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Aaron David Miller

The New York Times gives Paul Wolfowitz a platform to criticize Trump on the withdrawal from Syria, and the fight against ISIS, without saying a word about the roots of ISIS in the destruction that his project of invading Iraq wrought throughout the region. Wolfowitz should be on trial for major war crimes, Helena Cobban writes, not featured in the New York Times.

Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”

Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria is “foreign policy malpractice,” says Michele Flournoy, Hillary Clinton’s would-be defense secretary, echoing the D.C. establishment’s horror at Trump’s fulfillment of a campaign promise. Sadly, the realists and leftwingers who have an alternative vision for US foreign policy in the wake of the Iraq disaster and the Syrian civil war have been exiled by the media.

“We in Jerusalem have just experienced an unprovoked terrorist attack, a murderous attack that claimed the lives of four young Israelis and wounded others”, said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement right after the car ramming attack in East Jerusalem two days ago. But is an attack on military personnel in occupied territory a terror attack? Jonathan Ofir writes, “By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror. When we sum up the whole of the setting, what we actually have is a Palestinian under occupation, targeting a gathering which is rather exclusively manned by soldiers, military representatives of the army that is occupying him. All this falls, prima facie, within the distinctions regarding legitimate resistance to occupation. It does not matter how ugly it looks, we cannot without critical appraisal of the context just call it ‘terror.'”

After the tragic events in Paris on Friday where gunmen affiliated with the Islamic State or ISIS killed at least 140 in separate and coordinated attacks, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on world leaders to condemn acts of “terrorism” and “radical Islam” perpetrated by Palestinians, claiming “the terrorists who attack us have the same murderous intent as those in Paris.”

On April 1, 2015 armed groups belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched an attack on Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, , which is the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria. The Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief which operates on the ground in Yarmouk compiled this timeline of the attack from people who witnessed the unfolding events first hand.

At the height of the Gaza onslaught in July, Netanyahu’s right-hand man met with a group of journalists in Jerusalem to equate Hamas with ISIS. The latest Israeli rhetoric is overheated: Both organizations seek to establish an Islamic caliphate, both “educate (read: brainwash) children to sanctify death and to die as a martyr (shahid) in jihad.” Oh and Hamas is global, but Boko Haram isn’t.