The Factions of Raqqa Province

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Much has been noted of the presence of the Islamic State in Raqqa province, where the group controls all major urban localities (Raqqa city, Tabqa, Ma’adan, and Tel Abyad), as well as the Kurdish militias just west of Tel Abyad, from which town they were expelled back in August 2013 on account of cooperation between the Islamic State, Ahrar ash-Sham and other local rebels who have since been subdued by the Islamic State. What then of other groups? Broadly, we can distinguish two kinds: pro-regime forces, and a small rebel insurgency fighting against the Islamic State. They are detailed below. Note that I exclude Jabhat al-Nusra as a separate group here because the history of the group’s presence has been sufficiently well documented before.


National Defense Force (NDF)- Raqqa

NDF Raqqa Emblem

The NDF is officially a ‘counter-insurgency’ force trained with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp and Hezbollah to deal with the problem of lack of regime manpower in the regular armed forces as opposed to the wider insurgency. The NDF has become a meaningful force in the regime’s arsenal but it is not of the same nature everywhere in Syria. Out in Raqqa province, where the regime presence has been reduced to little more than isolated military bases, the NDF is more of a banner for underground remnant loyalists operating covertly in the province (in so far as it is a meaningful entity within Raqqa province itself), though NDF Raqqa has also claimed under its banner operations on the Raqqa-Salamiya/Raqqa-Athariya roads stretching into the Hama countryside to the southwest.


Mundhar Sharif al-Mousa and Fadi Sheikhan, identified with NDF Raqqa and said to have been killed in an ambush on the Athariya road.
Funeral for the two men.

A photo said to have been taken “with the lens of the NDF lions in eastern Raqqa countryside: photo of the Shari’a court in al-Karama.” This would seem to corroborate the idea of NDF Raqqa as a banner for the regime loyalist underground.

Pro-regime graffiti in Raqqa in February 2014: “National Defense to liberate Raqqa.”

NDF Raqqa’s other main function has been reporting the latest news on the clashes between the Islamic State and regime forces in the Division 17 military base area. Division 17 has been the subject of some contention on the question of the relationship between the Islamic State and the regime. Some critics argue that the Islamic State has not (at least until now) attacked Division 17 or that any signs of fighting were merely for show rather like the naval battles on the Tiber of the days of the early Principate.

Neither of these assertions stands up to scrutiny, though it is certainly fair to argue that the Islamic State did not devote as much manpower and resources to taking the base as it is doing now on account of infighting with other rebels elsewhere in Syria. In any case, the clashes that did take place were meaningful and happened on multiple occasions, corroborated by reporting on all sides (Islamic State provincial news feeds, Raqqa pro-regime news networks, and local activists like Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi; cf. video footage shared by non-Islamic State sources), resulting in casualties.

Qasi Fu’ad Azzam, a Druze soldier killed in clashes in the Division 17 area with the Islamic State on 16 March 2014.

Abu Aamer al-Ansari, an Islamic State fighter killed in Division 17 clashes. Death announced in March.

Non-Islamic State source on “violent clashes” in March 2014 between the regime and the Islamic State in Division 17 area, such that they could be heard from Raqqa city.

The most recent fighting, as I noted above, has been more intense, as reporting from both sides makes clear.

Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Iraqi poses with heads of decapitated regime soldiers from Division 17 base.

Ahmad Ali Ibrahim, killed in the latest Islamic State assault on Division 17.

Brigadier General Hasham al-Sha’arani, a Druze army officer killed in the latest round of Division 17 clashes. Cf. List of those wounded subsequently taken to Latakia hospital.

Muhannad Sari’ Suleiman, originally from Jobat Burghal (Latakia province), killed in Division 17 clashes.

Majid Ahmad al-Hassan, originally from the Alawite quarter of Zahara’ in Homs, also killed in the Division 17 clashes.

Suleiman Ibrahim, originally from Tartous area, killed in Division 17 clashes.

Saraya Ansar al-Jaysh al-Arabi al-Suri

Statement by Saraya Ansar al-Jaysh al-Arabi al-Suri in Raqqa.

This purported group- translating to “Brigades of Supporters of the Syrian Arab Army”- is like the NDF Raqqa a banner for underground regime loyalists in Raqqa. In fact, the group’s Facebook page now simply uses the NDF Raqqa banner, indicating no real difference between these banners. The video statement above is merely of interest for echoing of regime rhetoric talking points, decrying the overrunning of Raqqa by foreign fighters from the Islamic State (not exactly divorced from reality, though), affirming that “Islam” has nothing to do with the Islamic State’s actions, that true jihad comes in the path of liberating Palestine, and attacking the “petro-dollar” sheikhs of the Gulf. The statement recalls one issued by underground loyalists in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Raqqa city, in which there was a vow to wage “true jihad” in the fight against the rebels who had taken over the city.



Liwa Thuwar Raqqa

Emblem of Liwa Thuwar Raqqa

Liwa Thuwar Raqqa- translating to “The Revolutionaries of Raqqa Brigade”- is an FSA-banner group in origin that became affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra- as did many other similar rebel groups following Jabhat al-Nusra’s announcement of its “return” to Raqqa city in September 2013- in a bid last year to protect itself from the growing influence of the Islamic State in Raqqa. Led by one “Abu Eisa,” the group, according to Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi, became independent from Jabhat al-Nusra at the beginning of this year with the outbreak of infighting between the Islamic State and other rebels within Raqqa city. However, it should be noted that only much later this year (April) did Jabhat al-Nusra issue an official statement on the separation of Liwa Thuwar Raqqa:

“More than 6 months ago Liwa Thuwar Raqqa joined us in the city of Raqqa, and they had shown their readiness to submit to Shari’a sessions and discipline with precepts approved by Jabhat al-Nusra.

But there was deficiency on the part of both sides in the implementation of this agreement. From the side of Jabhat al-Nusra: the deficiency was in the holding of Shari’a sessions as regards quantity and manner.

From the side of Liwa Thuwar Raqqa: the deficiency was in the lack of embrace of the precepts approved by Jabhat al-Nusra. And after the attacks of the group of the state [Islamic State] on the factions waging jihad and the beginning of the infighting, the Liwa withdrew from Raqqa to some of the neighboring areas, and the organizational link was cut off from that day. Thus, Jabhat al-Nusra announces the dissolution of any organizational connection between us and Liwa Thuwar Raqqa…16 April 2014.”

This issue regarding Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and its relationship with Jabhat al-Nusra has some implications and lessons. The first of these is that integration into Jabhat al-Nusra is no light matter: on the contrary, assimilation of the ideology is expected in the end, and all the more so now with the establishment of the Islamic Emirate project.

Second, there is a degree of spin in the Jabhat al-Nusra statement here: Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and other FSA-banner origin battalions that pledged allegiance in a bid to protect themselves from the Islamic State. In January, a statement emerged purportedly in Jabhat al-Nusra’s name declaring operations against the Islamic State in Raqqa.

This statement was then disavowed by Jabhat al-Nusra’s central leadership; it had emerged from a Facebook page calling itself kamātu l-Raqqa, which featured local rebels who had joined Jabhat al-Nusra following the ‘return’ to Raqqa city. In this context we should deem Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and allies of similar disposition as likely responsible for the psy-ops statement in Jabhat al-Nusra’s name.

One should also note that the Jabhat al-Nusra’s statement partly came in response to a narrative promoted by Islamic State supporters that because Liwa Thuwar Raqqa has been coordinating with the Kurdish YPG (in the form of the Jabhat al-Akrad front group) in the remnant northern Raqqa countryside insurgency against the Islamic State (primarily west of Tel Abyad), therefore Jabhat al-Nusra was supposedly in an alliance with the “PKK apostates” and therefore guilty of apostasy itself.

This parallels the Islamic State supporters’ narrative indicting Jabhat al-Nusra as apostates (and note, in practice this takfir approach was adopted on the ground) on account of alleged coordination with the SMC in Deir az-Zor province. To date, while there have indeed been local ceasefires between Jabhat al-Nusra and the YPG, nothing suggests a vindication of the pro-Islamic State claims of an actual military alliance.

As of now, Liwa Thuwar Raqqa continues to exist but has been unable to score any significant victories against the Islamic State, only capturing some small villages west of Tel Abyad of no great importance and liable to change hands. The group appointed a new official spokesman in June but there are little signs of meaningful progress.

Four al-Jazrawis (foreign fighters from the Arabian Peninsula, normally Saudi Arabia) of the Islamic State killed by Liwa Thuwar Raqqa in May 2014.

Abu Dhiyab, a Liwa Thuwar Raqqa commander killed by the Islamic State. Note the banner behind him echoes the Islamic State’s “Banner of Tawhid” (more recently in the group’s messaging, the “Banner of Khilafa”). Since the flag’s symbols of the first half of the shahada followed by the Prophet’s seal are not automatically associated with the Islamic State, some of the group’s rivals have taken up the banner in an attempt to ‘reclaim’ it from the Islamic State. A similar example in Raqqa province was the independent Liwa Owais al-Qarni that was based in Tabqa and refused to fight the Islamic State, thus reducing itself to subordination to the latter. Following an apparent prison break of regime-aligned prisoners in March, the Islamic State forcibly disbanded Liwa Owais al-Qarni.

Corollary to the above: a Northern Storm fighter (now deceased) and an activist who was detained by the Islamic State in Azaz last year hold up a ‘banner of Tawheed’ with “Northern Storm Brigade” inscribed on it. Some of the Azaz Facebook activist pages had this banner too (minus the Northern Storm inscription). Though I had been skeptical at the time of the idea that featuring such a banner did not mean not supporting the Islamic State, this image made me rethink what was at play. Presently, Northern Storm identifies with the Islamic Front, despite tensions with Liwa al-Tawheed over the Bab al-Salama border area and even as many ex-members remain with the Islamic State.

Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah

Emblem of Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah.

This group, translating to “Jihad in the Path of God Brigade” is an FSA-banner formation that works closely with Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, though unlike Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, it explicitly acknowledges the opposition-in-exile government and the Hay’at al-Arkan (SMC), at least according to a recent interview with the group’s official spokesman. The evidence for the close alliance and ground coordination is as follows: firstly, the group has issued a joint statement with Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, and secondly, areas of operation coincide. Though both groups primarily operate in Raqqa province countryside, they have also clashed with the Islamic State in the rural hinterlands of eastern Aleppo province, such as in the Manbij area.

This also includes coordination with the wider Euphrates Islamic Liberation Front I have mentioned previously- a coalition now severely decimated by the conflict with the Islamic State- and an assortment of other minor FSA-banner underground insurgent groups operating against the Islamic State in eastern Aleppo province.

An example of one of the underground FSA-banner insurgent groups in eastern Aleppo area working with Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah: “Group of Battalions Jarabulus and its Countryside.” The presence of the Turkish flag is noteworthy, as many of the supporters of these groups coordinating media activities and arranging for financial support are currently in Turkey. Further, Ankara, in fear of an Islamic State attack on its own territory, is likely supporting these groups in the hope of rolling back the Islamic State. At the beginning of July, this group, Liwa Thuwar Raqqa, Liwa al-Jihad and others appealed to the opposition-in-exile and Hay’at al-Arkan for reinforcements.

What kind of underground insurgent attacks take place? Besides armed clashes and mortar strikes, there are also IED bombings. Very rare inside the Islamic State’s urban centers in Raqqa province, they occur occasionally in the hinterlands. There is too little to demonstrate that these attacks are significantly damaging the Islamic State administrative and security apparatus in Raqqa province.

Purported leader of Liwa al-Jihad fi Sabeel Allah (Abu Wael) with some members in Ayn Issa countryside, Raqqa province.

Ahrar ash-Sham [defunct]

I mention Ahrar ash-Sham for the sake of completeness, despite the fact that it is defunct in Raqqa province. For example, though media reports last autumn gave the impression that Raqqa city had become solely controlled by the Islamic State, the fact is that there were still Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham in the city, the latter of which had been a major participant in the original fall of the urban center in March 2013.

It would be fair though to liken Raqqa city by autumn 2013 to a triumvirate, in which the Islamic State was the strongest actor and ever growing in power. Ahrar ash-Sham was also present in other Raqqa province localities, most notably controlling the Tel Abyad border gates until being expelled by the Islamic State in January 2014.

A key strategic error- in my view- on the part of Ahrar ash-Sham as regards its relations with the Islamic State in Raqqa province was its willingness to work with the Islamic State or stand aside as other actors viewed as real or potential rivals were fought or expelled by the Islamic State: namely, the Kurdish militias and Ahfad al-Rasul respectively.

The latter was expelled from Raqqa city in August by the Islamic State, while Ahrar ash-Sham did nothing. Kurdish militias suffered some heavy losses on account of coordination between Ahrar ash-Sham and the Islamic State, most notably being expelled from Tel Abyad city in August 2013 as I mentioned in the preface. Indeed, Ahrar ash-Sham issued multiple statements on coordination with other factions in Raqqa province against Kurdish forces, all of which had followed on from wider infighting that broke out after the YPG had expelled the Islamic State from Ras al-Ayn. Thus, other rebel groups had essentially thrown in their lot with the Islamic State.

One final point of interest as regards the former Ahrar ash-Sham presence in Raqqa is the group’s da’wah outreach activities, which, like the Islamic State, encompassed local children. Note the two images below for comparison.

Ahrar ash-Sham Raqqa da’wah outreach: October 2013.

Islamic State advertising a slide for children: May 2014.

Though parts of the slides are obscured in both images, the two look uncannily similar. It is certainly possible that the Islamic State seized the slide and other outreach assets for children from Ahrar ash-Sham following the latter’s expulsion from Raqqa city in January 2014. In any event, like the Islamic State, Ahrar ash-Sham da’wah outreach in Raqqa also involved Qur’an learning and memorization circles.


Raqqa province as a whole offers a fairly bleak picture for those who might hope for the Islamic State’s rivals in the province to pose a real challenge to the group’s monopoly on control, foremost because the Islamic State’s rivals lack manpower to carry out sustainable offensives, which would be so even if the regime and rebels in the province decided to partner up (highly unlikely, of course). Regime forces south of Tabqa had tried to exploit an opening in May while the Islamic State was dealing with localized gains by Liwa Thuwar Raqqa and other rebels in the northern countryside, but little ultimately materialized of it. Short of an outside actor carrying out an actual ground military intervention (perhaps by Turkey as the most viable actor?), one can only hope for dissension within the Islamic State’s ranks and collapse from internecine strife both now and the foreseeable future.


Comments (68)

Akbar Palace said:

Does anyone remember Syria and Iraq NewZ

Dear Josh and Matt,

Well, “thanks” for all the jihadi violence porn. Not sure why you all find it necessary to post such depravity…oh well.

Seems like the slaughter of nearly 200,000 Syrians and Iraqis is being drowned out by the Israelis again, where the Holy Palestinians get more attention than other Middle Easterners despite the lop-sided numbers.

Just think if the Israelis posed in front of decapitated heads.

July 29th, 2014, 7:44 am


ALAN said:

It’s not just radicalised Islamists – what about foreign fighters who flock to the IDF?
Is the Government interested in UK citizens who have been fighting in Israeli uniform in Gaza in the past couple of weeks?–what-about-foreign-fighters-who-flock-to-the-idf-9634260.html

July 29th, 2014, 9:06 am


ALAN said:

MH17: Another Israeli Cover Up
This one involves the attempt, let by Assistant Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland and her husband, neocon political extremist John Kagan, both Israeli citizens, coordinating with the junta in Kiev, the cabal in Tel Aviv, armies of assets in Washington and New York, and pulling every trigger, Australia’s puppet Tony Abbott, the always mentally defective Senator John McCain along with the scum of world’s owned and blackmailed political world…
We know an Israeli F 15e with APG 70 radar, believed to have been configured as an AWAC (Airborne Warning and Control), left Azerbaijani airspace. The F 15e with a mission commander in the back seat of this two man advanced fighter bomber, the pride of the Israeli air force, could have provided tracking and targeting data or, if necessary, downed the airliner itself from a surprising distance.

July 29th, 2014, 9:24 am


Akbar Palace said:


Please tell Robert Fisk that the difference is Israel is not deemed a terrorist army or government like Hamas is. Israel is not a one-party theocracy. Israel has a racially and religiously diverse democratically elected government with freedom of speech and religion. And Israel doesn’t have a charter that glorifies killing muslims.

But we all know Robert Fisk is another in a long line of Islamofascist sympathizers. So what else is new?

July 29th, 2014, 9:36 am


ALAN said:

Israel has a right to defend itself by kidnapping Palestinian children. This boy was taken from his home last night.

July 29th, 2014, 12:17 pm


Uzair8 said:

Posing in front of decapitated heads?

Was going through the Liverpool FC fan forum news section and the Palestine thread yesterday. People in the west are noting horrors the Palestinians are going through and also the despicable isreali songs.

On one thread page in particular:

One user quotes from an article:

“Gaza is a graveyard they sing”…

“In Gaza there’s no studying
No children are left there”

God forgive these kids. The incarnation of evil on earth.

Another shares the words of a song and expresses disgust:

They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé
In Gaza there’s no studying
No children are left there,
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé

You just want to shake your head at the futility of our existence when you read or hear shite like this…

Another user responds:

Unfortunately there is no MEMRI TV that palestinains have to broadcast this to world. Despicable.

July 29th, 2014, 2:49 pm


Uzair8 said:

Also whilst on the LFC fan forum I read about the twitter exchange between footballer Joey Barton and ex Liverpool and Isreal player Yossi Benayoun on the Gaza topic.

Yossi didn’t come out of it looking too good going by the forum reaction:

If you scroll down a little you can see a little more of Barton’s response in the exchange.

July 29th, 2014, 3:04 pm


ALAN said:

The ugly faces of Obama : one face towards Syria, the second towards Ukraine and the third towards gaza such as in masquerade!

July 29th, 2014, 4:29 pm


ALAN said:

Time has come when ashamed to be an American, and in many countries still dangerous

July 29th, 2014, 4:57 pm


Ghufran said:

Australia has issued arrest warrants for a pair of Australian citizens believed to be fighting in Syria after images emerged of the two holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) counter-terrorism chief Neil Gaughan told ABC in an interview that warrants had been issued for Australians Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar on terrorism offences.
A Twitter account linked to al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State published pictures of the beheaded corpses and heads of five soldiers killed in Syria’s Raqqa province, saying the soldiers were from the 17th division.
Sharrouf and Elomar travelled to Syria and Iraq late last year, ABC reported, and a Twitter account purported to belong to Sharrouf recently showed pictures of Elomar handling severed heads.
“As soon as they set foot on Australian soil they will be taken into custody,” Gaughan said.

It is clear now that living in the west or being born in the West does not prevent enough protection from the fascist ideology of Wahhabism

July 29th, 2014, 9:00 pm


Ghufran said:

Israel killed 155 Palestinians today inufing 20 ,mostly children , who were killed after Israel bombed another UNRWA school, in Jabalia

July 29th, 2014, 11:04 pm


Ghufran said:

Named of prisoners kidnapped by rebels in Ghiouta and confirmed alive , nine at least are women. Posting the names may indicate that a pry diners exchange is on the horizon:
هذه الأسماء لمخطوفين في الغوظة عند ما يسمى (أحرار الشام) وصلتن منذ أيام وهم بخير الرجاء النشر لتصل لذويهم .. وشكرا

1- يامن عبدالغفور ياسين
2-محمد رائد مصطفى علي عقيد مهندس كهرباء
3-باسم سالم السلوم
4-فيصل خير الدين مانوف عميد طيار
5-فاطمة ابراهيم أبواسعد
6-حسن زهير الحاطون
7- حسين زهير الحاطون
8-جانيت نصر السيد
9-ثناء سليم ابراهيم
10- ميساء محمد أحمد
11- وئام سمير عبدالله بنت ثناء
12- مدين صافي دكتوراه في الكيمياء
13- اسكندر مخلوطه لبنان
14- شادي مخلوطه لبنان
15محمد عكنان
16- حمزه عكنان
17-جعفر عبدالله
18- علي حبيب
19- حافظ حواط
20- فيصل جندالي
21- حسان ناصر
22- همام عبدالرحيم

هذه الأسماء لمخطوفين في الغوظة عند ما يسمى (جبهة النصرة) وهم بخير :

1- غسان يوسف
2- ابن غسان يوسف
3- بنت غسان يوسف
4- زوجة غسان يوسف
5- يوجد ايضا عائلة من بيت خير بيك لم يذكروا اسمائهم ….

هذه الأسماء لمخطوفين في الغوظة عند ما يسمى (الاتحاد الاسلامي) وهم بخير:
1- زهير محمود العلي من طرطوس
2- باسل علي محمد من طرطوس
3- ايهاب سعيد سماره من طرطوس
4- مازن جودت محمود من طرطوس
5- وائل عيد من طرطوس
6- محمد خليل تلاوي
7- دريد علي رجوب من طرطوس
8- شادي اسماعيل مغصوب من السلمية
9- نزار حسين الطيب او الصليب من السلمية
10- حسن عبد الغفور ياسين
11- محمد عامر قرباش من الضمير

هذه الأسماء لمخطوفين في الغوظة عند ما يسمى (جيش الاسلام) وهم بخير:
1- معين جميل ديوب
2- محمد يوسف حمود ابوهادي فوج النقل
3- ثائر محمد درغام
4- مازن عدنان درغام
5- فراس احمد العلي
6- اوس عيسى
7- محمد علي رحمه
8- علي محمود رحمه
9- سمير محمود رحمه
10- ريم علي رحمه
11- ربا رحمه
12- ديما علي رحمه

July 29th, 2014, 11:12 pm


SimoHurtta said:


Does anyone remember Syria and Iraq NewZ
Seems like the slaughter of nearly 200,000 Syrians and Iraqis is being drowned out by the Israelis again, where the Holy Palestinians get more attention than other Middle Easterners despite the lop-sided numbers.

Well Akbar, there still for a while on our holy Christian lands, the population of Gaza is about 14 times smaller than the population of Syria is. The amount of killed in Gaza now is about 1,250, which would be 14 x 1,250 = 17,500 in a country with the size of Syria. That all in three weeks. How long has the Syrian civil war now taken? Multiplying the relative Gaza figures with lets say 24 (months) would lift the proportional comparison figure to 420,000 killed. By the way the Syrian figures do include the victims caused by both sides (about halve killed by the regime and the other halve by the more or less international Sunni terrorists). The proportional Gaza figures include only those slaughtered by Israeli Jews.

What Akbar has the amount of killed in Syria to do with what happens now in Gaza? Does the smaller figure justify somehow the genocide in Gaza in your badly twisted mind? Well then killing a Jew is “nothing” because there are not so many of them. Should we “estimate” figures like that? Well we do not, you do.

July 30th, 2014, 4:32 am


ALAN said:

Israeli Official To Obama: ‘Leave Us Alone’
A top Israeli official wants President Barack Obama to stop meddling with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel criticized Obama telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there should be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
“Leave us alone,” Ariel told Army Radio, directing his words at Obama. “Go focus on Syria.”
Obama spoke with Netanyahu Sunday about the rising number of Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the worsening humanitarian crisis.

“Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the president reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks from Hamas.
Ariel told Army Radio that Israel’s offensive should be more aggressive.


Thousands of Palestinians flood the streets after heaviest night of bombardment

July 30th, 2014, 5:22 am


Observer said:

It seems to me that the flailing and chaotic Israeli shelling of Gaza is an indication of desperation that after many weeks there is no victory.

It seems to me that Bibi has chosen to run the country into a dead end.

David Brooks in the NYT yesterday hit indirectly on the concept that in the ME there is a complete destruction of the wall of fear and that people are not going back to live like slaves.

The fight in Gaza and in Aleppo is the same. Freedom against oppression, dignity against depravity, dying standing against dying kneeling.

Israel is one more time demonstrating that it is a rogue state and a terrorist state just like all the dictatorships of the ME.

July 30th, 2014, 8:14 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Israel never had the intention to win a “victory” over gaza. Gaza is no more than annoyance to us.

We are busy inventing new things for human kind, developing new medicines to cure you and others, writing new codes for better softwares, improving water usage and sewage treatment methods, engineering new seeds for better more productive agriculture.

The Islamists try to interfere, but they are not successful.

What did the Islamists and you done recently that you can be proud of?

July 30th, 2014, 10:56 am


ghufran said:

The IDF baby killers squads have not been able to please BB and his Mafia: Gaza has not surrendered, israeli soldiers are still being attacked, Palestinians in Gaza will not give their weapons to the murderers in the IDF, and Israel have to occupy the whole Gaza strip and beyond to win.
Now, this:
“The fight in Gaza and in Aleppo is the same”
No, it is not. This twisted mentality is what brought rebels to this level and hurt the opposition and helped ISIS.
There is no difference between exploding a car bomb in a residential area or throwing a barrel bomb, rebels have shown that they are as brutal as the regime or worse especially with this business of cutting heads and distorting Islam and making it look like an evil violent cult rather than a decent religion.
This is the latest car bomb Gazwah from rebels:
محافظة حمص – المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان:: انفجرت سيارة مفخخة بالقرب من دوار مساكن الشرطة في شارع الأهرام بحي وادي الذهب الذي يقطنه غالبية من المواطنين من الطائفة العلوية، في مدينة حمص، ومعلومات مؤكدة عن خسائر بشرية

July 30th, 2014, 12:38 pm


SimoHurtta said:

17. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Israel never had the intention to win a “victory” over gaza. Gaza is no more than annoyance to us.

We are busy inventing new things for human kind, developing new medicines to cure you and others, writing new codes for better softwares, improving water usage and sewage treatment methods, engineering new seeds for better more productive agriculture.

Bullshit Polski Amir. This your tribes constant victim playing and completely baseless absurd self-pity are really getting on the nerves, when on the same time we gentiles must watch the pictures coming out of Gaza. You have occupied Palestinians for 50 years, stolen their lands, killed them, exploited them etc and you still pretend to be the victims. Take for heaves sake off that your fur hat, it is too hot.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is Israel’s biggest medicine producer, is specialized in generic drugs. Generic drugs as you know Amir are copies of drugs developed by others. 🙂

The diamond trade and polishing is one of Israel’s major industries. That is as much high tech as is making Persian mats. The others are arms manufacturing and finance. The existence of high tech Israel is mostly pure propaganda and unfounded boasting. Compare the economical structure of Israel to that of Finland’s, Sweden’s or Netherlands’ and you see why it propaganda.

Did you Amir know that the trade between Israel and Palestine is 20 Billion USD yearly. TRADE means EXPORT + IMPORT. It is sure, that Israel sucks billions from Palestinians by forcing them to buy Israeli products and product causing to the Palestinians a terrible trade balance deficit. Which naturally is partly compensated with the money we gentiles pay to Palestine. You Israeli Jews besides steal the lands of Palestinians, you have enclosed them in small shrinking bantustans, you rip then off and exploit them with out any shame. And you pretend to be the victims in this sad story.

July 30th, 2014, 3:56 pm


Observer said:

The truth is hard to swallow for the chosen people of Israel who claim that the land belongs to them based on the preference of Yahweh for his chosen people

These are crimes against humanity and a new genocide and a new holocaust perpetrated by those survivors of the holocaust and excusing their actions by portraying themselves as eternal victims. Despicable for the memory of those that died in Dachau and Treblinka

July 30th, 2014, 4:12 pm


sami said:

I miss my home. I miss Damascus the most at this time of year.

I read an article on the BBC about how the Syrian refugees in Zaatari have done such a great job from making the best from the worst possible situation where what was a mere tents in the middle of the desert is turning into Jordans fifth largest city. How Syrian refugees have spearheaded commercial ventures from wedding rentals to pizza delivery. The UN representative said he has never seen anything remotely like this and what Syrians have accomplished is sonetging the UN could only dream of. And all this was done with very little donations from a world more concerned turning its back on Syrians than helping them.

After all of this, I AM STILL PROUD TO BE A SYRIAN. I know my country will grow from the rubble into a country it deserves to be.

So, take your racists indignation and shove it. If Syrians got half the money your country has been getting we would be the envy of the middle east.

July 30th, 2014, 5:01 pm


Juergen said:

CNN report on a beligian father whose son left for Syria and who went to Syria to find him, quite remarkable story, and I thought about the german saying, Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm…( like father, like son)

July 30th, 2014, 5:20 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Every day that Israel lives is a victory.

Yesterday was a victory. Today is a victory. Insha’allah tomorrow will be a victory.

July 30th, 2014, 7:51 pm


Ghufran said:

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Tuesday 23 November 2004 19.02 EST

An Israeli army officer who repeatedly shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl in Gaza dismissed a warning from another soldier that she was a child by saying he would have killed her even if she was three years old.
The officer, identified by the army only as Captain R, was charged this week with illegal use of his weapon, conduct unbecoming an officer and other relatively minor infractions after emptying all 10 bullets from his gun’s magazine into Iman al-Hams when she walked into a “security area” on the edge of Rafah refugee camp last month.
A tape recording of radio exchanges between soldiers involved in the incident, played on Israeli television, contradicts the army’s account of the events and appears to show that the captain shot the girl in cold blood.

Wait for Israel to charge the officer to sell the idea that Israel is a civilized nation then the incident will die like many crimes IDF killers committed.

July 30th, 2014, 8:47 pm


annie said:

23. JUERGEN said:

Good story; the CNN comment : so so

About Palestine, there is ONE solution : ONE COUNTRY with equal rights for all.

Amir, what about recovering your humanity and respect ?

July 31st, 2014, 1:16 am


annie said:

Fortunately there are some people with sense
Henry Siegman, Leading Voice of U.S. Jewry, on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents”

July 31st, 2014, 1:41 am


annie said:

I edited the Critical Muslim’s Syria issue, which includes excellent essays by Amal Hanano, Rasha Omran, Itab Azzam, Maysaloon, Malu Halasa, poetry by Golan Hajji, prose from Zakkariya Tamer, and much more. I contributed an essay on Syrian culture revolutionised, and I wrote the following list:

In the old days Syrians were ready to list their ten favourite picnic spots, their ten favourite restaurants, or even ten of the sects participating in the imaginary happy mosaic. Today lists of traumatisation leap to the mind: the ten largest refugee camps, or ten major massacres, or perhaps ten of the numerous new militias.

This list tends towards the positive (only number 10 is a bad thing – it’s something that can’t be ignored). It focusses on those aspects of Syrian reality that can’t be destroyed by war, those things which will survive (with the exception, we hope, of number 10).

July 31st, 2014, 8:32 am


ghufran said:

Libya provides a powerful lesson to all especially the thawrajiyyeh boneheads who allowed rage and hatred to cloud their judgement.
Here is a situation where NATO and a number of GCC countries bombed libya and chased Qadhafi and his army then stuck a stick in his rear end declaring that “Libya is liberated”. Three years later, Libya is worse than what it was under dictatorship, libyans are killing each other, Islamist terrorists are attacking the main airport in Libya and every target they can reach,etc
We wrote about the Libyan scenario in 2001 (check the files), some of you were too stupid to understand, others today are too proud to admit that the region did not need NATO or armed Islamist brigades (we know by now that there is no such thing as secular rebels in the middle east) but a transitional period and baby steps on the path of liberty and democracy, the last thing the region needed was a bunch of angry armed young men with long beards and short temper who have no vision for the future and little tolerance for diversity and human rights.
I had enough of this dysfunctional and hateful group of nations and the wahhibinization of Islam. the West is playing a dirty game with the citizens of those countries providing them with what they need to kill each other but staying away when real help is needed. do not wait for NATO to be a peace maker or a fire extinguisher, NATO will not be NATO if it does the right thing in the Middle East !!
ما تزال الأوضاع في ليبيا تأخذ مساراً تصادعدياً مما يهدد بأنهيار البلاد إلى هاوية تكرار تجربة أفغانستان، حيث استأنفت الميليشيات التابعة لتنظيم أنصار الشريعة المرتبط بتنظيم القاعدة عملياتها جنوب العاصمة الليبية طرابلس، حيث وقعت اشتباكات بينها وبين وحدات الجيش الليبي النظامي كما قامت مليشيا ثوار مصراته بتنفيذ قصف هو الأعنف منذ بدء عملية المحاور الست التي أطلقتها لفرض السيطرة على مطار العاصمة الليبية طرابلس
وسمع دوي انفجارات القذائف والمدافع المضادة للطائرات منذ الساعات الأولى لهذا الصباح، بعد يوم على موافقة هذه الميليشيات على هدنة تسمح لرجال الإطفاء بإخماد حريق اندلع في أحد مخازن الوقود جراء إصابته بصاروخ أطلقته ميليشيا “ثوار مصراته”، بهدف تحقيق أكبر خسائر ممكنة بالحكومة.
من جانب آخر تستمر عملية إجلاء الرعاية الأجانب من قبل دولهم، حيث صادق وزير الطيران المصري على إرسال طائرتين إلى مطار جربا بتونس لإجلاء المصريين القادمين من ليبيا عبر الحدود التونسية الليبيبة.. وصلت إحداهما فجر اليوم وعلى متنها 319 مصريا بانتظار وصول الطائرة الثانية.
من جانبهم قال مسؤولون حكوميون في العاصمة اليونانية إثينا أن بلادهم سترسل فرقاطة وسفينتين أخريين إلى ليبيا لإجلاء العاملين في سفارتها في طرابلس بالإضافة إلى بضع مئات من المواطنين الصينيين والأوروبيين
كما وانضمت الفلبين إلى دول أخرى في إجلاء رعاياها من ليبيا أيضاً، ومن المتوقع أن يصل وزير خارجيتها ألبرت ديل إلى جزيرة جربة التونسي لترتيب إجلاء آلاف العمال الفلبينيين من ليبيا.
يذكر أن تونس أعلنت أنها ستغلق معابرها الحدودية بوجه حركة نزوح الليبيين، مبقية على موافقتها على عبور كل من هو غير ليبي فقط كي يتمكن من الوصول إلى بلاده.

July 31st, 2014, 4:18 pm


ALAN said:

Shalom Yerushalmi, writing in the Israeli daily Maariv last March, claimed that Saudi Arabia was not just coordinating its intelligence efforts with Tel Aviv, but actually financing much of Israel’s campaign against Iran, possibly as much a $1 billion, including its assassinations and development of computer viruses.
It is likely that Washington knew in advance of the ISIS offensive, given its stationing of Patriot missiles and the CIA’s monitoring operations near the Turkish-Syrian border. It was widely reported last March that after the recapture of areas in western Syria by regime forces, ISIS and al-Nusra had withdrawn to their bases in the east, near the border with Iraq. But if the ISIS advance was unknown to the US, it means that its allies are working behind its back.
While Riyadh has now sought to distance itself from ISIS, outlawing the group, it is unlikely that it has stopped all funding. It is determined to ensure a Sunni buffer between itself and Iran and a government in Baghdad that is not beholden to Tehran, while working with Tel Aviv to ensure that Washington does not collaborate with Iran to suppress the Sunni insurgency.
Washington is now riven with dissent as to how to proceed. In Syria, it is backing the very forces it opposes in Iraq. Meanwhile, it has sent forces to protect its embassy and 5,000 staff and subcontractors in Baghdad, and is preparing the ground for new military ventures, using the threat from ISIS as a pretext.

July 31st, 2014, 5:03 pm


Observer said:

Oh Chosen ones explain to me how bombing UNRWA schools, electricity that provides water treatment plant is a “self defense’? Bombing the water treatment plant is biological warfare by indirect means spreading disease that kills mainly the weakest: children and elderly.
Oh Chosen Ones explain to me the chanting crowds in Tel Aviv calling for the end of childhood in Gaza and promoting the killing of all the children there?
I guess that there IS and JS

July 31st, 2014, 5:57 pm


ghufran said:

“I guess that there IS and JS”
The IDF is the Jewish version of ISIS

Here is why Israel was able to get away with murder and terrorism: The Arabs and their governments. Arabs moved from being pioneers in education and science to becoming the butt of jokes in the world, allowing themselves to be ruled by the Ottomans for 400 years, then failing to prevent Zionist Jews from establishing a state in the heart of the Arab World and lastly giving their neck to NATO and a group of corrupt and brutal dictatorships. the West will never do anything to stop Israel and the blood you see today is mostly from self-inflicted wounds.

بعد الطز للراحل فؤاد نجم:

إلى الأمة العربية ، بعد الـ ” طُز ” لم يعُد يليق بكِ التحية

ما أخبار فلسطين؟ .. شعبٌ بلا وطن .. وطنٌ بلا هوية
ما أخبار لبنان؟ ملهى ليلي كراسيه خشبية وطاولته طائفية
ما أخبار سوريا؟ تكالبت عليها سكاكين الهمجية
ما أخبار العراق؟ بلد الموت اللذيذ والرحلة فيه مجانية
ما أخبار الأردن؟ لا صوت ولا صورة والإشارة فيه وطنية
ما أخبار مصر؟ عروس بعد الثورة ضاجعها الإخوانجية
ما أخبار ليبيا؟ بلد تحوّل إلى معسكرات أسلحة وأفكار قبلية
ما أخبار تونس؟ إنتعل رئاستها مهرّج بدعوى الديمقراطية
ما أخبار المغرب؟ إنتسب إلى مجلس خليجي باسم الملكيّة
ما أخبار الصومال؟ عِلْمها عند الله الذي لا تخفى عنه خفيّة
ما أخبار السودان؟ صارت بلَدان والخير خيران باسم الحرية
ما أخبار اليمن؟ صالحها مسافر وطالحها كافر وشعبها قضيّة منسيّة
ما أخبار عُمان؟ بلد بكل صدق لا تسمع عنه إلا في النشرات الجوية
ما أخبار السعودية؟ أرض تُصدّر التمر و زادت عليه الأفكار الوهابية
ما أخبار الإمارات؟ قبوّ سري جميل تُحاك فيه كل المؤامرات السرية
ما أخبار الكويت؟ صارت ولاية عربية من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية
ما أخبار البحرين؟ شعب يموت ولا أحد يذكره في خطاباته النارية
ما أخبار قطر؟ عرابّة الثورات وخنجر الخيانات ومطبخ للأمبريالية

إلى الأمة العربية ، بعد الـ ” طُز ” لم يعُد يليق بكِ التحية

July 31st, 2014, 6:52 pm


Passerby said:

Testing the “awaiting moderation” theory…

*Your comment is awaiting moderation.*

When did hiding behind women and children, while attaching women and children become honorable to so many Muslims?

Didn’t used to be that way, they used to have the same standards of honor as the rest of the world.

July 31st, 2014, 9:48 pm


Passerby said:

It worked!

The power of experiments.

Just copy the entire message, including the moderation boilerplate and then it works.

July 31st, 2014, 9:51 pm


Passerby said:

For the third week, Cuba continued its kidnapping raids and rocket attacks on America’s population centers. America’s retaliation as the rocket attacks and kidnapping raids continue, has now reached 1800 people…

Or Georgia/Russia, or Japan/China, or India/Pakistan or any other country on earth.

Now, how long would it be before the death toll exceeded 1800 people?

Less than 24 hours.

Israel is the most moral country on earth, a bright shining light surrounded by a sewer.

July 31st, 2014, 10:09 pm


Ghufran said:

The ruling regimes in Syria and Iraq are about to waste another chance to weaken Isis by refusing to accommodate citizens who oppose Isis but are not happy with existing governments. Maliki needs to step down and Assad must allow Syrians to form a national government that decides who and how Syria is governed but this common sense approach requires a different type of leadership.
Baathists in Iraq and Arab tribes in Dayr Azzour are sending strong signals that Isis is too bitter of a pill to swallow but are not seeing any attempts from Maliki and Assad that they care more about national unity than the unity of their own junta.
I heard arguments that the preservation of both dictators, Assad and Maliki,is essential to save Syria and Iraq but those arguments are as strong as the myth that Sunnis want an Islamist state in both countries. I am old enough to know that Isis is as bad for Sunnis as it is for Shia and Christians.

July 31st, 2014, 11:48 pm


Passerby said:

ISIS/Al-Qaeda in Iraq/IS/Saddm Regime flunkies, are in cahoots with Assad. They are the best thing that ever happened to Assad.

Saddam Hussein may have created them to make the UN suffer for it’s no-fly zone, and may control them now, but Assad gave them their current power.

It couldn’t be more obvious, why Iran doesn’t complain eludes me, I guess Assad and Hezbollah are the only friends they have.

August 1st, 2014, 1:43 am


Passerby said:

Reading some of those old Alawite books on religion, I’m struck by the parallels with early followers of Jesus, before the Christians.

Anyone want to discuss that?

August 1st, 2014, 1:43 am


Passerby said:

For instance, in early gospels, before the Christian Gospels, such as The Gospel of Thomas, the ones well spoken of are John the Baptist and Mary Magdela. And the light stuff.

August 1st, 2014, 1:52 am


Passerby said:

Samaritans, the other genetically and culturally Hebrews never left Israel. There were a few in Alexandria 2000 years ago, but that’s it.

Some Jews of course never left, but many did. At the time of the Great Revolt, there were more Jews outside of Israel then in it.

The reason there are more Jews than Samaritans these days is the Muslims killed them all. Or almost all. Partly because they never left, none to come back, and partly because they don’t have the special protection of the Jews, Christians and Mandaeans.

In the 1800’s there were only about 200 the Muslims hadn’t slaughtered and were about to slaughter them, and totally exterminate them…

(Jews don’t mention Samaritans much because they’ve been feuding with them for 3000 years.)

…and the Jewish People, in all their glory, stepped forward and accepted the Samaritans as Jews, and prevented their extermination. There’s a couple thousand now. The Hebrews that left Egypt with Moses reunited after 3000 years in the Promised Land.

Jewish men in general, about 12% have the Cohen gene. Jewish men named Cohen it’s 60%. Samaritan men, in the three main tribes, it approaches 100%. The most amazing fact in all human genetics. 3000 years of faithful wives.

And that Cohen gene splits 2,700 years ago, like both say.

Jews don’t bring it up because of that 3000 year feud. And they sure don’t bring up the fact that the further you go back in time, Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint, the more the Jewish Torah becomes the Samaritan Torah. 2,300 years ago, and they were still different in thousands of characters. 3000 years ago is about right for them to be identical.

And the oldest alphabetic writing on earth, is a pottery shard 3000 years old near Jerusalem with a summary of the moral codes of the Torah, our obligations to the poor and weak, which were far superior to anything else on earth, or any government that ever existed since….

“…The contents of the text express social sensitivity to the fragile position of weaker members of society. The inscription testifies to the presence of strangers within the Israeli society as far back as this ancient period, and calls to provide support for these strangers. It appeals to care for the widows and orphans and that the king — who at that time had the responsibility of curbing social inequality — be involved. This inscription is similar in its content to biblical scriptures (Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, Exodus 23:3, and others), but it is clear that it is not copied from any biblical text.

English translaton of the deciphered text:

1′ you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
2′ Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
3′ [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
4′ the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
5′ Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

They’ve been in Israel for at least 3200 years, ever since Joshua crossed the Jordan.

August 1st, 2014, 2:12 am


ALAN said:

America’s support for Israel is crossing new redlines. There are reportedly over 1,000 US citizens fighting in the Israeli army according to reports that are now resurfacing due to the recent killing of two US-Israeli soldiers — Max Steinberg, 24, of California, and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, of Texas. Like most of the Israeli soldiers killed in recent fighting, they were killed while invading parts of the besieged Gaza Strip. ”

“…Consider this: While British citizens fighting against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad are being detained and persecuted, British citizens who are fighting for Israel are not. The British government is turning a blind eye to what should be considered a criminal act.

Western hypocrisy on this is as profound as the phenomenon of westerners killing Palestinians, which some are now calling “Israeli Jihadists.”

August 1st, 2014, 2:18 am


Passerby said:

All Golden Rules come from Leviticus in the Torah. If not for the Torah, it may have never occurred to the human race.

In the thousands of years of writing before the Torah, and there’s a lot, the Golden Rule is never mentioned. And no, “The eloquent peasant” from Egypt, or “eye for an eye” aren’t the Golden Rule. “Eye for an eye” is in the Torah too, and never considered the Golden Rule there.

I defy anyone to produce an exception.

The first appearance of the Golden Rule radiates out from Israel as the first Hebrew/Jewish businessmen and missionaries arrived with their Torahs. (Yes, Jews had missionaries at the time, and tried to convert people like other religions.) They are documented in Kerala India in 560BCE, a large community. And India had a huge trade with China, where it first shows up with Confucius.

August 1st, 2014, 2:26 am


Passerby said:

I can help with that Alan. The reason those on the side of Israel aren’t “detained” and Al-Qaeda/ISIS/Etc. is detained is because Israel is a democracy with freedom of speech and religion, and ISIS etc. are murderous bigots that kill anyone with a different religion.

Glad to help.

August 1st, 2014, 2:29 am


Passerby said:

…Not that I expect all in attendancew to prefer a democracy with freedom of speech and religion over murderous bigots that kill anyone with a different religion.

Just point out that some do, and that’s why they behave as they do.

August 1st, 2014, 2:40 am


Passerby said:

Ok the current vote tally is…

1 vote for democracies with freedom of speech and religion

1 vote for murderous bigots that kill anyone with a different religion.

August 1st, 2014, 3:15 am


ALAN said:


Norman Finkelstein arrested in New York
The well-known American anti-Zionist intellectual and activist, Norman Finkelstein was arrested today in NY, during pro-Palestine rally.
“I don’t believe in individual acts of martyrdom,” Finkelstein wrote on Monday, on his website. “It’s got to be a collective action. If one hundred people either sign up to get arrested or to be there in solidarity, I’ll be there too.”
Zionist propaganda machines have aggressively attacked Finkelstein since he is Jewish-origin and descendant of Holocaust survivors.


August 1st, 2014, 5:31 am


ALAN said:

25. AMIR IN TEL AVIV said:
/Every day that Israel lives is a victory/

أدير جولدرن ضابط كتيبة المشاة العسكريةأسير .

كتائب القسام تستدرج 20 جندي إسرائيلي داخل منزل مفخخ وتقضي عليهم

August 1st, 2014, 7:40 am


Akbar Palace said:


Your argument doesn’t carry more weight by the number of times you use the term “chosen”. We understand that the term “chosen” is a term YOU use, not Jews.

Every religion, more or less, believes they are right, and if Islam is any indication, Muslims are the most “chosen” of all, especially when sharia law is instituted.

Jews believe we were “chosen” only to fulfill the laws of the torah. That’s it. FYI, Jews don’t believe that people who do NOT follow the torah or any less of a human being. Noah wasn’t jewish. And Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, was a Moabite (Jordanian).

At this point in time, the Islamofacists are gaining ground in the ME, and their world-view is they are “chosen” to kill anyone that doesn’t bow down at their feet. Hamas included.

August 1st, 2014, 10:46 am


ALAN said:

/At this point in time, the Islamofacists are gaining ground in the ME, and their world-view is they are “chosen” to kill anyone that doesn’t bow down at their feet. Hamas included./
Correction: not the Islamofacists, but the Zio-Islamists(ISIS for example)according to the strategy of the Mossad (Wasps Nest), And Hamas not included.


An interesting question is “Why the Fu*k would non-jewish Bill Clinton even need a “rabbinic counsel” during his presidency?”

Genocide in the Torah
The existential threat of Amalek.
In 2006 Conservative Rabbi Jack Reimer, Bill Clinton’s rabbinic counsel during his presidency, created a stir when he associated Islamic fundamentalism with the biblical nation of Amalek.
“I am becoming convinced that Islamic Fundamentalism, or, as some people prefer to call it, ‘Islamo-fascism,’ is the most dangerous force that we have ever faced and that it is worthy of the name: Amalek. We must recognize who Amalek is in our generation, and we must prepare to fight it in every way we can. And may God help us in this task.”war and peace quiz
According to the book of Exodus, Amalek is the nation that attacked the weakest among the Israelites as they fled from Egypt. This transgression was not to go unpunished. The Torah has a harsh prescription for Amalek: annihilation.
“It shall be that when Hashem, your God, gives you rest from all your enemies all around, in the Land that Hashem, your God, gives you as an inheritance to possess it, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven. Do not forget it!” (Deuteronomy 25: 19; also see Exodus 17:14 and Numbers 24:20)
Blotting out the memory of Amalek was no mere psychological activity. The Israelites were expected to kill every Amalekite–man, woman, and child. But was this just a theoretical imperative or was it meant to be carried out?
The book of Samuel implies that it required actual fulfillment:
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox, and sheep, camel and ass,”(Samuel I, 15:3).
King Saul struck down Amalek as he was commanded but he then took mercy upon King Agag and upon some of the Amalekite animals. God and the prophet Samuel harshly criticized Saul for not fulfilling God’s word.
The point, of course, is that an invocation of Amalek is serious business. Rabbi Reimer wasn’t issuing a literal call to arms, but by associating “Islamo-Fascists” with Amalek, Rabbi Reimer was referencing the Jewish tradition’s genocidal instincts. Jewish authorities have struggled with this commandment for centuries, but the issue is perhaps even more urgent now.

August 1st, 2014, 11:55 am


Passerby said:

I can help with that Alan, all the people surrounding the Hebrews worshipped Moloch, and fried their children to death in metal frying pans as a human sacrifice. And the Torah/Talmud/Jewish Bible talk about it a lot.

Not nice they were dealing with. If they had showed mercy, they wouldn’t have survived.

Not likely many Pals have genetics going back that far, none have the culture/religion, but if they do, it’s nothing to be proud of.

August 1st, 2014, 12:22 pm


ALAN said:

The Blood of Palestine is on the Hands of the Bribe-Takers

August 1st, 2014, 1:15 pm


ALAN said:

/The game is about to change/
“Sickles” – whisper in my peace-lover holiest homeland 🙂

Obama – the man of calamity: Stop spending billions on wars you’ll never win. Instead bring your troops & money home to people who deserve it. You are on a fast track to hell with Kerry.

August 1st, 2014, 4:47 pm


Ghufran said:

1 Aug 2014: Nick Clegg: ( the guardian) In Gaza, neither side’s weapons will break the other’s resolve. Only a political approach can bring lasting peace
It is not clear whether Hamas or another Palestinian faction killed 2 Israeli soldiers and kidnapped, or took the body, of a third, it is also a matter for debate if Hamas political leadership has full control over Qassam brigades.
Israel was conducting a military operation in Gaza when the soldiers were ambushed which also raises questions about what type of a cease fire Israel wants.
Israel killed over 300 palesinian children ( more than 100 per week)and bombed schools, hospitals, schools, UN centers and mosques. The most likely outcome of this war is more blood shed without Israel achieving its objectives unless the goal was destroying whatever is left of Gaza. One of the IDF killers bragged on social media that he killed 13 Palestinian children’s.
The IDF is the Jewish version of Isis

August 2nd, 2014, 12:08 am


Badr said:

“Ghufran” recently wrote:

I am convinced that the army, and Special Forces in particular, is far more diverse than what some internet boneheads and “analysts” are saying.

So “Ghufran”, please tell me what you make of Landis saying:

. . . what happened in Syria, when we saw the Syrian Army unravel at the base during the first year of the Sunni uprising. The Syrian military was quickly rebuilt along sectarian and regional lines to make it much stronger and more loyal . . .

August 2nd, 2014, 2:10 am


ALAN said:

Obama disillusioned:
Every major U.S. policy in the region is at a dead-end
Kenneth Pollack (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution); Paul Pillar (Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University); Amin Tarzi (Director of Middle East Studies, Marine Corps University); and Chas Freeman (Chair, Projects International, Inc.). Thomas Mattair, executive director of the Middle East Policy
Professor Joshua Landis:
Why you are missing there?

August 2nd, 2014, 7:53 am


ghufran said:

The two statements are not contradictory, we knew for years that alawites are overrepresented in the army and security forces for reasons explained many times here, this war made things worse but the statement that everybody who fought and everybody who died in the Syrian army was an alawite is not true especially in certain units, I hope that more people wake up to the fact that this is not simply a sunni-shia war despite the strong sectarian nature of many of the moving pieces in the wider conflict.
when most people see the wars in the regions through sectarian lenses that will signal that Israel and the terrorists have won. ISIS and the IDF are on the same page even if they are not using the same pen, we should always remember that, the Syrian war will end when Syrians realize who is the real enemy.

August 2nd, 2014, 5:06 pm


Observer said:

It is very simple Ghufran. It is nearly 100% Alawite fighting or obliging others to fight. I know from conscripts that were threatened with death if they even looked like they wanted to defect.

Also, how come the 400 000 standing army cannot take back territory as close as Daraya or Jobar and had to starve people in Homs to get some access? How come there has not been a single call for a single reservist to return to active duty as the regime pretends that it is facing a world wide war against it?

Hogwash this is a sectarian regime to the very core and all those that stand with it will share its fate.

Now if you hear the speech of Bibi it sounds very much like the speech of Bashar or of Nuslira. We are in to the end of times and for victory and for this and for that.

Let us see, if one considers that perhaps a fourth of the Palestinians killed are militants that makes it to about 350 or so and so far 50 or so Israeli soldiers are killed. To end Hamas it will require probably another 6 months of war. Let us see how many Israelis are willing to die for the follies of Bibi and his right wing nuts.

Bibi and Bashar and Abdallah II and Abdallah alone and Ahmad and Hasan and Sissi and Boutaflika and the list goes on have not grasped that the people will not be afraid anymore and that they will die standing rather than continue to live like slaves.

August 2nd, 2014, 6:06 pm


Observer said:

Here is an Israeli blogger calling for genocide of the Palestinians

Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.
The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.
Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.
Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.
Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.
I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

August 2nd, 2014, 6:24 pm


Ghufran said:

Here is a story from a recent trip I made to Syria:
I talked to a community leader ( Sunni) who knew my family for decades and realized like many Syrians that militarization of what was supposed a political struggle mostly helped the regime and hurt most Syrians. His view after 3 years of blood shed that this war needs to end at any cost. The man admitted to me that his preference , again like many Syrians, was to see the ruling mafia go and be replaced with a new regime, but after seeing what foreign jihadists did he concluded that Syrian rebels have no support unless they join nusra or Isis, he believes that these two terrorist groups will hurt Sunnis a lot more than alawites.
The man is watched by almukhabarat but he seemed confident that he is left free because of his stature and the regime’s effort to keep mouayia’s hair with people like him.
His final statement was: we are tired,we want this to end regardless of who wins as long as the winners are syrians who undertand that we as syrians need to live together.
I understood that as a willingness of the people he represents to accept a transitional period where alawites receive accommodations that assure them that they do not become the victims of a witch hunt led by sectarian groups that want Syria to become another Afghanistan. When I asked him whether he thinks Syria should be divided he said:
We are here, they are here, my niece and my nephew are married to alawites, we are going nowhere and they are here to stay.
A note about the “sectarian nature ” of the regime :
All Arab regimes can be accused of sectarianism, this is the result of centuries of oppression and dictatorship, the new thawrajiyyeh are more sectarian than the regimes they are trying to topple, this chronic disease can not be treated with a quick radical surgery, the patient will die even if the surgery was a technical success. Reforming governments take decades and can not be done with violence.

August 2nd, 2014, 8:24 pm



Landis calling the revolution the “Sunni Uprising” places him as one of the accomplices in the “islamization” of the revolution of dignity.

August 3rd, 2014, 8:36 am


Observer said:

Well well, it seems that the very notion and idea of a national identity has completely disappeared as “all Arab regime are sectarian”. It seems to me that there was never any notion of true Arab, Syrian, Lebanese, etc…. national identity. There was only a sect based identity.

So, there will be an IS just as there is a JS. The CS or Christian state namely Lebanon will not see the day. That state is finished.

Some have been saying that the FSA will join the regime in fighting against the IS. I believe it is going to be the other way around. The regime and the sects are going to beg for the FSA to protect them from the IS as they gave a glimpse of what will happen when they took Division 17.

Go watch the videos and pictures of the Division 17 take over. This is a nicer version of what is to come.

August 3rd, 2014, 9:14 am


Tara said:

Israel is not sustainable the way it is murdering Palestinians

August 3rd, 2014, 11:46 am


ALAN said:

thank you Tara for your post /Israel is not sustainable the way it is murdering Palestinians/

August 3rd, 2014, 12:23 pm


Tara said:

You welcome Alan!

August 3rd, 2014, 12:26 pm


Austin Michael Bodetti said:

No one seems able to challenge the Islamic State in ar-Raqqa.

August 5th, 2014, 10:42 am


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