Joyce Karam writes: The political earthquake that Great Britain witnessed last Thursday with the victory for the Brexit camp setting the stage to the UK’s exit from the EU, is not only a product of David Cameron’s mistakes and Europe’s struggle with its own demons, but has its roots 2,000 miles away in the raging war, the counterterrorism nightmare and the humanitarian disaster called Syria.
The Syrian war is the elephant in the room when it comes to the rise of identity-politics, and the protectionist wave across Europe and in the United States. The unprecedented refugee influx, the largest since World War II coming primarily from Syria, and the country’s transformation into a hub for every Jihadist group and extremist recruitment machinery, has sent shockwaves through Europe and is feeding a political rhetoric of hate and racism across the continent.
This rhetoric won’t necessarily go away if Syria is resolved, but it will only grow if the conflict is left to spread and fester. [Continue reading…]