A budget deficit of $101 million threatens to delay the start of the academic year in UNRWA schools. At a time of rising extremism, such an outcome could have consequences for states across the Middle East, the agency says. UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, is facing a budget deficit of $101 million for the coming year, the agency says. The shortfall threatens to delay the start of the academic year for UNRWA-run schools. At risk, too, are psychosocial support programs that are administered within UNRWA schools (those offered in health centers will continue to run). The scale…Read More... | 2 Comments
Syrian civil war
Some Druze in Israel are campaigning for intervention to save their kin on the Syrian side of the border, but the Druze in Syria reject the idea out of hand. Instead, they are demanding that Israel stop supporting the people threatening to massacre them. By Rabah Halabi ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra are fanatical religious movements that pose a danger first and foremost to moderate and enlightened Islam, then to the Arab world, and humanity itself. These same dark forces are threatening the wellbeing and very existence of the Druze in Syria, because of their religious beliefs, which they have held…Read More... | 4 Comments
Six decades after the Nakba forced us into different corners of the world, social networks allowed us to reconnect with our families and villages. In Yarmouk, I found the people I should have grown up around—the ones who looked like me and my immediate family. And then war broke out in Syria, Facebook went dark and people disappeared, once again. Those who do not have family members in Syria's refugee camps can watch the atrocities taking place on the news from far away, as if it were all just one big Hollywood horror movie: one that causes deep anguish for…Read More... | 17 Comments
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
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
Today is one of those days where I remember a poem by the famous Jewish poet of medieval Spain, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi. The first line of Libi Ba’Mizrach, probably his most famous work of art, is: “My heart is in the East, and I am in the uttermost West.” Rabbi Halevi, of course, was speaking then of his yearning for the Holy Land. I, on the other hand, yearn for my family in Bat Yam. As I was driving alongside the never ending fields of corn in southwest Minnesota this morning, all I could think of were two things: in…Read More... | 7 Comments
It's a mission impossible. Because of the severe (and understandable) limitations it’s placing on a possible military intervention in Syria, the Obama administration would do better to pass on the idea. The U.S. shouldn’t try to play the humanitarian in a civil war like that one under such self-imposed restrictions; it’s much more likely to end up doing harm than good. Since last Wednesday’s chemical weapons attack that killed at least many hundreds of Syrian civilians, and which the U.S., Britain, France, Israel and others are convinced was carried out by Assad’s forces, Obama has been gearing up for some…Read More... | 14 Comments
The web is full of horrifying pictures of dead civilians in Syria, including dozens or even hundreds of dead children following an alleged chemical attack near Damascus. Watching them is simply unbearable. It's still unclear who is behind the attack and what weapon was used, and maybe it's not that important at this point. Analysts are once again discussing Western military intervention in Syria, which still seems unlikely. But before asking the U.S. to send its bombers, there is one thing Israel could do in order to actually help save lives: opening the borders and allowing in a substantial number…Read More... | 25 Comments
In their haste to unify Jewish youth in support of Israel, American Jewish institutions have bred an often unrecognized racism among the next generation of community leaders. By Roi Bachmutsky Demonstrations in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have come alive again as of this past Friday, aiming to show solidarity with the Shamasneh family who have appealed the impending eviction from their home. Unbeknownst to many, the struggle in Sheikh Jarrah reaches far beyond the borders of Jerusalem. In fact, it affects ethnic tensions half a world away by influencing how American Jewish youth internalize the separation between…Read More... | 6 Comments
How long can Israel's luck hold out? How many more times can it attack Syria without Assad or Hezbollah hitting back? People in this country have been worried that the fighting in Syria is going to "spill over the border," and now Israel, unprovoked, unattacked, has gone and bombed Syria twice in the last 72 hours. Is anyone in this vibrant democracy protesting? I haven't heard it. That's because the missiles from Syria and/or Hezbollah haven't started falling here. So far so good, people figure. As long as we get away with it, hooray. If, however, our neighbors to…Read More... | 38 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
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The Iran Deal
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