The Exoneration of Sarah Halimi’s Murderer Is about Blindness to Anti-Semitism, Not Marijuana

April 27 2021

Two weeks ago, a French high court upheld a decision not to try Kobili Traoré for beating and then murdering Sarah Halimi, a sixty-five-year-old Jewish woman, on the grounds that he was suffering from marijuana-induced insanity. That Traoré had shouted Allahu Akbar as he threw her from her window, that he had previously called Halimi’s daughter a “dirty Jew,” and other evidence that he was motivated by religious fervor and anti-Semitism did not figure into the court’s ruling. France’s President Emmanuel Macron has responded by calling for changes to the country’s laws regarding drug-use and criminal insanity. While doing so might be salutary, Melanie Phillips argues that it won’t make French Jews safer:

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Read more at JNS

More about: anti-Semitsm, France, French Jewry, Sarah Halimi

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy