21 January 2016   Leave a comment

Turkey has been stepping up its military actions against Kurds in the southeastern part of the state.  The Turks fear the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), believing that it wishes to create an independent Kurdish state.  The Kurds have been the most reliable ground allies in the fight against Daesh (the Islamic State) in Syria and Iraq and the US wants to arm the Kurds to the fullest extent possible.  But the TUrks and the US cannot agree on the proper role of the Kurds in the tangled politics of the Middle East.

The plight of Syrian refugees is extraordinary, but so is the will to survive.  Young refugees in Lebanon (which hosts more Syrian refugees per capita than any other country) have managed to find a degree of stability and hope in rap music.  After all the trauma in their lives, it is astonishing that these kids still know what will keep them strong and moving forward.



Israel has confirmed that it intends to seize about 280 acres of land in the Jordan River Valley near the city of Jericho.  The land exists in what the international community calls the Occupied West Bank, seized by Israel in the 1967 war with Jordan (along with the Gaza Strip from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria).  Israel apparently wishes to use the land for settlements for Israeli citizens, a move expressly forbidden by the international law governing occupied territories.   The Fourth Geneva Convention holds that:

Article 49 (6)

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

Israel holds that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply to the Occupied Territories, a position which has been rejected by the International Court of Justice.


Posted January 22, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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