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Gaza protests highlight the need to build cooperation vs. confrontation, says Eboo Patel
Gaza protests highlight the need to build cooperation vs confrontation | Eboo Patel | GZERO World

Gaza protests highlight the need to build cooperation vs. confrontation, says Eboo Patel

It’s time for college students to rethink how they protest, says Eboo Patel, founder of Interfaith America, a nonprofit that works with hundreds of campuses to foster healthier dialogue. In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer for the latest episode of GZERO World, Patel criticizes the confrontational culture on campuses, urging a shift from romanticizing conflict to embracing cooperation. He challenges the dichotomy of oppressors and oppressed, advocating for a more nuanced approach to diversity that resembles a potluck of ideas.

“We absolutely need to change the default setting on campuses from confrontation is romanticized to cooperation is the norm."

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Covering Columbia's campus protests as a student and GZERO reporter
Covering Columbia's campus protests as a student and GZERO reporter | GZERO Reports

Covering Columbia's campus protests as a student and GZERO reporter

The past few weeks of student protests, counter-protests, and police activity at Columbia have been the tensest moments the University has seen in over 50 years. What’s it like to be a student and graduating senior during this historic moment?

When GZERO writer Riley Callanan began her senior year at Barnard, the women’s college within Columbia, she never expected it would end this way: thousands of student protesters, an encampment and takeover of an administrative building, the attention of the national news media, armed police officers swarming campus, and, ultimately, a canceled graduation ceremony. Now, as she tells colleague Alex Kliment on GZERO World, instead of senior galas and grad parties, Columbia students are having intense debates over the Israel-Palestine conflict, antisemitism, and free speech.

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Campus protests over Gaza: Now what?
Campus protests over Gaza: Now what? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Campus protests over Gaza: Now what?

Something is happening here—on college campuses, that is. But what do we make of protests that turn violent, like what we saw at UCLA or even some of the Columbia conflicts? In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, Eboo Patel, founder of the nonprofit Interfaith America, talks about his work on hundreds of college campuses to find common ground. His core message is simple: "Cooperation is better than division."

Patel advocates for a shift in focus from confrontation to cooperation on campuses, suggesting that universities should foster environments of civil discourse. He proposes initiatives like teach-ins and dialogues to explore constructive solutions to complex issues. "I think the problem here, the thing that universities could control, which I think that they have gotten wrong in many cases over the course of the past five years, is the default mode has been set to confrontation, not cooperation."

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Ian Explains: Will the Gaza campus protests work?
Will the Gaza campus protests work? | Ian Bremmer explains | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Will the Gaza campus protests work?

Have the student protests worked? College campuses nationwide have become protest hubs, echoing past movements demanding change. From Columbia to UCLA, students are pitching tents, occupying buildings, and clashing with police over Israel's actions in Gaza. The core demand: divestment from Israel. Whether it's cutting ties with Israeli donors or businesses, students are risking penalties to be heard, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

This activism mirrors the 1968 protests at Columbia, which targeted US involvement in Vietnam. Then, as now, divestment was a central demand, albeit from different sources. Some progress has been made; Brown and Northwestern students have reached agreements with administrators. Worldwide, youth are voicing discontent over Gaza.

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Who's winning the Israel-Palestine information war?
Who's winning the Israel-Palestine information war? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Who's winning the Israel-Palestine information war?

To fully grasp why the Gaza war remains so far from a peaceful resolution, you need to understand the codependency between Israel's Far Right and Hamas. So says Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman on "GZERO World."

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What would an Israel-Palestine solution look like?
What would an Israel-Palestine solution look like? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

What would an Israel-Palestine solution look like?

Imagine if it were possible. What would a post-war Palestinian resolution to the Gaza conflict actually look like? Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas L Friedman games that out for Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Friedman breaks it down. "Two stages. First stage is the UAE, Egypt and Jordan agree to send troops to Gaza to provide security in a transition after Israel would pull back with American logistical help." Friedman also lays out what the Palestinians themselves would have to do to ensure an enduring peace. "And the thing that the Palestinians would do is I believe reconvene the PLO, the umbrella, the sole legitimate organization, which means the umbrella organization to legitimate to nominate a Palestinian government of technocrats."
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The sun sets over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from the border with Gaza in southern Israel April 7, 2024.

REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Six months of war, no sign of peace

Sunday marked six months of war between Israel and Hamas, and some observers fear the conflict has become intractable. Hamas is still believed to hold over 130 Israeli hostages from its Oct. 7 assault that killed 1,200, while Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed over 33,000 Palestinians and injured 75,000. Nearly half of Gaza’s buildings have been destroyed, and 1.9 million of its residents have been displaced, leaving them at risk of disease and starvation. But is the war any closer to ending?

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How the Israel-Gaza war could end - if Netanyahu wants it to
- YouTube

How the Israel-Gaza war could end - if Netanyahu wants it to

How close is the Gaza war to ending? “Nowhere” says Pulitzer-prize winning author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, Friedman games out a possible resolution to the war (as far-fetched as it may seem right now) and explains why both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Hamas are obstacles to peace. Key to understanding this, Friedman says, is grasping the “codependency” that Netanyahu and Hamas share.

"Netanyahu always understood that... having a strong Hamas in Gaza is the best way to ensure a weak Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.” And even if he wanted to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Friedman explains, Netanyahu is paralyzed to do so because of his own precarious political position. “He is hostage to a Far Right in his coalition that has told him... progress toward a unified Palestinian position is a no-go, we'll throw you out of power."

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