This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- N. Korea’s Kim Jong-un gains 70 pounds, tells citizens to ‘eat roots’
- Tensions grow in Israel and West Bank over shooting of disabled Palestinian
N. Korea’s Kim Jong-un gains 70 pounds, tells citizens to ‘eat roots’
Recent picture of Kim Jong-un after gaining 70 pounds (Reuters)
An editorial in North Korea’s state-run media contained this announcement:
The road to revolution is long and arduous. We may have to go on an arduous march, during which we will have to chew the roots of plants once again.
Even if we give up our lives, we should continue to show our loyalty to our leader, Kim Jong Un, until the end of our lives.
The phrase “arduous march” alludes to a 1990s famine. The announcement amounts to a warning that a new famine is approaching.
President Kim Jong-un has not been eating roots, apparently. Recent pictures show that he has put on 70 pounds in the last year.
North Korea has ordered every citizen in the capital to provide around two pounds of rice to the state’s supplies every month, while starving farmers are forced to hand over much of the food they produce to the military. Daily Mail (London) and Fox News
Tensions grow in Israel and West Bank over shooting of disabled Palestinian
Screen grab from video showing Palestinian after being shot in the head
On March 24, two young Palestinians in Hebron in the West Bank stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier. Nearby soldiers shot the two Palestinians dead.
But a video emerged shortly afterwards, showing that the incident was a lot more complicated. In particular, it shows an Israeli soldier, eleven minutes after the stabbing incident, approaching one of the Palestinians while he was lying on the ground, already disabled, and shooting the disabled assailant in the head, after which blood pours out of his head.
The video went viral. The Israeli soldier was arrested.
There was a chorus of condemnation. Israeli public opinion was against the soldier. Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, it did not “represent the values of the Israeli Defense Forces.” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, called it an “extrajudicial execution,” and said, “This was a gruesome, immoral, and unjust act that can only fuel more violence and escalate an already volatile situation.”
After that, two more videos of the same incident have emerged. One of them seems to show Israeli soldiers congratulating each other on the kill, while the other seems to show that the soldier was afraid that disabled Palestinian was wearing a bomb.
Since then, Israeli opinions have started changing in favor of the soldier. Netanyahu met with the father of the Israeli soldier, and said, “In recent months our soldiers have bravely and resolutely stood up in the face of terrorist attacks and murderers who set out to kill them. The soldiers are forced to make decisions in the field, in real time, under stress and conditions of uncertainty. This is not a simple reality and I’m sure that the investigation is taking the entirety of these circumstances into account. I am convinced that the investigation will be professional and fair towards your son.”
Military prosecutors say that the evidence showed that the soldier killed the killed Palestinian assailant “deliberately and unnecessarily”: “In our opinion, the evidence indicates serious suspicions against the suspect.”
However, the initial charge of murder was downgraded to manslaughter. No reason was given, but it likely indicates that the prosecution believes it would have difficulty proving the act was premeditated.
Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian member of Israel’s Knesset, was quoted as saying, “Israel has become a place where public executions are carried out with the cheers of the crowd. The price of security and moral deterioration is being paid by both peoples.” Times of Israel and LA Times and Ma’an News (West Bank)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Israel, West Bank, Benjamin Netanyahu, Nickolay Mladenov, Ayman Odeh
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