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Bashar Assad

  • Downstairs, from heavenly Aleppo

    Aleppo, your stories will come back to my ears, like a child who sits on his grandmother's knees. By Mati Shemoelof Aleppo, I, Matityaho Ibn Shifra, your old daughter, a grandson of your Arab-Jews, mourn the erasure of your city of poetry, Aleppo, how did they forget to save your libraries? Aleppo, was it not fireworks that lit the skies of the Arab spring? Or were the night stars shining all night long? Aleppo, tell me who is the devil that drops explosive barrels upon your residents, and thinks that in this way — they will write his name in…

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  • Goodbye to the Syrian intellectual who sought to liberate his homeland

    Sadiq Jalal al-Azm, who passed away last week, was a Syrian intellectual of the highest order. He placed a mirror in front of both the Arab world and its tendency to blame the West for all its ills. By Dror Ze'evi The Arab states are in trouble. Their citizens are unable to break through the walls of prejudice, they fail to significantly contribute to the intellectual currents of the world, and women and minorities are excluded from taking part in society and the state. Arabs are trapped by ignorance and are exploited by their leaders, which make cynical use of…

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  • Why it took Lebanon two years to elect a president

    The problem with Lebanese electoral politics is far less sectarian than we are often led to believe. And you thought the American elections were a headache? By Aurélie Daher At last! The Lebanese parties finally decided on October 31 to give the country a new president, after the position had been vacant since the last president, Michel Sleiman, left office in May 2014. The country thus had remained headless for no less than 29 months — to the point where some started to wonder whether the job itself had any significance or use. Michel Aoun, the successful candidate, had probably…

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  • Western democracies, it's on you to end the carnage in Syria

    Only once Western democracies have committed their resources to ending the atrocities in Syria can they turn inward to rid their societies of the hate and bigotry that plagues them. By Ilan Manor Words matter. Words help us understand the world we inhabit and shape our response to events far and near. Some refer to the events unfolding in Syria with the words "civil war." These words, carefully selected by policymakers and politicians aim to prevent us from crying out against the atrocities in Aleppo and Homs. [tmwinpost] Civil wars are internal matters. So why should the UK or the U.S. or France intervene in…

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  • After chemical attack, Damascus suburbs face starvation

    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…

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  • Obama puts U.S. on collision course with Russia

    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…

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  • Tel Aviv to Lake Wobegon: My heart is in the East

    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…

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  • Why Obama should stay out of Syria

    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…

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  • Why boycotts against Israel are fair game

    Israel is unique in one very important way: for other malefactors like Syria and Sudan, there is no need to convince the international public of their wrongs. If it wasn’t a persuasive argument, Israel’s defenders wouldn’t keep using it, like they are now against Alice Walker: Why are these left-wingers singling Israel out for boycott, not to mention condemnation, when so many other countries are committing far worse injustices and causing so much more suffering? Why aren’t these people boycotting Syria, or Iran, or the Taliban, or Sudan, or Eritrea, or Zimbabwe, or China, or Saudi Arabia, or any of…

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  • The least terrible policy in Syria: Doing nothing

    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…

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  • WATCH: What is behind Israeli apathy toward massacres in Syria?

    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…

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  • Palestinians and the Syrian Revolution: Lessons from the fight against fascism

    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…

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  • The Iranian nuclear standoff: Where does Turkey stand?

    Despite its leaders’ efforts to broker an agreement, Turkey seems to be accepting the possibility of an attack on Iran as a last resort. Now its priority is to prepare for that eventuality, so that a military conflict does not take it by surprise. By Aylin Gurzel FAMAGUSTA – Turkey has tried to broker negotiations between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program. But, with talks repeatedly failing to generate any substantive progress, Turkey’s leaders are beginning to consider how a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would affect their country’s interests. When Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to…

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