web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Assad: With a Ballot In One Hand, And A Gun In The Other


Supporters of the Assad family

Supporters of the Assad family
Photo Credit: Haim Azulay/Flash90

Over 100 Syrian civilians and soldiers were killed this past weekend, as the Assad regime and the international community independently stepped up efforts to resolve the crisis that has threatened to plunge the country into civil war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian military is continuing its bombardment of Homs, which has gone on uninterrupted for over three weeks. The human rights organization also reported intense skirmishes between Syrian troops and army defectors in Daraa, the southern province where the 11-month uprising originated. On Saturday alone, at least 85 people were reported killed.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Saturday that the negotiations it was brokering between the Assad regime and opposition groups yielded no breakthroughs. The ICRC is attempting to secure the agreement of both sides to enter Homs and evacuate those in need of medical assistance.

Against this backdrop of violence, the Assad regime held a referendum on a new constitution Sunday. Seen by most as a gesture to placate domestic and international fury, the proposed constitution would theoretically end the 30-plus year rule of the Assad family. The new constitution would omit the current article that declares the ruling Baath party the leader of state and society – effectively creating a multiparty system, and would limit presidential terms to two seven-year tenures.

Turnout is likely to be suspect, as the military continued to bombard opposition positions as voting stations opened across the country. In Homs and Daraa, foci of the most intense clashes and heaviest casualties, amateur video depicted people throwing ballots in the trash in protest. But voters in calmer regions like the capital of Damascus expressed excitement for the referendum, underscoring the support that Assad retains among swaths of Syrian society, as well as the great disparities that typify Syrian civil society.

Critics say that Assad’s ‘reforms’ are too little too late, and cite the fact that the proposed presidential term limit is not retroactive for proof that Assad has no intention of relinquishing power – having already served for 11 years, he would be eligible to serve another 14 years after his current term expires in 2014. The two main Syrian umbrella opposition groups – the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria – urged citizens to boycott the referendum, while other groups called for a general strike.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle responded to the referendum by reiterating the West’s unified opposition to Assad’s continued rule. “The referendum in Syria is nothing more than a farce. Sham votes cannot be a contribution to a resolution of the crisis. Assad must finally end the violence and clear the way for a political transition.”

Westerwelle’s comments follow the inaugural meeting of the ‘Friends of Syria’ that took place this past weekend. Attended by US, European, Turkish, and Arab League diplomats, the two-day conference in Tunisia sought to establish a coherent and coordinated strategy on alleviating the plight of the Syrian people, supporting the opposition, and removing Assad from power. The alliance discussed plans to deploy a civilian peacekeeping force after Assad’s departure, but the Western nations again deferred on the issue of military intervention.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Assad: With a Ballot In One Hand, And A Gun In The Other”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US Secy of State John Kerry announcing nuclear agreement with Iran from Vienna.
Israel Law Center Files Motion to Block IranDeal in NY Federal Court
Latest News Stories
US Secy of State John Kerry announcing nuclear agreement with Iran from Vienna.

The Israel Law Center has filed a motion in US court to block Washington from implementing Irandeal.

IDF soldiers training from the IDF Caracal battalion which is made up of male and female combat soldiers fighting side by side.

The Lions of Jordan have been joined by lionesses; together they will guard Israel’s Jordan Valley.

Grafitti on the walls of the Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee, in northern Israel, which was set on fire in June 2015.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon jails a Jewish teen under administrative detention in connection with a church arson in June.

US Vice President Joseph Biden, President Barack Obama.

US President Barack Obama warns Jewish leaders Israel “will bear the brunt” if Congress rejects nuclear deal with Iran.

Yesterday’s count had four Congressional Democrats coming out against the Iran Nuclear Deal. But since yesterday, that number has nearly doubled. And, amazingly, the latest three are all Jewish members of Congress. That’s a surprise because in their effort to appear impartial, many Jews in public office bend over backwards to avoid the appearance that they are […]

The Senator said he would discuss gun control, or anything else, really, just not how he would vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

“Keep or Cheat,” under this deal Iran will attain nuclear weapons, Bibi warned.

Arabs threw 2 firebombs at bus #160 in Gush Etzion on Tuesday evening. No injuries or damage were reported, but the road was temporarily blocked by a wall of fire. In the Shomron, Arabs threw a firebomb at an unmanned pillbox, from a passing car.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Inbar Azrak, 27 who was wounded in Monday night’s firebomb attack in Beit Hanina. Azrak is being treated at the Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center in Jerusalem.

The worst heat wave to hit the Middle East in more than a decade has claimed its second victim in Israel.

The non-Jewish tourist tried to wave an Israeli flag when he was set upon by the Islamic mob.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon says he’s ready to present the new state budget to the cabinet Wednesday.

Minister Yuval Steinitz says “if he were American he would oppose the deal with Iran” and explains why.

A German neo-Nazi politician is accepted to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

The Obama administration may intervene in the NY federal district court judgment against the PA.

The Maccabi Games made it to Berlin but anti-Semitism was hardly left behind.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff Writer
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.

Lapid accuses ‘obsessed’ UN of assuming Jewish guilt.

Last week an Islamist group rallied at Al Aqsa mosque, calling to erase ‘Jewish filth’ at the Temple Mount.

Israel Police asks the public to help find 19-year-old Bat-El Aminov, missing since Tuesday.

Palestinians are the only refugee group in the world with a relief organization dedicated to their issue. Other refugee populations have been resettled; why are Palestinians different?

Having a baby is hard work. But Israel really makes it worth all the effort – starting with one particular hospital in Jerusalem.

Israeli MKs from Likud and Labor plan to submit a bill allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east/assad-with-a-ballot-in-one-hand-and-a-gun-in-the-other/2012/02/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: