Stephen Zunes : Human Rights

Erdogan Can Celebrate the Turkish Referendum—For Now
20 April 2017

Declaring victory in the recent plebiscite granting him extraordinary powers, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan consolidated his authoritarian rule. A new constitutional amendment abolishes the country’s parliamentary system and gives the once-weak executive almost unlimited authority. It passed in the midst of a state of emergency imposed after last year’s coup attempt.

The Bipartisan Effort against Campaigns for Corporate Responsibility
22 March 2017

The Trump Administration’s efforts to legitimize the Israeli occupation and illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories has received surprising bipartisan support. A series of bills passed or under consideration in Washington and in state capitols seeks to punish companies, religious denominations, academic associations, and other entities which support the use of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions […]

Pro-Palestinian activism faces suppression on Catholic campuses
9 March 2017

At Marquette University last year, the Students for Justice chapter initially received administration approval to erect a large wooden barrier symbolizing Israel’s separation barrier in the West Bank. The barrier at Marquette included slogans and pictures from the actual wall illegally constructed in the occupied territory. The university quickly removed it, however, determining that the […]

Trump’s Far-Right Israel Stance Creates an Opening for the Left
17 February 2017

It was a surreal scene: On February 15, President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington, D.C. and spoke of their “shared values” which have “advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace,” while at the same time retreating from the longstanding call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian […]

Once Again, Democrats Are Blowing It on Middle East Peace
11 January 2017

In the first major foreign policy vote of the new Congress, most Democrats sided with Donald Trump — and against international law — on Israeli settlements.

Obama’s Support for International Law Draws Bipartisan Ire
29 December 2016

Here’s one way to look at it: The United States was the only country in the fifteen-member U.N. Security Council that did not support a resolution passed last week criticizing Israel for continuing to expand illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

Anti-war movement must listen to voices within Syria’s civil war
10 October 2016

With the prospects of increased U.S. military involvement in Syria, peace activists have been mobilizing across the country. Recognizing the disastrous results of recent U.S. military interventions, the suspicions throughout the region regarding Washington’s motivations, and the lack of any major cohesive democratic armed force to support, there is a widespread understanding within the anti-war […]

From Gaza to Aleppo: A Handy Guide for Defending War Crimes
7 October 2016

Given the United States’ disastrous record in the Middle East—most critically the invasion and occupation of Iraq—and the manifold lies coming out of Washington to justify its policies, many Americans are understandably skeptical about U.S. interventions and the rationalizations used to defend them. This leads many Americans to oppose both direct intervention in Syria and […]

The Death of One of Washington’s Favorite Tyrants
7 September 2016

The death of long-time Uzbekistan dictator Islam Karimov has brought rare U.S. media attention to the Central Asian country of 30 million. Uzbekistan is ranked among the half dozen worst countries in the world for human-rights abuses. What U.S. government officials and our media mostly ignore, however, is that American taxpayers subsidized that regime and […]

“Most Progressive Dem Platform in History” Hawkish on Foreign Policy
27 July 2016

The Democratic Party platform may indeed be, as some have proclaimed, the “most progressive” in the history of the party—at least on various important domestic issues. But some of its foreign policy planks reflect a disturbingly hawkish worldview consistent with those of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.