Select Writings

Finding Peace in Georgia’s Last Soviet Spa, Curiosity Magazine, August 24, 2018

Bathhouse 6 is the only operating Soviet-era spa and health sanatorium left in Tskaltubo, Georgia. Past a lavish fountain and massive Corinthian columns, a frieze of Joseph Stalin shaking hands with his countrymen adorns the front façade. The infamous Georgian-born Communist revolutionary welcomes visitors to an environment of rest and recuperation. The interior’s ornamental marble corridors and colorful mosaics summon a bygone era of Soviet-styled opulence meets a sterile medical facility. Legend has it that the grandiose establishment was also home to Stalin’s favorite swimming pool.

Is It Still a Muslim Ban if Christian Refugees Are Punished? Foreign Policy, July 5, 2017

The scene in Detroit’s U.S. District Court on June 21 was buzzing with anger and anxiety. Dozens of Iraqi nationals waited to hear whether their detained relatives, and other members of their Detroit community, would be deported back to Iraq. A rally outside the courtroom brought together hundreds of supporters, who came out with signs that read “Trump/Pence hear us, we voted for you” and “Deporting Christians to Iraq is genocide.”

Georgia’s Options at the Abkhaz Border, New Eastern Europe, February 21, 2017

Georgians are now at a crossroads as they contemplate the potential effects of a Trump-Putin détente for their country. The United States has long supported Georgia, as Russian influence creeped further and further into Georgian territory via the so-called “frozen conflicts” in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, President Trump’s friendly approach to President Putin could mean less access to Washington for officials in Tbilisi.

Commentary: How Trump’s immigration plan could help those he wants to deport, Reuters, December 8, 2016

Even though Trump has said he’ll enact a hiring freeze on all federal positions, he would have to make an exception for immigration judges if he wants to follow through with one of his most polarizing promises. In doing so, he might inadvertently take steps to clean up the broken immigration system that the United States currently has in place.

Azerbaijan: Mountain Jews See Government as Protectors,, August 24, 2016

The Mountain Jews’ comfort with President Ilham Aliyev’s administration might have something to do with the national narrative Azerbaijan’s government wants to publicize – an inclusive and cosmopolitan society that is secular and non-threatening to Western values.

Ramadan, Reshaped: Syrians Abroad Find New Ways to Celebrate, National Geographic, June 30, 2016

Detroit-area residents welcome Syrian immigrants at an interfaith Iftar to celebrate the end of a fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Why haven’t Flint residents fled, as Syrians have? The Washington Post, February 22, 2016

Syrians are risking their lives to escape their country. In Flint, by contrast, many people feel trapped or are opting to wait and see, hoping state and federal officials will fix the mess.

The Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court, Indian Journal of International Law, Vol.54, January 2016

An overview of the ASP of the ICC, its organizational set-up, role in appointing judges, and efforts in promoting universality, cooperation, and complementarity.

States can’t refuse Syrian refugees, but they sure can make them feel unwantedThe Guardian, November 17, 2015

The 26 US states that have refused to accept Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks are playing political football.

Immigration reform would help Detroit, The Detroit News, November 5, 2015

Large scale immigration reform is doomed to be merely a talking point until the 2016 presidential election.

How Ukraine Is Forgetting Its Most Desperate Citizens, Foreign Policy, October 23, 2015

Life was already hard enough for internally displaced Ukrainians fleeing war in the East. But now they’re even being deprived of the right to vote.

Backlogs & bureaucracy are no excuse for the US to fail asylum-seekers, The Guardian, September 9, 2015

A miles-long waiting list continues to plague immigration judges and keeps people who are fleeing war zones in limbo

In Europe, the Word ‘Migrant” Is Not the Problem, The World Post, September 2, 2015

If the current international response is any indication, singling out refugees from other groups of people who relocate is slamming doors shut instead of paving paths towards safety and security.

Refugees or Migrants? The distinction is important and often misunderstood, GlobalPost, August 18, 2015

The motivation for moving does not easily fall into “forced” or “voluntary” categories. A person can simultaneously flee persecution and still seek opportunity.

Don’t blame ‘sanctuary city’ policies for violent crime, The Detroit News, August 3, 2015

The current debate criminalizes immigrants unfairly and local law enforcement will suffer in Detroit and Ann Arbor, among other “sanctuary cities.”

A city with no sovereign: The Jerusalem passport case, +972 Magazine, June 10, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the State Department can continue refusing to print ‘Israel’ as the place of birth for American citizens born in Jerusalem.

The US has a responsibility to Syrian refugees that it can no longer shirk, The Guardian, June 9, 2015

Temporary Protected Status doesn’t fix much for those people fleeing violence in Syria – and it doesn’t help the communities in which they settle

Leveraging the ICC to push for Palestinian statehood at the UN+972 Magazine, March 25, 2015

Could a shift in U.S.-Israeli relations lay the groundwork for bolder legal and diplomatic moves in the international arena against Israel and the occupation?

Another Russian Annexation on Crimea’s Anniversary, The Interpreter, March 19, 2015

On the anniversary of Crimea’s annexation, Russia is poised for yet another self-proclaimed legally compliant land grab; this time of Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region.

Palestinian ‘lawfare’:  Toward brinksmanship or progress? +972 Magazine, January 10, 2015

Palestine’s accession to the International Criminal Court is a new battleground in the conflict with Israel; settlements will be the thorniest legal issue in the courtroom (if it ever gets there).

The time is ripe for a UN resolution on Gaza, +972 Magazine, August 6, 2014

With a ceasefire now in effect between Israel and Hamas, diplomacy can begin to take root.

The Best Part of Waking Up, Popcorn: The Literary Blog of Sense Writing, August 3, 2014

An ode to coffee. 

International Law Solutions Fall Short for Israelis, Palestinians in Gaza Conflict, World Politics Review, July 25, 2014

As the death toll is Gaza rises to over 730 Palestinians and 32 Israeli soldiers, legal definitions of what is permissible in war have been bitterly contested.

Israeli, Hamas war crimes becoming increasingly harder to distinguish, +972 Magazine, July 25, 2014

Both sides are guilty of violating international law but the source of an attack on a Gaza UN school could be a game changer.

The Detroit Institute of Arts and city workers unite against creditors, Medium, May 6, 2014

A landmark agreement regarding pension cuts could help resolve Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and safeguard its art collection.

Russia Launched a Propaganda War Against Ukrainians — And They’re Fighting Back, PolicyMic, April 3, 2014

Prior to the annexation of Crimea, Kremlin-funded TV channels used a pretext of fascism and evoked a humanitarian crisis in order to legitimize Russia’s actions in the region. 

Ukrainian nationalists strive to shake off allegations of anti-Semitism, Haaretz, February 28, 2014

Anti-government protesters say Nazi name-calling is propaganda designed to undermine their movement.

Billy Rose Art Garden at the Israel Museum, Haaretz, February 24, 2014

The Israel Museum’s outdoor sculpture collection offers an opportunity for adventuresome art appreciation.

Opinion: Constructive unilateralism – Israel’s insurance policy, Haaretz, August 8, 2013

Relocating 100,000 settlers would both complement peace talks and set the foundation for a two-state solution should talks fail.

Drawing Palestinians and Israelis together, with the stroke of a video paintbrush, Haaretz, May 16, 2013

Blake Shaw’s ‘video painting’ project in Israel-Palestine uses cutting-edge technology to build bridges.

Tourist Tip / The Holon Design Museum, Haaretz, February 24, 2013

The museum building itself is a tribute to beauty and functionality.

Pro-Israeli Egyptian activist receives hostile welcome in Tel Aviv, Haaretz, January 3, 2013

Egyptian peace blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad gets heckled and insulted by Arab-Israeli protesters.

Panetta:  U.S. prepared to implement ‘other options’ to prevent a nuclear Iran (contributed to report), Haaretz, August 1, 2012

During a tour of Iron Dome system in Ashkelon with Barak, U.S. Defense Secretary says the U.S. ‘ respects Israel’s sovereignty to decide what’s in their best interest.’



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