Is there nothing the international community can do to stop the bloodshed in Syria?

On June 8, UN monitors described scattered body parts after a visit to the deserted Syrian hamlet of Mazraat al-Qubeir, where a reported 78 people were massacred. And on June 9, 17 people, including 10 women, were killed by shelling in Deraa, the town that sparked the Syrian uprising. Over the past 15 months since the civil unrest began over 13,000 people have been killed — many of whom were women and children.

Yet, the world’s powers seem helpless to work together to stop the violence.

It is frustrating to stand by while thousands of innocent civilians are being massacred just a few hundred kilometers to our north. And this frustration is compacted by the knowledge that — in this case at least — our political autonomy does not help us to reach out to the embattled Syrian people.

In some respects, Syrian animosity toward Zionism actually transforms the Jewish people’s statehood into an obstacle — not a vehicle — to extending humanitarian aid.

Even the international community’s ability to stop the bloodshed in Syria is limited. The Syrian opposition is a patchwork of diverse groups. Some are democrats and nationalists. But others are Islamists, including groups connected to al-Qaida. Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood are providing aid to these Islamist elements. Meanwhile, Iran and Russia are providing Assad’s regime with weapons and support.

There are no easy solutions in Syria, but doing nothing at all is not an option.

— The Jerusalem Post, June 10

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