Author: Talia Baroncelli

Beyond Genocide in Gaza: Settler Violence in the West Bank – Omer Bartov

Beyond Genocide in Gaza: Settler Violence in the West Bank – Omer Bartov

As Israel continues its campaign of destruction in Gaza, the situation in the West Bank has deteriorated, with the Israeli Defense Forces as well as settlers killing over 500 Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7. Holocaust and genocide studies scholar Dr. Omer Bartov unpacks Israel’s genocidal strategy in the Gaza Strip, and describes the surge of settler violence towards Palestinians. Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has not only armed the settlers but has been incorporating them into Israeli forces operating in the West Bank. 

Workers’ Movements in Revolutionary Iran and Europe – Saeed Rahnema part 2/2
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Workers’ Movements in Revolutionary Iran and Europe – Saeed Rahnema part 2/2

In part 2, political scientist Dr. Saeed Rahnema discusses his experience in the workers’ council movement leading up to and during the Iranian Revolution of 1979-1980 and addresses the Islamic Republic’s opposition to unions.  He also contends that modern-day working classes in the West are ideologically and culturally segmented and that the left has failed to mobilize at numerous historical junctures.

The (In)conceivability of Real Workers’ Control – Saeed Rahnema part 1/2
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The (In)conceivability of Real Workers’ Control – Saeed Rahnema part 1/2

The workers’ council movement took shape in several forms across Europe, Russia, Tito’s Yugoslavia, Algeria, and Iran. Political scientist Dr. Saeed Rahnema discusses the failure of workers’ councils in these different historical contexts and traces out the tensions between workers’ control and workers’ participation under capitalism. Is real workers’ control feasible under capitalism, and do struggles for increased workers’ participation and higher wages necessarily lead to workers’ control? 

Why Did Biden Slam ICC Over Israeli-Hamas Arrest Warrants? – Assal Rad 

Why Did Biden Slam ICC Over Israeli-Hamas Arrest Warrants? – Assal Rad 

The Biden administration has denounced ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan for seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismael Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri. Middle East analyst Assal Rad underscores the U.S. government’s complicity in Israeli war crimes in Gaza by arming Israel despite numerous ICJ rulings calling for Netanyahu’s government to adhere to its commitments under the Genocide Convention, and most recently, to immediately halt its operation in Rafah. She also discusses the potential implications of the recent deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. 

Bellicose British Foreign Policy in Ukraine and Gaza – Tom Stevenson part 2/2
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Bellicose British Foreign Policy in Ukraine and Gaza – Tom Stevenson part 2/2

In part 2, journalist Tom Stevenson discusses the nuclear threat posited by the ongoing war in Ukraine, with Russia recently staging tactical nuclear exercises close to the Ukrainian border, allegedly in response to provocative statements made by U.K.’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron endorsing Ukraine’s potential use of British-supplied weapons to strike Russian territory.  He also breaks down Israel’s destructive aims in Gaza and why certain bloody conflicts, such as the war in Tigray, have been forgotten.

Someone Else’s Empire: British Illusions and American Hegemony – Tom Stevenson part 1/2
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Someone Else’s Empire: British Illusions and American Hegemony – Tom Stevenson part 1/2

The post-World War II era was characterized by decolonization in Asia and Africa, with resistance movements leading to the unraveling of the British empire in colonies such as former British Kenya, where the Mau Mau launched a lengthy uprising between 1952-1960, as well as in former British India, with the dissolution of the British Raj and creation of an independent India and Pakistan in 1947. Journalist Tom Stevenson provides historical examples illustrating how the rise of American hegemony following the decline of Britain’s imperial power was bolstered by British foreign policy at every juncture. 

How Indian, Chinese, and U.S. Corporations Vie for Control of Sri Lankan Ports – Asoka Bandarage part 2/2
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How Indian, Chinese, and U.S. Corporations Vie for Control of Sri Lankan Ports – Asoka Bandarage part 2/2

Due to its prime geographical location in maintaining global value chains and shipping routes, the U.S., via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), as well as India’s Adani Group and China, are all investing in Sri Lanka’s ports. In part 2, sociologist Asoka Bandarage discusses how many countries and multi-national corporations treat Sri Lanka as testing and dumping grounds, exemplified by reports that the Dali ship, which crashed into the Baltimore Bridge, was carrying hazardous waste to Sri Lanka.

IMF & Private Creditors Subject Sri Lanka to Neo-Colonial Debt Bondage – Asoka Bandarage part 1/2
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IMF & Private Creditors Subject Sri Lanka to Neo-Colonial Debt Bondage – Asoka Bandarage part 1/2

The Sri Lankan government turned to the IMF for a near $3 billion bailout to repay loans provided by India and Japan, as well as international sovereign bonds issued by foreign creditors such as BlackRock. Dr. Asoka Bandarage, sociologist and author of Crisis in Sri Lanka and the World, suggests that Prime Minister Rajapaksa’s declaration of bankruptcy in 2022 and the subsequent IMF bailout under Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was not an absolute necessity, but an attempt to shift Sri Lanka further under the umbrella of Western and Indian institutions, and away from Chinese loans.

Blood Gun Money – How America Arms Gangs and Cartels – Ioan Grillo
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Blood Gun Money – How America Arms Gangs and Cartels – Ioan Grillo

Thousands of guns used by Mexican cartels, as well as other gangs throughout Latin America, have been traced back to U.S. gun manufacturers. Journalist Ioan Grillo describes how the flow of guns to Mexico from the U.S. exacerbates the drug war and its accompanying forced displacement of people. Baroncelli and Grillo debate drug legalization and whether it can break up cartels that use American guns to maintain global drug distribution.  Cartels increase their profit margins by cutting their product with fentanyl and other lethal substances at the expense of people’s lives. 

Defunding UNRWA to Starve Gaza – Sari Hanafi part 2/2 

Defunding UNRWA to Starve Gaza – Sari Hanafi part 2/2 

Israel’s accusations against a total of 19 UNRWA staff members alleging their involvement in the October 7 attacks prompted 16 countries to pause or suspend $450 million in funding to the agency. A UN investigation resulted in one of the 19 cases being closed and four suspended due to a lack of evidence. Of the 12 staff members initially accused by Israel, 10 of them were fired by UNRWA, while the other two were killed. Israeli claims that 10% of UNRWA employees have ties to Hamas have yet to be substantiated. As Sari Hanafi explains, UNRWA provides critical infrastructure, housing, and education to Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. 

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