Palestine
apartheid wall

Free Syria solidarity statement with Palestine

The Intersectional Syria website has issued a “Statement of Free Syrians in Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” opening: “We, Syrians united in the revolutionary struggle against the Assad regime and its imperialist sponsors, stand firmly and unequivocally with the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank and across historic Palestine, in their fight for liberation from Israeli colonisation, occupation and apartheid.” In addition to drawing parallels between bombardment and repression by Israel and the Bashar Assad dictatorship, the statement emphasizes the historical and cultural links between the Syrian and Palestinian peoplesā€”and accuses the Assad regime of hypocritically exploiting the Palestinian cause in rhetoric while betraying it in actual deeds.Ā (Photo of man painting Palestinian and Syrian flags on the West BankĀ separation wall, via Intersectional Syria)

Syria
Jisr al-Shughur

Russia, Israel both still bombing Syria

At least 13 people, nine of them civilians, were killed in Russian air-strikes within the so-called “de-escalation zone” in northern Syria’s Idlib province, with some of the strikes hitting a crowded vegetable market. The area targeted in the raid, already suffering a severe displacement crisis, is controlled by the Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Islamist faction. Meanwhile, sporadic Israeli air-strikes on regime-held Syrian territory also continueā€”with apparent tacit approval from Russia, as long as they target the Iranian military presence in the country. (Photo: @SyriaCivilDef)

Palestine
settlement

Defiant Israel to expand West Bank settlements

Israel’s right-wing nationalist government announced new plansĀ to approve the construction of thousands of new buildings in the occupied West Bank, despite pressure from both the USand EU to halt settlement expansion. Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who has just been granted authority over approval of West Bank settlement construction in a cabinet decision, tweeted in explicitly annexationist language: “The construction boom in Judea and Samaria and all over our country continues.” The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for US and international action to press the Israeli government to backtrack on the decision. (Photo of settlement outsideĀ Za’atara:Ā Ralf Roletschek via Wikimedia Commons)

Palestine
Palestine

Israel’s paramilitary plan advances

The Israeli cabinetĀ authorized plans for a paramilitary “National Guard” sought by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to target violence and unrest in Palestinian communities within Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that a committee comprised of Israel’s existing security forces is to determine the Guard’s responsibilities, and whether it will be subordinate to the Israel Police or take orders directly from Ben-Gvir, as he demands. Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded by calling the plan an “extremist fantasy of delusional people,” and slammed a decision to cut budgets from other ministries “to fund Ben-Gvir’s private militia.” (Photo: RJA1988 via Jurist)

Palestine
settlement

UN seeks World Court opinion on occupation of Palestine

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution referring Israel’s 55-year occupation of Palestinian territories to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a legal advisory. The vote, which followed approval of a draft resolution by the Special Committee on Decolonization, was 87-26, with 53 abstentions. The Palestinian Authority welcomed the vote, saying in a statement: “The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law, and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people.”Ā But the response of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who returned to power just two days before the vote, makes clear his government’s annexationist agenda. He stated:Ā “The Jewish people is not occupying its land and is not occupying its eternal capital Jerusalem. No UN resolution can distort this historical truth.”Ā The far-right coalition that now takes power has pledged to expand Israeli settlement of the West Bank. Ā (Photo: delayed gratification via New Jewish Resistance)

Palestine
Palestine

UN report: occupation of Palestine ‘unlawful’

The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,Ā released its second report, stating there are “reasonable grounds to conclude that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is now unlawful under international law due to its permanence and the Israeli Government’s de-facto annexation policies.” The commission called for the UN Security Council to bring to an end the “illegal situation resulting from the permanent occupation imposed by Israel” and require Israel to bring “its permanent occupation to an end immediately.”Ā (Photo: RJA1988 via Jurist)

Palestine
Jerusalem

State Department: Jerusalem ‘capital of Israel’

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announcedĀ that “the State Department will allow US citizens born in Jerusalem to request either ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Israel’ as their place of birth on consular documents,” including passports. The announcement is the latest in US pro-Israel policy shifts that began with President Trump’s December 2017 proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. The proclamation reversed decades of US policy and drew criticism from the international community. In May 2018, the US Embassy in Israel was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Photo:Ā Ma’an News Agency)

Syria
syria refugees

Syria: controlled elections amid deepening crisis

To nobody’s surprise, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s bloc won a majority of seats in the country’s parliamentary election, dismissed as a farce by the exiled opposition.Ā As in the presidential elections that confirmed Assad’s hold on the presidency in 1994, millions displaced by the war were not able to vote. The elections were held amid a deepening economic crisis, with the UN notingĀ a 200% food price hike in under a year and warning of widespread hunger. Russia and China meanwhile continue to use their veto on the Security Council to block aid deliveriesĀ to opposition-held areas. (Photo: UNICEFĀ via UN News)

Watching the Shadows
anti-semitism

Trump’s EO on anti-Semitism abets anti-Semitism

President Trump’s executive order, ostensibly extending civil rights protections to Jewish students on college campuses, is a masterpiece of propaganda and disguised motives, actually criminalizing opposition to the expropriation of the Palestinians, making a consistent anti-racist position legally impossibleā€”and thereby, paradoxically, abetting anti-Semitism. (Image: frgdr.com)

Syria

Did Assad sign off on Israeli air-raid in Syria?

After years of presumed Israeli air-strikes on Iranian forces in Syria, the IDF finally carried out air-strikes that were publicly acknowledged,Ā hitting a compound near Damascus supposedly shared by the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force and Hezbollah militants. The strikes follow reports in the Israeli press that there is an “undeclared pact” between Assad and Netanyahu allowing Israel toĀ strike Iranian targets in Syria in exchange for diplomatic assistance in regional “normalization” of the Assad regime. (Photo:Ā Israel Aerospace Industries viaĀ Jerusalem Post)

Palestine

Escalation in Gaza; Orwell in Golan

Amid a new round of Israeli air-strikes on Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Donald Trump in Washington for the signing of a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory. At the joint press conference, Trump said, "We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism." We hope it is unnecessary to point out the perversity of Trump exploiting the threat of anti-Semitism to justify US recognition of an illegal Israeli annexation of Syrian territory. (Image: Ma'an)

Syria

Syria endgame: whither Idlib?

With the fall of Syria’s southern province of Daraa to Assad regime forces, only Idlib in the north remains as a last pocket of opposition control. The besieged rebel forces there are anticipating a final offensive by Assad and his Russian backers. But a complicating factor isĀ that Turkey is occupying areas of Idlib, which means an offensive there threatens international escalation. Speaking to reporters before heading for a summit of emerging market countries in South Africa, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would speak there with Vladimir Putin about how to resolve “the issue of Idlib.” This points to a possible carve-up deal, in which the bulk of Syria falls under Assad with Russian protection, Idlib remains under rebel control with Turkish protection, and the northeastern Rojava region will remain a Kurdish autonomous zone under US protection. (Photo: Syria News)