Focusing on the refugees around the world, on Palestine, Kashmir, the Rohingya, the Uyghur, Syria, Yemen, & all the other conflict zones can get mighty overwhelming. But the alternative is to turn our backs & start posting photos of puppy dogs & our favorite green bean casseroles. Nothing would ever change in the face of our indifference. The point is to change the world which is the commitment of men & women of good will the world around.
Phan Thi Kim Phuc (on the left) became known as “Napalm girl” from this 1972 photo of her & other children fleeing a US napalm attack in Vietnam. It is being rightly compared to the little Syrian girl (on the right) fleeing Syrian & Russian bombing in Idlib.
Stop the bombing! Stop the war against the Syrian Arab Spring uprising!
(Photo of Napalm girl by Nick Ut/AP; photo of unnamed Syrian girl from several sources on social media)
Syrian activists in Idlib province called an ‘Open the border” protest today at the Atmeh border crossing to Turkey to allow those fleeing Syrian & Russian bombing of Idlib & Hama to enter. Haid Haid, a Syrian research fellow in the UK tweeted that “the aim is not to illegally cross to Turkey” but “to highlight their need for protection & safe haven.” Actually, asylum for war refugees is international law. It is illegal to prevent them entering Turkey, not illegal for them to cross the border in flight from carpet bombing.
The placards at the protest clearly identified the EU as responsible for their plight since Erdogan signed an agreement with the EU to prevent Syrian refugees from entering Greece.
Open the damn borders! Immigration is a human right. Asylum for war refugees is international law.
(Photo from SY24@Sy24ria on Twitter)
It’s hard to understand why so many consider Erdogan a champion of the oppressed despite years of protests in Turkey against his regime, massive political repression, widespread arrests of journalists, repression of the Kurdish people, bombing in Syria, & his unsavory financial deal with the EU to prevent Syrian refugees from getting to Greece. This article is about how Turkey has closed its border tighter than a drum to the over quarter of a million Syrian civilians fleeing Syrian & Russian bombing in Idlib & Hama provinces.
Israeli troops near Al Aqsa Mosque today during the last Friday prayers of Ramadan: Israel increased deployment of troops & police to East Jerusalem, not for security purposes but to intimidate, harass, & provoke. Most men & boys under forty were denied entry to Jerusalem as part of Israel’s denial of religious freedom to Palestinians.
(Photo from Abudhabi News)
Israeli occupation forces imposed strict measures & prevented thousands of Palestinians from entering occupied East Jerusalem today to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the last Friday of Ramadan. It is a denial of religious freedom by Israel which calls itself ‘the only democracy in the Middle East.’
This photo posted on countless social media sites shows worshippers lined up this morning at a checkpoint near Bethlehem waiting to be allowed to enter Jerusalem. All men & boys under forty without special permits were denied entry.
During an Indian Army hunt to kill operation on Wednesday, May 29th, in the Shopian district of Kashmir, a young man named Sajad Ahmad Parray of Badrahama village was shot to death by Indian forces who claimed he was a stone pelter attempting to disrupt the operation. They responded with live ammunition, pellet guns, & tear gas, killing him & injuring eighty other protesters who they claimed were also stone pelters. Thousands of people chanting pro-freedom slogans attended the funeral prayers for Sajad Ahmad, so many that multiple rounds of funerals prayers were required.
Now the young man’s family members are speaking out, demanding an investigation into his murder & compensation for his widow & two small children (one 3-years-old & the other 9-months-old) left with no source of income. Sajad Ahmad was a wood cutter who was working a long distance from the site of the hunt to kill operation. When the special forces & police set up a cordon & moved in for the operation, his family called him to come home. He told them he was not in the vicinity of the operation & delayed leaving work till evening. He was shot & killed on his way home. His cousin Umar said, “He has never taken part in protests & on Wednesday he wasn’t part of any protest,” adding that he could not have pelted stones at the troops since one of his hands was affected by a three-year-old bone fracture. That means he was killed in cold blood.
The Indian Army uses accusations of stone pelting to summarily execute unarmed protesters. But it’s clear from the numbers of children & others like Sajad Ahmad killed & injured that one doesn’t have to be involved in political activity of any kind to be considered a legitimate target.
May Sajad Ahmad Parray Rest In Peace. India out of Kashmir. End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.
(Photo of Sajad Ahmad Parray from Kashmir Vision)
This morning near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers killed a 16-year-old boy named Abdullah Louai Gheith from Hebron by shooting him in the heart & lungs as he & another young man tried to get to the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem for Friday prayers. The other Palestinian, 21-year-old Mu’men Abu Tbaish, was rushed to hospital for a critical gun shot wound to his abdomen & is in surgery. It’s not clear from reports if they were shot attempting to scale the apartheid wall as many youth do to get to prayers at Al Aqsa since Israel will not allow entry at checkpoints to men under 40 without special permits.
Israeli authorities also report that they shot & killed 18-year-old Palestinian Yousef Wajeeh after he stabbed & injured two Israelis & attacked a police officer in East Jerusalem. Yousef had just come from near Ramallah to attend prayers at Al Aqsa on the last Friday of Ramadan so just how likely is it that he stopped on his way to prayers during a high holy day to attack Israelis? Israel used this incident, which certainly didn’t happen as they reported it, to explain why soldiers stopped several buses with hundreds of Palestinians coming to prayers, ordered the passengers off the buses, searched them, & then forced them to walk a long distance to Al Aqsa.
Israel’s claim that they increased deployment of soldiers & police to East Jerusalem in the area of Al Aqsa for security reasons is rubbish. Palestinians were coming to worship during the holy season of Ramadan. The presence of troops was a provocation & a denial of their right to worship. It is reported by some sources that Israeli soldiers opened fire today on other Palestinian men & boys trying to enter the city for prayers but there are no reports yet of others being killed.
The photo on the left is Abdullah Louai Gheith & on the right is Yousef Wajeeh. May they Rest In Peace.
Since an Assadist has reposted my pieces about the White Helmets on their FB sites, he promised before I bounced him that my wall will be besieged by their vituperations. I’ve already bounced at least ten of them today. If you aren’t familiar with their ranting, it’s worth your time to read some of what they spew. Don’t spend too much time since their intellectual level is primal scream. I’m quite ardent about my own commitments but hatred is no part of them. Their politics, which are fundamentally fascist, focus on hatred for Zionists, ‘jihadis’, White Helmets, “terrorist whores” & their hatred is intensely personal. Their language is abusive & the character of it deranged because what they really hate is Jews, women, Muslims, Arabs, or anything that makes their favorite dictator look bad.
It was Che Guevara who said ‘revolutionists are inspired by great feelings of love’ for other human beings. The fact that Assadists are so driven by hate signals their association with the nefarious forces of fascism.