The Soviet Dissidents Who Used a Non-Binding International Accord to Fight for Freedom

In 1975, the U.S. Canada, and most European states—the Soviet Union included—signed the Helsinki accords, which, although meant to foster détente between the Eastern bloc and the West, also included an agreement to respect universal human rights. A year later—40 years ago yesterday—a group of Soviet dissidents founded the Moscow Helsinki Group to hold their government accountable for its violations of these rights. Natan Sharansky, one of the group’s founders, reflects on what it and other similar organizations achieved, and the lessons for today’s Western leaders:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Cold War, History & Ideas, Human Rights, Natan Sharansky, Soviet Union, U.S. Foreign policy

 

The U.S. Peace Plan May Finally Bring about a Palestinian State

Among those most fervently opposed to Israel applying its sovereignty to Jewish areas of the West Bank are members of the hard right, many of whom live in the affected areas. They do so because, under the Trump administration proposal, the extension of sovereignty makes possible the creation of a Palestinian state in the remainder of the territory. Haviv Rettig Gur comments on this irony:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Annexation, Israel & Zionism