As the world marks 20 years since the genocide in Rwanda, it serves as another startling example of the staggering failure of the world community to prevent genocide. In 1948, the United Nations passed the, “Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” Yet one of the longest genocides, taking place long before 1948, continues to be perpetrated today. This slaughter is gaining in momentum and brutality, and the world barely raises a murmur to prevent it. I am speaking of the ongoing genocide of Christians in the Middle East.
In the Modern Era, since the Ottoman Empires systematic campaign of murder against Armenian and Syriac Christians, the followers of Christ in the Middle East have lived a precarious existence. They’ve had their identity and cultural heritage destroyed, as they were forced to absorbed into each of the Islamic empires that swept through the Middle East. Such as the case of Aramain Christians, who through the program of cultural assimilation of minorities under their new rulers, became Arab Christians. Then, as now, reports of the massacres of Christians by the Ottoman Empire emerged in many newspapers in the Western world. One of the many articles highlighting the situation was a 1915 Headline in The San Antonio Light, Which read, ”Assyrians Massacred in Urmia.” Then, as now, the world did nothing.
The last few years have seen this genocide reach new heights in its brutality and a quickening in its pace. With the unrest in Syria, uncertainty in Egypt, and the general intolerant situation in much of the Arab and Muslim world, this catastrophe, our political leaders rushed to declare the “Arab spring”. Yet it has been devastating for the minorities in the Middle East. Now, this situation raises a number of interesting issues. While radical Islamists are butchering Christians for sport, each day grisly images of Christian corpses, young and old, male and female, emerge from the Arab world. Read more at The Times of Israel.
Experts, lawmakers warn $20B trade deal violates nuke deal
Iran and Russia’s recently announced $20 billion oil-for-goods trade deal has sparked concerns that Moscow is seeking to open up a direct line into Tehran for the import of sanctioned nuclear equipment and military hardware, shipments that would flatly violate the terms of the recently inked interim nuclear deal.
Tehran and Moscow are in the last stages of finalizing the trade deal, which would provide Russia with half-a-million barrels of Iranian oil a day. The deal would boost Iranian exports by as much as 50 percent a day,according to experts.
The trade deal could open the floodgates between the two nations and has sparked concerns that the trade pact will open a “channel for the transfer of sanctioned nuclear equipment or military hardware to Iran, not to mention other illicit financial transactions,” according to Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).
The trade deal also led Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) to demand that the White House immediately reinstate harsh sanctions on Iran if it goes through with the deal and violates the interim agreement, which provided Iran with more than $7 billion in sanctions relief.
Continue reading at the Washington Free Beacon.
From research to social and educational programs, Israel excels in the struggle to understand autism and help families deal with this developmental disorder.
In recent years Israel has become a major hub for studies on autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is today the second most prevalent among children.
People with autism, which is included in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASD), have social and communication difficulties that often make it hard for sufferers to leave home and live independently. They often engage in repetitive behavior, and can have intellectual disabilities.
In the US alone, the estimated prevalence of ASD is one per 88 children and steadily increasing. Among Israelis, autism diagnoses have increased as well, from 1,507 in 2004 to 7,344 in 2011 – or 48 out of every 10,000 children.
Israel offers a range of diagnostic, supportive and educational services for families of autistic children, such as the Mifne Intervention Program in Rosh Pina, which treats Israeli and foreign children from infancy to age two; and ALUT: The Israeli Society for Autistic Children, providing services and programs from the time of diagnosis through adulthood.
During April, World Autism Awareness Month, ISRAEL21c looks at 10 ways Israel excels in autism research, as well as innovating products and services for families of children with autism.
See the list at Israel21C.
Bipartisan group to author bill which aims to cut off funding sources to the terror organization
A bipartisan group of congressman is seeking legislation to toughen sanctions against Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, cutting off its financing channels in order to deny funding to its operations.
The Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act, announced Thursday, would target and sanction banks that do business with Hezbollah or its affiliates and force tougher policies against the organization’s television network Al-Manar. It would also seek to label the group as a narcotics trafficking organization and as a transnational criminal organization – designations which would enable further legal actions against its operations.
Continue reading at the Times of Israel.