President Obama in an address at a Holocaust remembrance event said he would "always be there for Israel" and defended his administration's record on preventing atrocities.
Obama spoke Monday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day. Prior to his address, he took a tour of the museum guided by Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust memoirist and Nobel Peace laureate.
E.U. foreign ministers are slapping new sanctions on the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, three other Assad family members, and eight Syrian government ministers, according to reports.
The new restrictions, which are slated to go into effect on Saturday, include a travel ban and the freezing of assets, The Associated Press reported. The wife of the Syrian president, Azma Assad, is a British native and holds British citizenship, which may mean she may still travel to England, AP said.
It was somewhat jarring this week to see the President of the United States take to his podium to figuratively hold up the head of Osama bin Laden as a political trophy. But that's what Barack Obama felt compelled to do after Republican contenders Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney accused the commander-in-chief of "appeasement" of America's enemies.
Bashar Assad ushered in Ramadan this weekend by killing at least 136 unarmed civilian demonstrators, including nearly 100 in the city of Hama, the place where nearly 30 years earlier his father massacred tens of thousands of his fellow Syrians. Tanks and machine-gunners also targeted mosque minarets in the Sunni-majority city; Assad and his ruling circle are Alouite Shi'ites.
A blockbuster story at the Washington Post this morning: turns out the U.S. government has “secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.”
It's almost a given among the Israeli center and right that there's no urgency to the matter of making peace with stubbornly hostile Arab states. Maybe in ten or twenty years, the climate in the region will be better, they say, so why rush?