Michael 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

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War hasn't taken a break during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Khury Petersen-Smith and Rebecca Vilkomerson discuss racism and security, and how the coronavirus pandemic gives us an opportunity to redefine security.
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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.
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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.
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Ending the Myth That Trump Is Ending the Wars

Trump has sent more new troops to the Middle East than he’s bringing home from Afghanistan.
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We Need a Strong Anti-War Movement—Yesterday

As we spiral toward a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran, it’s worth reflecting on the failures to rein in U.S. aggression along the way.
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Trump Steps Into a Turkish-Kurdish Minefield

The U.S. is deeply involved in the region surrounding Syria. Its actions helped lay the groundwork for the current struggle faced by the Kurds.
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Trump’s Betrayal of the Kurds Is Terrible, But the Answer Is Not Endless War

Like millions of others, the Kurds are victims of disastrous U.S. interventions in the region.
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Trump Silences Tlaib and Omar for Embracing Palestinians' Humanity

Palestinians deserve to live freely, but their personhood and freedom are denied every day — with great assistance from the United States.
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Can Congress Use NDAA To Stop War With Iran?

The House, with Republic support, just passed an amendment to the $733 NDAA bill which would require Congressional approval for any war with Iran.
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Iran Is Not the Aggressor — the US Is

If a war breaks out, it won’t be because the Trump administration “bumbled” into one.
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There’s a Simple Explanation for Racial Disparities in Terrorism Prosecutions: Racism

Whether authorities classify an act as “terrorist” depends almost entirely on who carries it out, not what they did.
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As Long as Guantanamo Exists, Trump Has a Torture Chamber Ready To Use

The administration has discussed warehousing refugee children at the notorious prison.
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Who Is Breaking The Law At The Border?

At the Mexican border, US law is flagrantly disregarded by people who know they will never be punished.

Trump Oversees Death And Destruction In Syria, Afghanistan

Findings from a new Amnesty International report paint a gruesome, but accurate, picture of U.S. military involvement Raqqa, Syria.

Senate Invokes War Powers Act On Yemen War

The bill marks a rare show of partisan unity against the President.
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Progressives Should Support Open Borders — With No Apology

Supporting freedom of movement isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s a political winner for the left.

Experts

In the News

Poor People's Campaign launches 25-state tour in election lead-up

National Catholic Reporter | September 11, 2019

Merger Mania

Tom Dispatch | July 16, 2019

Poor People's Campaign and 2020

WNYC | June 19, 2019