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Yemen's youth movement, King Abdullah's legacy, the call for anti-Semitism laws, Russia's defense of rogue states, human rights in Sudan

This week's round-up of global commentary includes the power of Yemen's youth, a tribute to Saudi Arabia's late king, the need to protect Jews in Europe, Russia's questionable partnering with Iran, and human rights violations in Sudan.

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    Students demonstrate against the deployment of armed militia of the Shi'ite Houthi movement at Sanaa University campus in Sanaa November 12, 2014. The Houthis established themselves as power brokers in Yemen two months ago by capturing Sanaa with scant resistance from the administration of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and began advancing into central and western Yemen this month.
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Yemen Times / Sanaa, Yemen
Youth movement still needed in Yemen

“The Houthis and Al-Qaeda dominate many headlines concerning Yemen.... What is noticeably absent in Yemen coverage is news regarding independent youth – the movement behind the country’s 2011 uprising,” writes Ahlam Mohsen. “Four years after its Arab Spring, the country is faring worse than it did before the protests ... and many youth who enthusiastically came out to push for change are tired and disillusioned.... If the youth movement wants to compete for a shot in shaping the country, they need to reorganize – and quickly. The movement needs to set out its priorities and its next few steps.... If there’s one lesson the movement should have learned by now, it’s that their power is a result of a mass social movement.”

Arab News / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah’s legacy of progress

“During his rule, [Saudi Arabia’s late] King Abdullah led his country through a web of regional and international pressure thus turning Saudi Arabia into a country that could lead and initiate rather than to react. When King Abdullah internalized that the Arab order was about to shatter, he swiftly moved from the traditional policy of working behind the scenes to secure Arab consensus into a forefront position in the struggle for a better regional environment for the Arabs and the Muslims...,” writes Hassan Barari. “The legacy of the late king is one that is based on a clear vision of the role of the country in a changing world.... King Abdullah skillfully maneuvered to protect his country from the spillover of the regional threats.... King Salman will for sure build on this legacy to catapult the country into a new success.”

The Jerusalem Post / Jerusalem
Concrete laws are needed to fight anti-Semitism

“[In the] 70 years since [the] end of the most horrific chapter in Europe’s history, anti-Semitism has once again surged to levels unprecedented since the end of the Holocaust...,” writes Arsen Ostrovsky. “[A] May 2014 report by Anti-Defamation League estimated that a staggering 26 percent of the world – 1.09 billion people – harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, with Western Europe at 24% and Eastern Europe at 34%.... Today, the time has long passed to stop just talking about anti-Semitism. Mere words are not enough.... [T]he European Parliament should immediately establish a parliamentary task-force on anti-Semitism that will be charged with presenting concrete policy proposals and laws to fight anti-Semitism.”

The St. Petersburg Times / St. Petersburg, Russia
Russia moves into the rogue camp

“Against the backdrop of renewed hostilities in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, the Russian public paid little attention to the recent visit that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made to Iran. In practical terms, there was nothing sensational about it...,” writes Alexander Golts. “However,... his visit allowed the Iranians to actually declare Russia an ally in opposing the United States.... Over time, Russia has come less to represent the civilized states to the rogue states, and more to defend the rogue states and their interests before the civilized states.”

Daily Nation / Nairobi, Kenya
African Union should defend human rights in South Sudan

“As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, I visited South Sudan in May 2012, less than a year after its people voted for a better future as an independent nation state. There were human rights issues to address but also a great optimism. I returned in April 2014, and found my hopes shattered...,” writes Navanethem Pillay. “Armed thugs roamed the countryside, raping women and children and taking them as sex slaves.... Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, is to be commended for her leadership in forming the first-ever African Union investigation of mass human rights violations on our continent. Now she faces an even bigger challenge to see life breathed into the commission’s recommendations.”

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