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

But congressional Democrats won’t act without a push.
In These Times & The Huffington Post February 17, 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 conflict.

The problem with leftist support for Syria’s Assad regime & How Syria Divides the Left: An Interview With Middle East Scholar Stephen Zunes

Despite his country being in the throes of one of the worst wars of our time, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad unveiled a statue of his late father, Hafez Assad, in Hama, one of the birthplaces of the rebellion against his rule. There is currently a tenuous ceasefire in place between Assad and the rebel groups he is fighting. According to Al Jazeera Assad has made an offer to swap prisoners with the rebels as a gesture of goodwill. [This item’s no longer available.]

Truthout July 10, 2017Interviewed Dr. Zunes
SZ: “Most credible academics and journalists on the left, while varying to some degree in their analyses, generally agree that the Syrian regime is horrifically repressive and not particularly progressive by any measure.    There is also a consensus that the bulk of the armed opposition is dominated by reactionary Salafist extremists and that the largely nonviolent movement that first emerged in 2011 had strong progressive and democratic elements, but has largely been crushed. Further, the United States and other outside powers (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Britain, France, etc.) should not be bombing, sending arms, providing troops or contributing to the carnage in any way….”

Fordham ban of Palestine group contradicts free speech, Jesuit values

National Catholic Reporter February 9, 2017
Perhaps it is a sign that we are indeed in the age of Trump when a Jesuit university bans a student organization with “justice” in its name.    Although Students for Justice in Palestine went through all the required procedures and obtained approval from the student government, Fordham University in New York has prohibited the group’s recognition as a student organization. The move raises serious concerns not only regarding Fordham’s commitment to justice, long a priority for Jesuit universities, but also regarding its students’ rights to free speech and association and the spirit of an open university that protects free inquiry.

Panel discussion on Trump’s foreign policy agenda

[This audio recording is no longer available.]
The president says the world is in trouble, and the US is going to straighten it out. The EU says the new administration is putting into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy. There are at least question marks over relations with China, Iran and other Muslim-majority countries, Russia, Japan, Mexico, and now Australia. There is the prospect of better relations with Russia, Israel and the UK. Trump meanwhile says that virtually every country in the world is taking advantage of the US. What does this all mean in practice? Will the US realign its place in the world, and is that a good thing? Is there a ‘grand strategy’?