A Call to Stop the Bombing of Aleppo

A Statement from Friends for a NonViolent World (FNVW)

FNVW Calls for Stopping the Bombing of Aleppo

It is time for all peace organizations to speak out clearly.  We at FNVW since 2011 have supported both the Syrian nonviolent movement and nonviolent activists in their struggle for human rights and a democratic Syria for all Syrians without any group monopolizing power to impose its own agenda.

Throughout this struggle FNVW has opposed the United States as well as any other country or organization sending weapons and/or troops to any of the parties in the conflict. Friends for a NonViolent World affirmed that the United States must remain solely committed to diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to resolve this crisis.  And we have been outspoken in our opposition to the extreme Salafist groups in the armed opposition and any party in the conflict who have committed crimes against humanity. Continue reading “A Call to Stop the Bombing of Aleppo”

Syria’s Medical and Humanitarian Nightmare: Interview with Dr. Zaher Sahloul

Since their days as medical school classmates, Bashar al-Assad and Zaher Sahloul have followed rather different paths: one became a war criminal; the other, a humanitarian advocate.

Dr. Sahloul is the immediate past president of and a senior advisor to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), a humanitarian and advocacy organization that provides medical relief to Syrians and Syrian refugees. Last year, SAMS served 2.5 million patients in five different countries. (The organization’s vital work is featured in the recent documentary film 50 Feet from Syriawhich is available on Netflix.)

Dr. Sahloul is also the founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria, a coalition of 14 US-based humanitarian organizations working in Syria. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and is a practicing physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine. He has written about the medical and humanitarian crisis in Syria for Foreign Policy and the Huffington Post, among other outlets.

I conducted this interview with Dr. Sahloul for the Middle East Dialogues series produced by the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies on April 26 — less than 48 hours before the Assad regime’s airstrike on the MSF-supported pediatric hospital in Aleppo that killed dozens of patients and doctors, including one of the city’s last remaining pediatricians.

Go here to volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society (you do not need to be a doctor or medical professional) and here to donate to the organization.

In Syria, Rebuilding Bombed Hospitals Is an Act of Resistance

Re-posted from Truthout

Saturday, 14 May 2016

By Charles Davis, Truthout | Report

Charles-Davis-Truthout
Buildings destroyed by fire in Damascus, Syria, April 24, 2016. Five years after the conflict began, Syrians are crowdsourcing money online to rebuild and fortify bombed hospitals. (Photo: Declan Walsh / The New York Times)

The horror of the conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, can be measured with statistics: over 400,000 people dead; half the population displaced; the life expectancy of a newborn child dropping from 76 years in 2011 to under 56 years in 2016. But the grotesque absurdity of this revolution turned civil war is perhaps best captured by the fact that today Syrians are forced to crowdsource money online to rebuild and fortify bombed hospitals.

“In our worst dreams — in our worst nightmares — we never thought we would have to fortify hospitals.”

Continue reading “In Syria, Rebuilding Bombed Hospitals Is an Act of Resistance”

Let’s Talk About Genocide: Shurat HaDin and The Genocide Legalization Conference

This week, the organization Shurat HaDin is having a conference titled “Towards a New Law of War”. They don’t hide where their alliances lie, and on their online conference page (nostalgically illustrated with WWII British bombers) you can find their Western-supremacist and racist agenda stated loud and clear:

…exchange ideas regarding the development of armed conflict legal doctrine favorable to Western democracies engaged in conflict against non­traditional, non­-democratic, non-­state actors.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Genocide: Shurat HaDin and The Genocide Legalization Conference”

JPost editor David Horovitz embarrasses himself

On Friday, editor of The Jerusalem Post David Horovitz published a comment piece under the title, ‘Guess what: Our enemies lie‘. Discussing the recent Nakba and Naksa protests, the emphasis of the op-ed was that the IDF “continues to pay a high price for its incomprehensible refusal to counter, in real time, the relentless distortion of unfolding events and, especially, the falsehoods about death tolls”.

Horovitz eventually gets round to expanding on his allegation of “the false reporting of death tolls”, and he starts by citing the example of Jenin in 2002, when, in his words, the IDF “was despicably accused by the Palestinian leadership, in numerous international media outlets, of killing hundreds if not thousands of unarmed Palestinians”.

He goes on:

The ultimately confirmed figures indicated some 55 armed Palestinian and 23 IDF fatalities in Jenin, but by the time those numbers emerged Israel had been besmirched worldwide as an indiscriminate mass killer, its name blackened even by some of its erstwhile supporters.

Now if you’re going to write an article on false death tolls, you had better make sure you get your own facts right. Unfortunately for Horovitz, he didn’t.

In their report on events in Jenin, Human Rights Watch documented that “at least twenty-two of those confirmed dead were civilians, including children, physically disabled, and elderly people”. Moreover, “many of the civilian deaths” amounted to “unlawful or willful killings by the IDF” – and some “amounted to summary executions”.

An early assessment by Physicians for Human Rights, using hospital figures of 45 dead, noted that “children under the age of 15 years, women and men over the age of 50 years accounted for nearly 38% of all fatalities.” Amnesty International also recorded “unlawful killings” by the IDF in Jenin.

But for Horovitz, the “ultimately confirmed figure” was “55 armed Palestinians”. As with so much propaganda by Israel’s apologists, this latest complaint about ‘false death tolls’ turns out to be a case of projection.

Google Anat Kam, but Don’t Forget the Palestinians

"Google Anat Kam" Sprayed in my neighborhood two days before the story erupted in Israel.

A few weeks ago the tiny activist circuit in Israel was abuzz about news of a gossip journalist that was under secret house arrest for revealing secret army documents that incriminate the most high-ranking army officials, including Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

We were all on the verge of making a huge ruckus, when word came from her and her lawyers that they don’t want the media attention at this time. Last I heard this was still the request, but if Fox News is reporting it, I think it’s time for me to stop respecting her erroneous wishes.

The Real Scoop – Institutionalized Murder
Let’s begin by stating a simple fact: Anat Kam isn’t the scoop. Kam’s story is very important, in respect to our local, deteriorating non-existent-democracy, and I’ll get to it in a moment. But first let’s talk about Kam’s findings, which have bearing on the lives of Palestinians, Israelis and international community as a whole- should it choose to allow such flagrant breaches of international law.

Our story begins in the edges of journalism, where only activists reside. The main scoop, can be found in the breaking news Ha’aretz article, by Uri Blau, titled Secret IDF Documents: The Chief of Staff and the IDF Elite Authorized the Termination of Wanted People and Innocents:

Continue reading “Google Anat Kam, but Don’t Forget the Palestinians”