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Future of Yarmouk unclear as PLO abandons aid convoy to besieged refugee camp

Allison Deger on

This week a horrific scene unfolded in Syria as a besieged Palestinian refugee camp fell under attack by ISIS and al-Nusra Front, another extremist Salafi group. When the fighters gained control of Yarmouk in Damascus, harrowing reports circulated of ISIS’s iconic beheadings and executions. This time it was Palestinian refugees who were victim and amid the chaos 18,000 Palestinians and Syrians were stranded and starving behind ISIS sharpshooters. In response, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank announced they were planning to coordinate a major convoy that would truck humanitarian aid inside of Yarmouk. Then yesterday, the Palestinian officials reversed their decision.

Yarmouk-based NGO chronicles week of ISIS attacks on the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria

Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief on

On April 1, 2015 armed groups belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched an attack on Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, , which is the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria. The Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief which operates on the ground in Yarmouk compiled this timeline of the attack from people who witnessed the unfolding events first hand.

In Their Own Words: Four residents of Yarmouk speak

Talal Alyan on

Four Palestinian residents of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria reflect on the state of the camp, what Palestine means to them now after what they have experienced and what they would want to say to Palestinians outside of Syria.

End the silence — Support Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk

Mariam Barghouti on

The case of Palestinian refugees is a prevailing topic when discussing Palestine and liberation, but when Palestinian refugees are being besieged and slaughtered in Syria there is a piercing silence towards them. Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus has been under siege for nearly 550 days and counting. Over 1,020 Palestinians have died in the camp by torture in regime jails, execution, and bombing.

Hamas is ISIS for dummies

Philip Weiss on

The organization that pushed the latest beheading video in the press is a Zionist group, SITE. And once again, neoconservatives and Zionists are using an American journalist’s gruesome murder to put forward the nonsensical claim that Hamas, a resistance force in Palestine, and ISIS are the same. Sadly, even Chris Matthews is drumming up “nationalistic” response to the killings.

Interminable Nakba: Syrian Palestinians return to the unknown

Ahmad Diab on

Like other Syrians, Syrian Palestinians are collateral damage to both the Syrian regime’s bombing and the international approach that chooses to manage the disintegration of Syria. The crisis of Al-Yarmuk has unearthed trans-generational memories of the 1948 Nakba, kept alive by the obduracy of second- and third-generation refugees now witnessing their camps – their neighborhoods – disappear like those of their grandparents.

Death toll rises in Yarmouk as siege and bombings continue

Allison Deger on

A week ago the world rejoiced when food trucks finally arrived to Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria to alleviate mass starvation, but since then the siege is back. Even after the food arrived, it did little to curtail starvation throughout the camp of 40,000. The death toll now has exceeded 63,

While you were neutral about Yarmouk

Talal Alyan on

The Pro-Palestinian movement was delayed in picking up on the tragic unraveling of Yarmouk. It took the work of a great deal of dedicated activists to force it into the forefront of the solidarity movement’s agenda. What couldn’t be predicted, however, was that, in the place of silence, an ugly neutrality would hover over the new-founded concern.

Cornell SJP responds to the situation in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp

Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine on

Over the past year, as a result of a fraught military escalation, Yarmouk has become a charnel house, the overwhelming majority of its people in flight, while the remaining few die of starvation. We cannot accept this. No one has the right to deny another food, or to use food as a weapon of war. For that reason, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine stands with the remaining few Palestinians in Yarmouk. We ask that the government coordinate with the United Nations or other capable and non-compromised agencies to ensure that the people of Yarmouk can eat. We demand that the armed groups respect its neutrality and leave the camp immediately. And we insist that the Palestinian refugees in Syria be allowed home to Palestine.

Is Rwanda the Israel of Africa?

Marc H. Ellis on

Is Rwanda the Israel of Africa? Rwanda has taken more or less the same post-genocide road as Israel – aggressive militarism under the guise of innocence for past suffering. If we speak the truth about post-Holocaust Israel and post-genocide Rwanda, Holocaust remembrance takes another turn.

Red Lines and Green Lights: Israel still angling for attack on Syria and Iran

Jonathan Cook on

President Obama may have drawn his seemingly regretted “red line” around Syria’s chemical weapons, but it was neither he nor the international community that turned the spotlight on their use. That task fell to Israel. Israel still desperately wants its chief foe, Iran, crushed. And if it can find a way to lever the US into doing its dirty work, it will exploit the opening – regardless of whether such action ramps up the suffering in Syria.

How to get from Kigali to Syria via the Holocaust

James Schamus on

Elie Wiesel, Shmuley Boteach, Sheldon Adelson and Birthright Israel Co-founder Michael Steinhardt are teaming up with Rwandan President, and war criminal, Paul Kagame to push for an attack on Syria.

Ilan Pappe weighs in on One State

Marc H. Ellis on

Containment allows Israel to keep everything it has taken in Jerusalem and the West Bank – with more to come — Marc Ellis, at Mondo

Syrian chemical weapons deal puts pressure on Israel to sign weapons treaties

Annie Robbins on

John Kerry landed in Israel yesterday after meeting with with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva to iron out a deal over Syria’s chemical weapons disposal. Although the trip to Israel was hyped in some quarters as “a personal mission to try to achieve a long-elusive peace deal between Israel and the PA”, Barak Ravid reporting in Haaretz zeros in on a topic we discussed earlier, Will Kerry ask Israel to ratify chemical weapons treaty, with Syria plan afoot?

Our indigenous preoccupation

Marc H. Ellis on

The claim that the Jewish form of the prophetic is the root of the Jewish tradition and is peculiar to it is challenged by neo-conservative Jews and Jews on the universalist Left. Jewish neoconservatives want empire without internal critique; Jews on the universal Left want justice without a claim of particularity. However, due to the highly charged nature of Jewish history, no matter what Jews want they can’t have it both ways.