Actually, the count currently stands at 18 collaborators being terminated.
Certainly, the way the western media has reported on it is meant to portray Palestinians as barbaric and violent thugs. A lot of information which is readily available from Arabic sources on the ground in Gaza is left out in English-language reports, such as what crimes the collaborators are accused of having committed and the fact that many of them have been in jail for years now. And you can tell what the effect of that reporting is by observing how zionists and other westerners are now using phrases like “mass murder” and “they’re killing their own people” — all while ignoring or blatantly supporting Israel’s massacre of over 2,000 Palestinian in the space of a month.
The reality is that there are collaborators — in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and in so-called Israel. They do it for money or for access to privileges or to be allowed to leave for another country or because of their internal colonization or a combination of these or other reasons. Whatever their motive is, they cannot be allowed to operate because the end result of their actions is what we’re seeing in Gaza now: total destruction of life and livelihood.
It might be easy for white, Arab, and other liberals living comfortably far from any sort of all-consuming violence to condemn these desperate acts of self-defense, but the Palestinian people do not have the luxury of such morality. Ask any Palestinian in Gaza right now, and they will tell you the collaborators and the outraged humanitarians can all go to hell.
"wtf have books ever done for u, ur still nowhere in life" 🔪
Israel is constructing the world’s largest detention center. With a capacity of eight thousand people, this detention center is geared toward the incrimination of Eritrean, Sudanese, and other African asylum seekers who are deemed infiltrators under the recently amended 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law for “threatening to change the character of the state,” refugees can be detained without rials for period of three years, and could even be held indefinitely. As part of the Zionist logic to keep Israel an exclusionary national home for Jews, this law was originally intended to imprison Palestinian refugees who were returning to their homes after the 1948 Al-Nakba. The law therefore simultaneously criminalizes Palestinians who defy dispossession and the illegal occupation of their homelands by asserting their right to return, as well as African refugees fleeing Western imperialism and structural poverty.
Truly amazing when you get angry and can see yr face getting redder via mirror in front of you
I had this weird dream where I was in Paris for a day and when I went through the airport with no identification, it was so much fun.
Hi I’m done with my bland hair color, come help me bleach and dye it red
okay first of all, it hasn’t been 3 years— it’s been 48 years. we must acknowledge that what we see today is a result of a 48-year-old dictatorship, not a 3-year-old revolution.
brief and basic history:
the ba’ath party staged its first military coup in syria in 1963. In 1966, hafez al-assad participated in the second military coup, which brought salah jadid to power. from 1950-1970, hafez al-assad was the lieutenant in the syrian air force, the head commander of the syrian air force, and the minister of defense. then in 1970, hafez al-assad led the third military coup to topple salah jadid, finally forcing himself into power. hafez al-assad actively used sectarianism as a method of consolidating and maintaining his power - he greatly increased alawite dominance in the regime’s security and intelligence branches, though his elite class was of all sects. the core of the assad regime, however, consists of assad family members/relatives who control everything from the army to the economy (ex. rami makhlouf, bashar al-assad’s cousin, controls 60% of syria’s economy).
so to begin, there has been an emergency law in syria since the ba’ath party came into power. basically, an emergency law suspends all constitutional rights of civilians. this emergency law has been in place since 1963 and was only lifted in 2011 (in actuality, it was never lifted and was only said to be lifted to silence the people’s demands - you cannot simultaneously lift an emergency law -and- shoot peaceful demonstrators, but i’ll get to this later).
besides not having basic human rights (freedom of speech, freedom of protest, freedom of assembly, freedom of choice, etc. etc.), hafez al-assad and his forces committed many civilian massacres, many of which were sectarian by nature. one of the biggest massacres in syria’s history took place in the city of hama. in the first hama massacre, 400 men were accused of anti-regime sentiments and executed. a year later, the hama massacre of 1982 was committed by the syrian army. in only a couple weeks (feb. 2nd - feb. 28th), assad’s forces (under the command of hafez al-assad and his brother rifa’at al-assad) massacred 20,000-40,000 syrian civilians (the number varies greatly because there were limited resources for documentation and because, immediately after the massacre, the army buried the martyrs in mass graves and built governmental parks/structures over them). many of my friends still don’t know what happened to their family members who disappeared that day - there was no closure, no bodies, no nothing.
(hama, syria after the massacre of 1982)
the massacre was committed as a fear tactic, as hama was known throughout the country as a city of dissent. the regime commonly used imprisonment and torture as additional fear tactics. any individual who was suspected of being anti-regime was detained for years and years.
two of my uncles were detained and tortured more than a decade under hafez al-assad’s rule, but other dissidents are still detained to this day. those imprisoned were usually charged for being in the muslim brotherhood (not to be confused with egypt’s muslim brotherhood); however, with that said, there are many accounts of non-muslims who were charged for being in the muslim brotherhood as well. besides that, many communists were imprisoned, as well as -any- individual who was suspected of anti-regime sentiments. torture methods were indescribable - sexual abuse as a form of torture is one of the most common methods used by assad forces, both then and now. it was common for the regime to kill detainees in cold blood - in 1980, the tadmor prison massacre took place, in which 1,000 prisoners were executed and buried in a mass grave under the command of hafez al-assad and his army officials.
the assad regime, during both hafez al-assad’s rule and bashar al-assad’s rule, silenced and threatened poets, writers, intellectuals, and journalists. because the regime controlled syrian cultural production, it was able to suppress syrian literature and revolutionary thought. tal al-malouhi (now 23 years old) was a syrian blogger from homs. in december 2009, she was taken from her home by security officers due to her poems about palestine and her social commentary online. she was accused of being a US spy and has not been heard of since. this is not uncommon today, as many young people are detained for their anti-regime sentiments on social media. anti-regime syrians living directly under the brutal rule of the assad regime are constantly at risk; however, non-syrians are also threatened and violently attacked if they criticize the regime in any way. one example is salim al-lawzi, a lebanese journalist, who was executed by the regime’s intelligence agency for critiquing the regime and its politics in his articles. he was found shot and tortured to death - his right arm dislocated, his fingers blackened from acid substances, and his abdomen and intestines stabbed with pens.
while hafez al-assad was revered for being one of the “protectors of palestine” and a “protector of minorities”, nothing could be farther from the truth. besides the ill treatment of palestinian and syrian-palestinian refugees in syria, the regime remains passive in regards to israel and the occupation of the golan heights. the syrian golan heights is a region that has been occupied by israel since 1981. both hafez al-assad’s regime and bashar al-assad’s regime have negotiated with israel and traded the land for political benefits. in regards to minorities, the dom people in syria are greatly discriminated against, both structurally and socially. they live in extreme poverty and are denied work, education, and housing. their total population is nearly 40,000 people, yet the assad regime has done absolutely nothing to aid these groups of people. in addition injustices against the dom people, hafez al-assad’s regime has committed some of the biggest atrocities against the kurdish people. 120,000 kurds were stripped of their syrian citizenship; the kurdish language, the kurdish flag, kurdish culture, kurdish businesses, and kurdish names were banned - children with kurdish names were rejected from school enrollment. kurdish people were denied employment and healthcare. in march 1986, a couple thousand kurds - dressed in kurdish clothing - gathered in damascus to celebrate newroz, until regime forces interrupted the gathering and threatened that kurdish dress is illegal under the state. what began as a celebration, ended with the police firing on the crowd and killing one person. it wasn’t until the syrian revolution that the kurdish flag began to be held and flown during revolutionary protests.
in 2000, hafez al-assad died of natural causes (unfortunately) and his son, bashar al-assad, inherited power. although the syrian constitution stated that a president needed to be at least 40 years old, it was amended within hours to the age of 34 and the 34-year-old bashar al-assad was *~lawfully~* able to inherit the seat.
bashar promised many reforms to make syria ~less~ of an authoritarian state. because he was an ophthalmologist and not a military man like his father, people assumed that his rule would be different - so, immediately after bashar assumed power in 2000, there was a period known as the damascus spring where individuals and groups began organizing towards a more democratic country, demanding the removal of the emergency law (among other very important things).
“On January 1, 2001, a group of Syrian lawyers demanded a complete reform of the constitution, the lifting of emergency laws, and the concession of full civil liberties. Shortly thereafter, a group of activists published the founding charter of their civil society committee—better known as the “Declaration of the 1,000.” The following day, the Jamal Atassi Forum for Democratic Dialogue was established with the participation of communists, Nasserites, socialists and Baathist critics of the regime, and on March 7, authorization was given to create independent organizations for the defense of human rights as well as cultural and social associations made up of moderate Muslims.
In just a few months, two hundred discussion clubs and forums were created. Reacting to the proliferation of spaces where the future of Syria was being freely debated, the regime pushed back, fearful it might lose its monopoly on power. Invoking a need to maintain national unity in the face of external threats, beginning in September 2001, the regime arrested deputies Riad Saif and Mamoun al-Homsi, economist Arif Dalila, lawyer Anwar al-Bunni, and Atassi Forum spokesman Habib Issa, followed in short order by Kamal al-Labwani and Haitham al-Malih.All were sentenced to between three and twelve years in jail on charges of “weakening national sentiment” and “inciting sectarian strife.” Other important figures were forbidden to leave the country including Radwan Ziyyade, director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies, and Suhair Atassi, director of the Jamal Atassi Forum.”
the emergency law remained and nothing changed as far as human rights went - if you were suspected of being anti-regime, your family was put in danger and you were immediately intimidated and threatened and at risk of being killed or detained, regardless of age, gender, or sect.
the syrian revolution began after 9-15 year old kids were inspired by the uprisings in the MENA. the first protests began in dara’a, syria - several children graffitied anti-government slogans on their school wall and were taken by assad’s forces, interrogated, and tortured (they were severely beaten and their nails were removed). on march 15th, the children’s families and the community responded by protesting for the children to be returned; however, not all the children were released. this sparked the beginning of the revolution.
(the walls of the school in dara’a today)
on friday march 18th, cities throughout syria collectively united in solidarity with dara’a, but security forces immediately responded by firing bullets on the peaceful demonstrations, killing 6 people on the very first day. after march 18th, syrians went out to protest every day (the ba’ath flag was used by demonstrators for nearly a year and a half before the independence flag that we see today was fully adopted). it’s important to note that at first the revolution’s demand was for mere reforms, but after experiencing the regime’s hostile and vicious response, the people demanded the downfall of the regime in its entirety.
(the largest anti-regime demonstration in hama, syria)
(“in syria, there are two sects: the sect of freedom and the sect of the regime. we demand a democratic, civilian state” - zabadani, syria)
the revolution remained completely peaceful for the next 8 months. syrian activists began organizing themselves into local councils and a revolutionary collective identity was formed. the revolution is not a sunni revolution and it is not a sectarian revolution. anti-sectarian revolutionary groups and committees, such as the nab’d coalition, were vital to protect collective unity in revolutionary spaces. most of the peaceful demonstrations ended with massacres and thus most massacres were named after demonstrations. despite the non-violent protests, the assad regime would fire on the peaceful crowds using bullets, tanks, warplanes, barrel bombs, and more. assad forces would also use chlorine bombs, SCUD missiles, chemical weapons, and indiscriminate shelling in areas known for revolutionary dissent. those injured during shelling or during the massacres were unable to go to state hospitals in fear of torture and imprisonment, so revolutionaries established field hospitals to care for those injured and those on the brink of death; however, field hospitals are extremely understaffed and under-equipped, at times operating with no power and with nothing more than pain killers.
(a field hospital in aleppo, syria after assad forces attacked the neighborhood)
immediately after the uprisings, the regime swept revolutionary cities and detained thousands and thousands of men and women who showed even the slightest bit of dissent. in detainment, the regime uses unthinkable methods of torture, violently assaulting and sexually abusing both men and women in countless ways. assad forces commonly use rape and molestation as a weapon against to incite fear and terror in dissidents, their families, and their communities. thousands of documented political detainees have been tortured to death at the hands of assad forces. recently, a defected regime photographer, who goes by the pseudonym “caesar”, leaked 55,000 images of over 11,000 tortured civilian detainees. many peaceful revolutionaries, such as the civil activist giyath matar and the palestinian activist and filmmaker hassan hassan, have been tortured to death in syrian prisons. revolutionary artists, such as ali ferzat (an anti-regime alawite political cartoonist), are also abused, detained, and tortured for their anti-regime activist work. a renowned protest singer from hama, ibrahim qashoush, was kidnapped by regime thugs and found near a river with his throat cut open and his vocal cords pulled out - these types of draconian torture tactics serve as a chilling message from the regime to revolutionaries regarding their voice of dissent. torture as a weapon did not emerge after the revolution began - on the contrary, it has been continuously used by the assad regimes, both under hafez al-assad and bashar al-assad.
(ali ferzat hospitalized after the assad regime severely beat him for his political cartoons / ali ferzat’s powerful (and witty) response to the regime)
the regime’s brutality against innocent civilians was unprecedented. as i mentioned earlier, the emergency law was lifted in april as an attempt to silence protesters - but what good is passing an empty bill to lift a draconian law, if the regime itself is authoritarian and ruthless? since the beginning of the revolution, the regime continues to massacre innocent civilians, execute dissidents, shell protests, bombard residential neighborhoods, torture detainees, and more. the regime commonly detains young children (which is no surprise as the revolution began due to the detainment of young boys). in may of 2011, hamza al-khateeb was detained by assad forces during a protest. his body was tortured and delivered to his family with burn marks, gunshot wounds, and severed genitals.
(hamza al-khatib, 13 years old)
along with the regime’s display of individual tortured bodies as a fear tactic for others, the assad regime collectively punishes entire neighborhoods and cities for demonstrations and dissent through indiscriminate airstrikes, shelling, sieges, and starvation campaigns. this method of punishment has been used since the very beginning of the revolution. countless cities, such as al-houla, al-moadamiyeh, and the yarmouk palestinian refugee camp, among other areas, are experiencing suffocating sieges that continue to lead to deaths due to starvation and malnutrition.
(yarmouk refugee camp, in line for food under a regime siege)
(yabroud, damascus after an assad airstrike)
bashar al-assad and his regime continue to implement collective punishments. a few of the largest massacres that the regime committed (before and after the arming of the revolution) include: the houla massacre, in which 116 civilians were killed, many slaughtered with knives (including 49 children and 34 women); the darayya massacre, in which 700 civilians were killed (and 1,755 civilians detained) within 5 days; the jdeidet al-fadl massacre, in which 450 civilians were killed (including 85 who were summarily executed); the bayda and banias massacres, in which nearly 700 civilians were killed (including children and women who were slaughtered with knives); the helfaya massacre, in which 94 civilians were killed after assad warplanes deliberately targeted a breadline; and the ghouta chemical weapons massacre, in which the regime attacked the city with sarin gass - 1,429 civilians suffocated to death (this took place exactly a year ago from today).
after 8 months of peaceful protests, many groups in the revolution decided that it was necessary to protect the protests and respond to the regime’s brutality with an armed resistance - and so, the free syrian army was established. it consisted mainly of syrian regime army members who defected (many defected with their weaponry), but also men (and women) who chose to defend the demonstrations from regime attacks. it was not until later on that the free syrian army began its operations.
it’s important to always acknowledge that despite the existence of FSA, peaceful activism remains alive in syria today. peaceful resistance is the core of the syrian revolution, and while the media chooses to highlight armed resistance, peaceful activism is what keeps revolutionary ideology alive. in my opinion, armed resistance is necessary in the face of a brutal, authoritarian state who is clearly capable of the most unthinkable of atrocities, but it’s important to remember that anti-FSA sentiments and pro-revolution stances are not mutually exclusive. unlike the assad regime (and its supporters) who refuse any form of critique or dissent, the revolution allows for criticism and opinions of any group (including the FSA). the revolution is diverse in its resistance groups, yet all are working towards the same goal: the downfall of the regime. it is also important to differentiate between islamists and islamist extremists in the revolution’s opposition. there are many different types of brigades in the FSA (kurdish brigades, all-woman brigades, chrisitian brigades, alawite brigades, etc.), although the most common brigade is a mix of all syrians of different ethnicities and sects. the FSA is not well-organized and severely underfunded - in fact, many FSA factions are independent of one another and this leads to many inevitable mistakes that may not always represent the ideals of the revolution. critiques of the FSA are common in revolutionary spaces - it is important to acknowledge that the FSA is not the revolution.
now, when discussing foreign fighters and jihadists in syria, we must acknowledge that the regime played a large role in paving the way for islamic fundamentalism. in 2011, assad released around 1,000 political prisoners - many anti-regime groups assumed that this was some kind of concession; however, it was not until later that we discovered that most of the detainees who were released were actually salafist activists who were imprisoned during the time of the iraq war. so while peaceful civil activists remained in assad’s prisons indefinitely, armed salafist activists roamed free. some of the most prominent salafist commanders released by the regime included: abu muhammad al-joulani (founder of jabhat al-nusra), muhammad haydar zammar (a top AQ recruiter), zahran alloush (the leader of the army of islam), hassan aboud (leader of ahrar al-sham), and abu eesa (the leader of suqour il sham). releasing these salafi activists allowed assad to 1. legitimize his claim that the peaceful demonstrators who began the revolution are in fact “islamic terrorists and infiltrators” and 2. assert that the islamic fundamentalists we see in syria today are the only alternative to him, thus causing the international community to dismiss peaceful syrian revolutionaries who began the syrian revolution for freedom and autonomy. in addition, many jihadist groups openly collaborate with the regime. jabhat al-nusra, for instance, sells oil to the syrian government and is fairly open about it. so, it is clear that the release of these extremist was a tactical move by the regime and that the regime itself benefits from the presence of these groups.
(the revolutionary city of kafranbel, idlib during a anti-regime and anti-IS protest)
IS (ISIS) is now considered the second enemy of the syrian revolution. besides anti-ISIS and anti-regime protests that take place across syria, revolutionary groups continue to publish statements against the IS. in fact, in a recent statement, the FSA has declared it is now fighting two fronts: the assad regime and IS. kurdish YPG factions are also fighting alongside the FSA against IS. IS is counterrevolutionary, as are any jihadist group on the grounds of syria. they do not represent our revolution. IS continues to detain the same activists that were detained by the regime during the revolution - IS also continues to occupy the liberated cities of northern syria. while some cities were able to organize and force IS out, other cities are in a more difficult situation. for instance, the city of raqqa remains occupied by IS, and while the regime continues to shell and strike areas and neighborhoods, it has not once attacked the IS headquarters in raqqa (a large, recognizable building). again, this is not a coincidence - it’s clear that the regime is more threatened by peaceful activists and revolutionary neighborhoods and cities, than it is by fundamentalists.
(the aftermath of a SCUD missile attack in aleppo, syria)
the regime is primarily supported by russia, iran, and hezbollah, both materially and physically. russia supplies the regime with heavy weaponry, planes, and SCUD missiles, which are then used to kill innocent syrian civilians and destroy entire neighborhoods. hezbollah and iranian religious fundamentalist militias enter syrian cities and ethnically cleanse neighborhoods (we saw this in homs, yabroud, banias, etc.). as “leftists” and self-proclaimed “anti-imperialists” denounce the revolution in “hands off syria” protests, one wonders where they were in the beginning of the revolution? where were the protests against hezbollah, russia, and iran, and their direct involvement in syria? imperialism is not limited to the US. our demands regarding international support for the revolution mary vary in different revolutionary spaces; however, i stand by these demands wholeheartedly:
- No to all forms of imperialist intervention, whether by the US or Russia!
- No to all forms of reactionary sectarian interventions, whether by Iran or the Gulf countries!
- No to the intervention of Hezbollah, which warrants the maximum of condemnation!
- Down with all illusions about the imminent US military strike!
- Break open the arms depots for the Syrian people to struggle for freedom, dignity, and social justice!
- Victory to a free democratic Syria and down with the Assad dictatorship and all dictatorships forever!
- Long live the Syrian people’s revolution!
(a neighborhood in homs, syria after regime airstrikes and bombardments)
the assad regime in syria has forced mass displacements of its own population. today there are 2.5+ million (documented) refugees according to UNHCR, and 9 million internally displaced civilians (half of which are children). their situations are unbearable. those who live in refugee camps in syria and in different countries live in makeshift tents (and use makeshift bathrooms). they are forced to eat, at the most, two meals a day and share meals with at least one other individual. many children in the refugee camps have died from hypothermia during the winter. civilians who struggle from certain sicknesses and diseases are unable to receive proper medical care - they are at risk of dying due to the lack of medical supplies and medical attention in the camps. the conditions of the refugee camps are extremely unsanitary and unbearable. these are not the conditions of living! those who desperately escape conditions in neighboring countries and try traveling abroad on boat are forced to risk the common danger of drowning (this has occurred several times). groups that are able to afford living abroad experience racism, discrimination, a severe lack of work, and countless unthinkable struggles.
(atmeh refugee camp - idlib, syria)
the bottom line is that what we see today in syria is a direct result of assad’s refusal to step down from his presidency. that’s the absolute bottom line. the revolution is not a conspiracy - it is a popular uprising against a 48-year-old junta. the assad regime has killed 140,000 civilians, has displaced half of the population, has tortured innocent people through violence and sexual abuse, has caused young syrian students (elementary, middle, high school and college students) to abandon their education in state schools, and more… assad has destroyed homes, mosques, churches, historical sites, and livelihoods for power. he has left orphaned thousands of syrian children, leaving them with no families and no homes. any individual who supports such a ruthless regime (through neutrality or direct support) is undeserving of an opinion until they have lived through torture in assad prisons, bombardments and airstrikes in revolutionary neighborhoods, and starvation in areas under siege.
it is necessary to keep our humanitarian stances above our political stances. these are real people suffering real horrors.
i have left so much out of this post - HR reports, articles, videos, short films, interviews, personal accounts, artworks, revolutionary cultural productions, solidarity actions, donation sites, etc. if you’d like to explore the syrian revolution and learn more, visit the syrian revolution archive: http://muqawameh.wordpress.com/archive/.