Daily Review: Bolsonaro Ban, Uganda Attack

Daily Review: Bolsonaro Ban, Uganda Attack
Former President Jair Bolsonaro talks to reporters after arriving at the airport in Brasilia, Brazil, June 30, 2023 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).

Hello everyone. Today at WPR, we’re covering former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s eight-year ban from running for public office and last month’s rebel attack on a school in Uganda.

Now, here’s our take on today’s top stories:

West Bank: An Israeli airstrike on the occupied West Bank on Monday was the most intense in nearly two decades. The Israeli military said the operation was an attempt to root out armed Palestinian militants in the city of Jenin, a stronghold of both the Islamic Jihad group and Hamas. (New York Times)

Our Take: There were fears when Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in November—alongside the most right-wing and religiously conservative government in the country’s history—that the coalition could further inflame tensions with Palestinians, potentially reescalating the conflict. After last month’s raid and the events overnight, that prediction appears to be playing out.

However, there were also concerns at the time that such a reescalation of the conflict on Israel’s part would alienate the country’s longstanding allies and new regional partners. Instead, the muted responses to the Israeli operations in the West Bank, as well as a five-day period of intense clashes in Gaza in May, have highlighted how much the conflict has fallen off the regional and international agenda.

As Lina Khatib wrote for WPR in May, that leaves any hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a particularly low point.

NATO summit: U.S. President Joe Biden and his NATO counterparts look set to endorse a major shakeup to the alliance’s planning system at a summit next week in Lithuania’s capital. The revamp will involve a massive reinforcement of the security of member states near Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. (AP)

More Context from WPR: Dave Keating on how the war in Ukraine created newfound enthusiasm for NATO among its member states.

Brazil’s Electoral Ban on Bolsonaro Is Not Anti-Democratic

Last week, Brazil’s electoral court ruled that former President Jair Bolsonaro cannot run for public office for the next eight years. 

Columnist James Bosworth explains why there is a logical case for a double standard when comparing the ban to those imposed on politicians in other countries in the region. Read more.

A Brutal School Attack Puts Uganda’s Role in Congo in the Spotlight

Meanwhile, Sophie Neiman reports from Mpondwe, Uganda, where shell-shocked residents are still reeling from the deadliest attack Uganda has suffered in years.

In mid-June, assailants allegedly belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, murdered 42 people, including 37 students, at a school on the border with Congo. The attack has raised complex questions about the assailants’ goals, as well as the domestic implications of Uganda’s cross-border security operations in eastern Congo. Read more.

Question of the Day: Which member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council has not yet set a target date to reach net zero carbon emissions?

Find the answer in the latest WPR Weekly Quiz, then read Jonathan Fenton-Harvey’s briefing on how Gulf states are turning to China to achieve their renewable energy goals.

Last week, a city prosecutor in Italy invalidated the birth certificates of 33 children born to 17 lesbian couples since 2017, saying Italian law does not allow children to have two mothers, a move endorsed by the country’s minister for family and birth rates.

It’s the latest sign of a socially conservative turn under far-right PM Giorgia Meloni, which Giovanna De Maio predicted would happen before last year’s election.

Italy’s Political Drama Could Lead to a European Tragedy

Aug. 2, 2022 | Mario Draghi’s resignation as Italy’s prime minister on July 21 threw Rome into political turmoil yet again. Read more.

Alexander Clarkson wrote last month that Meloni has “carefully maneuvered to keep the EU on side by supporting Brussels when it comes to challenges such as the war in Ukraine, while still pursuing far-right culture wars at home to satisfy her base.”

Europe Can’t Afford Complacency on Berlusconi’s Populist Heirs

June 14, 2023 | Not all of Silvio Berlusconi’s populist heirs will be as incompetent as Boris Johnson. Read more.

That’s all for today’s Daily Review. Later this week, we’re covering Egypt’s efforts to thaw relations with Iran.

Have a great day,

Jakob Cansler

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