CIP Welcomes ICC Prosecutor Moves on Israel-Palestine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for senior leaders for events in Israel and Palestine beginning October 7, the Center for International Policy’s President and CEO Nancy Okail issued the following statement:

“We welcome the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s application seeking arrest warrants for senior Hamas and Israeli officials for numerous violations of the Rome Statute.

International law protecting civilians in conflict must be applied consistently and impartially. The failure to adhere to or enforce the laws of war not only contributes to an environment of impunity in the current conflict in Gaza, but undermines the rights and safety of people around the world. Today’s move by the ICC’s prosecutor is an urgently needed step toward restoring accountability under, and reinforcing the legitimacy of, international humanitarian law.

CIP calls upon countries, including the United States, to fully cooperate with – and in no way impede – the ICC process currently underway on this matter. One need not agree with the prosecutor’s allegations to respect and defend the legitimacy of the court, its processes and the law which it is tasked to enforce. Any attempt to penalize or intimidate the court or its officers must be categorically condemned.

The United States should also fulfill its own obligations and immediately cease military support enabling the violations of human rights and international law enumerated in the requested ICC warrants.” 

CIP Responds to UN General Assembly Vote Backing Palestinian Bid for Membership

In response to the UN General Assembly’s adoption of a resolution enhancing Palestine’s status in the United Nations and encouraging the Security Council to admit Palestine as a full UN Member State, Center for International Policy (CIP) president and CEO Nancy Okail issued the following statement:

“Today’s resolution is a welcome step. Further integrating Palestine into multilateral institutions and binding it to the privileges and obligations of statehood affirms international law and  Palestinians’ right to self-determination. It bolsters diplomacy in stark contrast to the horrific violence of the last seven months and the injustice of decades of occupation.

The United States has a moral duty and strategic interest in expanding opportunities for peaceful diplomatic engagement. Attempts to force the United States to cut off funding to the UN in response to this move are unjustified and counterproductive. 

We reject false assertions that passage of this resolution triggers outdated and injurious US laws defunding Palestinian relief and UN contributions if Palestine gains the same standing as full members of the UN. The measure adopted today expressly states that it does not confer such status upon Palestine and claims that it does serve to advance a longstanding rightwing effort to delegitimize Palestinian rights and the United Nations. 

It’s regrettable that the United States cannot support full Palestinian membership without jeopardizing US funding for the UN system, but it should still support the enhanced status this resolution confers on Palestine.”

Peace or Instability? Examining the Impact of the Abraham Accords

Two successive U.S. administrations have made the normalization of relations between Gulf states and Israel under the framework of the Abraham Accords a pillar of their Middle East Policy, despite warnings from human rights advocates that such deals would only embolden autocratic leaders. Now, as the war in Gaza enters its seventh month and risks wider regionalization by the day, peace and stability seem more elusive than ever. Are the Abraham Accords bringing the region closer toward peace and stability or just further enabling authoritarianism?

Join the Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC), Center for International Policy (CIP), and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University, in collaboration with the Arab Rights and Research Center‘s “Quest for Democracy in Saudi Arabia” conference, for a panel discussion that aims to answer these questions. The panel will examine the current democracy and human rights challenges in the region amid fears of a broadening regional conflict and the “normalization deals.”

Continue reading “Peace or Instability? Examining the Impact of the Abraham Accords”

CIP Calls for Israel-Iran De-escalation; Reiterates Need for Ceasefire in Gaza

In response to last night’s attack by Iran on Israel, Nancy Okail, Center for International Policy (CIP) president and CEO, issued the following statement: 

“CIP condemns Iran’s launching of more than 300 missiles and drones against the State of Israel in retaliation for an Israeli strike near an Iranian diplomatic complex in Syria that killed senior military commanders and several others. Escalatory actions by both countries threaten to fan the flames of conflict throughout the region, endangering the lives of millions.

We appreciate the apparent advance diplomatic efforts by the United States and others behind the scenes — as well US, UK and Jordanian participation in air defense measures — to minimize the impact of Iran’s attack. Prioritizing civilian protection and de-escalation was clearly the right approach and should continue to serve as the international community’s objectives in the critical days and weeks ahead.

Achieving those goals requires not only arresting the escalation of violence between Israel and Iran, but securing a ceasefire in Gaza that halts the killing of civilians, releases the hostages, allows vital humanitarian aid to actually reach those who need it, and lowers tensions in the region. The continued unconditional supply to the Netanyahu government of the arms it is using in Gaza undermines those objectives, as well as US and international law.

Netanyahu’s repeated disregard of US redlines in Gaza, moves to deepen permanent occupation in the Palestinian territory, and escalation with Iran are destabilizing the entire region. With American forces already drawn into hostilities with the Iranian-backed Houthis and actively engaging Iranian missiles and drones, President Biden cannot afford to let the extremist Prime Minister continue to have a harmful, undue influence on the course of events. Hopefully, the president’s efforts have averted a wider regional war with Iran; we urge him to bring that same level of effort to save the people of Gaza.”

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Sisi’s Hollowed State: Ten Years of Autocracy in Egypt

LIVESTREAM HERE
March 26, 2024
3:00 PM ET

REGISTER

On April 3, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will begin his third term as president of Egypt following a rushed presidential election marred by a campaign of arrests, ongoing repression, and the elimination of any meaningful competition. During his first ten years as president, el-Sisi ruled through brutal authoritarian trial-and-error that has left Egypt in a precarious economic and political state. Now, as the strongman begins his new term as president, the war on Gaza is also exacerbating the existing economic challenges and providing cover for further oppression and abuse of power.

Join the Middle East Democracy Center’s (MEDC) Democracy Matters Initiative for an expert panel discussion to examine the aftermath of a decade of autocratic governance under el-Sisi and to discuss current developments and implications for human rights and democracy in Egypt and the wider MENA region.

Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC)
12th Floor Conference Room
1730 Rhode Island Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036

Welcome Remarks:

  • Tess McEnery
    Executive Director, MEDC

Speakers:

  • Shana Marshall
    Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and Assistant Research Professor of International Affairs, George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Nancy Okail
    President and CEO, Center for International Policy
  • Hesham Sallam
    Senior Research Scholar and Associate Director for Research, Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

Moderator:

  • Yasmin Omar
    Director of the Democracy Matters Initiative, MEDC

 

REGISTER HERE

Empowerment of Women Under Special Circumstances | UN Commission on the Status of Women [NYC]

Armed conflict has a pronounced impact on women and girls, significantly constraining their access to education, healthcare, and economic empowerment, and even survival.

In this panel, we will emphasize the adverse consequences of armed conflict on the lives of women and girls, highlighting the multifaceted ways in which their rights are further curtailed and their lives and livelihoods threatened, and their exposure to sexual violence. The panel aims to comprehensively address these challenges and explore the crucial need for mitigating long-term effects while considering the protection of human rights.

The panel will feature Nancy Okail, President and CEO of the Center for International Policy; Rula Jebreal, award-winning journalist, scholar and foreign policy expert; Nadine Farid Johnson, Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for international Policy and moderated by Marlyn Tadrous, Executive Director at Digital Democracy Now (formerly Virtual Activism).

IN-PERSON EVENT

March 12, 2024
2:30pm – 4:00pm EST

Church Center for the United Nations (New York, NY)

CCUN 8th floor

You must be registered to attend. Learn more at https://ngocsw68forum.vfairs.com/

This event is co-sponsored by Virtual Activism/Digital Democracy Now and the Center for International Policy.

About The Speakers:  Continue reading “Empowerment of Women Under Special Circumstances | UN Commission on the Status of Women [NYC]”

International Women’s Day: “Striving for Peace, Preparing for War” [Virtual]

The webinar is scheduled for March 8th at 10am PT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET.
REGISTER HERE

Around the globe, women have spent decades protesting, advocating, and leading local and global nuclear disarmament movements and peace initiatives in countless ways.

The current geopolitical context and the growing number of nuclear-related and nuclear-adjacent conflicts feel both unprecedented and all too familiar. The calamitous situation in the Gaza Strip, the risk of a wider war in the Middle East, the threat of a nuclearized Iran, and the global rise of authoritarianism are forcing the need for a widespread reckoning and reorientation of domestic and foreign policies. Yet our leaders consistently fail to provide genuine security or productive diplomacy, using the same old compass that has only one direction – with the needle invariably pointing towards war.

This International Women’s Day, Equity Rises again turns our full attention towards women who are challenging the prevailing views on the necessity of threats, force, and war to resolve conflicts:

  • Sara Haghdoosti, Executive Director of Win Without War and Win Without War Education Fund
  • Dr. Nancy Okail, President and CEO of the Center for International Policy
  • Dr. Emma Belcher, President of Ploughshares Fund

Please join us for what is sure to be an inspiring and engaging conversation. And please share this invitation with a friend.

For questions, please reach out to [email protected].

Meet the Speakers

Sara Haghdoosti is the Executive Director of Win Without War and Win Without War Education Fund. Sara has spent more than a decade advocating for diplomatic solutions over failed military responses to crises involving nuclear non-proliferation, climate change, women’s rights, and democracy. She previously worked at the Mozilla Foundation, Change.org, and GetUp Australia. Sara brings a unique voice to foreign policy discourse as a Muslim woman who navigates the halls of power in Washington, works with grassroots organizations around the country, and has personally experienced the effects of harmful foreign policy. Her debut novel is Sunburnt Veils, the story of a young Muslim woman activist in Australia.

Dr. Nancy Okail is President and CEO of the Center for International Policy. She is a leading scholar, policy analyst, and advocate with more than 20 years of experience working on issues of human rights, democracy, and security in the Middle East and North Africa region. Previously, Dr. Okail served as Executive Director of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP). In 2020, she was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. As Director of Freedom House’s Egypt program, she was one of 43 nongovernmental organization workers sentenced to prison for allegedly using foreign funds to foment unrest in Egypt in 2012. In December 2018, a court ruling exonerated her. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex in the UK.

Dr. Emma Belcher is the President of Ploughshares Fund. Before joining Ploughshares Fund, Dr. Belcher worked at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for nearly a decade; was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; and worked at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC as a public affairs officer as well as an advisor to the Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet on national security and international affairs. She holds degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (PhD and MALD) and the University of Melbourne (BA [Honors]).

Reimagining Progressive Foreign Policy

Editor’s note. A version of the following remarks were presented February 6th, 2024, opening the Progressive Foreign Policy as a Political Force conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Nancy Okail is the President and CEO of the Center for International Policy

Thank you so much, Diana! I am truly honored to be here and fortunate to work alongside you and our board.

I appreciate your kind words about my role at CIP, but I am merely standing on the shoulders of many incredibly inspiring and dedicated individuals who have championed this cause for decades. This includes not just those at CIP but the entire community of actors, advocates, and thinkers, many of whom are here today.

I am privileged and honored to lead CIP, an organization that could not be more progressive, having chosen an ex-convict as its president. For those familiar with my story, [or as I previously wrote], when I was first locked in the courtroom cage during my trial, my eyes caught a previous prisoner’s scribble on the wall that read: ‘If defending justice is a crime, then long live criminality.’ It’s my mantra and a ‘crime’ I am proud of, and I cherish the many partners in that crime that I have had over the years (some are here in this room), and most recently my new ‘partner in crime,’ Matt Duss, CIP’s Executive Vice President. (Those who know Matt know that his values and standards stand taller than his noticeable height. You can’t miss it.)

It is with a sense of both urgency and hope that I welcome you today to this pivotal conference. We are here not just to discuss foreign policy but to reimagine it, clarify what it means to pursue a progressive foreign policy and what we can do together to advance it.

As Diana mentioned, we are long overdue for a paradigm shift to address the dysfunctional and harmful system that has led us to war, climate change, inequality, and has perpetuated corruption and authoritarianism. These are the issues that shape our priorities at CIP.

As we sit here in this safe room, civilians in Gaza are being bombarded for the

fifth month in a row by Israel, in a disproportionate and indiscriminate response to the tragic attacks by Hamas on October 7th of last year. We have now reached a staggering death toll of 27,000 humans, mostly women and children, in addition to the 1200 Israelis who died due to the initial attacks. Similarly, others in Ukraine face threats from the extended war since Russia’s invasion in 2022. We are not mere witnesses to such human catastrophes; we are participants—some directly implicated, others by silence in fear of the consequences. It’s a collective failure of humanity…we are all responsible.

But perhaps our biggest failure is our inability to HONESTLY challenge the systems and mindsets that have created this dismal picture of the world.

Nearing the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, the picture is bleak, and the US has played a significant role in shaping this. Despite remarkable advancements in science and technology, we can fairly say that ultra-nationalism, inequality, and hyper-militarization have become worrying overarching characteristics of this century.

Global crises like the pandemic and climate change are devastating in their own right,but also magnify our inherent structural problems, particularly inequality, racism, and the impacts of corruption, elite capture, and authoritarianism around the world. Figures from last year present an undeniable picture of where we stand:

In 2023, the United States ranked 43rd in the gender parity index, falling 16 slots from the previous year. This ranking by the World Economic Forum is based on gaps in employment, health, and political leadership. This decline is compounded by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and the erosion of reproductive health rights. At the bottom of the global parity index is Afghanistan, now deemed the most repressive country for women and children by the UN, following the Taliban’s takeover after two decades of US involvement. (Let that sink in as we reflect on our global engagements.)

On the corruption front, the situation is no better. The 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) shows that global corruption is rising. With a scale of 0 to 100, the global average stagnates at 43, with most countries making no progress; 23 countries fell to their lowest scores last year. Much like the pandemic disproportionately impacts the poor and marginalized, corruption most severely affects those with the least access to basic necessities while the elite exploit justice systems.

Relatedly, after a period of improvement in closing the income inequality gap until 2018, that trend has since reversed. Income inequality has risen in most advanced economies and major emerging economies. According to the Brookings Institution’s ‘Rising Inequality’ report from last year, inequality has significantly increased in the United States, as well as in advanced economies and among major emerging economies like China, India, and Russia.

Meanwhile, the US defense budget and arms sales have seen a staggering expansion, with the US maintaining its position as the world’s highest arms exporter. The correlation with increased violence is clear. Even before the Gaza conflict, the Institute for Economics and Peace’s annual global index reported that over 238,000 people died in global conflicts in 2022, this marked a 96 percent increase in deaths due to conflicts from previous years. This spike is attributed to deadly conflicts in Ethiopia and Ukraine. Now, the human catastrophe in Gaza unfolds, with over four months of conflict resulting in 27,000 deaths. A population of 2.3 million faces continuous bombardment, exacerbating conditions with the spread of disease and the risk of famine.

The US is once again involved militarily in the Middle East, following its withdrawal from a two-decade-long engagement in Afghanistan. Over the recent weekend, the United States has conducted bombings in Yemen and Iraq, and in Syria, responding to the deaths of three American soldiers in Jordan from attacks by Iran-backed militias, whose actions come amidst sustained demands for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The hard fact is that these events are not merely happening to us, like earthquakes or pandemics; we are all deeply implicated. To be brutally honest, even those among us striving to leverage our best tools—US domestic laws, International Humanitarian Law, and aid conditionality—have not been immune to the dominant power dynamics that catalyzed these situations initially. This issue extends beyond the military-industrial complex; it’s about the entrenched structural violence and the dominance of the security-state paradigm. And I’m not excluding myself from that.

Working through Congress trying to employ our laws as safeguards against the misuse of arms, I increasingly realize how we cannot legislate ourselves out of  crises (at least not just), as I find myself perpetually puzzled by the term ‘misuse of arms.’ It conjures up an image in my mind of weaponry production packages adorned with stickers saying ‘kill responsibly.’ There is, fundamentally, one use for arms, and that is to kill. They are not meant to sit in warehouses, nor are stockpiles intended to serve any purpose other than easy access for feeding the war machine, as we observe now in the conflict in Israel. We can employ as many euphemistic terms as we like to legitimize the act of killing, calling it defense or deterrence, but it does not alter the outcome. The discourse on the misuse of arms and the legislation designed to regulate it overlooks the reality of who holds the power to decide who deserves to live or die (which delineates the proper and improper use of weapons). It’s no secret who makes these decisions; it is those within the elite monopoly over foreign policy and they are conformists.

But we are not without options; we possess agency. None of this is INEVITABLE. We have choices, but the one choice we do not have is to persist in operating within the flawed system that legitimizes and legalizes atrocities through flawed policy framings, such as ‘arms for peace.’ This was the foundation of deals like the Abraham Accords in the Middle East—look how that turned out.

We also cannot afford to pretend that domestic and foreign affairs are separate, nor can we mislead people into believing that national security is achievable without global security. Addressing global crises necessitates domestic reforms. Democracy begins to decline incrementally when we treat it merely as a set of electoral rituals, following them without question or challenge. If we have faith in the virtue of democracy, despite its imperfections, we should not treat it as if it were a dogmatic religion, merely carrying out ‘rituals of democracy’—elections—trapped within a rotational cycle among a few elites on either side of the aisle. We should not wait for the shock of events like Trump’s win to realize we have a problem. Regardless of the outcomes of this year’s elections, the combination of elite capture and tribal politics has long undermined our genuine pursuit for an equitable, just society, and a peaceful world.

 

What then are our choices?

As progressives, our choices transcend those between left and right, or one side of the aisle over the other. Our choices are between integrity and corruption, accountability and complicity, impunity and the rule of law—applicable to both sides of the aisle. Our decisions do not only pivot on ending wars but more importantly transforming the mindsets that lead to them. It’s about distinguishing between feel-good work and truly effective work, urging us to confront our flawed systems directly.

Our foreign policy choices should not be ensnared by false binaries between anti-imperialism and anti-authoritarianism. Opposing US hegemony, great power competition and the risks of unnecessary military escalation does not require us to excuse the human rights violations committed by the Chinese government or similar others.

The US still can and should adopt a constructive role globally without resorting to hegemony. Meanwhile, we must dispel the naïve misconception that relinquishing US hegemony will automatically lead to the ascension of powers aligned with our principles. This overlooks the potential impact of the dominance of authoritarian powers like Russia, China, and others moving in an unjust ultra-capitalist direction, posing distinct challenges.

To counteract the dangerous consequences of great power competition, our choices should not revolve around which governments should overpower others. Instead, we should focus on empowering people first, preventing their countries from becoming battlegrounds in states’ struggle for power.

 

With all these challenges, what are our priorities?

This understanding of interrelated challenges has informed the intersectional priorities we address through analysis, convening, and advocacy. These priorities include:

  1. Combating transnational racism and sex & gender inequality,
  2. Reducing global inequality and economic precarity through equitable trade, labor, and investment rules,
  3. Defending democracy and countering rising ultranationalism, autocracy, kleptocracy, oligarchy, and corruption,
  4. Promoting transformative action for global climate and environmental sustainability. However, none of these objectives would be achievable without
  5. Rightsizing the defense budget, and
  6. Ensuring accountability, transparency, and rights protection in the export and use of arms and emerging technologies, particularly lethal autonomous weapons, and
  7. Most importantly, strengthening diplomacy and adherence to a rules-based international order.

But you don’t need me to tell you all this. Many in this room are already identify these priorities and have dedicated years to them. However, without collectively working towards the necessary paradigm shift and a clear agenda, this valuable work risks not reaching its full potential.

 

So what does paradigm shift entail?

Looking at those issues, and their interrelated nature, it became crystal clear that we need a paradigm shift. That helped us articulate what we call our “Five R” strategy for change. They are a set of goals or set of approaches that we need to have in order to address the structural and problematic framing of US foreign policy.

  1. Redraw the Stakeholder Map: We aim to change rigid and exclusionary policymaking structures, addressing racism and discrimination for more equity and inclusivity in policy formation and communication, and ensuring that those directly affected by our foreign policy have a seat at the table and have their voices heard. You can take a look at the work of my colleagues Terrell Jermaine Starr and Negar Mortazavi and their podcasts that bring really diverse voices into the work that we do.
  2. Redefine Security: To encompass threats to global human safety and well-being that fall outside—and are often exacerbated by—the conventional militarized approach to national security.  I refer you to the work of my colleagues Ari Tolany, Hanna Homestead, and Jeff Abramson on the Security Assistance Monitor and Climate and Militarism Program, and the Forum on Arms Trade.
  3. Reframe US Foreign Policy: Moving beyond outdated nation-state analyses to include the impacts of non-state actors, emerging technology, and other factors unique to today’s power configurations while challenging great power competition and domestic/foreign divide.
  4. Restore Accountability: By enhancing oversight at home and abroad, as corruption and authoritarianism hinder our collective ability to address global threats. Last year, many people were shocked by the allegations that Senator Bob Menendez had received bribes of gold bars from the Egyptian government. I was not shocked, but I was a bit offended, because when the Egyptian government tried to bribe me, they sent me a basket of mangoes to my office. Is this my price?
  5. Revive Diplomacy: The reason peace is getting a bad name and ceasefire is becoming a taboo is because in people’s minds it means just a halt, and what will happen before that is just water under the bridge. That’s why diplomacy should be directly based on the values of accountability. Through research and convening to identify barriers to peaceful solutions, drawing on lessons learned to prevent war escalation and nuclear threats.

These principles are not merely idealistic theories. Today, you will hear from exceptionally talented leaders who are actively engaged in this important work, just as many of you in this room are. For our efforts to achieve optimal impact, it’s crucial that we collaborate within a structured framework and openly debate our agenda priorities.

Because the truly frightening moment isn’t when we are not in power, but when we possess it and still fail to make a discernible difference. We can’t afford to wait or we have no excuse to fail. With our talent, power, and resilience, we are more than capable. Yet, resilience without a clear direction only leads to the depletion of energy and resources. At CIP we aspire to be the hub that clearly defines what progressive policy entails and build a community around it.

We must challenge at all costs the belief that we can bomb our way to peace, we also cannot legislate our way out of crises without addressing the fundamental systemic imbalances and elite capture in foreign policy. But our efforts should not be consumed by fighting back, but moving forward, driven by a proactive approach to forge an affirmative agenda and a new consensus.

Most importantly, as we deliberate on our agenda and priorities, it’s imperative to honestly confront the reality of trade-offs head-on; they are plentiful in today’s world. Acknowledging the costs involved is crucial, but we must discern which costs are bearable and which are not. No matter the expense, investing towards an achievable goal is infinitely more valuable than the futile attempt to amend irreversible damage: lives that cannot be restored, injuries leaving children permanently disabled, and human catastrophes that history will judge us on.

I wanted to paint a rosier picture, to spotlight the good in the world, and the good that the Biden administration has done—and indeed, there’s plenty. But, you can simply Google those, because any achievements pales against the backdrop of catastrophic loss of life and our eroding humanity. Yet, here is the good news: you are here, and you are brilliant. We are here to debate, collaborate, and sculpt together a progressive agenda that resonates with our values and the remarkable talent present in this room. This conversation didn’t start today, nor will it end here; it continues through our analytical work, convenings, and notably, in our newly launched International Policy Journal.

Our clarity begins by identifying the roots of the problem and systemic imbalances, and ours are starkly clear. We need to face them bravely and honestly, and I’m honored to be doing that with you. Thank you so much.

Watch the speech as originally delivered below:

Letter From The Publisher

Nancy Okail, President and CEO, and Matt Duss, Executive Vice President, Center for International Policy


We are delighted to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the International Policy Journal (IPJ), a platform dedicated to discussing foreign policy priorities within a progressive agenda. We look forward to your engagement and collaboration as readers, contributors, and critics to help us better understand today’s challenges, articulate effective solutions, and honestly assess potential risks and trade-offs of proposed policy alternatives.

As we near the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, it’s clear that the United States’ foreign policy needs new ideas to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. We believe that the US can and should play a robust and constructive global role without succumbing to detrimental hegemony or exceptionalism, including its associated white supremacy, ultra-nationalism, hyper-militarization, and inequality. Achieving this necessitates a paradigm shift in US foreign policy to address evolving global threats and power dynamics.

Today’s challenges demand perspectives beyond the outdated left-right divide or an imposed separation between domestic and foreign affairs. The impact of international crises, from climate change to the pandemic, and even remote conflicts like those in Ukraine and the Israel-Palestine, underline this need. Our aim is for the IPJ to be an inclusive space for nuanced foreign policy analysis, promoting a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world.

The IPJ seeks to be the epicenter for progressive debate and analysis, shaping the discourse and working to build consensus around the urgent challenges of these polarized times. Our approach involves bridging domestic and foreign concerns, promoting a comprehensive perspective that includes those affected by our policies, advocating for accountability, and reinvigorating diplomacy.

We seek to reframe the perspective of the US foreign policy debate, offering practical and meaningful solutions that reflect the diverse realities of global communities, that supports the safety and prosperity of Americans while centering US foreign policy’s impact on those communities. We believe in a conception of national security that is synonymous with global security, rooted in human rights and equality. This solidarity-based approach challenges the narrative of great power competition, advocating for a more inclusive and equitable global policy framework. We are all in this world together.

Aligned with CIP’s mission, the IPJ aspires to be more than a forum for the exchange of ideas. By consolidating expertise, supporting emerging experts, and cultivating a dynamic community, we aim to build a new and durable consensus.

Extend the Cease-Fire in Gaza—but Don’t Stop There

Recent days have seen the first good news out of Gaza in a long time. As part of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire that began last Friday and will expire tomorrow, Hamas has released dozens of the more than 200 people it took hostage during its October 7 attack on Israel; those released include many of the children whom the group took captive. For its part, Israel has released 150 Palestinian prisoners, paused its bombardment of Gaza, and allowed more humanitarian supplies into the territory, providing a brief respite to the millions of civilians there who have suffered immensely for weeks.

As CIP president and CEO Nancy Okail and executive vice president Matt Duss write in Foreign Affairs:

An extended cease-fire could facilitate the return of more Israeli hostages and reduce the risk of deepening the humanitarian catastrophe among Gaza’s civilians. It could also help calm tensions in the West Bank and reduce the risk that the war could escalate by drawing in outside actors, such as the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and its patron, Iran.

But extending the cease-fire should be just the first step in a larger process that would require intensive U.S.-backed regional diplomacy—and an overhaul of American policy. When Biden took office in 2021, he was determined not to spend his time and energy on fruitless efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the war in Gaza has shown that the issue cannot be ignored. To make good on Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s November 8 statement that there can be no return to a manifestly unsustainable status quo ante, the United States must change its overall approach and commit to a broad-based diplomatic process that can finally resolve the conflict and prioritize rights and dignity for people in the region.

Read Okail and Duss’s full piece here.