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‘Refugees are a tool of war’ — the view from the Syrian border

Alice Rothchild on

Rev. Nour Sahawneh aids thousands of refugees at his church in Mafraq, Jordan, near sprawling city-like camps. “Their lives are a disaster,” he tells Alice Rothchild. “They are a tool of war. They became a subject in a war, not a people to help… War is business.”

Almost 1 million Syrian children can’t go to school

Nisrine Makkouk and Leila Rafei on

In Lebanon, one of the countries that has been most burdened by the Syrian refugee crisis, public schools are strained to the limits. Schooldays operate on a two-shift schedule—the first half of the day is for Lebanese children (and some Syrians if space permits), and the second half is for Syrian children. Still, half of all Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t go to school at all.

Kerry’s Syrian illusion

Marc H. Ellis on

Is Kerry pursuing regime change in Syria or is he posturing for the world community? Kerry should get off his anti-Iran soapbox and get on with helping to end the suffering of the Syrian people.

If only the Palestinians were Syrians…

Today in Palestine on

I’m having a hard time getting over the misleading and inadequate attention that the MSM is placing on the daily struggle for freedom that has been going on in the occupied Palestinian territories for decades now.  There are political arrests, mass detentions, torture, military trials for children, detention without charge–-one fourth of the Palestinian population […]

Those crazy Syrians

Philip Weiss on

Yesterday the State Department site posted a “Question Taken” at last Friday’s Daily Press Briefing– that is, a question that spokesperson Victoria Nuland said she would get an answer to later. Question: Did Ambassador Ford brief Syrian officials on the alleged Iranian plot? Answer: No. We did not expect a constructive response from the Syrian […]

Nov. 4 Is ‘Last Chance Gas’ for Neocons

Philip Weiss on

The BBC says that the reported American raid into Syria that killed eight people, and which the Syrians are enraged about, may have a political root. With the Bush administration on the way out, this US military incursion may represent…

In a parallel universe where I am a Syrian refugee

Maurice Ebileeni on

Maurice Ebileeni reflects on his family’s history of becoming Palestinian citizens of Israel during the Nakba instead of refugees in Lebanon or Syria. Aylan el-Kurdi tragic death has made him realize how easily he could be a refugee attempting to flee Syria now if his family had only made a different choice decades ago.

Banksy’s bold statement on Syrian refugees

Annie Robbins on

World-famous British artist Banksy has made a bold statement about refugees in his latest artwork depicting Steve Jobs, the visionary CEO and cofounder of Apple, on a wall in “The Jungle” refugee camp outside the port city of Calais in northern France. The piece is simply titled “the son of a migrant from Syria.”

Israeli celebration starts on page A1 of the New York Times

Adam Horowitz on

From the Times story, “Israel Reminds Foes That It Has Teeth”– a lesson the countless foes had surely forgotten since the Gaza blockade, the attacks on protesters in the West Bank, the Syrian raid, and the cluster bombs spread over…

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.

Druze Arabs in the occupied Golan Heights discuss borders, identity, colonialism and war

Aaron Cantú on

Aaron Cantú visits Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan Heights and interviews Wael Tarabieh, who led a cultural center that became a center of local support for the Syrian revolution in 2011, and Kamara Abu Saleh, who works at the anti-occupation human rights group Al-Marsad. They discuss the changing understandings of Druze identity in Israel and the impact of the Syrian civil war on the Golan Heights.

Free Razan Ghazzawi: Syrian blogger, feminist, and activist

Scott Long on

Razan Ghazzawi STATEMENT BY HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AND DEFENDERS (Link to statement in Arabic) Authorities in Syria arrested Syrian blogger, feminist, and activist for free expression Razan Ghazzawi on December 4, 2011. She was at the Jordanian border, traveling to attend a conference on media freedom in the Arab world. She was representing the Syrian […]

Syrian death tolls and the kinder gentler jihadists

Donald Johnson on

The answer to a failed intervention is, more intervention. And to justify such a policy, the interventionist media cite low civilian casualty figures in the Iraq war, and now appears to be grossly undercounting civilian deaths caused by rebels in Syria.

Trump’s support of Israel’s annexation of the Golan

Helena Cobban on
President Donald Trump holds up an executive proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory at the White House in Washington DC, Monday, March 25, 2019. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

On March 25, Donald Trump signed an order proclaiming U.S. support for Israel’s annexation of the Golan. This act ended Washington’s opposition to any acquisition of territory by force– a principle that has been a key pillar of the global order since the United Nations was founded in 1945. Washington’s new policy on Golan may well now allow the US company Genie Energy to go ahead and plunder the oil and gas reserves that its Israeli subsidiary discovered in Golan in 2015, and Trump’s step changes the political dynamic within Syria, too.

Falling off the edge: Iraqi and Syrian refugees

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”

Amina Abdallah Araf, gay Syrian blogger?

Today in Palestine on

Phil and Saleema picked up the intriguing story that is now generating international attention of the lesbian Syrian blogger, Amina Abdallah Araf, who was allegedly picked up by Syrian security forces a few days ago.  Andy Carvin from NPR and a few other bloggers who were motivated by a desire to help free Amina have […]

Abu Dhabi Newspaper Speaks Openly of Syrian Repression

Philip Weiss on

An amazing piece of reporting in The National about the Qubeisiat, a secretive women’s movement inside Islamic fundamentalism that has gained a foothold in secular Syria and is convincing young women to put on the hijab. Author Rhonda Roumani is…