The Boy (Syria) (Europe) (Russia Iran) (United States)


The photograph tells us a lot of things all at once –about [1] the failure of Europe to come to terms with this massive refugee influx, [2] the piteous human blowback from the bloody civil war in Syria fueled in large part by Russia and Iran in support of the Assad regime, [3] the indifferent and hands off approach of western governments led by the United States and Obama Administration to that burning conflict. For backstory and questions concerning the ethics of disseminating this picture and others like it, you can read this in the NYT here. The basic fact that the photograph cannot know is this. “The boy, in a red shirt and blue shorts, was identified by Turkey’s private Dogan news agencyas Aylan, 3. The body of his 5-year-old brother, Galip, washed up on another part of the beach.


About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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1 Response to The Boy (Syria) (Europe) (Russia Iran) (United States)

  1. dmf says:

    have you seen the documentary 1913 Seeds of Conflict? our local Judaic studies program showed it the other day and I’d be interested in yer take on it.

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