Those who most need the protections of international human rights law — dissidents, journalists, civil society actors — these vulnerable people are used to operating in the knowledge that big governments out there in the world care. They don’t have that now.
[If the Saudis] are willing to assassinate a journalist on foreign soil because he was mildly critical, these international partners are going to be much less likely to send their students, researchers and experts to the kingdom or to set up long-term partnerships with the kingdom.
No country is going to be fully consistent in saying exactly the same thing about every violation of rights everywhere in the world at every moment, but in the case of Saudi Arabia and Iran, the gap under this administration is glaring.
It’s very challenging for [Israeli officials] to continue to argue that that kind of external engagement with Israeli civil society represents some sort of threat to Israeli sovereignty if they are attempting to do the same things themselves [with American Jewish charities].
The political point is that each side of this conflict has their own narrative about the status of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s role. The argument is not whether this is a border. The argument is whether Israel is occupying Gaza.
For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.
Pompeo undoubtedly will rely on his shared political perspective and his personal relationship with the president, but given the way this president plays this role, it’s hard to see how you’re not going to have some degree of daylight.
Young people are excited about the possibility for change [in Saudi Arabia], whether it relates to being able to go to the movies, or creating a different kind of career path than you might have imagined earlier.