Ratner Middle East Fellowship

IPS’s Middle East Fellowship is named for people’s lawyer and former National Lawyers Guild president and long-time president of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner, who passed away too early in the spring of 2016. Michael’s passion for Palestinian rights, for ending US wars and occupations in the Middle East, for challenging US aggression around the world, for imagining a new foreign policy based on internationalism instead of empire – as well as his powerful commitment to teaching and mentoring younger lawyers and law students – all serve as the basis for making the IPS fellowship a part of Michael’s legacy.

The Fellowship aims to provide a one-year opportunity for an emerging public scholar, at a mid-career or earlier level, to spend a year working with IPS’s Middle East expert Phyllis Bennis, who directs the IPS New Internationalism Project. The project work includes a broad range of public scholarship (writing, speaking, organizing, advocacy) focused on transforming U.S. policy regarding Palestine, wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and beyond, the Iran nuclear deal and sanctions, U.S. domination of Middle East issues in the United Nations, and, overall, supporting diplomacy over war. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to participate in IPS including staff meetings, collaborations with other project staff, and involvement with the broader intellectual and activist life of the Institute.

Latest Work

Time to End the West’s Xenophobic Double Standard on Refugees

Racism lowers the floor for how all people are treated. But it’s not too late to change.

Uprising for Black Lives Drove Cancellation of Joint U.S.-Israeli Police Trainings

Ending police exchanges will help build a world where our ties are of solidarity and common pursuits for justice.

Why Binary Thinking on Russia’s Invasion Is a Losing Strategy

The idea that we have to either support military action and sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, or “do nothing,” is a false binary.

Sanctions May Sound “Nonviolent,” But They Quietly Hurt the Most Vulnerable

Economic sanctions are a weapon of war, not an alternative to war.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Internationalist

King looked beyond our borders — not only at injustice, but how people worked together to end it. It’s an example we need today.

The U.S. Can’t Keep Absolving Itself Over Afghanistan

The Pentagon now claims no wrongdoing in a parting drone attack that killed seven children. International law and basic morality demands real accountability.

How U.S. Wars Abroad Are Intimately Tied to Police Brutality at Home

There are obvious links between anti-war movements against U.S. militarism and Black Lives Matter activism against police brutality. Is time for activists to join forces?

Biden Needs to Re-engage Iran Before It’s Too Late

Instead of resetting U.S. relations with Iran, Biden has mostly continued the course of aggression set by the Trump Administration.

There Is No “Border Crisis”

Discussing the border in nativist terms obscures the real crises that propel migrants to seek asylum in the United States.

One Year In: How Militarism Made the Pandemic Worse

When the world needed collaboration across borders to control the pandemic, U.S. militarism led to the opposite. We must change course.

Dangerous U.S. Bombing of Syria Worsens Regional Instability and Threatens Iran Nuclear Deal

Regardless of who is giving orders to U.S. bombers, we know that deploying U.S. troops, drones, and warplanes across the region does not provide safety or security for anyone.

Biden Must Do More Than Rejoin the Iran Nuke Deal

We need a decisive break from the previous century of US policy toward Iran, which has been based on domination.

Why Palestinians Are Mourning George Floyd

Black Lives Matter protests have jumped U.S. borders and reached across the world, including Palestine, where Floyd’s murder has struck a chord.

Hot and Cold Wars: Militarism and Pandemic

War hasn’t taken a break during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiny Portugal Shows America the Right Way to Treat Essential Immigrants During the Coronavirus Crisis

Don’t ban the immigrants we need for essential jobs — welcome them with open arms and full rights.

War And Militarism Is Worsening COVID Crisis

Despite millions of coronavirus cases around the globe, war continues to be waged — many of them on behalf of the united states. That must end immediately.

How Wars, Sanctions, and Militarism Made the Coronavirus Crisis Worse

As we take steps to control the virus, these devastating U.S. foreign policies need to be immediately reversed.

Webinar: Security, Racism and Solidarity in the Time of Global Pandemics

Khury Petersen-Smith and Rebecca Vilkomerson discuss racism and security, and how the coronavirus pandemic gives us an opportunity to redefine security.

Open the Borders. Open the Prison Gates. Don’t Sacrifice a Single Person to This Virus.

Closed borders and ICE raids mean crowded detention centers and camps, which is always inhumane. In a pandemic, it’s a global public health threat.

Trump Has Shattered the Bipartisan Consensus on Israel — and That’s a Good Thing

Recent years have seen growth in solidarity with Palestinians as many question support for Israel.