To Counter Violent Extremism, Focus on the Young

The Hill | Jul 2, 2015

Today, we have a generation of young change-makers, including Muslim millennials, who are participating, positively, in addressing societal problems through nonviolent approaches to economic, social and political issues. We need to pay close attention to these voices.

Muslims and Jews Forge Friendships Over Dinner

Jewish Journal | Jul 2, 2015

The break fast — which featured kosher and halal foods — was much more than a meal. The event was filled with interfaith dialogue and a practice known as “Two Faiths One Prayer” in which Muslims and Jews pray side by side. […] NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change said it was a gathering to make friendships, connections and harmony in order to help reduce Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Los Angeles.

UNESCO Chief Says Islamic State Waging ‘Culture Cleansing’

Japan Times, The | Jul 2, 2015

Several archaeological sites have been attacked by Islamic State jihadis in Iraq and Syria. […] “I think the growing awareness that hard power will not be enough to defeat violent extremism is gaining ground. We need also soft power,” [Irina] Bokova said. “Culture should be part of our response to violent extremism”.

The Atrocity Propaganda Ben Franklin Circulated to Sway Public Opinion in America's Favor

Slate Magazine | Jul 1, 2015

Benjamin Franklin wrote and published this hoax "Supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle" in 1782, hoping that it would end up in the hands of British newspaper editors, who might reprint articles from its pages. Through these manufactured tales of atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans at the behest of the British, Franklin looked to influence the mindset of the British public as he worked on negotiating the peace treaty that would formally end the conflict between Britain and the new United States. 

Romanian Students Impress Oslo with Their Advocacy Work

The Nordic Page | Jul 1, 2015

Romanian students from Babadag, Bistrita and Botosani visited Norway to showcase their successful advocacy campaigns and to see how democracy mechanism work in Norway. Nine students from Dimitrie Cantemir (Babadag), Colegiul National Liviu Rebreanu, Colegiul Tehnic Infoel (Bistrita) and Colegiul National Mihai Eminescu (Botosani), together with their teachers, made a study visit to Oslo in the period of 16-21 May, under a program designed to present their advocacy works, familiarize them with the rule of law, democracy and the mechanisms that ensure the functioning of good governance.

Israel’s Cartoon Diplomacy Equates Iran and Islamic State

New York Times | Jul 1, 2015

Apparently undeterred by the backlash over its last venture into cartoon diplomacy, Israel’s government released an animated video on Tuesday that equates the threat from Islamic State militants to that of a nuclear-armed Iran. The 28-second animation, uploaded to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official accounts on social networks, attempts to erase the distinction between the Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and their sworn enemies, the Shiite Muslim clerics who rule the Islamic Republic of Iran.

What Do Embassies Have To Do With Diplomacy?

Newsy | Jul 1, 2015

"Going forward, the United States will reestablish an embassy in Havana," President Obama said. Two weeks after the U.S. removed Cuba from the state-sponsored terrorism list, a flagpole was put up in front of the Cuban Interests Section — which will probably be upgraded to the Cuban Embassy — in Washington, D.C. The State Department defines an embassy as "the nerve center for a country's diplomatic affairs within the borders of another nation." 

Illinois Exchange Students Head Home

CBS Chicago | Jul 1, 2015

Hundreds of suitcases fill the parking lot outside Elmhurst College  as 500 international students board buses to the airport to go back home.

“It’s sad. I feel horrible. It hasn’t hit me hit that I’ll be home tomorrow,” said 18-year-old Gustavo Lopez from Brazil.

Lopez spent the last year living with a host family in Skokie and attended Niles West High School .

“I hope I remember how to speak Portuguese when I get home. This has been the best year of my life. I feel like a totally different person. I’m so glad I did this,” Lopez said.

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