Friday News

Two separate instances of religiously-motivated violence have Israel increasingly on edge this morning. In one case, settler arsonists attacked two Palestinian homes in the West Bank village of Duma, killing an infant and critically injuring other members of the family.

The arson is believed to have been a “price tag” attack carried out by Israeli settlers — graffiti at the scene included a star of David and the word “revenge” in Hebrew. Israelis at a nearby settlement were targeted in shootings by a Hamas cell last month.

Israeli and EU officials were quick to condemn the act, which they described as terrorism.

“The state of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are. I have ordered the security forces to use all means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and bring them to justice forthwith,” said ,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

In Jerusalem yesterday, an ultra-Orthodox man launched an attack during a gay pride parade, stabbing six people. Two received serious wounds. Authorities say the perpetrator committed a similar attack 10 years ago. Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the attack as “a despicable hate crime.” The stabbings were unrelated to the arson attack.

Did Obama Pander To Ethiopian Dictators?
President Barack Obama’s trip to Ethiopia may have been historic, but it has been the source of consternation for some human rights advocates because the US president did not publicly hold the regime to account for its human rights abuses.

“A US presidential visit is already an enormous sign of respect–this one, especially so as it was the first by an American president. Unless care is taken, a visit to an authoritarian delivers respect to the government, not to the people, particularly those persecuted or jailed for seeking democracy and human rights. Anything the president and his team said privately, even if it was robustly and unequivocally supportive of democracy, was heard by only those with an interest in ignoring it,” said Ellen Bork in World Affairs Journal.

Others took specific umbrage at his characterization of the recent elections as democratic.

“But the president didn’t give them blunt truths in saying they had a democratic election when their election in May had intimidation of opposition figures, arrests and detentions of political watchdogs and 100% of the seats in the parliament were filled by the ruling party,” Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House, told the Los Angeles Times.

“The president was giving them a warm kiss when they didn’t deserve it.”

Lessons Of Srebrenica
Between July 9 and July 20, 1985, nearly some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Serbia were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces, an event which inspired international outrage and, eventually, action.

“The Kosovo experience, where securing multilateral approval reduced civil-military disagreements in Washington and facilitated a presidential decision to intervene, has become a model for the future. This is especially true for Democratic administrations, where the aforementioned liberal hawks often hold important policy posts and push for humanitarian interventions about which the generals have significant reservations,” Stefano Recchia writes in War on the Rocks.

While the Bosnian intervention serves as a model for humanitarian intervention, Recchia notes the primary reason for seeking multilateral cooperation is to “facilitate sustained military and financial burden-sharing on the intervention at hand, ultimately to maintain congressional support at home.”

In marking the anniversary, however, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the world still has lessons to learn from the massacre.

“We must stand up for, defend and live up to the values of the United Nations Charter,” Mr. Eliasson continued. “We must strengthen humanitarian action around the world. We must uphold the responsibility to protect. We must act at the first sign of violence, at the earliest warnings of atrocities.”


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