Report

Netanyahu Says U.N. Comments Encourage Terrorism after West Bank Stabbings

Two Israeli women, one of whom died of her wounds, were stabbed in the West Bank settlement town of Beit Horon on Monday. The perpetrators of the attacks were two Palestinian men who were both shot and killed at the scene. The stabbings were the third attack targeting settlers in the last eight days. U.N. ...

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Two Israeli women, one of whom died of her wounds, were stabbed in the West Bank settlement town of Beit Horon on Monday. The perpetrators of the attacks were two Palestinian men who were both shot and killed at the scene. The stabbings were the third attack targeting settlers in the last eight days.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in remarks to the U.N. Security Council, condemned the rash of stabbings and violence by both Palestinians and Israelis. “But security measures alone will not stop the violence,” said Ban. “It is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.” Ban’s comments drew criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the comments “a tailwind for terrorism.”

Syrian Opposition Requests Clarification after Invitation to Talks

U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura sent out official invitations yesterday to peace talks set to begin in Geneva on Friday, though he did not release the list of groups invited to participate, citing the sensitivity of the subject. The opposition’s High Negotiations Council, which is currently meeting in Riyadh, said it appreciated its invitation but has requested clarification from the United Nations about a resolution that called on the warring parties to halt certain tactics, such as sieges and targeting civilian areas, before the start of talks.

Headlines

  • In a classified report to the U.N. Security Council, a panel of experts note that warring parties in Yemen are using tactics that “constitute the prohibited use of starvation as a method of warfare” and call for the formation of a commission of inquiry.

 

  • Egypt is continuing and expanding its crackdown on political dissent, holding and torturing hundreds of people in “enforced disappearances” outside the formal legal system, according to a report by the New York Times.

 

  • A new report by Amnesty International identifies Iran as the leading executioner of minors over the last decade, including at least four last year with at least 160 more on death row; Iran claims that it does not execute people under 18 years old.

 

  • The emir of Qatar rearranged his cabinet, consolidating portfolios and selecting Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani as his new minister of foreign affairs; the move is seen as an effort to cut government costs and consolidate power, according to an anonymous diplomat.

 

  • Denmark passed a controversial immigration law yesterday that would allow authorities to seize “assets of considerable value” from refugees, including Syrians and others displaced by war, entering the country; the law has drawn comparisons to the Nazis’ treatment of minorities, but Danish politicians say the law is “misunderstood.”

Arguments and Analysis

Did the Arab uprising destroy the Muslim Brotherhood?” (Steven Brooke, Monkey Cage)

“This mobilization was the stuff of pure politics, and the Brotherhood was great at it. Indeed, in the immediate context of 2011-2013 Egypt it would have been more exceptional if the Brotherhood had resisted the urge to leverage all its assets for electoral success. But this politicization raised fundamental questions about what, exactly, the Muslim Brotherhood represented, and how it was different from alternatives. For the Brotherhood, the explicit politicization of all corners of the movement suggested a shortcut around the gradualist, bottom-up process of Islamization that al-Banna had laid out. And for Egyptians, if receiving medical care from the Brotherhood came with expectations of electoral support, then the Brotherhood became basically indistinguishable from its political competitors (who did the same thing, just not as well). Repeated political successes allowed the group to avoid confronting these questions, but the events surrounding the summer 2013 military coup forced a reckoning.”

 

In Translation: Five Years On…Did the Egyptian Revolution Fail?” (Rabab El Mahdi, al-Shorouq via The Arabist)

“We must realize that what Egypt has been going through over the past five years is not just a political movement or even an aborted attempt at a revolution, it is a historical process of change that involves society as a whole, including its political and even its cultural structures. Therefore, this process could last for decades. The post-colonial state that was formed in the middle of the last century has reached its end. In its current form, it is no longer able to fulfill its various roles managing society or even to achieve the requirement of being accepted by new generations, who are no longer satisfied with the idea of exchanging freedom for a non-existent economic security or to relinquish their personal dignity in a police state under the pretext of security and national autonomy. We are in the midst of a battle to redefine and to question what had previously been a given.”

-J. Dana Stuster

ABIR SULTAN/AFP/Getty Images

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