Recorded January 12, 2023
In this episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” FMEP Non-resident Fellow Peter Beinart is joined by Ken Roth (formerly Human Rights Watch) and Harvard professor Kathryn Sikkink to discuss the recent controversy over Harvard’s decision to cancel its offer of a fellowship to Ken Roth, based on accusations of anti-Israel bias by both Human Rights Watch and by Ken.
Resources for this podcast
- “I once ran Human Rights Watch. Harvard blocked my fellowship over Israel” (Ken Roth in The Guardian)
- “Has the Fight Against Antisemitism Lost Its Way?” (Peter Beinart in The New York Times)
- “A Human-Rights Leader Was Denied a Harvard Post Over Alleged ‘Anti-Israel Bias.’ Now a Dean Faces Calls to Resign.” (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- “Open letter to Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf, Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, and Incoming Harvard President Claudine Gay“
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an Editor-at-Large at Jewish Currents, and an MSNBC Political Commentator. Follow Peter: @PeterBeinart, peterbeinart.substack.com.
Kenneth Roth is the former executive director of Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading international human rights organizations, which operates in more than 90 countries. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 1987, Roth served as a federal prosecutor in New York and for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington, DC. A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Roth has conducted numerous human rights investigations and missions around the world. He has written extensively on a wide range of human rights abuses, devoting special attention to issues of international justice, counterterrorism, the foreign policies of the major powers, and the work of the United Nations.
Kathryn Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at HKS. Sikkink works on international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, the impact of human rights law and policies, and transitional justice. Her publications include The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibilies; Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century; The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics (awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Center Book Award, and the WOLA/Duke University Award); Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America; Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (co-authored with Margaret Keck and awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order, and the ISA Chadwick Alger Award for Best Book in the area of International Organizations); and The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance, (co-edited with Thomas Risse and Stephen Ropp). She holds an MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Sikkink has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the editorial board of International Organization and the American Political Science Review.