On the same day this week that President Obama announced a measure that could give legal protection to 5 million undocumented immigrants, massive protests raged across Mexico against the impunity and corruption that led to the horrific massacre of 43 students. From Mexico City, Sergio Sarmiento, Elena Poniatowska and Homero Aridjis chronicle the events and ponder what's next. Anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz examines the causes behind Mexico's corrosive impunity. Meanwhile, as Xin Chunying writes from Beijing, China is also seeking to establish the rule of law through steadily boosting the role of the National People's Congress. While stifling dissent, China's President Xi is taking on both "tigers and flies" in his no-holds-barred assault from the top down on corruption. Can China's effort succeed without active public engagement? Can Mexico learn from China and move from angry protest to systemic change? (continued)
Water is at the center of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that was further fueled by the violent events of the summer, and has left an estimated 1.2 million Palestinians with intermittent water supplies.
It takes a strong state, not (to paraphrase Hillary Clinton) a democratic village, to aggressively fight climate change. This is the inconvenient message emerging in the wake of the Xi-Obama deal on global warming announced in Beijing this week. Both leaders will pursue executive action to fulfill their pledges. As Kerry Brown writes, Xi's decision is binding within China because a long process of consultation and consensus building within the Communist Party stands behind it. What Obama can do is up for grabs. No sooner did the pledge escape his lips than the incoming Republican majority leaders in the U.S. Congress make their own pledge to block Obama by any means necessary. In The WorldPost this week, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim writes that the landmark Xi-Obama agreement is not only good for the environment, but also for the economy. Environmentalist Bill McKibben parses out "what the deal is, and what it isn't." (continued)
It remains to be seen what sort of response this petition elicits both in its favor, and in opposition; and whether it encourages comparable petitions at other institutions, academic or otherwise.
Leading Democrats in Washington have joined Republicans in claiming that the people killed and the dwellings destroyed from Israeli bombing and shelling were legitimate acts of self-defense against military targets and dismissing reports by reputable Israeli and international human rights groups saying otherwise.
Leave it to Netanyahu, however, to use the Gaza experience to justify the continuation of the occupation rather than working out airtight plans with the PA that would entail security measures to ensure that the West Bank does not become a staging ground for attacks on Israel.
Once a taboo subject in Washington, the value of the U.S.-Israeli alliance has increasingly come under scrutiny among even leading members of the foreign policy establishment.
The world is at a tipping point. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing rise of China and other emerging economies, fragile institutions -- the Asia Pacific Economic Community summit taking place in Beijing and the G-20 in a few days in Brisbane -- are trying to hold the links of peace and prosperity together.
The 1.8 million Palestinians who make Gaza their home are calling for help from anyone that is willing to hear them. What they need is not only a roof to live under, but, more importantly, a horizon that can give them hope for the future.
While seeing the world and its wide expanse of colorful cultures, ardent belief systems and timeless architecture is important, I feel that spending time in the particular places that have your heart is just as significant and worth pursuing.
One need not look far and wide to discern Netanyahu's disingenuousness and misguided policies that have only undermined Israel's future security. He uses his political skills to deceive and mislead in order to "protect himself from political defeat" while disregarding what is best for the future of the state.
Josh Malina, who was also in the cast of "The West Wing," is one of the few in Hollywood that is outspoken in their support for Israel.
Even one of the mainstay journals of American academia, the Chronicle of Higher Education, is not immune from inaccuracies and misstatements. This points to an inability, and perhaps unwillingness, of the mainstream media to treat the issue of the academic boycott of Israel in a fair-handed manner.
The "conventional wisdom", as projected by some former U.S. officials and pro-Israel groups, is that Israelis will only make peace when they are given everything they want and feel secure. In fact, the opposite is true. It is only external pressure -- especially from the U.S. -- that historically has forced Israelis to make the right choice.
The savagery of ISIS, the slaughterhouse of Syria's civil war, the marauding militias in Libya and the restored autocracy in Egypt have devoured the hopes of the Facebook generation that spawned the Arab Spring. In Tunisia alone the spirit of the Jasmine Revolution still flowers. While the character of Tunisian society and culture has much to celebrate with its success, including just-completed peaceful elections that favored the main secular party, there is another factor: the absence of outside intervention, particularly from the West. In The WorldPost this week Rafik Abdessalem, Tunisia's former foreign minister, explains why despotism will never return to his country. Soumaya Ghannoushi argues that the many years that activists from the moderate Islamist Ennahdha Party spent in exile abroad taught them "the art of compromise and consensus, which may be the hallmark of the nascent Tunisian political model." Jonathan Labin, head of Middle East, Africa and Pakistan for Facebook, chronicles how the same social media that fomented political upheaval is now connecting young people in the region to jobs. (continued)
During times of conflict and political or religious civil unrest, the power of the human spirit's capacity for non-violent protest and kindness still shines through.