Archive | November 6th, 2016

Venezuela Police Officer Shot, Killed During Right-Wing Protest

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teleSUR 

A Venezuelan policeman died after being shot during an opposition protest late Wednesday in the province of Miranda, Minister of the Interior and Justice Nestor Reverol said, adding there were two other officers injured.

Reverol stated that the officer was shot after the police tried to disperse an opposition march to preserve public order on the Panamerican highway in San Antonio de los Altos, adding that two suspects were in custody.

“There are two people detained for questioning, and an order will be issued to begin investigations to clarify this murder,” said Reverol.

The wounded officers were taken to a private clinic, where Jose Alejandro Molina Ramirez died, shot in the abdomen and arm. Medouza Dany Daniel Briceno was shot in one hand, Davis Jose Laya Ayala was hit in one arm and Miguel Antonio Cuevas Pirela had a wound on his face from a blunt object, but all were out of danger, the doctors informed.

Reverol said the right-wing opposition was responsible for the death of officer Molina. He also confirmed that four policemen were injured in Zulia state during the protests.

“The officer killed is Jose Alejandro Molina Ramirez who was shot in the abdomen and arm.”

The right wing had called for a “Taking of Venezuela” march Wednesday, provoking clashes that led to more than a hundred injuries.

Despite some factions of the opposition agreeing to talks with the government, some of the splintered right wing have refused dialogue and instead called for a national strike on Friday and a more provocative march to the Miraflores presidential palace on Nov. 3.

Miranda’s governor is right-wing leader Henrique Capriles, who denied that opposition forces had agreed to talks with the socialist government Tuesday and has been instrumental in calling for street demonstrations and the ouster of President Nicolas Maduro.

“This needs to keep growing so that the government understands once and for all that we’re doing this for real,” said two-time presidential loser Capriles.

The National Assembly, that is in contempt of the constitution, voted Tuesday to start an impeachment process against Maduro, even though any actions it takes have been declared nulled by the Supreme Court in the country.

Crowds at the protests where the officer was shot chanted “This government is going to fall!”

Clashes also broke out in the western town of San Cristobal that was an epicenter of violence during 2014 anti-Maduro protests that left at least 40 people dead.

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Jewish Voices from the Past make Mincemeat of Zionism and anti-Semitism

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By Stuart Littlewood 

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom.

— Lord Edwin Montagu

Show me one time where a Jew was persecuted in any country because of his religion…. It’s always their impact on the political, social, or economic customs and traditions of the community in which they settle.

— Benjamin Freedman

The latest anti-Semitism witch-hunt being conducted by the Zio-Inquisition in the UK is all hogwash if the statements of two leading Jews are to be believed.

One is the speech by successful Jewish businessman Benjamin Freedman at the Willard Hotel, Washington, in 1961. The other is a letter in 1917 by Lord Edwin Samuel Montagu, a prominnent British Jew, disagreeing with the Balfour Declaration.

I had seen neither before. My attention was drawn to Freedman by reader comments to a recent article of mine on the Balfour Declaration (many thanks ‘Bill Rollinson’ and ‘frog’).

Freedman kicked off his his remarks at the Willard by saying that just before the elections of 1960 Senator Kennedy (afterwards President of the United States) went to New York and delivered an address to the Zionist Organization of America.

In that address…. he stated that he would use the armed forces of the United States to preserve the existence of the regime set up in Palestine by the Zionists who are now in occupation of that area.

In other words, Christian boys are going to be yanked out of their homes, away from their families, and sent abroad to fight in Palestine against the Christian and Moslem Arabs who merely want to return to their homes. And these Christian boys are going to be asked to shoot to kill these innocent [Arab Palestinians] people who only want to follow out fifteen resolutions passed by the United Nations in the last twelve years calling upon the Zionists to allow these people to return to their homes.

And he warned that if the US went to war in Palestine “to help the thieves retain possession of what they have stolen from these innocent people”, no-one would fight alongside Americans as their ally.

Harking back to WW1 Freedman explained that by 1916 Germany had effectively won. Thanks to the success of the U-boats Britain was alone, almost out of ammunition and on the edge of starvation. Germany offered peace terms, and while Britain chewed it over the Zionists of Germany (representing the Zionists of Eastern Europe who wanted to see an end to the Czar) came to London and said:

We will guarantee to bring the United States into the war as your ally, to fight with you on your side, if you will promise us Palestine after you win the war.

Balfour’s shabby promissory note

How could they make such a promise?

Because the newspapers here were controlled by Jews, the bankers were Jews, all the media of mass communications in this country were controlled by Jews, and they were pro-German because their people, in the majority of cases came from Germany, and they wanted to see Germany lick the Czar…. they didn’t want Russia to win this war. So the German bankers – the German-Jews – Kuhn Loeb and the other big banking firms in the United States refused to finance France or England to the extent of one dollar. They stood aside and they said: ‘As long as France and England are tied up with Russia, not one cent!’ But they poured money into Germany, they fought with Germany against Russia, trying to lick the Czarist regime.

Now those same Jews, when they saw the possibility of getting Palestine, they went to England and they made this deal….  Where the newspapers had been all pro-German, where they’d been telling the people of the difficulties that Germany was having fighting Great Britain commercially and in other respects, all of a sudden the Germans were no good. They were villains….  Well, shortly after that, Mr. Wilson declared war on Germany.

Freedman went on to say it was “absolutely absurd” for Great Britain to offer Palestine as “coin of the realm” to pay the Zionists for bringing the United States into the war. But that was the bargain they struck, in October 1916, ignoring pledges made to the Arabs for their help. After they’d done their bit, the Zionists wanted a ‘receipt’ – written confirmation of Britain’s pledge. Hence Balfour’s infamous ‘declaration’, a grubby promissory note addressed to Lord Rothschild.

The way Freedman tells it, when the war was over and the Germans went to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, it was attended by a huge delegation of Jews. Freedman says he was there. As the Great Powers carved up the losers’ territories – German and Ottoman – the Jewish delegation, of course, claimed Palestine.

They produced, for the first time to the knowledge of the Germans, this Balfour Declaration. So the Germans, for the first time realized, ‘Oh, that was the game! That’s why the United States came into the war.

When the Germans realized this, they naturally resented it. Up to that time, the Jews had never been better off in any country in the world than they had been in Germany.

And that, according to Freedman, is why Jews eventually came to pay such a horrendous price.

On the subject of Jews and anti-Semitism he made the crucial point that the eastern European Jews accounted for 92 per cent of the world’s Jews and were originally Khazars.

It’s ridiculous to call them ‘people of the Holy Land’…. they outnumber all the rest by so many that they create the impression that they are the Jewish ‘race’; that they are the Jewish nation;  that they are the Jewish people. . . and the Christians swallow it like a cream puff.

As for Semites:

The Christians talk about people who don’t like Jews as anti-Semites, and they call all the Arabs anti-Semites. The only Semites in the world are the Arabs.  There isn’t one Jew who’s a Semite. They’re all Turkothean Mongoloids. The Eastern European Jews…. they brainwashed the public.

And he neatly disposed of the anti-Semitism kerfuffle by saying:

Show me one time where a Jew was persecuted in any country because of his religion. It has never happened. It’s always their impact on the political, social, or economic customs and traditions of the community in which they settle.

No such thing as a Jewish nation

An earlier bombshell had been dropped by Lord Montagu, only the second Jew to serve in a British cabinet. Coincidentally he was Minister of Munitions in 1916 when, according to Freedman, Britain was running out of ammunition.

In August 1917, while the Palestine deal was still being discussed but before Balfour issued his Declaration, Montagu penned a memorandum to the British Cabinet headed ‘On the Anti-Semitism of the Present Government’.

He said he wanted to place on record his view that the policy of the British Government was anti-Semitic because it would provide a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country in the world.

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman.

He said those who indulged in the Zionist creed were spurred by the oppression of Jews in Russia. He assumed:

Zionism meant that Mahommedans and Christians were to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners….

When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn from all quarters of the globe.

He argued that there was no such thing as a Jewish nation, and it was no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish Moor are of the same nation than it was to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation. He wanted Jews in the UK to be regarded, not as British Jews, but as Jewish Britons.

Montagu was well aware of the unpopularity of the Jewish community.

We have obtained a far greater share of this country’s goods and opportunities than we are numerically entitled to…. Many of us have been exclusive in our friendships and intolerant in our attitude, and I can easily understand that many a non-Jew in England wants to get rid of us….

As for the Balfour Declaration itself he felt the Government was carrying out the wishes of a Zionist organisation “largely run by men of enemy descent or birth” and had thus “dealt a severe blow to the liberties, position and opportunities of service of their Jewish fellow-countrymen”. Furthermore, he said, “I would be almost tempted to proscribe the Zionist organisation as illegal and against the national interest.”

His message to Lord Rothschild was that the Government should help Jews in Palestine enjoy liberty of settlement and life on equal terms with the inhabitants of that country who hold other religious beliefs, but go no further.

*****

I wonder what either of them would say if they’d lived to see the situation today on both sides of the Atlantic where Zionist bully-boys run amok, and the degradation of the Holy Land where indigenous Christian and Muslim communities are still horribly abused and dispossessed by incomers with no ancestral connection with the region.

I wonder too how Benjamin Freedman would react to finding that the US was still handing Israel billions of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars and military equipment “to help the thieves retain possession of what they have stolen”.

How many of us share Lord Montagu’s subtle distinction between American Jews and Jewish Americans, or in our case British Jews and Jewish Brits?

And how many agree with Freedman that it’s the impact Jews have on the customs and traditions of the community in which they settle, rather than their religion that causes problems?

The words of Benjamin Freedman and Lord Montagu reinforce what we’ve heard from other knowledgeable sources.  The truth is out there for those who bother to listen.

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AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 25-31 October 2016

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Inaccessible Healthcare 

Pictured here: Nazi soldiers stopped and searched Palestinian cars, IDing and detaining the drivers for over an hour. One father was on his way to take his son to the hospital.
(October 31, 2016)

 

 

Nazi soldiers at work

Olive Occupation 

Pictured here: Palestinian family members went out to harvest their olives. When they arrived at the grove, Israeli soldiers prevented them from harvesting, alleging a “security risk”.
(October 26, 2016)

 

Rooftop Invasion

Pictured here: Israeli soldiers regularly invade Palestinian homes, using their rooftops to watch over the settler tour.
(October 29, 2016)
A Settler “Hello”

Pictured here: Four armed members of the settler tour climbed the roof of a Palestinian home, making lewd gestures to Palestinians attempting to go about their daily lives in the Old City.
(October 29, 2016)
Avoiding The Line of Fire 

Pictured here: Everyday Palestinians are exposed to countless soldiers in full combat gear, which brings distress and fear especially for children. The mere exposure to weapons is an act of violence in itself. In their lifetime, the only Israelis most Palestinian children see have guns.
(October 29, 2016)
Uninvited, Lifelong Presence 

Pictured here: On the heels of the 50th year of the occupation, Israeli soldiers still patrol through the colorful market of Hebron’s old city.
(October 27, 2016)

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 25-31 October 2016

Imprisoned lives: closed Nazi military zone in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron)

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Photo credit – CPT.net

It’s like living in a prison. That’s how residents describe what Nazi forces are doing to their lives in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood and Shuhada Street in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). The area was first declared aclosed military zone on 30th October 2015 – solely and deliberately affecting the Palestinian residents. One year of Nazi collective punishment, open discrimination, racism, apartheid policies and rampant attempts at ethnic cleansing in this area, commonplace tactics of an Nazi illegal occupying force in an obvious attempt to rid the area of any Palestinian presence and instead, create a continous ‘sterile’ strip of illegal Nazi Jewish settlements.

The ‘closed military zone’ has several times been extended within this year of collective punishment of the Palestinian population, adding even more areas and ‘re-inforcing’ and creating more checkpoints, exclusively for the Palestinian civilian population. Only the Palestinian civilian residents, who must register to pass through a checkpoint to gain access to their family home, have been degraded to a mere number on a list by the Nazi forces. Only ‘registered’ residents are allowed to reach their homes. The lists of Palestinian residents have been changed repeatedly lately, arbitrarily dropping various names from the list. Apparently registering with the occupying force as a resident in one’s own home just once often isn’t sufficient.

This dehumanization of the Palestinian civilians who at the Nazi checkpoint are reduced to a number, is a deliberate tactic to create a forcible environment directly furthering ethnic cleansing. For some time Palestinian residents were assigned numbers that were marked on their IDs, completely ridding these civilians of their human aspect, instead making them a mere number on a list. Now, with those numbers temporarily not in use, Palestinians are reffered to by their ID-number. The Palestinian civilian trying to live in their own home is just that for the Nazi forces, a number, void of any humanity.

During the Jewish holiday of Sukkot,  Nazi forces basically declared a curfew on the whole area, closing Shuhada checkpoint, denying Palestinians passage while allowing exclusive access tor Nazi Jewish settlers at the same time. The prison this area is becoming for the Palestinian civilian population is further exacerbated by the fact that, if there’s a large number of Nazi forces or Nazi Jewish settlers from the nearby illegal Nazi Jewish settlements on the street, leaving the house is not an option.

One year of Nazi collective punishment – a sad anniversary that proves that the Nazi Jewish regime does not need to fear an outcry by the international community when implementing their racist, apartheid measures, ethnically cleansing an entire neighborhood. During a year in which the residents have not been allowed to receive visitors like family or friends, workers of any sort have been denied entry and even medical personnel will be turned away at the checkpoint.

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Palestinian Man Seriously Injured By Nazi Army In Ramallah

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ahmad_ayman_hamed-e1477727500666Nazi soldiers shot and seriously wounded a young Palestinian man, near Ein Yabroud town, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Saturday at dawn after he reportedly attempted to “ram Israeli soldiers with his car, then tried to stab them.”

Nazi army claims that the soldiers shot and injured the young man, identified as Ahmad Ayman Hamed, 21, after he “tried to run over them” near a military base, close to the Nazi illegal Ofra colony.

It added that the soldiers fired at the Ahmad’s vehicle, forcing him to stop, and that he allegedly stepped out of his car and “tried to stab a soldier, before he was shot and injured.”

Palestinian eyewitnesses said while the young man was driving his car, he was surprised to see a group of Nazi soldiers in his way on the main road, before the army opened fire and seriously wounded him.

They added that the wounded young man was shot with three live round in his abdomen, and was left bleeding, without any first aid.

Following the shooting, the soldiers invaded Ahmad’s home, and interrogated his family while searching their property.

Many Palestinians have been shot dead by Nazi soldiers since last year under similar allegations of attempting to ram soldiers with their car.

In September, the soldiers shot and killed a young Palestinian man, identified as Mustafa Nimir, 25, after alleging he attempted to ram them with his car, but later admitted that the man was not even the driver of the vehicle, to blame his brother-in-law for “driving erratically”

Mustafa Nimir, 25, was returning home along with his brother-in-law Ali after the two had gone shopping and purchased clothes for Ali’s six-year-old daughter, and baked goods for the family.

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What the Philippines Says Vs. What it Does

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By Joseph Thomas 

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has been identified as a menace to US foreign policy in Asia Pacific by both his supporters and his opponents. For his supporters, he is propped up as a hero of “anti-imperialism,” while his detractors claim his leadership incites instability, is nonconstructive and is leading his Southeast Asian state to ruin.

The truth, however, exists somewhere in between.

A look at the Philippines within Southeast Asia reveals a nation that has long existed within America’s geopolitical and economic sphere, but also a nation more recently emerging from that sphere, pulled into the political and economic orbit of Beijing and in a wider sense, an increasingly influential and growing Asia.

The Philippines eventually replacing its various, compromising dependencies on Washington is inevitable. Whether or not President Duterte’s recent rhetoric is proportional to the Philippines’ actual ability to replace these dependencies in the immediate and sweeping manner he has suggested is another matter entirely.

The necessity to compromise the Philippines’ sovereignty and independence in exchange for economic ties with the United States clearly is no longer in Manila’s best interests. Its trade with China and other Asian states far outweighs its trade with the United States.

Exports from the Philippines, for example, primarily remain in Asia, nearly two-thirds in fact. Exports to the US account for only about one-sixth of the Philippines’ exports. This is not insignificant, but it is clearly disproportionate to the political and economic influence the US seeks to wield both in Asia and in the Philippines specifically.

Nor is the need to continue depending on the United States to “underwrite” the Philippines’ security in the region necessary, especially since such “underwriting” generally involves protecting Manila from confrontations Washington itself intentionally provokes with the Philippines’ neighbours, including China. No clearer example of this can be seen than the recent Philippines-China row in the South China Sea, where the United States itself assembled a team of American and British lawyers to represent Manila in what it called an international tribunal which predictably ruled against Beijing in Manila’s favour.

The tribunal sought to inflame the confrontation, and bring it from a simple bilateral issue, to an increasingly serious international confrontation meant to isolate Beijing.

What the Philippines is Actually Doing… 

President Duterte’s rhetoric has been extreme, however the steps the Philippines is actually taking have been much more measured and proportional.

In regards to trade, the Philippines is on a natural trajectory to continue closing in with Beijing and the rest of Asia. Militarily, it also benefits the Philippines to incrementally remove US troops from its territory, scale back joint exercises, particularly those intentionally carried out to provoke Manila’s neighbours as well as seek new sources for cheaper and more reliable military hardware.

In terms of America’s showpiece conflict in the South China Sea, the Philippines has already distanced itself from Washington’s strategy of confrontation, encirclement and isolation in regards to Beijing and has instead attempted to resolve the issue bilaterally with Beijing itself. The expensive and time-consuming “tribunal” the United States organised for the Philippines has all but been thrown to the wayside as a result of this.

The Philippines’ shifting ties in Asia Pacific are more a matter of practicality than ideology. If practical matters dictate that the Philippines maintains some ties to the United States, it will do so. This is because despite shifting closer to Asia in general, the Philippines still has many economic and political ties to Washington that will be difficult to simply “cut” in the short-term. In the long-term, practical alternatives need to be created and incrementally implemented.

There are also a large number of Philippine political and business leaders who have no interest in severing ties with the United States, ties they directly benefit from and ties that they do not see alternatives to, with a Philippine pivot toward Beijing and the rest of Asia.

This political and economic bloc, however small, will receive increased support from the US to place pressure on Manila to slow down or even reverse its shifting ties. This can already be seen across various media platforms in and beyond the Philippines, as well as within the government itself.

Patience and Pragmatism 

President Duterte’s rhetoric is meant to stir up public support more than actually signal his nation’s real intentions. Other nations throughout Asia are also pursuing a “pivot” away from the United States and its attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific. However, they are doing it quietly, incrementally and are attempting to make whatever concessions they must with Washington to stave off large-scale, concerted attempts to destabilise or even overturn political order in each respective nation.

The Philippines has a long journey ahead of itself in establishing a more independent and self-sustaining nation state. It faces not only countervailing forces it must navigate amid Beijing and Washington’s ongoing jockeying for regional power and influence, but also internal challenges to overcome.

Should President Duterte place increased substance behind his extreme, often shifting rhetoric, and change tack toward more pragmatic and consistent policies, he may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, popular support, and improved leverage for his nation amid a tumultuous time.

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ANTI-ASAD ZIONIST PROPAGANDA

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It’s Time to Give Assad’s Soldiers a Ticket Out

The Syrian dictator’s army isn’t as loyal as you might think. Here’s a way to use that against him.

It’s Time to Give Assad’s Soldiers a Ticket Out

The popular narrative of the Syrian civil war is that of an apocalyptic conflict between two sets of diehard fanatics: The Sunni [SORRY THEY ARE NOT SUNNI THEY ARE WAHHABI’s] jihadists on one side, the Assad regime’s loyal soldiers on the other. But the reality on the ground is much more nuanced. Many Syrian recruits would like to avoid army service, but, for various reasons, are unable to do so. Their presence within the ranks of the regime doesn’t necessarily mean that they support it. [ HOW YOU KNOW THAT DID HAVE ANY STATEMENT FRON THE SYRIAN SOLDIERS?]

This situation represents a missed opportunity. While Western analysts repeatedly call for arming the opposition and establishing no-fly zones, there has been no emphasis whatsoever on establishing incentives that could encourage desertions among government troops and pro-government militias. Such desertions, if large enough, would significantly weaken the regime and make it more amenable to negotiations. [ ANOTHER LIE ]

Army service is mandatory for all 18-year-old Syrian men, with postponements allowed only for post-secondary studies, eldest sons whose fathers are deceased, and a few other cases. According to Amnesty International,

Syrians who avoid conscription face to up to 15 years in prison, though they are often pardoned and sent back to the barracks.[SAME HER IN USA]

Syrians who avoid conscription face to up to 15 years in prison, though they are often pardoned and sent back to the barracks. As a result, there are countless stories of young men who are forcibly recruited despite their opposition to the regime. Others join militias for purely economic reasons.The late Ahmad, a former civil engineering student from Latakia, fell into the latter category. As the revolution [CIA WAHHABI ‘REVOLUTION’  THAT IS A JOKE] against Assad’s rule began in 2011, he watched videos of protests on the internet, hoping to someday join one of them. But his mother had died giving birth to him, [ SO HE IS 5 YEARS OLD AND WATCHED VIDEOS IS THIS NOT ANOTHER LIE] his father was permanently disabled, and he was so poor that he could not afford the bus ticket to go to campus every morning. In 2012, he abandoned his studies and joined the Desert Falcons, a loyalist militia that granted him $125 per month to cover his sister’s college tuition and his father’s medications.

When given the choice, Syrians tend to volunteer for such paramilitary groups (often financed by wealthy businessmen) rather than joining the army, since the wages are at least double and they are generally allowed to serve near their homes. Ahmad was not so lucky as to remain in Latakia. The young man was killed near Palmyra earlier this year, defending the regime he had hated. [ HOW YOU KNOW AGAIN NO STATEMENT FROM AHMAD?]

Draft dodging is a common practice for many young Syrians who are not eager to die for the regime, [THEY DIE FOR THEIR COUNTRY] even when they oppose the Islamist character of much of the opposition. Some live in hiding in their own neighborhoods for years, evading military patrols. Others prefer to flee to the countryside, away from the “flying checkpoints” the regime sets up to track down draft dodgers in the cities. [THAT IS THE SAME IN USA DO YOU KNOW THAT?] [TO MANEY LIES I WILL STOP HER]

Ayman, who hailed from an Alawite coastal village, obtained his BA in 2011, but somehow managed to avoid conscription for another two years. As the revolution raged, he spray-painted the walls in local villages with revolutionary slogans while working on his family’s olive and tobacco farm. But in April 2013, he ran out of options, and the army finally took him.

As a poor rural youth, he couldn’t afford to flee to Europe, to bribe an official to delete his name from the reserve list, or even to pay the $300 it would take to get a six-month postponement. The socioeconomic gap between those who can avoid the draft and those who cannot is obvious in the streets of the port city of Tartus, where the “martyrs” posters, so prevalent everywhere else, are conspicuously missing in the most affluent neighborhoods.

Ayman’s story, too, is a sad one. For three years, his mental health deteriorated as he served in an army he did not support. In the end, he was killed by opposition forces in the battle for Aleppo last August. His is just one story among countless others young Syrians whose lives were cut short by coercive enlistment.

Amer Suleiman (the only real name I can use in this story) hailed from Bustan al-Hammam, a mountain village near the port of Baniyas. He dreamed of becoming a guitarist, but life had other plans: He was forced to suspend his musical education to join the army in 2011. Suleiman was dispatched to an opposition-held neighborhood in Qusayr, north of Homs. But he made a point of shooting into the air whenever he was supposed to fire his weapon. His commanders thought him mentally disturbed and had him transferred to an administrative office.

Suleiman was granted a brief reprieve when he received a leave permit in 2012. He returned to Baniyas and started teaching guitar lessons, but it didn’t last. He was soon recalled and sent to Qusayr once again. In May 2013, when he heard of a massacre perpetrated by the Syrian army and its allied militias in al-Bayda, Suleiman called his family to donate some of his clothes and savings to the displaced.

A few days later, he was killed by a rebel shell.

A few days later, he was killed by a rebel shell.Needless to say, not all army recruiting in Syria is coerced. The army and the pro-regime militias do have many loyal soldiers in addition to the gangsters and criminals who have managed to enrich and empower themselves over five years of conflict. But it’s important to highlight the widespread instances of coercive recruitment and the limited options available to rank-and-file combatants because they offer a lever the outside world has not yet tried to use.

The regional and international powers that claim to be interested in resolving the conflict — in addition to the numerous international NGOs that work in the region — should target young Syrians like Ahmad, Ayman, and Amer with psychological and financial assistance programs. In regime-held Syria, this would naturally have to be done covertly.

For a number of ideological, political, and sectarian reasons, many draft-dodgers and reluctant recruits would never join the armed opposition even if promised better wages. But providing them with financial assistance and, if needed, safe passage to flee the country, would allow them to desert or to evade the draft in the first place, depleting the ranks of those willing to die for Assad. It is relatively easy to deliver cash from Lebanon to regime-held territories via couriers, and safe passage to Lebanon could be made possible by bribing Syrian border officials. Alternatively, deserters could leave for Turkey, provided that its Western allies pressure Ankara to open the border crossings and ensure the safety of those who would escape through opposition-held territories.

But it’s not only a matter of financial or even logistical support.

But it’s not only a matter of financial or even logistical support. Greater international awareness of the plight of Syrian draft-dodgers could contribute to organized pressure on Syrian military institutions, just as in the case of the conscientious objectors (sarvanim) in Israel. There have been numerous cases of organized refusal to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, particularly among reservists. Sarvanim activist groups have petitioned British courts to issue arrest warrants against IDF war criminals and have also provided financial support to the families of incarcerated refusers. Their resistance became a matter of public debate not only in Israel but also internationally. In Syria, on the other hand, those who are reluctant to serve are afraid to even share their names.Out of an army that originally numbered over than 300,000 men, an estimated 20,000 to 100,000 Syrian soldiers have deserted since the outbreak of the uprising in 2011, although only a minority has subsequently joined the opposition. These defections have not led to the collapse of the regime because they were restricted to individual instances rather than entire divisions. Some have argued that these desertions have left the Syrian army with only the most committed troops — but the examples I’ve cited indicate otherwise.

Russia’s direct military support of Assad, which began a year ago, has strengthened the dictator’s hand to the point that he feels no need to accept compromises or take part in serious peace talks. But if a large portion of his army began to disappear, Syria’s brutal regime might reconsider its prospects for victory.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on ANTI-ASAD ZIONIST PROPAGANDA

East Jerusalem: Palestinians at risk of eviction

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A mapping exercise carried out by OCHA indicates that at least 180 Palestinian households in East Jerusalem have eviction cases filed against them. Most of these cases were initiated by Israeli settler organizations, based on ownership claims, as well as claims that the residents are no longer ‘protected tenants’. As a result, 818 Palestinians, including 372 children, are at risk of displacement. This mapping aims at filling a longstanding information gap and to improve preparedness and targeted responses, both in preventive legal aid and post-eviction assistance.

In recent years, Israeli settlers have intensified efforts to take control of properties within Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. This has led to restrictions on public space, residential growth and freedom of movement for Palestinians and resulted in tensions and clashes. Settler takeover of these properties exacerbates the coercive environment facing Palestinians and increases their risk of forcible transfer.

The eviction cases exist within the context of Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and the subsequent extension of its domestic legal jurisdiction to the annexed area. UN Security Council resolutions affirm that all legislative and administrative measures taken by Israel to alter the character and status of Jerusalem are null and void. (See, inter alia, Security Council resolutions 252, 267, 471, 476 and 478.)

Map: East Jerusalem - Palestinians at risk of eviction

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November 2016
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