The United States and Russia announced on February 11 a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. The plan includes increased humanitarian aid, in addition to the ceasing of hostilities, and does not include ISIS or the Nursa front as they are both UN-recognized terrorist organizations. The plan, if executed as announced, will be the first formally declared end to fighting in Syria since 2011. While the plan is a step forward in stopping the five-year conflict, is this humanitarian aid and tentative cessation really enough?
An opinion piece in The New York Times by Aaron James Wendland details what we owe each other – specifically, involving refugees – if we are to be ethical beings. He uses the works of Jewish philosopher and Holocaust survivor Emmanuel Levinas, whose family was killed in the Holocaust, to explain “the concrete source of of ethical relations between human beings: our ability to respond to the wants and needs of others.”
Swiss officials are defending their practice of seizing the assets of asylum seekers entering Switzerland who carry assets greater in value than 900 euro (1000 USD). The controversial new law is designed to assist the country is paying for their stay. Denmark is currently debating a similar law, and the laws have received international criticism.