Saturday Readings: Brookings Holds Weekend Forum On US-Israel Relations

Amnesty Blasts International Response To Syria In New Report Amnesty International has criticized the international community for failing to host Syrian refugees.

In a report released Friday, Amnesty cited that Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt are hosting around 3.8 million refugees from Syria, while the rest of the world has taken in only 1.7 percent of that number.

The report was released one week after the U.N. World Food Program announced it was suspending its food voucher program due to lack of funding.

Amnesty notes that “nearly half of the country’s population has been forced to leave their homes and 3.8 million of those fleeing have become refugees in neighbouring countries,” and they assert that the “response of the international community has been wholly inadequate relative to the magnitude of the displacement.”

ISIS Killing At An Unimaginable Rate
The Iraq war has witnessed countless numbers of civilian deaths, but Peter Schwartzstein of The Daily Beast says the emergence of ISIS has resulted in an unforeseeable increase in brutality and has “plunged Iraq into a period of turbulence so debilitating that, for the first time, these death counts can no longer keep up with the killing.

According to Jean-Marc Mojon, AFP’s Iraq Bureau Chief, those responsible for tracking the number of deaths “”can’t handle this thing [tabulating deaths] that we started a few years ago.”

In related news, The Wall Street Journal reports today that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced the US will pause temporarily the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.

Fear Spreading Among Polish Elites About Russian Aggression
Writing for Der Spiegel, Jurek Skrobala on the growing fear of Russia among cultural elites in Poland:

“It is the fear that Europe is not reacting forcefully enough to the crisis in Ukraine, the fear that Putin will advance not only to the Donets River, but soon also to the banks of the Vistula. And it is the fear of Putin himself, who just a few days ago made reference to the ‘centuries old common history’ that connects Poles and Russians, words that sparked anxiety among the Polish media, because they match the rhetoric of the cold embrace that the Russian president has reserved for Ukraine.”

Quick Reads

David Remnick writes in The New Yorker about former president Bill Clinton’s quest to reclaim his legacy.

The Wall Street Journal examines how despite two decades of elections and growth, democracy has stalled, militaries are resurgent, and autocrats are in control in many African nations.

The Brookings Institution this weekend is holding its the eleventh annual Saban Forum, a gathering of high-ranking U.S. and Israeli officials focusing on critical issues of importance to both countries. Live webcasts can be viewed throughout the weekend.

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