Friday, May 25, 2018

Israel's 'anger diplomacy' leads nowhere


Yossi Beilin, Al-Monitor

Image from article, with caption: A special session of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the deteriorating human rights situation in the Palestinian territories hears a video message from UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine, Michael Lynk, in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2018.


The May 18 decision of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to establish a commission of inquiry into the killing of Palestinian protesters in the latest clashes at the Gaza border, especially those on May 14, was met with a Pavlovian response from Jerusalem: Israel will boycott the commission, will not allow its members to visit Israel and will refrain from testifying to it. As in the past, it might make do with submitting an official paper that explains the need to defend its borders, and protect its citizens.

The UN council is a very problematic body as far as Israel is concerned. Its critique over the years has been far from professionally objective, and much closer to hostile. Most of its debates and decisions touch on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its leaning against Israel is evident, as is the fact that it overlooks other cases around the world, involving much greater numbers of casualties and cruelty that can’t be denied and can’t be ignored.

But over the years Israel’s use of the right to remain silent has not helped at all, has not strengthened its case and has not raised second thoughts among critics of the Jewish state. When the Jewish South African Judge Richard Goldstone headed a commission of inquiry on behalf of the council in 2009, to investigate the events of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, Israel boycotted him and his commission. The report was indeed very critical, but two years later Goldstone published a surprising essay in The Washington Post, where he wrote that if Israel would have cooperated with him, if it had revealed the relevant material to him, which had reached him in the meantime, he would not have accused it of the crimes it was accused of.

Despite all this, Israel sticks to its stance. In 2012, it decided to break any ties to the commission. Shortly afterward Jerusalem changed policy and made every effort to reconnect with the commission, since someone in the government understood that anger can’t guide Israel’s foreign policy and that self-isolation does not punish the state’s rivals or its enemies — only Israel itself.

The United Nations is an organization intended to protect small nations, so that they are not trampled on by the world powers, as occurred in the two world wars that preceded its establishment. But to meet this challenge, every state, small or large, holds the same weight in its vote in the UN General Assembly and its various bodies (except on the Security Council). Most of these states were only established in recent decades. These are among the “nonaligned nations,” and they support anything they see as movements fighting for the freedom of their people, while they see Israel as part of the West, and as a colonial state — not as a state that has gathered persecuted Jews and defends them. The work of persuasion is much more difficult than fleeing, and so the Israeli tendency is not to make an effort, but to boycott and cut itself off.

This week, I returned from one of the least comfortable forums for Israel: the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. This has been a problematic forum for official Israel over the years, and the Israelis who participate in its discussions are not — usually — official representatives. The meeting May 18 dealt with possible ways to find a path out of the dead end the peace process has reached in recent years. Most speakers were Palestinians, a few were Israelis, along with researchers sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. The setting was the UN building in New York, and in the audience were many ambassadors and statesmen, such as the Indonesian foreign minister, but also a wider audience of students and experts.

What was said on stage was generally careful and diplomatic. It was much more difficult to hear the “questions” from the audience, most of which — as usual — were short speeches. These were, in general, provocative, touching not only on Israel’s refusal to accept Palestinian demands for an agreement, but also the traditional Arab criticism of the very creation of Israel, the right of the Zionist movement to exist and other such arguments that have been repeated for decades, and which give Israelis goosebumps every time they hear them.

This was an opportunity to explain to the young people in the hall the Israeli position, the logic of Zionism and the goal of those who strive for peace in Israel to reach an agreement with the Palestinian people — first of all for selfish reasons, from the understanding that without a border we can’t ensure a democratic state with a Jewish majority, and without peaceful relations we and our neighbors would live by the sword.

This was not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s version of public diplomacy[JB emphasis], which concentrates on historical proofs for grave Palestinian conduct and Palestinian refusal, but rather an attempt to explain Israel from its subjective viewpoint, as a home for the Jewish people that would not come at the expense of Palestinians who live in Israel or the occupied territories. After the discussion, a young woman from Gaza approached me and said that if that’s the Israeli position, she is prepared to accept it. She also admitted that she didn’t have the courage to say that before the wider audience.

I don’t wish to deceive myself. Such conversations do not change reality. But boycotting them is an outrageous waste of forums that are interested in hearing our voice, where our voice is not heard now. Seeding doubt among people who are used to a certain kind of propaganda could turn them into our partners in the future, while boycotting does not gain us anything but a release from the unpleasant necessity of challenging people. As for official Israel, it not only has to explain but also to listen. Some of the insights voiced at such forums, like some of the questions of the commission of inquiry, are worth hearing, dealing with and drawing conclusions from.

This policy of burying one’s head in the sand has large implications, beyond the question whether an Israeli presence at UN debates could change international resolutions or the outcome of different inquiry committees. This introverted approach and resorting again and again to a group of supporting countries, which are hardly Israel’s first choice of allies or role models, affects Israel’s new generation of diplomats. These young diplomats become persuaded that the whole world is against Israel, and therefore dialogue will lead nowhere. And so they are led to prefer not coping with the situation, dropping all attempts at convincing others and any attempts of understanding the positions of others. The isolation price that Israel might pay for such mindset could become very costly.

Boycotting the commission of inquiry of the Human Rights Council is very convenient for officials in Israel, and staves off, for the short term, a big headache. But in the long run it damages the national interest. Inviting the commission to Israel, meeting with its members and presenting Israel’s detailed positions could prevent an extreme report. A boycott invites such a report, which would add to continuing damage to the image of the state, even when it doesn’t deserve it.

Yossi Beilin, Ph.D., served in various positions in the Knesset and in Israeli government posts, the last of which was justice and religious affairs minister. After resigning from Israeli Labor, Beilin headed the Meretz Party. Among other things, he initiated the Oslo process, the Beilin-Abu Mazen agreement, the Geneva Initiative and the Birthright project.

Intled community mourns slain Pakistani student in US


Kerrie Kennedy, The Pie News: News and business analysis for Professionals in International Education; original article contains additional links

Image from article, with caption: Exchange student Sabika Sheikh was one of 10 people killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting.

Members of the international education community have been offering their condolences and describing the murder of 10 victims including a 17-year old exchange student from Pakistan in a Texas school shooting as “profoundly heartbreaking”.

The student had described her acceptance on to the exchange program as the best thing that had ever happened to her

Sabika Sheikh was studying at Santa Fe High School as part of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program when she was among those killed by a gunman on May 18.

According to BBC reports, Sabika’s funeral was among the first to be held, at a mosque in suburban Houston, with more than 3,000 members of the Texas Muslim community attending to pay tribute to the student who had described her acceptance on to the exchange program as the best thing that had ever happened to her.

Her host family described their time with her as “a precious gift,” saying they had even joined Sabika in fasting during Ramadan.

YES program manager Megan Lysaght confirmed Sabika’s death on May 18, and messages of support and condolences flooded across social media in the aftermath of the event.



Youth Exchange and Study (YES)
last Saturday
Our global family is devastated by this tragedy and mourns the loss of our student, Sabika. We send our deepest condolences to Sabika’s friends, families, and loved ones in the U.S., Pakistan, and around the world.
The YES program works to create greater understanding among people from around the world. We will remember Sabika as we continue that work, with hope for a more peaceful future.

A spokesperson for The Council on International Educational Exchange told The PIE News that the team was devastated by the horrific shootings and tragic deaths of students and teachers at Santa Fe High School.

“CIEE extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” the spokesperson said.

Sabika was studying as part of a State Department-sponsored educational exchange program—a program that was devised to promote mutual understanding and respect between communities and nations by facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences, the spokesperson continued.

“That Sabika was killed while bravely participating in such a valuable peacebuilding and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] program is profoundly heartbreaking.”

Speaking to the media, Sabika’s father Abdul Aziz highlighted that the incident would not deter him from sending his children abroad in the pursuit of education.

“If my children get a scholarship or any other opportunity to study abroad, I will certainly send them. If we let these incidents deter us it means we are promoting those people who want to stop children from receiving an education.”

There have been more deaths in US school shootings so far in 2018 than there have been deaths in the US military, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

Earlier this year a report by Intead and FPP EDU Media noted a major jump in students flagging up safety concerns as influencing their study abroad decisions.

It found that in 2016, 23% of students indicated that their sense of personal safety in the destination country was a strong factor in their decision making.

“These international professors and students are not here living in fear”

In 2017, 88% of students said that a strong campus safety program was helpful or very helpful to their decision making.

Speaking to The PIE, CEO of Intead Ben Waxman sent his condolences to the victims and added that he believes the US is still a very safe place for international students.

“When these tragic things happen here in the States, often the media pick up on it and tend to use the story to sell papers and I don’t mean to diminish the tragedy, but it makes it difficult to explain the relative safety of the US,” he said.

“These incidents do occur more frequently in the US than in other countries, but it doesn’t mean our campuses are not safe. It’s easy to feel that, we all feel a level of concern and that’s natural.

“We have our work cut out trying to show what great opportunity there is here, what a fantastic and safe place [the US] is to live and study in.”

Waxman said he would recommend US campuses record a video showing how international professors and students live their lives day to day “having very natural, very American university experiences”.

“These international professors and students are not here living in fear,” he added.

US envoys treated badly in Pakistan, Pompeo tells Congress


Anwar Iqbal, dawn.com

image from


WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has informed the Congress that American officials are treated badly in Pakistan, adding that Washington released “far fewer funds” to Pakistan in 2018 and may give even less next year.

Excerpt:

The decision to raise the issue of mistreatment of US officials in Pakistan during a public hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Committee indicates that Islamabad’s once close relationship with Washington has almost ended and Pakistan is now treated as an adversary.

“My officers, our state department officers are being treated badly as well, folks working in the embassies and councils [and] in other places are not being treated well by the Pakistani government either,” said Mr Pompeo during a debate on the US State Department’s budget requests for the next fiscal year.

While the discussion focused on Iran, North Korea and other urgent issues, Congressman Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, brought Pakistan into the debate, saying: “As to Pakistan, it is a country of great importance to us and…I hope the state department would do public diplomacy [JB emphasis] in the Sindhi language and I hope that you would reach out to the leaders of Pakistan about the disappearances in Sindh and the forced disappearances [in other areas].”

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, later noted that the Trump administration’s budget request for the next year had no increase for Pakistan. “I don’t see any reason whatsoever to give the government of Pakistan any money…in terms of our foreign aid until Dr [Shakil] Afridi, the man who helped us bring justice to Osama bin Laden [is released],” he said.

“Our Pakistani friends have proven their friendship by keeping them in a dungeon in Afghanistan,” he added with a sarcastic note.

Secretary Pompeo informed him that the administration had “released far fewer funds” in 2018 than in the previous year. “The remainder of the funds available are under review. My guess is that that number will be smaller still,” he said.

He said that in his previous role as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he “worked diligently [but] unsuccessfully” on the issue of Dr Afridi. “Please be aware that it’s at my heart and I know it’s important and we can do that. We can achieve that outcome,” he added.

Congressman Rohrabacher, who, like Mr Sherman, often works with Pakistani dissident groups in Washington, went back to the issue of forced disappearances.

“And it’s getting worse in Pakistan. These people in Karachi and the Sindhis and the others, they’re now facing these, you know, people who are killing their leaders or killing their people who believe in certain things that are different than the radical Islamic philosophy of some of the people in the Pakistani government,” he said.

Secretary Pompeo raised the issue of mistreatment of US officials in Pakistan while responding to Mr Rohrabacher’s remarks, claiming that Pakistan was meting out a similar treatment of American diplomats as well.

It is “a real problem that we need to take the measure of also,” he said.

Earlier this month, the United States ordered Pakistani diplomats in Washington to remain within a 25-mile radius of the city, indicating that it was in retaliation for similar restrictions on US diplomats in Islamabad and other Pakistani cities.

Thomas Suozzi, a New York Democrat, asked the secretary who would be his main point person on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We have a number of people. We have Ms [Alice] Wells working on it, we have in our ambassador in Kabul, Ambassador Bass, we have our master in Islamabad, Ambassador Hail, each of whom is working on implementing” the administration’s South Asia strategy, he said, indicating that he had no plan to appoint a new person.

At Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, Portman Urges Secretary Pompeo to Continue the Maximum Pressure Campaign on North Korea


portman.senate.gov

Portman image (not from entry) from

Portman also Secures Commitment for Full Support of Global Engagement Center’s Counter-Propaganda Mission & Help European Countries Screen Foreign Investments in Critical National Security Technologies and Industries

Excerpt:

[Senator Portman:] “Based on legislation Senator Murphy, who is here today, and I wrote several years ago, you now have the ability to do that because we have invested in the State Department this responsibility to coordinate all of our international efforts on pushing back on disinformation, propaganda, but also being more effective on getting our information out. I am encouraged by your budget request, $53.5 million. I’m also encouraged that the DOD funding is finally coming your way. I do think that the DOD funding should perhaps be looked at as a two-year funding source now that we’re so close to the fiscal year. I hope you’ll look into that, I think that would be helpful. You also talked about ensuring that the right people are in place, not just contractors but having folks who are there who are senior members of your Foreign Service Organization who can really make this GEC the effective body that you believe it can be. First, I appreciate your personal commitment to this that you made during the confirmation process, and second, I just want to ask you, where are you with GEC and what can we be doing to help you?”

[Secretary Pompeo:] “I have sadly little progress to identify for you this morning. We now can hire, there are 13 full-time positions that were frozen out from being hired. We’re working on it. I agree with you, we need career professionals working and leading parts of that organization. It’s going to take me a bit to get us where we need to be, so a little forbearance. But now that we are working hard at it, I would like to put it in context with what I think is an incredible priority. It’s not just the GEC that’s an important place that has a lot of money. As public diplomacy [JB emphasis] goes, $60 million is a lot of money; we should be able to do some incredibly effective work there. But we’ve got the BBG, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, that I’m an ex-official member of, there’s just a lot of places, and I will tell you, I don’t believe it’s well coordinated inside the State Department. It sits in at least two different places, four bureaus, two secretariats, there’s a lot of work to be done to get that right so that we can begin that important piece of American diplomacy. I’m focused on it, I’ve got one of my senior advisors coming to me with a plan, I have believed this for a long time. I was a young member from Kansas, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to get it going and it overwhelmed me but now I have the opportunity to do it and I’m looking forward to building it out.”...

Documents Show US Always Seeking Regime Change in Iran


ifpnews.com

uncaptioned image from article

Documented evidence suggests various US administrations have always pursued overt and covert plots and earmarked huge sums of money to overthrow the Iranian government.

The Tasnim News Agency has, in an opinion piece, weighed in on US attempts to overthrow the Iranian government. The highlights of the article follow.

The speech by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative American think tank, which was his first remarks on Washington’s foreign policy on Iran, was described as a speech focusing on toppling the Iranian government. However, the policy of seeking regime change in Iran is not a new strategy by the US, and has always been on the agenda of different US administrations, but failed all the time.

In the Algeria Accords and following the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, Washington promised not to interfere in Iran’s affairs. Nevertheless, evidence shows that the White House has always put on its agenda efforts to bring about a regime change in Iran through soft and hard approaches.

At certain points in time, this issue has been pursued via a hard military approach, and at other times through a soft overthrow strategy under the guise of democracy and human rights programs.

After the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the US Congress and officials have believed that one of the objectives of the deal is to bring about a soft change in Iran’s power and domestic policy and to transmute the nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s system. The opponents of the nuclear agreement such as US President Donald Trump are against the JCPOA because they are of the conviction that the agreement is not strong enough to effect such a change, and, hence, demand tougher approaches be used to achieve the objective.

In fact, attempts by the White House to attain that goal are not limited to the era following the conclusion of the nuclear deal. We can say the plan to contain and manage Iran is a policy which has always been on the US agenda since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and millions of dollars have been spent on it, so far.

Kenneth Katzman, a senior analyst on Iran issues at the US Congressional Research Service, has, in the numerous reports he has written recently about Iran, mentioned the budget that Washington has allocated to different Congress-approved programs aimed at bringing about a soft regime change in Iran.

In his last report dubbed “Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and US Policy,” he explains that the US Congress and different US administrations have ratified spending packages in order to bring about fundamental changes in Iran through the “promotion of democracy.”

In a table titled the “Iran Democracy Promotion Funding,” Katzman has mentioned the funds earmarked by different American institutions to bring about regime change in Iran. The table is as follows:

(FY: Fiscal Year)

FY2004: Foreign operations appropriation (P.L. 108-199) earmarked $1.5 million for “educational, humanitarian and non-governmental organizations and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of democracy and human rights in Iran.” The State Department Bureau of Democracy and Labor (DRL) gave $1 million to a unit of Yale University, and $500,000 to National Endowment for Democracy.

FY2005: $3 million from FY2005 foreign aid appropriation (P.L. 108-447) for democracy promotion. Priority areas: political party development, media, labor rights, civil society promotion, and human rights.

FY2006: $11.15 million for democracy promotion from regular FY2006 foreign aid appropriation (P.L. 109-102). $4.15 million administered by DRL and $7 million for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

FY2006 supp.: Total of $66.1 million (of $75 million requested) from FY2006 supplemental (P.L. 109-234): $20 million for democracy promotion; $5 million for public diplomacy [JB emphasis] directed at the Iranian population; $5 million for cultural exchanges; and $36.1 million for Voice of America-TV and “Radio Farda” broadcasting. Broadcasting funds are provided through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

FY2007: FY2007 continuing resolution provided $6.55 million for Iran (and Syria) to be administered through DRL. $3.04 million was used for Iran. No funds were requested.

FY2008: $60 million (of $75 million requested) is contained in Consolidated Appropriation (H.R. 2764, P.L. 110-161), of which, according to the conference report, $21.6 million is ESF for prodemocracy programs, including nonviolent efforts to oppose Iran’s meddling in other countries. $7.9 million is from a “Democracy Fund” for use by DRL. The appropriation also fully funded additional $33.6 million requested for Iran broadcasting: $20 million for VOA Persian service; $8.1 million for Radio Farda (RFE/RL); and $5.5 million for exchanges with Iran.

FY2009: Request was for $65 million in ESF “to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for a democratic and open society by promoting civil society, civic participation, media freedom, and freedom of information.” H.R. 1105 (P.L. 111-8) provides $25 million for democracy promotion programs in the region, including in Iran.

FY2010: $40 million requested and used for Near East Regional Democracy programming. Programs to promote human rights, civil society, and public diplomacy in Iran constitute a significant use of these region-wide funds.

FY2011: $40 million requested and will be used for Near East Regional Democracy programs. Programming for Iran with these funds to be similar to FY2010.

FY2012: $35 million for Near East Regional Democracy (NERD), and Iran-related use similar to FY2010 and FY2011.

FY2013: $30 million for NERD, with Iran use similar to prior two fiscal years. About $583,000 was obligated for Iran democracy promotion.

FY2014: $30 million for NERD. About $1 million was obligated for Iran democracy promotion.

FY2015: $30 million for NERD. About $675,000 was obligated for Iran democracy promotion

FY2016: $32 million for NERD, About $900,000 was obligated for Iran democracy promotion.

FY2017: $30 million for NERD, with Iran use likely similar to prior years.

FY2018: $15 million requested, with Iran use likely similar to prior years.

(Sources: Information provided by State Department and reviewed by Department’s Iran Office,

February 1, 2010; State Department Congressional Budget Justifications; USAID Explorer database.)

Of course, the funding earmarked by the US to bring about changes in power equations in Iran must be much higher than what mentioned in the table above because the institutions tasked with running the regime change programs are, in fact, sponsored by other organizations as well.

Moreover, the table does not mention the budget covertly allocated by different US administrations to schemes aimed at creating unrest in Iran. Such funds are usually not mentioned in annual financial statements.

As a case in point, renowned American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in a report that the US Congress, back in 2008, gave the thumbs up to $400 million in funds requested by the administration of former US President George W. Bush to advance a secret program aimed at fueling sectarian-religious tension and bringing about a soft regime change in Iran. Bush had put forward the request in a highly confidential document dubbed the “Presidential Finding.” Naturally, the figure is not mentioned in the United States’ annual budget.

Another point is that most funds and programs allocated to regime change in Iran and mentioned by Katzman may initially seem like plans only aimed at promoting democracy, advancing human rights, and reinforcing civil institutions and NGOs. Nevertheless, a closer look at how those programs are supposed to be implemented in Iran and other countries will unmask the truth.

The so-called “Democracy Promotion” programs are, in fact, schemes launched by some “soft power” organization in the US and, as they claim, are aimed at boosting democratic institutions across the globe. They include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the National Democratic Institute, etc.

Most of these institutions announce that they aim to contribute to humanitarian projects and the promotion of democracy. However, the programs pursued by these institutions and ostensibly aimed at promoting democracy have objectives which are direct opposite to the announced goals. Some international analysts believe the programs are, in fact, schemes aimed at bringing changes in the political systems of different countries through a soft and non-violent approach.

Accordingly, there is a lot of documented evidence that American institutions have launched programs to bring about a regime change in Iran through a soft approach.

For instance, the NED has held workshops in Dubai in recent years through one of its affiliates dubbed the International Republican Institute, teaching how to overthrow the Iranian ruling system.

Also, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had requested $75 million in funding from Congress to launch a propaganda and media war against Iran and help dissidents inside the country.

Intled community mourns slain Pakistani student in US


Kerrie Kennedy, The Pie News: News and business analysis for Professionals in International Education; original article contains additional links

Image from article, with caption: Exchange student Sabika Sheikh was one of 10 people killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting.

Members of the international education community have been offering their condolences and describing the murder of 10 victims including a 17-year old exchange student from Pakistan in a Texas school shooting as “profoundly heartbreaking”.

The student had described her acceptance on to the exchange program as the best thing that had ever happened to her.

Sabika Sheikh was studying at Santa Fe High School as part of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program when she was among those killed by a gunman on May 18.

According to BBC reports, Sabika’s funeral was among the first to be held, at a mosque in suburban Houston, with more than 3,000 members of the Texas Muslim community attending to pay tribute to the student who had described her acceptance on to the exchange program as the best thing that had ever happened to her.

Her host family described their time with her as “a precious gift,” saying they had even joined Sabika in fasting during Ramadan.

YES program manager Megan Lysaght confirmed Sabika’s death on May 18, and messages of support and condolences flooded across social media in the aftermath of the event.



Youth Exchange and Study (YES)
last Saturday
Our global family is devastated by this tragedy and mourns the loss of our student, Sabika. We send our deepest condolences to Sabika’s friends, families, and loved ones in the U.S., Pakistan, and around the world.
The YES program works to create greater understanding among people from around the world. We will remember Sabika as we continue that work, with hope for a more peaceful future.

A spokesperson for The Council on International Educational Exchange told The PIE News that the team was devastated by the horrific shootings and tragic deaths of students and teachers at Santa Fe High School.

“CIEE extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” the spokesperson said.

Sabika was studying as part of a State Department-sponsored educational exchange program—a program that was devised to promote mutual understanding and respect between communities and nations by facilitating the exchange of ideas and experiences, the spokesperson continued.

“That Sabika was killed while bravely participating in such a valuable peacebuilding and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] program is profoundly heartbreaking.”

Speaking to the media, Sabika’s father Abdul Aziz highlighted that the incident would not deter him from sending his children abroad in the pursuit of education.

“If my children get a scholarship or any other opportunity to study abroad, I will certainly send them. If we let these incidents deter us it means we are promoting those people who want to stop children from receiving an education.”

There have been more deaths in US school shootings so far in 2018 than there have been deaths in the US military, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

Earlier this year a report by Intead and FPP EDU Media noted a major jump in students flagging up safety concerns as influencing their study abroad decisions.

It found that in 2016, 23% of students indicated that their sense of personal safety in the destination country was a strong factor in their decision making.

“These international professors and students are not here living in fear”

In 2017, 88% of students said that a strong campus safety program was helpful or very helpful to their decision making.

Speaking to The PIE, CEO of Intead Ben Waxman sent his condolences to the victims and added that he believes the US is still a very safe place for international students.

“When these tragic things happen here in the States, often the media pick up on it and tend to use the story to sell papers and I don’t mean to diminish the tragedy, but it makes it difficult to explain the relative safety of the US,” he said.

“These incidents do occur more frequently in the US than in other countries, but it doesn’t mean our campuses are not safe. It’s easy to feel that, we all feel a level of concern and that’s natural.

“We have our work cut out trying to show what great opportunity there is here, what a fantastic and safe place [the US] is to live and study in.”

Waxman said he would recommend US campuses record a video showing how international professors and students live their lives day to day “having very natural, very American university experiences”.

“These international professors and students are not here living in fear,” he added.

Undergraduates benefit from former British prime minister's insights on globalization


Susan Bell, dornsife.usc.edu

Gordon Brown shares his perspective on the current crisis in Syria, the 2008 global financial crisis and other major global events, as well as his opinions on the future of our global community.

Image from article, with caption: Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a lecture to USC undergraduates.

Excerpt:
Brown, who first taught at the university in 2015, returned to USC Dornsife this Spring to lead the course “Globalization with Gordon Brown,” delivering eight lectures from March 22 to April 10. ...

Issues students explored during the course included the challenges in creating a globalization that works best for everyone; identifying the main winners and losers from globalization; the impact of China and Asia’s rise; the roles of the United States and Europe; global climate change; the future of global cooperation; and the United Nations and its role in ending world poverty, illiteracy and disease. ...

Jamie Kwong, a senior majoring in international relations with a master’s in public diplomacy [JB emphasis], said Brown had provided thoughtful insight on the challenges globalization presents to international institutions.

“Being able to think through these pressing issues with a leader who has been in the room for these high-level conversations was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Kwong, who joins King’s College London next year on a Marshall Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in war studies. ...