Friday, June 1, 2007

Editor's Introduction - May 2007

“On Israel, America and AIPAC” by George Soros. New York Review of Books. April 12, 2007.

An Annotation:

This month’s Roundtable panel addresses a hotly contested, deeply emotional and politically crucial issue in the worlds of foreign policy and academia: Are Israel’s supporters in the United States contributing positively or negatively toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians? The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) advocates a Zionist position through its support of perpetual regional Israeli military dominance and economic sanctions directed toward Israel’s enemies, rather than constructive political engagement. On the other end of the spectrum are anti-Zionists who propose equally extreme positions utilizing sensationalist rhetoric, inflammatory metaphors (genocide and ethnic cleansing) and unrealistic political solutions (complete withdrawal to pre-1967 borders and unrestricted right to return for Palestinian refugees).

Somewhere lost between these two untenable positions is a workable policy. However arriving at this middle-ground will require a renewed, patient and frank dialogue motivated by clear headedness and willingness to compromise. As a result, we find before us one of the greatest questions facing modern politics: How do we—those who advocate for a peaceful settlement and the protection of human rights—embolden the marginalized, moderate voices who are straining to be heard in an arena dominated by impassioned polemics?

“The Palestine problem does not have a purely military solution. Military superiority is necessary for Israel’s national security, but it is not sufficient.”

Unrelenting devotion to a heavy-handed policy toward the Palestinians is the cornerstone of AIPAC’s advocacy. The failure of Israel and the West to acknowledge either a Hamas-led or unity Palestinian government has resulted in a further deterioration of the security situation and humanitarian conditions in the Occupied Territories. Yet, after nearly 60 years of perpetual strife and few signs of progress, proponents of this position refuse to consider alternatives. Furthermore, this ineffectual methodology has been exported and used by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, as well as by Israel against Lebanon in the summer of 2006. The notion that complex political struggles can be remedied or extinguished with externally-imposed brute force has repeatedly proved both antiquated and futile. How will any of these seemingly intractable conflicts be resolved when decision-makers are unwilling to imagine other, more nuanced and more creative, options?

“AIPAC under its current leadership has clearly exceeded its mission, and far from guaranteeing Israel’s existence, has endangered it.”

The true test as to the merit of AIPAC’s advocacy is whether the resultant policies have accomplished their intended goals. Are Israelis being kept safe? Is the state of Israel’s national existence secured? Are the current policies sustainable for the short- and long-term? To the extent that the solutions to any—or all—of these policy questions might be unfavorable to Israel, serves to underscore the necessity for current policies to be openly, yet cautiously, reconsidered.

“The current policy is not even questioned in the United States. While other problem areas of the Middle East are freely discussed, criticism of our policies toward Israel is very muted indeed.”

Moving forward, the question at the heart of the issue is whether critics of this monolithic policy will be given the opportunity to speak freely and offer alternative policy prescriptions that demonstrate greater respect for democracy and human rights, and provide the basis for lasting Israeli security. However, the constant charge by defenders of the current policy has been to equate criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism. In truth, some anti-Zionist detraction is indeed driven by intense ethnic hatred, and the oppressive behavior of the Israeli government and military has further fueled anti-Semitic sentiment. Leveraging this fact, AIPAC and its supporters frame all anti-Zionists as anti-Semitic, thereby discouraging— especially in the United States—the type of open criticism of Israel’s policies found within Israeli popular media. By stifling critical discussion of the issue, there can be no hope for progress toward peace in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Indeed, the only way to mediate the extreme voices on all sides of this issue and to empower moderate positions is to expand the space in which alternatives can be freely explored.

~ The Editors


Geopolitics or Human Rights?

by Judith Blau

“George Soros’ article...serves as a sobering reminder that the human rights revolution is constantly being scuttled by geopolitics that not only sideline human rights, but more devastatingly undermine their premises.”

George Soros’ article, “On Israel, America and AIPAC” serves as a sobering reminder that the human rights revolution is constantly being scuttled by geopolitics that not only sideline human rights, but more devastatingly undermine their premises. I happen to agree with him that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is a major obstacle to the U.S. normalizing relations with any country in the Middle East, including and especially Israel. AIPAC is something of a misnomer because it is a coalition, not a committee, and some of its key members include neo-cons, as Soros mentions, as well as Christian evangelicals. AIPAC has long been powerful in influencing American foreign policy with respect to Israel and the Middle East, but never as powerful as it is now with the Bush administration. From AIPAC’s perspective, to criticize Israel is tantamount to being anti-Semitic, and for that reason Soros (who is Jewish, but not religious) is going out on a limb. In the end, I am not optimistic that Soros will be persuasive. But by focusing on the victims (or at least those in the Occupied Territories) I will propose another strategy that could be pursued, which simply bypasses entrenched allegiances, perhaps undermining them altogether.

Soros contrasts the failure of the Bush administration to facilitate a unity government between Hamas and Fatah with the efforts underway led by Saudi King Abdullah. Since Soros wrote his article, a unity government has been put into place, led by President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Cabinet positions are split between Hamas and Fatah, with a few representatives of smaller parties. The 2006 economic boycott imposed on the Occupied Territories after the sweeping victory of Hamas remain in place in spite of the fact that the E.U. and the U.S. had earlier suggested a unity government would be acceptable. The E.U. and Soros’ main point is that AIPAC has fundamentally stymied the U.S. from playing a useful and even sane role in facilitating a process that would lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, if not a two-state solution. Since it was published, the Soros piece has been both praised and condemned in subsequent exchanges in the pages of the New York Review of Books.

These exchanges follow on the heels of others set off about a year earlier in an article published in The London Review of Books (LRB) by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, entitled, “The Israel Lobby.” The response to the article prompted the LRB to hold a debate under the heading “The Israel lobby: Does it have too much influence on American foreign policy?” The debate took place in New York on September 28 at Cooper Union. The panelists were Shlomo Ben-Ami, Martin Indyk, Tony Judt, Rashid Khalidi, John Mearsheimer and Dennis Ross, and the moderator was Anne-Marie Slaughter (A videocast of the debate is available online).

It is not as if these articles and live debates take place in a vacuum. Over the past year there has been an acrimonious fight between Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein involving similar issues (see Frank Menetrez’s April 30 th article in Counterpunch for a recent summary). And it is important to stress that there is a long history in which criticisms of Israel are interpreted as criticisms of Judaism. Hannah Arendt was accused of being an anti-Semite (see Commentary Magazine) in 1963 when she published Eichmann in Jerusalem

The truth of the matter is that Americans do not use the same standards for the state of Israel that they use for every other state, including their own, and since the 2003 invasion of Iraq this has been exacerbated. This has had devastating consequences for Palestinians. But in this regard the U.S. is not alone. In April 2006 the European Union and the U.S. both announced suspension of aid to the Palestinian Territories, with the E.U. announcing that it would only give need based assistance, and the U.S. announcing that it would only provide aid that “both protects and promotes democratic alternatives to Hamas” (it should be noted that the 2004 election was considered by election observers to be democratic and fair).

What is truly tragic is revealed by UNICEF's March 2007 Humanitarian Monitor for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Regardless of what the U.S. State Department and the E.U. External Affairs Office believe, there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding. The details reported by UNICEF are tragic beyond comprehension:

* The Palestinian Authority can no longer pay salaries of health care workers;

* Immunization programs and most drug dispensing programs for chronic illnesses have ceased;

* There are no elective surgeries and outpatient clinics have closed;

* There is a ban on the importation of many drugs;

* In March 2007, homes, olive tree groves and buildings were destroyed;

* In March 2007 schools, including kindergartens, were destroyed;

* Consistent with warnings issued in 2004, the Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant overflowed in March 2007, displacing more than 2,000 residents;

* In March 2007, over 67% of children between 9 and 12 months were malnourished;

* Food commodity imports declined appreciably in March 2007;

* 17 children under 18 were killed or injured in armed violence in March 2007;

* 384 children under 18 were held in detention by Israeli authorities in March 2007.

What can possibly be done? It might be assumed that eventually the U.S. and the E.U. would normalize relations with Israel, which in turn would mean more sensible thinking in the U.S. and the E.U. regarding the Occupied Territories. But in the meantime a “humanitarian crisis” is unfolding, according to a 2007 United Nations report. Eventually is too long to wait for residents of Gaza and the West Bank.

I would like to suggest an alternative, or supplementary strategy. Drawing from clear evidence of the determination and effectiveness of citizen-actors when they mobilize around human rights campaigns, a global citizens’ campaign would be effective against these harmful Israeli policies. As evidence of this, the international campaign and boycott played a critical role in the collapse of the South African apartheid regime, and there is now a boycott getting underway of companies that have operations in the Sudan. There have been effective boycotts of particular companies (e.g., Taco Bell, Nike, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola) and, also just getting underway, a boycott of Wal-Mart. As consumers have become more savvy about campaigns and mobilization, they have become more effective. For example, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) mobilized an increasingly successful campaign for “sweat-free campuses,” and now chapters of USAS have launched related campaigns, including those for a “Living Wage,” and “Workers’ Rights to Organize.” That is to say, students in the United States have become increasingly skillful in mobilizing around human rights, and in making connections involving different ethical issues.

We might imagine a campaign against multinationals headquartered in Israel, boycotts of products made or produced in Israel, and campaigns against companies located elsewhere that carry out substantial business with Israel. This may appear to be logistically complex, but waiting for heads of state to respond to the harms inflicted on Palestinians has taken far too long. Besides, the human rights revolution belongs to the people.

Judith Blau has published three books on human rights with Alberto Moncada: Human Rights: Beyond the Liberal Vision (2005); Justice in the United States: Human Rights & the US Constitution (2006); and, Freedoms and Solidarities: In Pursuit of Human Rights (2007). She is Director of the Social and Economic Justice (interdisciplinary) Undergraduate Minor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Blau and Moncada are now working on a volume on human rights that will be published by Paradigm. Outside of her academic work, Blau also serves as President of Sociologists without Borders.


Should Supporters of Israel Embrace an "Open Society"?

by Harry Kreisler

“The threat to sound U.S. Middle East policy may not be the existence of the Israeli faction in the American debate; rather, the threat may lie in the failure of that faction to embrace alternative ideas in light of a changing environment.”

Organizations, such as lobbies, must adapt to changes in their environment or they risk mission failure and possible extinction. Adaptation requires new ideas, new constituencies, and rigorous self-analysis. A vigorous internal debate raises the possibility of corrections in course as an organization navigates through its changing environment.

In “On Israel, America, and AIPAC,” financier George Soros has entered the debate on the role of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in the making of U.S. policy toward Israel. He writes that “a much-needed self-examination of American policy in the Middle East has started in this country; but it can't make much headway as long as AIPAC retains powerful influence in both the Democratic and Republican parties.”

Soros, a major funder of democratization abroad as well as of liberal candidates and research centers in the U.S., offers no new insight. Nonetheless, Soros’s entry into the controversy about U.S. relations with Israel is significant, and reflects changes in the policy environment that shapes U.S.-Israeli relations. Internationally,

* Iran has emerged as a major regional player racing to acquire nuclear weapons;

* Divisions between Sunni and Shia have re-emerged with enormous implications for the Middle East; and

* U.S. intervention and its subsequent occupation of Iraq has turned into a foreign policy disaster.

Within the United States,

* There is a renewed debate about U.S. relations with Israel provoked by two distinguished American academics: John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Steve Walt of Harvard University, and by a former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter;

* An FBI sting operation has netted two high AIPAC officials accused of passing top-secret data to Israel;

* The neo-conservative U.S. foreign policy hegemony has collapsed. Although the Israeli foreign policy establishment was skeptical of the Iraq invasion, there is a strong identification of the American neo-con architects of the failed Iraq policy with uncritical support of Israel and involvement in Israeli politics.

In this environment, supporters of Israel must rethink their strategy. Should they direct their energies toward influencing Israel to change its policies on the Palestinian problem, including issues such as negotiation with Hamas? Should they caution Israel against labeling all adversaries as terrorists and thereby discouraging an Israeli strategy that might divide and conquer? Should supporters of Israel raise questions about the unintended consequences of having to police the Palestinian lands as an occupying power?

An internal debate about alternative options for Israel would position its American friends to support Israel while influencing a more mature American stance toward Israel. Unfortunately, supporters of Israel are frozen in time, apparently unwilling or unable to channel their concern for Israel into support for more realistic policies within Israel, which would reflect the changed environment in the region and in the West. The friendly relations between two democratic states are not in question, but the direction and nature of the relationship is at stake.

Unfortunately, success in winning support for Israel has bred myopia. And this myopic faction in the United States gets its way and U.S. foreign policy does not adapt. The success is a consequence of understanding only part of Madison’s insight in The Federalist Papers—a mobilized faction pursuing its interest is important in making policy. Over the years, the supporters of a strong, democratic Israel have made their voice heard. However, Madison also presumed a pluralism of interests balancing each other for the common good, a result generally found in U.S. domestic policy-making, but not in its foreign policy. There is no balancer of interests when a highly mobilized faction pursues its interests in this domain. If a uniformity of thought exists within the faction driving the policy, addressing change is even more difficult for both the faction (Israeli supporters) and the U.S. political system.

Since the founding of Israel in 1948, the Holocaust and the failure of Arab states to recognize Israel shaped the dialogue among supporters of Israel—and a diversity of opinion has been rare if non-existent in the Academy (Ian Lustick is one glaring exception). In this context of uniformity, AIPAC has assumed a pre-eminent role by taking advantage of the strategic logic that guided U.S. foreign policy.

In the first phase of U.S. relations with Israel (1948 to the end of the Cold War), Israel became a strategic partner and proxy for U.S. interests in the Middle East and elsewhere, but there was some balance because of America’s need for oil and its subsequent support of the Arab states (especially Saudi Arabia). In this context, the vigorous, uncritical support of Israel by its supporters was sensible and was important in capturing the public’s sense of Israel as the “David” facing the Arab “Goliath” whose goal was perceived to be a second Holocaust.

Little has evolved in thinking about Israel among its supporters even though the nature of Israeli’s relation to its Arab neighbors changed with the 1967 war. See Tom Segev’s new book, 1967: Israel, the War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East.

With the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the administration of George W. Bush, American policy toward Israel has become even more unbalanced. Christian evangelicals and prominent neo-cons became an important element overriding other concerns. Furthermore, important policy groups in Israel and in the United States embraced a one-dimensional notion of a global war on terrorism.

The threat to sound U.S. Middle East policy may not be the existence of the Israeli faction in the American debate; rather, the threat may lie in the failure of that faction to embrace alternative ideas in light of a changing environment. Ironically, Soros is known for using his money to shape the democratization of the Soviet bloc after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Perhaps some modest portion of these resources can now fund a dialogue within the faction that supports Israel. An open society is the name of the game—a frank, vigorous debate about what is best for Israel and how American supporters of Israel can influence policymakers in Israel and the United States to insure Israel’s survival and prosperity.

Harry Kreisler is Executive Director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. In that role, he shapes, administers, and implements interdisciplinary academic and public affairs programs that analyze global issues. He is also creator, executive producer and host of Conversations with History, an interview program, broadcast nationally every Thursday evening on satellite television, and on cable throughout California. Conversations with History is also a critically acclaimed online archive containing more than 360 one-hour interviews with distinguished men and women from all over the world who talk about their lives and their work. Harry Kreisler is also Executive Producer of Connecting Students to the World, a World Wide Web -based program that introduces students and retirees to leading figures in international affairs through online curricula, preparatory workshops, and Internet conversations.


Engagement as a Way toward Peace

by Mahmood Monshipouri

“Increasingly, it has become clear that there are limits to military power and that the cardinal rule of diplomacy is that it is often more imperative to talk to your opponents than your friends.”

The Bush administration’s active support for the Israeli government is counterproductive in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government which includes Hamas. A great majority of American Jews have called for Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 and support the creation of a Palestinian state. A hard-line minority of politicians in the United States, along with their affiliated media networks and think-tanks, have continued to dominate the main Jewish lobbying group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The pervasive influence of AIPAC in shaping U.S. foreign policy has systematically led to the denial of self-determination and statehood for the Palestinians. Some American scholars, such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, have argued that AIPAC’s influence causes trouble on several fronts by increasing the terrorist danger, making it impossible to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and contributing greatly to Islamic radicalism in Europe and Asia. These consequences have many adverse effects not only for U.S. interests in the Middle East but also for the region as a whole.

Arguably, Israelis can live a normal life if their neighbors can equally enjoy a normal life as well. Increasingly, it has become clear that there are limits to military power and that the cardinal rule of diplomacy is that it is often more imperative to talk to your opponents than your friends. Hamas holds the key to so many problems in Israeli-Palestinian relations that it is necessary to find a way to come to terms with it. There cannot be any peace, cease-fire, or rapprochement with the Palestinians without the cooperation of Hamas.

The experience of being an oppressed people in the Occupied Territories has made the Palestinians’ resistance a defensive marker of their identity, despite the presence of competing identities among them. The desire to gain independence has led to Hamas’s active participation in politics, with its political wing pursuing diplomatic channels. Arguably, more moderate members of Hamas in the Palestinian unity government, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, can legitimately be brought into the peace process in an effort to render the process inclusive. Throughout the Muslim world, political parties that have Islamic roots have become more moderate after taking power on a national scale (as in Turkey) or after participating in the political process (as in Morocco or Egypt).

The exclusion of more moderate elements of Hamas, along with growing signs of economic deterioration in the West Bank and Gaza, is certain to further strengthen the hands of radical groups such as Islamic Jihad. Collective punishment of the Palestinians for their support of Hamas in national elections—especially after forming the national unity government—denies the very reality of the actual hardship under which many Palestinians live. Economic conditions have grown much worse in the aftermath of the international economic boycott of the government led by Hamas. According to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), the unemployment rate in Gaza is 39 percent and nearly 54 percent of 1.4 million Gazans suffer from food insecurity. According to the same source, the WFP defines the Palestinian poverty line at $2 per person per day. Those who suffer from food insecurity only have $1.60 per day to spend.

This extreme stress has created cleavages between the Hamas armed underground movement and some of the more moderate political leaders who support the cease-fire, in the hopes of winning further international support for the unity government. There is a historic opportunity for the Bush administration to exploit the divisions between the military and political wings of Hamas. The Saudi-brokered truce between Iran-backed Hamas and the nationalist Fatah Party has created a unique opportunity for the reasonable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Because of the U.S. strategic alliance with Israel, the long-lasting and enduring solution for the Palestinian situation must come from a regional power such as Saudi Arabia. For a seismic political shift to happen, however, several factors must enter the play. The Bush administration must avoid AIPAC pressures to shape its foreign policy toward a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it must take advantage of the Saudi initiative. It is time to pay attention to the Saudi initiative, which has been in the works for some time but never seriously pursued.

Likewise, the militant elements of Hamas must recognize that they cannot win a violent struggle, that they must recognize Israel’s right to exist, and that they must seek their goals through political means. Recently, in a case of comparable history and circumstance, the two fierce adversaries in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland agreed to a power-sharing government, due in large part to economic and political pressures.

At this point, the Bush administration lacks any foreign policy direction in the region. The question is: will it permit AIPAC to influence its policy, thus remaining clueless as to how to move toward the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or will it simply bank on the Saudi initiative as a new way of doing more to ultimately address this long-festering regional conflict? The U.S.’s unconditional support of Israel, to the detriments of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, has proven to be a costly policy. It must be recognized that such unequal treatment of the conflicting parties render the United States an impotent power when it comes to brokering a reasonable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Dr. Monshipouri is a Professor in the Department of International Relations at San Francisco State University and currently a visiting fellow at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. Dr. Monshipouri's publications include Islamism, Secularism, and Human Rights in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998), and, more recently, the volume Constructing Human Rights in the Age of Globalization (eds. Mahmood Monshipouri, Neil Englehart, Andrew J. Nathan, and Kavita Philip, Armonk, NY: M.E.Sharpe, 2003).


AIPAC's Good Intentions Undermine Israel's Interests

by Ali Wyne

“Israel is in the odd position of having the world’s lone superpower as its only reliable ally. It would likely have more partnerships if it embraced the international community’s proposals for achieving a durable peace in the Middle East.”

While the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is nominally pro-Israel, its advice undermines Israel’s interests. It does not encourage Israel to make concessions, but rather recommends that Israel ignore the reformists within and outside of it. The folly of such counsel becomes apparent when one recognizes that Israel’s current strategy cannot be sustained.

Indeed, common knowledge suggests that imposing hardship on Palestinians will never afford Israel the security that it seeks and deserves; the burdens of instituting and maintaining occupation are tremendous. Were it not for massive infusions of American aid, one wonders how Israel would fare or how its leadership would proceed. As this hypothetical scenario reveals, Israel is in the odd position of having the world’s lone superpower as its only reliable ally. It would likely have more partnerships if it embraced the international community’s proposals for achieving a durable peace in the Middle East.

In AIPAC’s rendering, unfortunately, proponents of this reasoning are either anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic (or perhaps both) and, at a minimum, guilty of extreme naïveté. The irony of this judgment is that many reasonable people consider themselves pro-Israel, without judging Israel's politics. The country’s contributions to virtually every realm of human endeavor are invaluable. And when one considers that Israel was established by survivors of the world’s most horrific genocide, its contributions seem all the more remarkable. It serves as a role-model for Arab and Muslim countries that endeavor to transcend their current plight.

Unfortunately, Israeli’s myriad achievements—the ones that I and many others would prefer to discuss—rarely receive the attention that they merit because of a backdrop of conflict: conflict with Palestinians, conflict with Arab neighbors, and conflict among themselves. It is doubtful that this situation will change if the “ Israel lobby”—in particular, AIPAC—maintains its current course (I place the term “ Israel lobby” in quotes to emphasize how little a consensus exists on its meaning. While it lies well outside of the purview of this response to volunteer my own definition, suffice it to say that the definition offered by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer casts the net too widely).

AIPAC has every right to lobby on behalf of Israel, and it has done so with awing effectiveness for the past five decades. However, its efforts to stifle discourse—on the Arab-Israeli conflict and, increasingly, on the relationship between the United States and Israel—have aroused many individuals’ ire. Interestingly, most Israelis would disagree with its uncompromising posture, which (until now) has largely characterized mainstream discourse in the United States.

Indeed, one is hard-pressed to think of another instance in which one country defends the policies of another country more so than the embattled country itself. Ha’aretz routinely runs opinion pieces that criticize Israel’s occupation. Many of them (for example, Meron Benvenisti’s articles) quite openly invoke the language of apartheid to describe its policy towards settlements in the Occupied Territories. Regardless of these assessments’ legitimacy, the fact that they are common staples of Israeli popular discourse but contentious rarities in American discussion is illuminating (AIPAC’s own representatives boast of their enormous ability to shape mainstream discourse and influence electoral outcomes. So, why is it, then, that these very observations are considered controversial (and conspiratorial) when their issuers happen to lie outside of the arena of pro-Israel advocacy?).

There is no question that Israel has real enemies. It is for this reason that the United States must always remain committed to its survival. Why, however, does AIPAC contrive enemies? In the universe that it has created, virtually every country outside of the United States either is or has the potential to become an adversary—is it surprising that Israel’s leadership is so often defensive (and, in many instances, paranoid)? As a nascent period of violence grips the Holy Land, those individuals who are Israel’s greatest defenders should be AIPAC’s sharpest critics.

Ali Wyne is a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is pursuing dual degrees in Management and Political Science, as well as a minor in Economics. He serves as Vice-President of the Undergraduate Association, and as Editor-in-Chief of the MIT International Review, MIT’s first journal of international affairs. He will be contributing a chapter, “How World Opinion Challenges American Foreign Policy,” to a forthcoming volume, The Public Diplomacy Handbook (Routledge 2008). He maintains a blog on global problems and solutions, “The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting.”