Every once in a while I get a comment on one of my posts along the lines of: 'Why don’t you do anything about Syria, huh? If you’re such a human rights activist, why don’t you care about places where people are suffering much more right in your neighborhood? Huh??' or 'You know, the Arabs have it much better in Israel than anywhere else! They should count their blessings!' And it makes me wonder... Ring, ring! Ring, ring! Operator: Atrocities Unlimited, how can I help you? Palestine: Hello, my name is Palestine. Operator: Hello Mr. Palestine, what can I do…Read More... | 60 Comments
After Israel's reported air strike on Damascus, intervention is no longer a theoretical concept. The question now is whether international military action should move from containment to humanitarian intervention? Last week, Larry Derfner made an argument against international intervention in Syria. This was before news broke of the recent attack (video above), and things are different now. Here are a few of my thoughts: Israel has reportedly struck targets inside Syria twice in four days. This time, the targets were in the Damascus area and unlike the previous strike, the Syrian regime publicly blamed Israel for the latest attack. So…Read More... | 32 Comments
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) now estimates that approximately 235,000 Palestinian refugees have been displaced due to the civil war in Syria. In a statement to the press this week, UNRWA reported that on April 26, no fewer than 6,000 Palestinians had been displaced from Ein El Tal, a Palestinian refugee camp some 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Aleppo in northern Syria. According to UNRWA: Mortars and small arms were reportedly used, damaging and destroying refugee homes and contributing to dozens of fatalities and injuries, including among Palestinian civilians. In the aftermath of the fighting,…Read More... | 10 Comments
Sending armies or air forces to stop jihadists from grabbing Syria's chemical weapons would be inordinately daunting and dangerous - and inconclusive. I, too, would like to neutralize the threat of the jihadists in Syria, and Hezbollah, and the possibility that they will take control of Assad's chemical weapons (and worse, much worse, his possible biological weapons). But how is that going to be accomplished? Here, according to Haaretz's Amos Harel, is what the Americans think it will take. In briefings recently for American media representatives, administration officials have said that removing the chemical weapons threat in Syria would…Read More... | 10 Comments
The civil war in Syria has been raging for over two years, with President Bashar Assad on one side and the rebels on the other. Tens of thousands of innocent people have been killed in the fighting. Although information about what is actually occurring in Syria is only a click away, Israeli society, it seems, chooses to stay away and ignore the atrocities taking place on the other side of the border. Israel Social TV is an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism. Related: Palestinians and the…Read More... | 5 Comments
With Holocaust Remembrance Day upon us once again in Israel, I am republishing a piece I wrote four years ago. I’ve decided not to make any changes because not that much has changed and the spirit of the piece remains true to today. This year, I dedicate it to the people of Syria, may someone or something stop the slaughter and suffering of our neighbors. As a "second-generation Holocaust survivor," Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) has always been of great importance to me; its lessons were etched into my conscience from the earliest times in my childhood memories. The words, “never…Read More... | 83 Comments
One writer asserts that even if it were in the Palestinian's interest for Assad to remain in control, they should not ask that of Syrians in the midst of a civil war. By Talal Alyan The lapse of support for the Syrian revolution amongst some segments of the Arab left will in retrospect be regarded as another failure to stray from party vanguards. Palestinians have once again found themselves being used as props for political causes they neither endorse nor hold any sympathy for. The latest instance being the Pro-Assad camp that has worked tirelessly to link the Palestinian issue…Read More... | 6 Comments
The United Nation agency for Palestinian refugees is reporting that three separate incidents in Syria claimed last week the lives of five children. One of the children died in Dera'a and four others in Damascus. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East UNRWA, Mohammad Al-Khateeb (aged 14) was killed on March 15 by a bullet as he was returning home on foot after buying bread from a bakery in his neighborhood in Dera'a. On March 19, Hisham Mahmoud (aged 10) and Farhat Mubarak (aged 11), were killed at the crossroad of Yazour and Safad Streets in Yarmouk, Damascus. They were…Read More... | 10 Comments
Reports on Syria have become a public commodity in the political conversation regarding Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinian refugees in Syria have become an object in a debate, not living people that need urgent help. It's not unusual for any report on a wrongdoing by the IDF in the occupied territories to be received here with comments such as: "why don't you write Syria instead?" Or, when a report on a massacre in Syria does surface, someone is only to eager to use it to improve Israel's image, in some sick, relativist fashion. A rather funny - or tragic, depending on what you…Read More... | 10 Comments
Five members of the same family were killed in Yarmouk, along with at least seven other people. Despite the bloodshed, Jordan continues to refuse to allow Palestinians among the Syrian refugees it accepts. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued a press release on Sunday expressing grave concern over the rising number of Palestinian casualties in the Syrian civil war. According to credible sources, an estimated total of 30 Palestinians were killed in the last week. Twelve of the casualties – including five members of the same family – were from…Read More... | 74 Comments
What will the third Netanyahu government look like, and how will it deal with the Palestinian issue?
Netanyahu would like to include some centrist elements in his government in order to present a more moderate face to the world. However, any meaningful effort to end the occupation is not very likely. The Israeli post-election routine is under way, and tomorrow (Saturday) night, President Shimon Peres will officially ask Benjamin Netanyahu to try and form a new government. Netanyahu will have 28 days for his coalitions talks (which are already underway), and he may ask for an extension of 14 days. While I do not have high hopes from the new government regarding the Palestinian issue, it is enough…Read More... | 9 Comments
Yesterday morning's air strike in Syria was apparently the latest instance of Israeli aggression posing as self-defense. No Israeli public figure I'm aware of has spoken out against yesterday morning's attack on an arms convoy transferring weapons (reportedly not chemical ones) from Syria to Hezbollah, which, according to foreign news agencies, was carried out by the Israel Air Force. Everybody here is scared - look what's happening in Syria, there's chemical weapons up there, the country's breaking up. "The entire area is raging and we must be prepared and strong and determined in the face of any possible development," Netanyahu…Read More... | 74 Comments
There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev: a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. Here is my suggestion for how Israel can bring peace and quiet to the people living within rocket range of Gaza: lift the blockade of the Strip entirely (they get all the weaponry and fighters they want through the tunnels anyway); announce that in one year Israel will have no military or governmental presence whatsoever beyond the security barrier ("the wall") in the West Bank (the settlers will then leave of their…Read More... | 33 Comments
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