Tag Archives: Palestinians align with opposition

Palestinians Rebut Blumenthal & Other Critics of Syria’s Revolution

12 Oct
On The Allies We’re Not Proud Of: A Palestinian Response to Troubling Discourse on Syria
We, the undersigned Palestinians, write to affirm our commitment to the amplification of Syrian voices as they endure slaughter and displacement at the hands of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. We are motivated by our deep belief that oppression, in all of its manifestations, should be the primary concern of anyone committed to our collective liberation. Our vision of liberation includes the emancipation of all oppressed peoples, regardless of whether or not their struggles fit neatly into outdated geopolitical frameworks.We are concerned by some of the discourse that has emerged from progressive circles with regards to the ongoing crisis in Syria. In particular, we are embarrassed by the ways in which some individuals known for their work on Palestine have failed to account for some crucial context in their analysis of Syria.

The Syrian revolution was in fact a natural response to 40 years of authoritarian rule. The Assad regime, with the support of its foreign financial and military backers, is attempting to preserve its power at the expense of the millions of Syrians whom the regime has exiled, imprisoned, and massacred. We believe that minimizing this context in any discussion of Syria dismisses the value of Syrian self-determination and undermines the legitimacy of their uprising.

We also believe that an important consequence of all foreign interventions, including those purportedly done on behalf of the uprising, has been the setback of the original demands of revolution. The revolution is a victim, not a product, of these interventions. It is imperative for any analysis of Syria to recognize this fundamental premise. We cannot erase the agency of Syrians struggling for liberation, no matter how many players are actively working against them.

Though we maintain that the phenomenon of foreign aid demands thorough critique, we are concerned by the ways in which foreign aid has been weaponized to cast suspicion on Syrian humanitarian efforts. Foreign aid is not unique to Syria; it is prevalent in Palestine as well. We reject the notion that just because an organization is receiving foreign aid, it must follow then that that organization is partaking in some shadowy Western-backed conspiracy. Such nonsense has the effect of both undermining humanitarian efforts while simultaneously whitewashing the very crimes against humanity that necessitated the aid in the first place.

Furthermore, we object to the casual adoption of “war on terror” language. Enemies of liberation have historically used this rhetoric to target humanitarians, organizers, and community members. From Muhammad Salah to the Midwest 23 to the Holy Land Five, our community is all too familiar with the very real consequence of employing a “war on terror” framework. Therefore, we reject a discourse that perpetuates these old tactics and peddles harmful and unwarranted suspicion against Syrians.

Along these lines, it is our position that any discussion of Syria that neglects the central role of Bashar Al-Assad and his regime in the destruction of Syria directly contradicts the principles of solidarity by which we abide. We have reflected on our own tendency to heroize those who advocate on behalf of the Palestinian struggle, and we fear that some members of our community may have prioritized the celebrity status of these individuals over the respect and support we owe to those Syrians affected most directly by the war, as well as those living in the diaspora whose voices have been dismissed as they have watched their homeland be destroyed.

We will no longer entertain individuals who fail to acknowledge the immediate concerns of besieged Syrians in their analysis. Despite reaching out to some of these individuals, they have shown an unwillingness to reflect on the impact of their analysis. We regret that we have no choice left but to cease working with these activists whom we once respected.

We would like to encourage others who are guided by similar principles to do the same.

Abdulla AlShamataan
Abdullah M
Adam Akkad
Adnan Abd Alrahman
Ahmad Al-Sholi
Ahmad Kaki
Ahmad N
Ahmed A
Ala K
Ala’a Salem
Alex T
Ali A. Omar
Amal Ayesh
Amanda Michelle
Amani Alkowni
Ameen Q.
Amena Elmashni
Amira S
Andrew Kadi
Bashar Subeh
Bayan Abusneineh
Budour Hassan
Butheina Hamdah
Dana Itayem
Dana M
Dania Mukahhal
Dania Mukahhal
Diana J.A.
Dareen Mohamad
Dena E.
Diana Naoum
Dina A.
Dina Moumin
Dorgham Abusalim
Dr. Isam Abu Qasmieh
Eman Abdelhadi
Eyad Mohamed Alkurabi
Eyad Hamid
Farah Saeed
Faran Kharal
Faten Awwad
Fatima El-ghazali
Fouad Halbouni
Hadeel Hejja
Haitham Omar
Haleemah A
Hana Khalil
Hanin Shakrah
Hanna Alshaikh
Hani Barghouthi
Haneen Amra
Hareth Yousef
Hazem Jamjoum
Heba Nimr
Helal Jwayyed
Husam El-Qoulaq
Ibraheem Sumaira
Imran Salha
Jackie Husary
Jannine M
Jehad Abusalim
Jihad Ashkar
Jennifer Mogannam
Joey Husseini Ayoub
Jumana Al-Qawasmi
Karmel Sabri
Kefah Elabed
Khaled B
Laith H
Lama Abu Odeh
Lama Abu Odeh
Lana Barkawi
Lara Abu Ghannam
Leila Abdelrazaq
Lila Suboh
Linah Alsaafin
Lojayn Ottman
Lubna H
Lubna Morrar
Loubna Qutami
Magda Magdy
Mai Nasrallah
Mahmoud Khalil
Maisa Morrar
Majed A
Majed Abuzahriyeh
Manal Abokwidir
Manal El Haj
Maram Kamal
Mariam Saleh
Mariam Barghouti
Mekarem E.
Mariam Abu Samra
Mira Shihadeh
Mohamad Sabbah
Mohammad Al-Ashqar
Mohamed Hassan
Mohammad Abou-Ghazala
Mona N
Msallam Mohammed AbuKhalil
Nadia Ziadat
Nadine H
Nayef Al Smadi
Nidal Bitari
Nour Azzouz
Nour Salman
Nusayba Hammad
Omar Coolaq
Omar Jamal
Osama Mor
Omar Zahzah
Osama Khawaja
Rami Okasha
Rana Asad
Randa MKW
Rani Allan
Rania Salem
Ramzi Issa
Rasha A.
Rawan A.
Rawya Makboul
Reem J
Reem S
Reema A
Riad AlArian
Riya Al-Sanah
Ryah A
Sabreen Ettaher
Salim Salamah
Samar Batrawi
Samar Azzaidani
Sameeha Elwan
Samia S.
Sami J
Sami Shahin
Samya Abu-Orf
Sarah Ghouleh
Sara Zubi
Sarah Abu.
Sarah Ali
Sarah Shahin
Shady Zarka
Seham A
Shifa Alkhatib
Shahrazad Odeh
Shirien D
Sima Dajani
Sonia Farsakh
Susan Al-Suqi
Tahani H.
Taher Herzallah
Talal Alyan
Tamar Ghabin
Tarek Abou-Ghazala
Tareq R
Tasneem Abu-Hejleh
Tawfieq Mousa
Yahiya Saad
Yamila shannan
Yasmeen sh
Yasser Quzz
Yazan Amro
Zaid Muhammad
Zachariah Barghouti
Zeina Labadi

SOAS Palestine Society

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Syria Update, October 31, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur

1 Nov

Syria Update, October 31, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Death toll: More than 130 Syrians killed today including 55 unarmed civilians.

Yesterday’s death toll: 187

The Syrian opposition announced the Liwa al-Asifa (Storm Brigade) a Palestinian-only group at Yarmouk camp which intends to support and defend Yarmouk (where 150,000 Palestinian refugees live) against the Syrian military and the faction of Ahmed Jibril, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) which has backed Assad and fought camp residents as well as FSA fighters.
Aleppo province: The Syrian military’s shelling and snipers killed 4 civilians within the city of Aleppo. The Syrian military shelled a bakery in Kafr Hamra killing a woman and two children.
The Syrian military shelled the towns of Meyer and Anadan today and al-Atarib, where 10 civilians were killed.

Damascus province: An explosive device planted on a motorcycle went off outside the Yasser Hotel at the Sayyida Zeinab shrine killing 8. http://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/bomb-attack-near-shrine-kills-8-south-damascus-watchdog
A huge explosion was heard in Tadamon. The Syrian military shelled the town of Zamalka killing or injuring 15.

A car bomb was reported to have gone off in Mu`adamiyya which killed 1 person. A sniper killed 4 in Mu`adamiyya. The Syrian military bombarded the Eastern Ghouta. Airstrikes and shelling by tanks leveled an area of the city of Duma shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_8KVCcN-dlo
The Syrian military killed 2 in Daraya. The Syrian military’s shelling killed 1 person in Irbeen. One person was tortured to death by the Syrian military in the town of Hamah after detention. A sniper killed 1 person in Harasta. There were 23 deaths in Duma , 18 civilians and 5 opposition fighters

Dara`a province: A nurse from Khirbet Ghazala was killed while aiding the wounded in the town of al-Hrak. A sniper killed 1 person in al-Hrak. Firing by the Syrian military killed one young man in the city of Dar`a.
Deir az-Zur: The Syrian military used warplanes to shell the city of Deir az-Zur today. An oil pipeline in the province was shelled today.

Homs province: A sniper killed 1 in the Deir Ba`lba neighborhood of Homs.

The Syrian military shelled the village of Abel killing 3. One man was killed when those at a military checkpoint fired on his car. Pro-regime elements killed a civilian in the village of Eidoun.

Idlib province: The Syrian military shelled the towns of Binish, Jisr al-Shughour, Kanssara and Taftanaz today. The Syrian military shelled the towns of Temnes, Mahambal and Ma`arat al-Nu`man killing 6 men. 3 unidentified bodies were found near the hospital in Idlib.

Latakia province: Clashes took place in Salma today.

A Facebook page run by Assad supporters claims that Iran and the Assad regime managed to create the Hurricane Sandy using “advanced technology.” The same claim was made by the Syrian Armed Forces. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/10/30/pro-assad-page-claims-syria-and-iran-engineered-hurricane-sandy/

International: Syrian opposition groups met for 3 days in a workshop in Silivri near Istanbul under the auspices of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies, headed by Radwan Ziadeh, and called for the rapid formation of a government-in-exile. The group said it would take Syria’s 1950 constitution as a reference point for the formation of a new constitution.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday and requested Germany’s help in dealing with Syrian refugees. Merkel had praised Turkish restraint in responding to the cross-border fire on Turkish citizens.

Syrian cartoonist, Ali Ferzat, whose hands were broken by Syrian security forces last year, is applying for a license along with former Syrian news anchor, Ibrahim Jubain to publish his satirical magazine, al-Domari (the Lamp Lighter) in Cairo. He had founded al-Domari in Syria in 2000, but the Assad government forced it to close in 2003.

The U.S. plans to support the Riad Saif initiative and a new Syrian opposition body intended to supplant the Syrian National Council to be formed in a meeting in Qatar on November 3 and announced just following the U.S. election. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/30/obama_administration_works_to_launch_new_syrian_opposition_council Elsewhere this new body is being called the National Initiative Council and has 51 members. Reports have it that Syria’s defected prime minister Riyad Hijab has been named to the council.

UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has traveled to China for meetings with Yang Jeichi, China’s Foreign Minister concerning Syria. China has vetoed 3 UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Different accounts are circulating about the assassination of Syrian air force commander General Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi. The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility, but others believe that government agents killed al-Khalidi to prevent him from defecting.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov said that if the West insists on the departure of Bashar al-Assad, then the bloodbath in Syria will continue. He made these remarks after talks with the French minister of foreign affairs, Laurent Fabius.

“Our Name Is Blood” By Mohja Kahf

For decades, Syria was a black hole
in the imaginations of the people down my street.
I had to make jokes about serial killers
or corn flakes, to get across the name
of the country of my first words
and the world’s first alphabet.
Seriously. Today, “Syria-killer” is no joke,
and Syrians bleed across every neighbor’s screen.
The world knows us now, but only by blood.
Not blood like the one-drop rule of race;
blood like tiny throats slit in Houla.
Blood like a family’s limbs blown apart
by a barrel bomb, the kind Asaad keeps dropping
in residential areas. Now we know the phrase
“barrel bomb” too. Syrians enrich the world.