Israel hoping for a change in International Law that would excuse their genocide, land grabbing and racism

 

Israel Seeks International Law Rewrite

Israel and its supporters are leading a charge to rewrite how international law defines crimes against humanity to create more leeway for military attacks that kill large numbers of civilians, a bitterly ironic development, says Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

The promulgation of International law addressing crimes against humanity was one of the major legal achievements resulting from World War II. As Robert Jackson, the lead American prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials put it, the crimes bred by that conflict were “so malignant, and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.”

Crimes against humanity include government-initiated or -assisted policies or practices resulting in massacre, dehumanization, unjust imprisonment, extrajudicial punishments, torture, racial/ethnic persecution, and other such acts. In reference to the last-cited crime, in 1976 the United Nations General Assembly declared the systematic persecution of one racial group by another (for instance, the practice of apartheid) to be a crime against humanity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Given the origins of this body of law, it comes as a shock that there are now a number of countries that would like to weaken, and perhaps even do away with, this category of law. These states claim that terrorism, and the so-called war against it, have changed the international environment so greatly that laws designed to protect us all from crimes against humanity are now tying the hands of those who regard terrorism as the present greatest threat to civilization.

While this argument may have some headway with certain governments and populations, it is a distortion of facts and a mangling of history. The vast majority of crimes against humanity require a level of organization and force only found with the state. This fact was brought out during World War II to such a degree that it could no longer be ignored.

On the other hand, the crimes of small groups of terrorists may indeed be heinous, but even at their worst, they do not come close, in terms of numbers affected, to the crimes of states. For governments to decry laws attempting to rein in their own major crimes as impediments against their efforts to battle those perpetrating, in comparison, relatively lesser crimes, is more propaganda than truth.

The Israeli Contribution

Take for example the State of Israel. The fact that Israel is among those states, perhaps the main state, attempting to do away with the laws protecting us all from crimes against humanity should come as yet another shock. How can a state that loudly proclaims that its reason for being is the protection of all Jews, seek to undermine laws that were, in good part, promulgated in response to the brutal persecution of Jews?

Part of the answer to this question may have to do with the fact that Israel does not represent all Jews, but only those who adhere to the Zionist ideology – the ideology of the Israeli state – and it is with the well-being of these Jews that the state appears most concerned.

As for the alleged danger to all Jews (for instance, the resurgence of anti-Semitism), one suspects that Israel’s leaders use this as a pretense to pursue policies and practices relevant only to the State of Israel and its guiding ideology. And these policies and practices happen to consistently contravene the laws proscribing crimes against humanity.

The Israelis are not very secretive about this. Take, for instance, Moshe Yaalon, the present Israeli Defense Minister and one of those actively working against international law referencing crimes against humanity.

At a recent conference entitled “Towards a New Law of War,” sponsored by Shurat HaDin (an organization of Israeli lawyers operating internationally to defend Israeli military and civilian practices which violate international law), Yaalon declared that in any future with conflict with Lebanon, Israel “will hurt Lebanese civilians including kids of the family …  . We did it in the Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”

His excuse for this criminal position is that organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas allegedly hide their soldiers and weapons in densely populated urban areas. However, journalists on the ground have found this to be false.

Yaalon also held out the prospect of using nuclear weapons against Iran sometime in the future. The fact that present international law holds such actions to be crimes against humanity is the reason Israel seeks to undermine such law and create a “new law of war.”

Another indicator that Israel will continue to defy this aspect of international law is the recent appointment of Ayelet Shaked as Minister of Justice in the newly formed government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Shaked has declared that Israel is at war with the entire Palestinian people and therefore they all should be destroyed, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” Shaked is a deceptively innocent-looking woman. Her behavior, however, calls to mind Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait of Dorian Gray. 

The West Gives a Green Light

Major Western nations seem ready to support Israel in this effort, even though it clearly encourages a new era of state-sponsored barbarism. For instance, the U.S. government has consistently protected Israel’s criminal behavior from United Nations condemnation by using its veto in the Security Council.

The British government has restricted the use of “universal jurisdiction,” an aspect of international law that allows victims of war crimes to initiate prosecution against responsible individuals in any country that is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. In order to exempt indictable Israelis, the UK has declared that only its Director of Public Prosecutions (always a politically malleable individual), rather than trial judges confronted with strong evidence, can issue universal jurisdiction arrest warrants.

The governments of Canada and several European states are attempting to  criminalize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to pressure a change in Israeli policies toward Palestinians. And on it goes.

The average citizen is either ignorant of or misinformed about the growing danger to an aspect of international law that protects us all. And that is too bad, because it is the average citizen who will always suffer the most from the commission of crimes against humanity.

Beyond the dangers of ignorance and misinformation, there is the ongoing problem of nationalism. The laws allowing for the prosecution of those who commit crimes against humanity were instituted at a time when most nations were so mindful of the barbarism of World War II that their leaders were willing to let go of a bit of their national sovereignty to create potentially meaningful international law. However, they would not go so far as to create an international police force with truly independent operating powers.

It has been 70 years since the end of World War II and nationalism is as strong as ever, while the memory of its barbaric capabilities has faded – despite isolated reminders offered by the multitude of small wars that come and go almost yearly.

So we are embedded in a cycle of violence, led astray by our faulty memories and national hatreds. By now we should know better, but we don’t.

Rafik Nasrallah on New TV

الحدث : رفيق نصرالله | الجديد

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Defeating Takfiri terrorism, basis for resolving crisis in Syria

Saturday, 23 May 

As  the crisis in Syria has entered its fifth year, all world countries have realized that the only way out of this crisis lies in the conducting of an inter-Syrian dialogue based on protecting Syria’s sovereignty and eliminating any foreign agenda.  The basis for any political process should emphasize preserving Syria’s sovereignty and unity and the state’s establishments and rejecting any settlement based on racial or sectarian division. The only way to carry out a political solution is through a Syrian-led inter-Syrian national dialogue without any foreign intervention that aims to achieve the interests of the enemies of Syrian people.

There is a need to exert all possible efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria peacefully. The consultations held in Moscow and Cairo were beneficial to efforts towards reaching a political process, and discussions must be held with all Syrian and international sides with the involvement of civil society organizations.

These meetings constituted close talks with all relevant sides to discuss the crisis in Syria, see what may lie in the future, and look for ideas regarding the future, all of which should lay the groundwork for a solution.

 Moscow second consultative meeting, which recently concluded deliberations, has offered atmospheres of hope and optimism. The Syrian national opposition which rejects terrorism should cooperate with the Syrian government and army to overcome takfiri terrorism which poses a threat, not only to Syria, but to the region and the world.

The opposition parties have to take into consideration, while running dialogue on the crisis in the country, the developments in Syria and the region since 2012, particularly the mounting danger of terrorism, represented mainly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and “Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations. The Syrians, with the help of Russians, are the only ones who are able to restore security and stability to the Homeland through an inter-Syrian dialogue.

Syria’s staunchest foes came to acknowledge the terrorism of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations, admitting that the Syrian government has a serious and key role in fighting terrorism. The same countries that have denied the presence of terrorism in Syria now claim to be fighting it. It was the US which founded the “Coalition” to fight terrorism that they have always accused the Syrian government of fostering. But this accusation proved to be groundless as Syria is fighting takfiri terrorism on behalf of the whole world.

The Syrian government has the right to enlist the support of friends in the battle against terrorism which is legitimate. But the terror organizations which are sponsored by foreign agendas and funded by the dirty money of the Gulf are illegitimate and violate international law and the UN resolutions pertaining to combating terrorism.

The flurry of visits by tens of Western delegations embassies indicates that the international community is revising its wrong policies towards Syria.

Moscow inter-Syrian talks were positive and could constitute a basis for future meetings, and no-one could disregard all that was achieved during these meetings.

There was unanimous agreement on the assessing the status quo. A joint document was adopted for the first time by the two sides. The main points under Item 1, include settling the crisis in Syria politically and on the basis of Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012, and demanding serious international pressure on terrorism backers and an immediate lift of all coercive economic measures imposed on Syria.

The document stresses that national sovereignty and the Syrian people’s will must be the basis for any political process, which can be produced through the agreement of the Syrian government, forces, parties and figures who believe in a political solution.

The political settlement to the crisis in Syria should see all potentials of the Syrian people employed to face and defeat terrorism where weapons remain in the hands of the state institutions only.

K.Q.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Alison Weir: Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew

May 23, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: I have learned in the last few days  that Alison Weir, the admired activist who fights relentlessly for Palestinians and their rights, has also been targeted by our Jewish ‘allies’ at JVP.  It has been established by now that the Jewish pro Palestinian league is functioning as a controlled opposition apparatus. If JVP is truly concerned with Anti Semitism, it should immediately restrain itself. As things stand, its actions provoke a tidal wave of resentment towards Jewish politics within the dissident movement.  

 Please help us overcome the accusations against If Americans Knew

By Alison Weir

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html

 I personally, and If Americans Knew as an organization, are among those who have periodically been targeted by whispering campaigns. Please help us prevent these false accusations from impeding our important work.

“Examining the founding of Israel, discussing the history of pro-Israel efforts, critiquing Israeli policy, championing the Palestinian right of return, investigating Israel’s victimization of others, opposing U.S. aid to Israel, and exposing Israeli war crimes are not anti-Semitic actions.

“Nor is exposing the Israel lobby in all its ramifications, examining Israel partisans’ role in the invasion of Iraq, or divulging information known to Israelis but hidden to non-Israelis.

“If someone disagrees with the facts, analysis or judgments, so be it – let’s talk. But discussing facts and examining information is not bigoted, but rather necessary. I believe that suppressing facts and debate is ultimately harmful for all.”

Alison Weir
May 20, 2015

Since the founding of Israel, proponents of justice for Palestinians and critics of Israeli policy have experienced accusations of anti-Semitism. While some accusations may be made spontaneously and individually, this accusation is often made cynically in order to silence criticism of Israeli actions and policies. As one former Israeli lawmaker explained on Democracy Now, “It’s a trick – we always use it…”

Usually pro-Israel groups and individuals make the accusations, generally publicly and often virulently. But in other cases, they arise within apparently pro-Palestinian groups and settings. In these cases, the charges are often whispered and then repeated by other activists who may not have examined them skeptically.These accusations sometimes even draw on misinformation perpetrated by Israel partisans, though this is usually unknown to those hearing such accusations, and to many of those repeating them.

Sadly, a diverse assortment of extremely committed people working for justice in Palestine have suffered such “insider” accusations, sometimes having their speaking events sabotaged by allegedly pro-Palestine organizations and individuals. Some of these attacks have been public; others remain in the realm of whispering campaigns.

I personally, and If Americans Knew as an organization, are among those who have been periodically targeted. The attacks against us have been whispering campaigns rather than public attacks.

I’ve been working for justice in Palestine ever since traveling as a freelance reporter to Gaza and the West Bank in early 2001. Shocked and moved by what I learned there, I founded If Americans Knew to give people the facts on this issue. I’ve been writing articles; creating media studies and videos; and speaking widely on this issue ever since. (You can see a 2006 video about me here.)

From the first, I have focused on reaching beyond the “choir” of people who already know about and sympathize with the Palestinian plight. I have sought ways to reach a broad audience, connect with Americans across the political spectrum and present the most factual, well-cited information possible – all with the goal of truly bringing an end to the ongoing Mideast tragedy, by affecting American policies that enable Israel’s actions. Effectiveness has always been my watchword. The tragedy is far too great for anything less.

When I first began my work, I was immediately accused of anti-Semitism by Israel partisans, despite the fact that I have a life history of working against bigotry and racism of all kinds. I participated in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and was arrested for civil disobedience in that activism. One of my very first articles on Israel-Palestine was “Choosing to Act: Anti-Semitism is Wrong.” We have made this into a handout and include it in virtually all the orders for materials that we send out.

Such unfounded attacks, I soon learned, were to be expected when one works on this issue. What surprised me more was that a few individuals who seemed to be working for peace in Palestine (though perhaps not necessarily justice) also took up this refrain. Their accusations, however, were never made publicly, nor did they address my actions or positions. Instead, they were whispered behind my back. (As If Americans Knew has become more effective, this campaign has escalated.)

Opposition by those who dislike our positions

The charges I heard about were leveled by a small number of activists and groups who disagreed with some of my positions:

Then, as now, I supported Palestinians’ right of return and ending US money to Israel. I considered the Israel lobby significant, and I refused to focus only on “the occupation” that began in 1967, ignoring the one that began in 1948 (and before). When the U.S. invaded Iraq, I also observed that neocons with close ties to Israel had played a significant role in pushing the U.S. to attack Iraq.

Some of those working on this issue at that time did not share these positions. While some were no doubt willing to simply disagree, some called me anti-Semitic for talking about these aspects of the issue.

In some cases, no doubt, this was genuine human error; in other cases, I suspect, it was to prevent my views, and the information supporting them, from becoming more widely known and shared. (Today, of course, these views are most likely shared by the large majority of activists on this issue – even some of those who previously opposed them now, I hope, endorse them.)

Despite these behind-the-scenes attempts to impede our work, If Americans Knew began to make more and more of an impact. Increasing numbers of people began to use our website, and people all over the country began to use our informational materials, which we have always striven to make especially professional, accurate, well-sourced and effective.

Various individuals made attempts to curb our increasing impact, and the whispering campaigns escalated. These behind-the-scenes, secretive attacks have been both painful and extremely difficult to confront. Should I defend myself, and thus call attention to the accusations and cause destructive disruption and dissension in this movement? Or ignore them, thus allowing them to continue?

Through the years I’ve chosen to do the latter. Now, however, I find that attempts to block my talks and the dissemination of our materials continue and have possibly grown even greater. And so I feel compelled to speak out and give a few examples of what has been occurring, in the hope of curtailing these sometimes successful efforts to prevent people from learning our information, which I believe is the purpose of this stealth campaign.

I suspect that the publication of my book and its extremely positive reception (we’ve already sold over 17,000 copies) has played a role in these increased efforts to prevent my talks.

I travel all over the U.S. and abroad to speak about the Palestine-Israel issue and the U.S. connection, If Americans Knew ships hundreds of thousands of informational materials (written by excellent diverse authors and researchers) to events and individuals, and I give media interviews to anyone who’s willing to consider the information I address. My goal is to reach every single person possible with essential facts to counter the misinformation so often being disseminated to Americans. I go to great pains to be accurate, transparent, and respectful of all people. I do not filter or censor who may post or share our materials or interview me, expecting my words and our materials to speak for themselves.

Our Principles

We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.

Disseminating Our Information

Our materials and information are available to all. We feel it is essential that these facts be learned by every possible person.

The positions of If Americans Knew are represented in our statements and writings alone, and the views of those who distribute our materials, articles, or interviews do not necessarily represent those of If Americans Knew.

You can see our statements on our guiding principles to the right (also published in our mission statement and a similar statement is in a sidebar on this page).

Among this multitude of events and materials dissemination, I periodically hear of cases where one, a few, or sometimes even a group of “Palestine solidarity” activists have attempted to get my talks canceled or our materials blocked.

These are not public censorship attempts by pro-Israel zealots (though there are plenty of those). These are quiet actions to discredit me and If Americans Knew and to prevent our information from getting out, by small groups of individuals who raise their accusations behind my back; I only hear about them, generally, through private acquaintances or after the fact and am rarely given an opportunity to respond.

Some of those who spread such defamatory accusations may simply confuse the dissemination of facts they dislike with anti-Semitism. At times we all may not like some facts, we may wish they weren’t so, we may wish for people not to know about them, but discussing them is not bigotry.

Examining the founding of Israel, researching history, discussing the details of pro-Israel efforts, critiquing Israeli policy, championing the Palestinian right of return, investigating Israel’s victimization of others, opposing U.S. aid to Israel, and exposing Israeli war crimes are not anti-Semitic actions. Nor is exposing the Israel lobby in all its ramifications, examining Israel partisans’ role in the invasion of Iraq, or divulging information known to Israelis but hidden to non-Israelis.

If someone disagrees with the facts, analysis or judgments, so be it – let’s talk. But discussing facts and examining information is not bigoted, but rather necessary. I believe that suppressing facts and debate is ultimately harmful for all. And I believe that truth and justice is the only way to achieve a secure peace for all people.

Happily, despite attempts to undermine IAK and spread misinformation about us, there are vastly more activists and individuals who share our mission and are extremely supportive of our work than there are people who attack us. We frequently hear from individuals all over the country that our website and materials have been central to their work to reach Americans with the facts.

I was deeply moved when a recent talk I gave before a large, mainstream audience received a standing ovation. Organizers who go forward with my events consistently tell us how happy they are with my presentation. They describe my work as accurate, fair, reasoned, and compelling, and many have even told us my talk was the best presentation on Palestine they have heard.

My view is that the movement for justice in Palestine benefits from the participation of as many diverse groups and individuals as possible. We will not agree on everything, and at times we will have heated disagreements. But we’re all necessary, I believe, and important.

It is critical that we not allow internal (often, I suspect, initially planted) accusations to create destructive division, causing many people to focus on internal disputes, taking time away from the essential work we’re all doing to oppose Israeli oppression.

A few examples of attempts to block our information:

Below are a few examples of the feeble evidence given for these accusations. In many cases, and when accusations often initially arise online, it is difficult or even impossible for me to ascertain whether the individuals planting them are real people, or whether they are false identities created by Israel propagandists, given that Israel partisanssoldiersstudents, and various trolls are known to have infiltrated the Internet in order to counter and discredit pro-Palestinian activism.

  • One person was able to prevent a group from using any of our very popular, effective, and well-researched materials by claiming that one contained an author who was “anti-Semitic.” I have yet to learn who this supposedly “anti-Semitic” author was, though I’m guessing the reference was to an author named in a list of 21 suggested books on our particularly popular fact sheet called “The Catastrophe, How Palestine Became Israel.” That author is Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor who was praised by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and numerous others. (If the group had asked us about this we could have clarified it for them.)
  • Another time an event was postponed indefinitely because one member of the group “didn’t feel comfortable” with the topic – the history of US-Israel relations. Working for justice is not always comfortable, and in fact it is often very uncomfortable. Learning facts about this history – particularly about the ways organizations claiming to represent all Jewish Americans helped create the US policy of unconditional support for Israel – can be upsetting. When we face them head on, however, we are able to see ways to start changing these policies. As my Jewish-American allies know, those organizations never really represented all American Jews and have actually pursued policies that endanger the very people they claim to represent.
  • Occasionally, self-identified “solidarity activists” object to telling information about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Some accused me (again, not to my face) of being a “militarist” and/or “anti-Semitic” for supporting the right of survivors and family members abandoned by the US government and attacked by Israel to a full, public investigation of Israel’s ruthless assault, and for exposing the cover up on this incident by both the media, U.S. government, and the American Legion management. However, many people feel that informing the American public about the Liberty is one of the most effective ways to open newcomers’ eyes (particularly mainstream ones, who are, by definition, the majority of voters) to the truth about Israel and the U.S.
  • Sometimes a preposterous effort is made to connect me to David Duke, because ten years ago his website re-posted (without permission, as is frankly common online) an article of mine originally published by the very progressive website CounterPunch. What these accusers don’t tell people is that the Duke website also has reposted articles by Robert Fisk, Philip Weiss, Chris Hedges, JJ Goldberg, Juan Cole, Stephen Lendman, James Petras, the Times of Israel, JTA,The Forward, Ha’aretz, etc.
  • Some accuse me of racism, or right- or left-wing extremism, for accepting interview requests, as though I should only share my message with people who already agree with it. I give interviews whenever possible to whoever requests it, within my capabilities and availability. These accusers claim that me giving an interview indicates that I endorse the views of my interviewers. It certainly does not. In fact, I believe that the people who most need to hear my message are those who do not agree with me, whether because they support Israeli aggression, Islamophobia, or any other forms of supremacism or injustice. This bizarre line of reasoning holds that appearances or interviews constitute“associations” or “affiliations” with the interviewing groups or individuals. This would mean that Professor George Bisharat’s appearance on Fox News indicated his endorsement of Fox, that the Corries’ “exclusive interview” by the American Free Press demonstrated that they worked with AFP, and that Ray McGovern’s interview with the same publication meant that he, too, was associated with AFP. This is both absurd and harmful.To reiterate, because this is important: I have a policy of appearing, within time constraints, on any show that invites me (as, apparently, do many other committed individuals), because I believe the information I have to share should be heard by everyone. Similarly, I do not attempt to police who reposts my writings and am happy for my articles and our materials to be shared far and wide, in the belief that they speak for themselves. The posting of my work doesn’t indicate my endorsement, nor does it indicate that the poster speaks for me or IAK – only our statements do that. I have appeared on radio programs across the political spectrum from the far left to the far right, and some years ago even went on a right-wing Israeli talk show. I knew ahead of time that this show would be unpleasant, and, indeed the host frequently turned off my microphone while another individual attacked me on air with false claims that I was left unable to defend against. But I felt it was important to even try to reach Israeli listeners, including conservative ones.In the U.S., Israel partisans are working to inject fear and hatred of Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, and Islam into every sector of U.S. society and are particularly targeting conservative portions of the U.S. with this poison. This makes it especial important that I and others work to give the real facts to every portion of our population – without exception. (There are a multitude of important facts that I try to remember to give all audiences, including the fact that Zionism does not represent all Jews and that there are many Israelis who oppose governmental policies. When I once forgot to include enough of this type of information, I went on the show again to clarify it.)
  • These behind-the-scenes accusers claim that I have “worked with racist groups.” In reality, I have given talks and workshops at events hosted by respected pro-justice organizations, including Sabeel, Al-Awda, Code Pink, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, American Muslims for Palestine, Tree of Life, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Birzeit Club, CAIR, Veterans for Peace, Fourteen Friends of Palestine, Rebuilding Alliance, Alternate Focus, Palestine American Bridge, the Jerusalem Fund, etc. (Ironically, some of the accusers who attempt to smear me with the “racism” slur, despite its falseness, have a history of working with Zionists, despite the fact that many people throughout the world find Zionism a racist, genocidal ideology.)

My speaking events have been in numerous respected and diverse venues: college campuses (throughout the word), libraries, community centers, World Affairs Councils, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, churches, mosques, peace and justice venues, Media Summits, retirement communities, high schools, bookstores, the National Press Club, etc. Speeches I’ve given have twice been broadcast by C-Span. None of my multitudes of talks and articles have ever been called racist, even by those who attempt to defame me through alleged guilt through association. Our published policy has always been:“We are happy to provide information and speakers on Israel-Palestine to individuals and groups of all religious, ethnic, racial, and political backgrounds. If Americans Knew supports justice, truth, equal rights and respect for all human beings; and we oppose racism, supremacism, and discrimination of any and all forms.”

As I mentioned above, these strange insider attacks sometimes draw from attacks on me by the pro-Israel establishment.

As multitudes of others working on this issue have experienced, the standard method of attack by Israel apologists is to defame anyone speaking critically of Israel. The more public a person is, the more effort will go into defaming him or her. I receive death threats and offensive and obscene emails and phone calls. The Internet is also rife with venomous statements against me and If Americans Knew.

There are entire websites and blogs attacking me and If Americans Knew. I am sometimes called a Nazi, or a communist, or a right-winger, etc. – whichever conflicting claim is most negative to the target audience. Fourteen years’ worth of my writings, talks, comments, statements, interviews on obscure radio programs, videos by international media, etc. are scoured for the inevitable random error, poorly articulated response, stumbling statement, or careless mistake that anyone at some point will make, myself included.

My actions and philosophy are misrepresented, statements are invented or taken out of context, “transcripts” of some interviews are posted while related ones are left out, etc.

Judge me and our organization by our body of work, not by whatever else may have been posted on a site featuring my work, or said by a different interviewee on the same radio program, or shared by a person who’s disseminated our materials, nor by an imperfect response I may have given in the moment to my myriad interviewers, many of whom are difficult to hear via Internet phone connections. And please judge us as gently and fairly in any case of imperfection as you would like to be judged yourselves.

As we see the carnage in Palestine continue, children maimed and killed, the entire population of Gaza imprisoned, people continually rounded up by Israeli forces, individuals routinely detained, humiliated and oppressed, we feel an urgent need to disseminate the compelling facts about Palestine even more widely to the American public, whose tax dollars and government are enabling these intolerable actions.

Our small, hardworking staff of committed, principled individuals is doing everything possible to bring about the change that is so desperately needed, often at personal inconvenience and even personal pain. That is why it is so deeply troubling to continue to learn of false accusations used to impede our work and block our information – attacks that surely would spur many people to simply give up and stay silent.

If you hear negative things about me or If Americans Knew, we hope you’ll contact us to discuss them. In some cases we may correct misinformation, clarify context, or explain our thinking. In other cases we may benefit from your constructive ideas and criticism and improve our work. In still other cases we may simply have to agree to disagree, but at least we can do this in a friendly, informed, and non-destructive way.

We have decided it is now time to speak about this publicly in order to stop these destructive whispering attacks. We hope others will help us.

 

Nasser Kandil: 60 minutes

ستون دقيقة مع ناصر قنديل

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Iraqi Forces Attack ISIL East of Ramadi

fighters

Iraqi forces retook territory from the Islamic State group east of Ramadi Saturday, in their first counterattack since the fall of the Anbar provincial capital a week ago, commanders said.

The offensive targeted the Euphrates Valley town of Husaybah, an essential stepping stone for any assault on Ramadi.

“Military operations to liberate Husaybah, seven kilometres (4.5 miles) east of Ramadi, have begun,” a police colonel told AFP from the front. “So far, the Husaybah police station was liberated, as well as the area around it. The operation is making significant progress,” he said on condition of anonymity.

The launch of offensive operations was confirmed by the leader of the main tribal force in the area, Sheikh Rafia Abdelkarim al-Fahdawi. “The operation to take back Husaybah has started, with wide participation from tribal fighters,” the head of the Albu Fahd tribe told AFP. “The security forces are advancing and they already retook a wide area,” he said.

The police colonel said the operation involved local and federal police, the interior ministry’s rapid intervention force, regular army troops, Popular Mobilization (Hashed al-Shaabi) paramilitary forces and tribal fighters.

Source: AFP

23-05-2015 – 14:57 Last updated 23-05-2015 – 4:57


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Syrian Army Soldiers know neither defeat nor surrender, President Al-Assad.

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_ ”The Syrian Army Soldiers know neither defeat nor surrender,” H.E. PresidentBashar Al-Assad said in a phone call with Colonel  Mahmoud Sabha, the Leader of the Syrian Soldiers Group in Jisr Al-Shoghour.

In a daring operation, the Syrian Army broke the siege imposed by terrorists, particularly from Al-Nusra terrorist group, on the Army soldiers in Jisr Al-Shoghour Hospital.

”You embody through your heroism every soldier in the Syrian Arab Army. Your trust in God and in your comrades in the Syrian Arab Army as coming to break the siege imposed on you refer to the quality of this Army, its doctrines, self-confidence and trust in its members and their heroism,” added H. E. President Al-Assad.

”You have shown through your heroism the most gallant legends and the evacuation of your wounded comrades would but teach the world what the morals and ethics of the Syrian Arab Army are,” said President Al-Assad.

”Your life, your comrades’ life and the life of every single soldier in the Syrian Arab Army and the Forces of Popular Defense, have been and would ever be the most important thing to care about and ever protect,” continued President Al-Assad.

”I salute you and through you I salute every soldier defending the soil of Syria. Blessed are the martyrs, wishing speedy recovery to the wounded.” Concluded H.E. President Al-Assad.

Colonel  Mahmoud Sabha exchanged President Assad’s greetings on behalf of the freed soldiers and of his own, expressing deep thanks for President Assad’s personal and persistent follow up and care about them.

Colonel  Sabha thanked the comrades in arms and all who stood with them and supported their high morals during their steadfastness and fight against terrorists.

H.E. President Al-Assad pledged on Martyrs Day Anniversary, May 6,  that the Syrian Arab Army is to break the siege imposed on the soldiers, who are determined to flush out every terrorist from the Syrian sacred territories.

On Syrian Martyrs Day, H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad, underscored that he feels immense pleasure to celebrate this occasion and be with the sons and daughters of the martyrs who sacrificed their souls during the war launched against Syria.

 H.E. President Al-Assad asserted during the ceremony that Martyrdom Anniversary is very dear as it carries many sublime, symbolic and genuine  values.

H.E. President Al-Assad pointed out that those who have perpetrated the hanging of Syrians on May 6th, 1916 were the Turkish Jamal Basha the slaughterer and  today the Turkish President, the atrocious Erdogan.

Martyrdom is the most noble message of humans and the most able to carry this message is any family member of the Martyr,” said H.E. President Al-Assad.

“We are waging a war -against terrorism- and not a one battle but tens of battles and in war, everything is changed except the belief in the fighter and the belief of the fighter in definite victory,” added H. E. President Al-Assad.

H.E. President Al-Assad asserted that the psychological war against Syria is to fail and that nationalism is not only mere words, but should be associated with courage.

“You ,the sons and daughters of the Martyrs, are the answer to the psychological war and the answer to the afraid,” added President Al-Assad, calling for sharp lines to be drawn between worry and fear, wisdom and fear.

 Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

Terrorists’ siege of Jisr al-Shughour hospital broken, soldiers freed ~ President al-Assad holds call with commander of soldiers ~ Syrian Army assumes control of sites in Hasaka, armed gangs targeted and killed

The soldiers in the National Hospital in Jisr al-Shughour city in Idleb managed to break the siege imposed by Jabhat al-Nusra since late April, in an operation coordinated with airstrikes and artillery firing.

The soldiers have been freed and left the hospital, carrying their dead or injured fellow members, and are heading to army posts in Idleb countryside.

“The force defending the national hospital of Jisr al-Shughour carried out today morning a tactical maneuver and managed to break the siege successfully,” a military source said.

SANA reporter in Jisr al-Shughour city, which is located in western Idleb province, said the soldiers are now out of the hospital.

President-al-Assad-and-SAAF-450x450

President Bashar al-Assad on Friday evening held a call with Colonel Mahmoud Sabha, the commander of a group of Syrian Arab Army soldiers who were in Jisr al-Shughour Hospital.

“Your heroics are an expression of every soldier in the Syrian Arab Army. You held your ground and stood fast because you know neither defeat nor surrender,” President al-Assad told Col. Sabha.

“Your faith in God and your confidence that your colleagues in the Syrian Arab Army are coming to break the siege imposed on you are an indicator of the nature of this army, its conviction, and its faith in itself and in its members and their heroics.

“Your lives and the lives of every soldier in the Syrian Arab Army and popular defense forces always have been and always will be our foremost consideration, and we always seek to protect them,” President al-Assad said.

His Excellency said that the heroic acts of the soldiers and how they helped evacuate their wounded colleagues will show the world the morals and principles of the Syrian Arab Army.

President al-Assad asked God to have mercy on the souls of the martyrs from the hospital, the martyrs who fell during the operation to break the siege which had been imposed on the hospital for almost a month, and all the martyrs of the Syrian Arab Army who died to defend Syria, wishing full recovery to the wounded soldiers.

“I salute you and salute every soldier defending Syria’s soil,” His Excellency concluded.

For his part, Col. Sabha saluted President al-Assad and thanked him on behalf of himself and the soldiers from the hospital for his concern over them and their conditions.

He also thanked all the brothers in arms and all those who supported him and his colleagues and gave them morale while they were standing fast in the face of terrorists.

army-Hasaka-countryside-620x330

The Syrian Arab Army assumes control of sites in Hasaka, targets terrorists’ positions in many areas. The army continued operations against terrorist organizations on Friday, making gains in several areas and targeting more of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS’s positions and those of other terrorist organizations.

Hasaka

Army units, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, established full control over Tal Baroud village and al-Shaddadi-al-Houl intersection in the countryside of the northeastern Hasaka province, SANA reporter in the province said.

An Army unit eliminated the last gatherings of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Tal Baroud village bordering the main road that connects Hasaka and Abyad village in the southwestern countryside of Hasaka.

Army units in cooperation with popular defense groups continued to advance against ISIS terrorists in the area between Sawda and Abd villages.

Daraa

An Army unit destroyed vehicles of terrorist organizations during accurate strikes against their gatherings in al-Mesmia village in al-Lajat area in Daraa southern province, a military source said.

Army units killed Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in Tal al-Mal in the countryside of Daraa.

In Daraa city, an army unit targeted several dens of Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham terrorists in Daraa al-Balad neighborhood. The operations left many terrorists killed and others wounded.

Elsewhere in Daraa al-Balad, army units hit terrorists’ gatherings, killing numbers of them.

A Jabhat al-Nusra position between Daraa al-Mahatta and the Camp area in Daraa city was directly hit by an army unit. Many terrorists were killed and their weapons and ammunition were destroyed.

An army unit prevented an attempt by a terrorist group to sneak towards al-Bittar farm in Daraa countryside, while another unit eliminated a number of terrorists, injured others, and destroyed their vehicles west of al-Yarmouk area in Daraa city.

Damascus Countryside

Army units killed 30 terrorists and injured many others in Douma area in Damascus Countryside, among them terrorists from KSA, UAE, Jordan, and Tunisia.

Also in Douma, the army targeted terrorists’ hideout, killing a number of terrorists and destroying a mortar launching base and one of their vehicles, in addition to eliminating a number of terrorists in Haratsa, Jobar, Ayn Tarma, and Erbin.

The army killed and injured scores of terrorists in Deir Salman farms, Khan al-Sheeh, and Fleita, and destroyed a hideout for Jabhet al-Nusra terrorists, weaponry and munitions, and four vehicles, three of them equipped with machineguns.

An army unit eliminated a number of terrorists and injured others in the western part of al-Husseiniye al-Gharbiye village in Damascus Countryside.

Quneitra

Army units killed a number of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and destroyed their vehicles in Tal Mas’hara and the village of al-Samadaniyeh al-Gharbiyeh in the countryside of the southern Quneitra province.

Homs

Army units targeted ISIS hideout in the area of Salam Gharbi in Homs eastern countryside, killing and injuring a number of terrorists and destroyed their bulldozer.

Aleppo

A military source told SANA that army units destroyed terrorist hideouts around the Air Force Academy and the areas of Bani Zaid, al-Zebdiye, al-Mansoura, Kafr Hamra, al-Fardous, Andan, al-Asrafiye, al-Sha’ar, al-Treks hill, al-Ameriye, and Salah Eddin in Aleppo and its countryside, killing many terrorists and destroying their vehicles.

~

SOURCES:
Hazem Sabbagh / Haifa Said
Syrian Arab News Agency Military Reports - 1 - 2 - 3 -
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
The real SyrianFreePress.NETwork at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/al-shughour-al-assad/
short link:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/?p=46343

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