirus has forced on you.
ReThinking Foreign Policy has launched a podcast, by the same name. Thanks to the good folks at Anchor.fm, it will be available on the major podcast platforms, Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, etc.
The first episode, where I talk about Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempted coup in Israel and how it could set an example for Donald Trump and other authoritarian leaders is live right now, and you can listen to it here.
More than ever, I’d appreciate your feedback on this first episode. It’s my first go at a podcast, and it’s certainly rough around the edges. I need your help to make it better, and I think, with that support, I can make this a podcast that will be a valuable tool for many–and maybe even a bit entertaining once in a while!
Also, I know times are tough everywhere, so no hurry and no pressure, but when you can, the “donate” button on the home page will help me continue this podcast and expand both it and the web site.
I appreciate the support so many of you have given me over the years. Above all, please stay healthy and safe in these unprecedented and scary times.
Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as coordinator of the program in Middle Eastern Studies. In early January 2020, he traveled to Sudan to learn about the protest movement that ousted longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir last year. While the military regime that Bashir headed is still a powerful force in Sudan, it has been pressed into sharing power with a civilian government in formation.
Sudan’s future remains undecided. The leaders of the protest movement remain vigilant and determined to press for democracy, but in a peaceful manner. The military is divided between those who wish to unite a free, or at least freer, Sudan and those who would prefer a stronger military position in the future government. I spoke with Zunes in late January and again in early March for this interview. Read more at The Nation
On Monday, more than 60 House Democrats signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that he address Israel’s use of U.S.-made equipment in its demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The initiative was spearheaded by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif), and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and was supported by a veritable who’s who of progressive House Democrats.
“U.S.-supplied military equipment to Israel should only be used for legitimate self-defense against the very real security threats Israel faces,” Khanna said. “Such military equipment should not be used to turn Palestinian homes into rubble, displace families, and tear apart communities. I look forward to the State Department providing the information necessary to ensure that U.S.-supplied military equipment in the West Bank is not being used in this destructive practice.” Read more at Responsible Statecraft
For a moment, it seemed there was a light at the end of Israel’s political tunnel. Although Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party won fewer Knesset seats in the March 3 election than Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, sheer hatred of Netanyahu drove his former ally, the right-wing Avigdor Liberman, toward Gantz’s camp and what seemed like a narrow majority of support for a new government.
The idea was that Blue and White, with 33 seats, would create a coalition with the Labor-Gesher-Meretz center-left bloc (seven seats) and Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party (seven seats) and get support “from the outside”— the Joint List, the mostly Palestinian bloc of parties which won a remarkable 15 seats. With Netanyahu’s coalition yielding only 58 seats, all Gantz would need is one more than that to form a government, under Israel’s parliamentary rules. It would be a highly unstable government, but it would at least avert yet another election on top of the three Israel has held in the last year. And it would augur Netanyahu’s long-awaited departure from the Prime Minister’s Office. Read more at Responsible Statecraft