Background Briefing: May 6, 2024


The Gaza Impasses With Hamas Wanting a Permanent Ceasefire and Israel a Temporary One

We begin with an announcement by Hamas’ political leader that it had accepted a ceasefire deal proposed by Egypt and Qatar as Israel’s PM and head of the IDF vow to destroy the remaining Hamas fighters in Rafah. Joining us to discuss the impasse as Hamas wants a permanent ceasefire and Israel a temporary one is Dr. Guy Ziv, a professor at the Department of Foreign Policy at American University’s School of International Service and Associate Director of the Meltzer Schwartzberg Center for Israel Studies where he teaches courses on U.S.-Israel relations, and Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. He has worked in the U.S. Department of State, on Capitol Hill, and for leading non-profit organizations that promote American involvement in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and is the author of Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel. His latest book is Netanyahu Versus the Generals: The Battle for Israel’s Future.


A Possible Change in the U.S.’s Israel-Palestinian Policy as Grassroots and Student Protests Ended Support for South Africa’s Apartheid Regime

Then we assess the possibility of a change in the US’s Israeli-Palestinian foreign policy as a result of grassroots pressure from students and activists in the way policy changed towards South Africa as the US changed course and stopped supporting the apartheid regime. Joining us is Jeremi Suri, who holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor of history and public affairs. He is the co-host of the podcast “This is Democracy” and the author and editor of a number of books including The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office, Henry Kissinger and the American Century and most recently, Civil War by Other Means: America’s Long and Unfinished Fight for Democracy.


Russia Announces Drills for the Use of Tactical Nukes Ahead of Putin’s Inauguration Tomorrow

Then finally, with Russia announcing drills for the possible use of tactical nukes ahead of Putin’s inauguration tomorrow, we will speak with Eugene Rumer, a senior fellow and the director of The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Russia and Eurasia Program. Previously, he was the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the U.S. National Intelligence Council from 2010 to 2014 and also served at the State Department and on the National Security Council staff. We discuss his article at Carnegie, “The U.S. Aid Package for Ukraine Is a Breakthrough but No Silver Bullet” and a lengthy article at The Washington Post “Under Putin, a militarized new Russia rises to challenge the U.S. and the West.”