Houla Massacre Puts Syria “Outside the Community of Nations”

This weekend, more than 100 civilians were massacred under the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. URJ leaders have been speaking out against the violence perpetrated by the Assad regime for the past year, and yesterday Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

“We condemn in the strongest terms the massacre this weekend of more 100 Syrians, many of them children, by President Assad’s forces in Syria. This tragedy is yet more evidence – as if any were needed — why Assad must relinquish power and bring an end to the violence that has been perpetrated over the past year. The world must know about the events in Houla. We will do our best to make sure that the Houla Massacre will not be forgotten, and that the victims will be both remembered and honored.

“In the meantime, we are hopeful that Kofi Annan’s attempt to reinforce a peace plan he negotiated just months ago will prevent further loss of lives.

“Through this horrific massacre, and too many others, President Assad and his government have clearly chosen to put themselves outside the community of nations. Today’s joint action by the United States, Canada and other allies to expel Syrian diplomats is a sad, but wholly appropriate, step.

“Within the international community, strong opposition to the Assad regime and strong support for the regime’s victims will continue to be vital moving forward.”


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Katharine Nasielski

About Katharine Nasielski

Katharine Burd Nasielski is the Communications Associate at the RAC and was an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant from 2011-2012. She graduated in 2011 from Northwestern University and is originally from Philadelphia, PA where she is a member of Society Hill Synagogue.

2 Responses to “Houla Massacre Puts Syria “Outside the Community of Nations””

  1. There is nothing new in this article. Everyone in the outside world that wants to know what is happening in Syria already knows it. It is a great tragedy for the Syrian people and for those who deplore senseless bloodshed.
    At the same time, those in the outside world should disabuse themselves of the notion that Bassar Asad will be stepping down voluntarily. His Plan B is to go before the Hague on international war crimes charges. Not much of an alternative for him and there is little political consensus among his opposition other than “we gotta get this guy outta here.”
    I believe that the notion that Syria can be isolated diplomatically into political change is, at best, wishful thinking and at worse a willful ignorance in the face of political reality. If diplomatic isolation is such a good plan, what results has it yielded in Cuba or Iran?
    As long as China and the Soviet Union remain committed to Assad’s continued survival, there is not much meaningful progress to be made. Know that fundamentally this is a geopolitical chess match and not an exclusively humanitarian cause. Until viable political alternatives are devised, the current humanitarian outcry, merited though it is, will remain a half-hearted whimper in a vacuum of indifference.


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