Following a long period of quiet, the Syrian city of Raqqa is once again being shelled — this time by Assad’s forces. Residents have been forced to flee the shelling, along with IS’s extremist agenda. An interview with a resident of the 'Islamic State.' By Elizabeth Tsurkov Raqqa, the capital of the “Islamic State” in northern Syria, for the past two months has been forced once again to deal with a devastating phenomenon — indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian Air Force. According to reports from the local coordinating committee, a Syrian air force bombing of a bakery on Saturday took the…Read More... | 10 Comments
My colleagues at 'Let Us Build Pakistan' and I have discovered various overlapping interests on certain issues and we occasionally cross-post material that we think our audiences would find relevant. Here is one such article I found interesting. Against the background of a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East, a Muslim writer calls for introspection. By Asif Zaidi The following book review in The Telegraph addresses two recently published books mainly defending British Muslims. A friend sent me the article, hoping that it will help me “see the light.” But I believe the review downplays some significant problems.…Read More... | 46 Comments
With Palestinian children in Gaza bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive on the Strip, this is what one little girl may have written to us – had she the chance. By Sam Bahour As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and, maybe even more so, those who survive. Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law – let alone its blatant disregard for its very own…Read More... | 5 Comments
Unlike Palestinian citizen of Israel Majd Kayyal, veteran Israeli journalist Itai Anghel says he's never been arrested -- or even warned -- over his numerous reporting trips to 'enemy states,' although he violated the same laws in doing so. By Einat Fishbain / 'The Hottest Place in Hell' (Translated from Hebrew by Dimi Reider) “I wasn’t even planning to go into Syria,” says veteran TV correspondent Itai Anghel, who last year became the first Israeli correspondent to report openly from the devastating civil war. “Our assumption was that this would be too dangerous. We went to interview Syrian rebels in Turkey, right on…Read More... | 7 Comments
When you believe your enemies hate you more than they love their children, as Golda Meir put it, there's no real deterrence against them; you have to keep bombing. Most people in the West, I’d say, think that if Israel gives up the occupation, it will be healed. It will no longer be a danger to others and itself. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and additional proof of this came Monday night when Israeli jet bombers again struck Hezbollah in Lebanon. The attack was another reminder that even if Israel were to get out of the West Bank and adopt…Read More... | 56 Comments
After months under siege, humanitarian aid finally reached the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in war-torn Damascus this week. UNRWA on Wednesday released photos of the camp, showing the devastation and desperation that has taken hold there after years of civil war and months under siege. "It is impossible not to be touched by the apocalyptic scenes emerging from the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, besieged and cut off for months," said UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness. Late last year, +972 reported on the siege and starvation in and around Yarmouk. Read more here. Related: After chemical attack, Damascus…Read More... | 24 Comments
The Jewish state has always relied on its 'schnorr' abilities in order to raise funds from Jewish communities throughout the world. Israel should now use these abilities in order to establish an international Jewish appeal for Syrian refugees. By Ilan Manor Conventional Israeli wisdom has it that the world has lost interest in Syria and its ongoing civil war. This belief was best exemplified last week by Israel's Channel 10 whose news department aired a newscast dealing with the chaos in Syria. The news segment, prepared by Arab affairs correspondent Zvi Yehezkeli, delivered a simple message - the world has…Read More... | 10 Comments
Since the beginning of 2013, Assad's forces have laid siege on the suburbs of the capital known as Ghouta, which was the target of a chemical weapons attack earlier this summer. Regime forces are stopping food and other goods from coming in and as winter approaches, activists are warning that the situation is about to get even worse. By Elizabeth Tsurkov The chemical weapons attack on the eastern and southern outskirts of Damascus (collectively known as Ghouta) have garnered a great deal of international attention over the past month. While pundits and experts discussed the imminent American-led strike on regime…Read More... | 5 Comments
Some left-wing writers and spokespeople look to Syria and see Vietnam. They are terribly wrong. The moral and historic duty of any progressive person is to stand by the Syrian people's struggle for freedom and help them topple the genocidal Assad regime. By Assaf Adiv (translated from Hebrew by Ann Lavi) The U.S.-Russian Geneva agreement on disarming Syria of chemical weapons, signed in mid-September, has postponed the showdown with the Assad regime. As the world watches how this new collaboration between Putin and Obama works out, the real question for the Syrian people remains as before: how to end the killing.…Read More... | 21 Comments
The Syria crisis doesn’t look like it’s going away. It looks like it’s escalating. What if Russia doesn’t get Assad to hand over his entire chemical weapons arsenal, as Obama – backed loudly, of course, by Netanyahu – is demanding? Is Obama going to bomb Syria like he’s been threatening? At this point, with Putin so deeply involved in trying to prevent an American attack, and with Washington and Moscow now walking hand-in-hand at the front of this crisis, a US strike on Syria would risk a US war with Russia. Yet does anyone believe Assad is going to…Read More... | 9 Comments
A policy decision on American military action in Syria cannot be justified by an analogy between Syrian suffering under Assad and Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. Two weeks after a chemical attack in Syria killed at least 1,400, including 400 children, and one week after U.S. President Obama announced he favors a limited military strike on Syria, mainstream American Jewish groups broke their silence Tuesday and expressed what they conveyed as unequivocal support for a strike. As reported in Politico, AIPAC - the powerful Israel lobby known for being forthright on all issues related to American policy in the Middle East…Read More... | 26 Comments
Thousands of Israelis waited in line for hours in gas mask distribution centers following the news of a likely American attack on Syria. The army has informed the government that there are only enough gas masks for 60 percent of Israel's citizens, and none for refugees, asylum seekers and other non-citizens. This is what the Tel Aviv distribution center looked like today (Thursday). Related: As Syria strike looms, Israeli embassy plays up 'threats facing Israel' Tel Aviv to Lake Wobegon: My heart is in the East Why Obama should stay out of SyriaRead More... | 8 Comments
SYRIA-TURKEY BORDER - Last week, my colleagues and I started a summer camp for hundreds of Syrian child refugees on the Syrian-Turkish border. While pundits and self-proclaimed "experts" are debating what to do in Syria, or whether the US should strike or not, we decided to act rather than talk. After all, over a 100,000 people have been killed and millions have been left displaced. Whether the US bombs Assad or not is not in my control, but being active to help those in need is. For the past few weeks we started fundraising for educational camps for Syrian children,…Read More... | 4 Comments
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There's nothing static about the West Bank 'status quo’ http://t.co/zu4xHbZW6N by @nsheizaf
RT @MikeOmerMan: Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar says he’s taking a “time out” from politics.
In Gaza, justice delayed is justice denied http://t.co/ZgeeYKjiUd
WATCH: Get arrested at a protest? There's an app for that http://t.co/FTrNnbtOz6 by @IsraelSocialTV, cc: @amnesty
RT @MikeOmerMan: Israeli settler group boasts rapid growth in West Bank http://t.co/aXkCzj5Qw2 via WaPo
RT @mattduss: .@lisang talks to @dahliasc & @DovWaxman about models for Isr-Pal beyond 1 or 2 state binary http://t.co/Obt7zDV803 @blogging…
Resource: How the Shin Bet holds sick Gazans' health ransom http://t.co/h7PlvKf3qv #Israel #Gaza