Day: May 7, 2024

Background Briefing: May 7, 2024

Israel Joins Peace Talks in Cairo Amid IDF Escalation in Gaza  

We begin with a mid-level Israeli delegation joining ceasefire negotiations in Cairo as the IDF steps up military operations on the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing closing off the two main entry points for humanitarian aid into Gaza. Joining us is Leila Hilal, an independent analyst who until recently was the co-director of the New America Foundation Middle East Task Force. Previously, she served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian Negotiations Department and advised the Palestinian Constitutional Committee during the drafting of the Basic Law. She acted as an external adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team as part of the Annapolis bi-lateral peace talks of 2008. She was a Senior Policy Adviser to the Commissioner-General of the UN Palestinian refugee agency and a Visiting Fellow and Instructor at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University.


Strengthening the Laws of War as Non-combatants Die in Gaza and Ukraine

Then, with civilian casualties in Gaza close to 35,000 and Russia’s war on Ukraine targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, we examine the history of the laws of war, which are clearly failing non-combatants as responses to terror attacks like October 7 and 9/11 that target civilians end up costing the lives of many more civilians since as many as a million died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joining us is Oona Hathaway, a Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and a Nonresident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has been a member of the Advisory Committee on International Law for the Legal Adviser at the United States Department of State since 2005, and, from 2014 to 2015, she took leave to serve as Special Counsel to the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense, where she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence. She has an article at Foreign Affairs, “War Unbound: Gaza, Ukraine, and the Breakdown of International Law.”

Brazen Examples of Foreign Governments Buying U.S. Senators and Congressmen

Then finally we look into the brazen examples of foreign governments buying US congressmen and senators as Rep. Henry Cuellar and Senator Menendez face charges of accepting bribes from Azerbaijan, Mexico and Egypt. Joining us is Casey Michel, the Director of the Combating Kleptocracy Program at the Human Rights Foundation, as well as a writer, analyst, and investigative journalist working on topics ranging from kleptocracy, illicit finance, dark money, foreign lobbying, and foreign interference to the legacies of Russian and Soviet colonialism. He is the author of American Kleptocracy: How the U.S. Created the World’s Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History and Foreign Agents: How American Lobbyists and Lawmakers Threaten Democracy Around the World,  out soon. We discuss his article at CNN, “Menendez and Cuellar cases sound the alarm on foreign influence on Congress.”