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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Photo: Jonathan Elderfield/Getty Images

The president and director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday called President Trump's threat to target Iranian cultural sites in retaliation to a possible attack "abhorrent to the collective values of our society."

Why it matters: Targeting cultural sites is a war crime under a 1954 Hague treaty. The UN Security Council also unanimously passed a resolution in 2017 condemning the destruction of heritage sites in response to attacks by the Islamic State. Nonetheless, President Trump doubled down on his stance Sunday night.

  • "They’re allowed to kill our people," Trump told reporters. "They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way."

What they're saying:

“The targeting of sites of global cultural heritage is abhorrent to the collective values of our society. Our world knows precisely what is gained from protecting cultural sites, and, tragically, what is lost when destruction and chaos prevail.
At this challenging time, we must remind ourselves of the global importance of protecting cultural sites—the objects and places by which individuals, communities, and nations connect to their history and heritage.
Today’s leaders and citizens have many profound responsibilities—protecting lives, and also protecting the precious legacy of generations before us, as it is from these shared places of cultural heritage that we gain the wisdom to secure safe and better futures.”
— Met president and CEO Daniel H. Weiss and Met director Max Hollein

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The risks and rewards of charging state-backed hackers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Last week’s stunning indictment of three North Korean hackers laid bare both the advantages and drawbacks of the U.S. government’s evolving strategy of using high-profile prosecutions to publicize hostile nation-state cyber activities.

Why it matters: Criminal charges can help the U.S. establish clear norms in a murky and rapidly changing environment, but they may not deter future bad behavior and could even invite retaliation against U.S. intelligence officials.

14 mins ago - World

Scoop: Netanyahu asked Biden to keep Trump's sanctions on International Criminal Court

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Photo: Bas Czerwinski/ANP/AFP via Getty

Netanyahu asked Biden in their first phone call last week to keep sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in place, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli officials are concerned that removing the sanctions would hamper Israel's efforts to stop a potential war crimes investigation into Israel, and that the court's prosecutor could see it as a signal that the U.S. isn't firmly opposed to that investigation.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

FDA analysis finds Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is safe and effective

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration's staff released a briefing document on Wednesday endorsing Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine as safe and effective.

The latest: Assuming the FDA issues an emergency use authorization "without delay," meaning as soon as this weekend, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said J&J will have 3 million to 4 million ready for distribution next week.