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What a policy of real solidarity with the Syrian people looks like

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New York, NY - April 07 | People participate in a protest against a recent American missile strike in Syria in Union Square on April 7, 2017 in New York, United States. The strike, on Syrian military Air base, came days after it is suspected that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against a rebel held town. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • Even a strong shift on issues like the International Criminal Court won’t suffice unless the United States begins to change its alliances among the Syrian people.
  • Related: Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder

James Trimarco, YES! Magazine / Waging Nonviolence

April 10, 2017 | After the release of horrifying images of Syrian civilians killed by chemical attacks on Tuesday, there were predictable demands that the United States should “take action” against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Indeed, hawkish voices in both the Democratic and Republican parties have been calling for U.S. military engagement in Syria at least since March 2013, when more than two dozen people were killed in a sarin gas attack in the country’s north. In this context, Trump stands to benefit politically from Thursday’s missile strikes against a Syrian airfield.

In his address to the nation, Trump said the goal is “to end the slaughter and bloodshed.” But many Middle East experts say airstrikes won’t stop the violence. Assad’s regime and its allies have already weathered more than 100,000 casualties in a civil war that has killed or injured more than 11 percent of the country’s population. Assad immediately responded to Trump’s missiles with a promise that the attack “does not change the deep policies” of the Syrian government. As if on cue, the town that suffered the chemical weapons on Tuesday was bombed again on Friday and Saturday—presumably by the Syrian government.

James Trimarco is a senior editor at YES! Magazine

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Related:

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Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder, Eric March, Upworthy 

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  • This year, Beth-El is preparing to host over 100 congregants and some special first-time guests: about 50 refugees, most from Afghanistan.
  • "There’s a saying in Judaism that a little light dispels a lot of darkness," Knopf says. "So even though we’re just one little community in one little city, I think we’re doing a lot of illuminating for at least this group of people."
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