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The Syllabus: What you need to know for the August 4 'MHP'

In nine months’ time, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping to deliver one of life’s most precious gifts. No, he is not having a baby; rather, Kerry hopes to
Credit: Jill Greenberg, 2013
Credit: Jill Greenberg, 2013

In nine months’ time, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping to deliver one of life’s most precious gifts. No, he is not having a baby; rather, Kerry hopes to accomplish peace in the Middle East by early next year. Kerry announced a plan  on Tuesday to create a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Prior to his goal-setting, Kerry tapped former Ambassador Martin Indyk to be the U.S. special envoy for the negotiations. Kerry, no stranger to the horrors of war, has focused on peace in the region since he reigned over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Likewise, Indyk who was ambassador to Israel from 1995-1997 and again from 2000-2001, believes that peace in between Israelis and Palestinians, albeit difficult, is a surmountable task.

Join us on Sunday as host Melissa Harris-Perry talks about this with Leila Hilal, the director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation; J Street president and founder Jeremy Ben Ami, msnbc foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal, and Michael Singh, the Managing Director of the Washington Institute.

Amidst vague threats of possible terrorist attacks, the State Department closed a number of embassies in the Middle East and Asia this weekend, and issued travel warnings to Americans. We’ll have the latest news on the threat and tensions in the region.

Kerry’s announcement for a pathway to Middle East peace comes on the heels of increased violence in other surrounding countries. Since the ousting of Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi in July, scores have died including 80 Morsi supporters. The U.S. has carefully avoided calling the situation in Egypt a “coup,” though it is encouraging the military to move quickly in reinstating democratic rule. Meanwhile, Syria continues to fall deeper and deeper into civil war, creating instability in a crucial region. Our host and panel will continue the discussion of Middle East peace as it relates to the U.S. strategy in both Egypt and Syria.

When our national conversation turns from racial discrimination to sagging pants, it is clear that we are suffering from misdirection. On Sunday’s MHP, our host and panel will discuss why the big issues like socioeconomic inequality and troublesome government policies are being overshadowed by conversations that miss the mark, and veer us off the course of progress.

And have you heard? Orange is the new black! You won't want to miss when Harris-Perry is joined by Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black and three cast members from the new Netflix series based on that book--Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, and Laverne Cox--to discuss the real life social issues both the book and the show address.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on msnbc! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.