Adonis Diaries

News from Lebanon this week:

No different from boring California weather.

Actually, Lebanon “enjoys” 7 months of completely dry weather from May to October.

Politically,this week was pretty awful

This week in Lebanon:

1. We engaged in a small war on terrorism in the town of Ersal, which was occupied by ISIS advancing from the Syrian mountains (and the Lebanese army won),

Actually, the “Syrian insurgents” were allowed to vacate the town after killing dozens of citizens and soldiers and taking hostage over 40 soldiers with them.

What kind of negotiations are being undertaken and by whom to release the soldiers is a taboo story and we are in total darkness for how long the kidnapped soldiers will be held.

2. Still “No selection by Parliament for a President to the republic” and this immature and futile process has been dragging on for 2 months

3. No new election law that this Parliament promised in exchange for extending its tenure 2 more years against citizens refusal.

4. No resolution for the Syrian refugee crisis increasing steadily and representing 40% of Lebanon “approximate” population


Continue reading the remaing most boring though important stuff

1. Armed “Vigilantes” Break into Syrian Homes

(Image via Lebanese Forces)

Gunmen belonging to the Amal party were spotted breaking into Syrian homes in Msaytbeh and Mar Elias in broad daylight this week.

The gunmen, acting as self-dubbed vigilantes, are allegedly aiming to “help” the Lebanese Armed Forces by seeking out “terrorists”… their own way.

2. Saad Hariri Returns to Lebanon in Surprise Visit

After being in self-imposed exile for 3 years, Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon on Friday. The former prime minister told the press that he’ll be looking over the $1 billion in Saudi aid to the Lebanese army, and as for his personal safety, Hariri said: “May Allah protect everyone”.

Actually, Saad came to make sure if any Parliamentary election will be due this November, and if the answer was positive to spend the billion on his election campaign.

(Saad stayed less than 3 days in Beirut and returned to Jedda, and we never heard of him again, or his new location).

Apparently, the deputies have decided to extend their tenure another 2 more years, doubling the constitutional 4-year term.

As for the other $3 billion Saudi aid that the French were supposed to arm the army with, it totally evaporated into thin air and in many deep pockets: The army was horribly short on basic ammunition during the siege of Ersal.

3. Education Minister: Everyone To Pass Final Exams

(Image via Annahar)

The Lebanese education system has finally hit rock bottom. The last time the government let everyone pass their final exams was during the civil war that started in April 1975 and ravaged Lebanon till 1991.

But Education Minister Elias Bou Saab says he will let all students who took the exam receive a certificate.

The minister said his decision came after the UCC’s continued boycott to grade the exams until Parliament passes a new salary scale for teachers.

Bou Saab said he would suspend his decision for 48 hours upon the request of UCC representatives.

This massive 100% success rate of “Graduating” students from high schools will still sit for entrance exams in most public and private universities.

Note that the minister is one of the promotions who “passed” without exam correction in 1985?

4. ISIS Expelled From Arsal

(Image via Annahar)

After five worrisome days of joint military actions that involved the LAF and Hezbollah, Arsal is free of ISIS terror.

The damages left however are remarkable, and need immediate attention by the government.

Many Syrian refugees have been ordered to leave Lebanon putting in question what actually happened in Arsal, and why.

5. Syria Rejects Return of 1,700 Refugees from Lebanon

(Image via Annahar)

In a somewhat ironic development, after the Lebanese government decided to ship back 1,700 refugees to Syria, Syria rejected their passage through the border due to suspected ties between the refugees and the Resistance.

To everyone their opinion: Pay close attention to “demonstrating opinions”

Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

To everyone their opinion.

The fact of the matter remains that tens of thousands formed an opinion today against the atrocities that Israel is committing in Gaza.

These were global, not Muslim opinions as I have witnessed today and as another commentator has stated below.

The fact of the matter remains that no matter how terrorist Hamas (or ISIS, if you want to dump them in the same category) is, this does not justify the killing of hundreds of civilian lives by the IDF.

We all followed how the Lebanese Armed Forces removed ISIS militants from town of Arsal (by the Syrian border) without sacrificing the life of any Arsal residents.

Yes battles are different, but today, many people saw no justification for the killing of innocent Gazans, and therefore they protested.


Hanna Arendt:

Born in conflict, Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away

Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt

For the new year, here are some prophetic excerpts from two essays of Hannah Arendt’s, collected in The Jewish Writings (2007).

Note her predictions of the Nakba (Palestinians killed and transferred from their homes and villages in 1948), of unending conflict, of Zionist dependence on the American Jewish community, of ultimate conflict with that American Jewish community, and the contribution of political Zionism to world anti-semitism.

Just what Howard Gutman said recently.

For which he was denounced by– Zionists.

Zionism Reconsidered, 1944:

Nationalism is bad enough when it trusts in nothing but the rude force of the nation. A nationalism that necessarily and admittedly depends upon the force of a foreign nation is certainly worse.

This is the threatened state of Jewish nationalism and of the proposed Jewish state, surrounded inevitably by Arab states and Arab people. Even a Jewish majority in Palestine–nay even a transfer of all Palestine’s Arabs, which is openly demanded by the revisionists–would not substantially change a situation in which Jews must either ask protection from an outside power against their neighbors or come to a working agreement with their neighbors…

[T]he Zionists, if they continue to ignore the Mediterranean people and watch out only for the big faraway powers, will appear only as their tools, the agents of foreign and hostile interests.

Jews who know their own history should be aware that such a state of affairs will inevitably lead to a new wave of Jew-hatred; the antisemitism of tomorrow will assert that Jews not only profiteered from the presence of foreign big powers in that region but had actually plotted it and hence are guilty of the consequences…

[T]he sole new piece of historical philosophy which the Zionists contributed out of their own new experiences [was] “A nation is a group of people…  held together by a common enemy” (Herzl)–an absurd doctrine…

To such [political] independence, it was believed, the Jewish nation could arrive under the protecting wings of any great power strong enough to shelter its growth…. the Zionists ended by making the Jewish national emancipation entirely dependent upon the material intersts of another nation.

The actual result was a return of the new movement to the traditional methods of shtadlonus [court Jews], which the Zionists once had so bitterly despised and violently denounced.

Now Zionists too knew no better place politically than the lobbies of the powerful, and no sounder basis for agreements than their good services as agents of foreign interests…

[O]nly folly could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of neighbors. What then, one is prompted to ask, will be the future policy of Zionism with respect to big powers, and what program will Zionists have to offer for a solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict?…

If a Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future–with or without partition–it will be due to the political influence of American Jews….

But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come.

And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country [the U.S.], who after all have no power to direct the political destinies of the Near East.

It may eventually be far more of a responsibility than today they imagine or tomorrow can make good.

To Save the Jewish Homeland, 1948 [on the occasion of war in Palestine]

And even if the Jews were to win the war, its end would find the unique possibilities and the unique achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed.

The land that would come into being would be something quite other than the dream of world Jewry, Zionist and non-Zionist.

The ‘victorious’ Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded into ever-threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defense to a degree that would submerge all other interests and activities.

The growth of a Jewish culture would cease to be the concern of the whole people; social experiments would have to be discarded as impractical luxuries; political thought would center around military strategy….

And all this would be the fate of a nation that — no matter how many immigrants it could still absorb and how far it extended its boundaries (the whole of Palestine and Transjordan is the insane Revisionist demand)–would still remain a very small people greatly outnumbered by hostile neighbors.

Under such circumstances… the Palestinian Jews would degenerate into one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta.

Their relations with world Jewry would become problematical, since their defense interests might clash at any moment with those of other countries where large number of Jews lived.

Palestine Jewry would eventually separate itself from the larger body of world Jewry and in its isolation develop into an entirely new people.

Thus it becomes plain that at this moment and under present circumstances a Jewish state can only be erected at the price of the Jewish homeland…

One grim addendum.

In the heyday of the special relationship between the US and Israel, American Jewry felt itself to be one with the Israeli people. We Are One! declared Melvin Urofsky’s book of 1978.

That unity is today being dissolved. The haredi-secular conflict in Israel that is getting so much attention here is one means of that dissolution.

And the aim, unconsciously, may be a desire by American Jews to distance themselves from Israeli Jews so that when the Arab Spring at last brings a democratic movement to Israel and Palestine, and bloody conflict ensues, and the Israeli gov’t is cast as the bad guys, American Jews are emotionally prepared to regard the bloodshed as inevitable and not their problem.

After writing, “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” Arendt report of the Eichmann trial in which she suggested that had not the Judenrat, the Jewish councils appointed by the Nazis in occupied Europe, collaborated with the Nazis in their round-up of Jews to be sent off to the death camps to the point of providing them with lists, collecting valuables, and policing Jews who were non-cooperative, the number of Jews murdered by the Nazis would have greatly reduced, she became a non-person in the Jewish world.

It was not until the past few years that she was resurrected to the degree that her name could even be mentioned in the Jewish press, albeit usually critically.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

What kind of Logic is this: Justifying the killing of civilians and children?

The Dangerous Logic Used to Justify Killing Civilians

A supporter of Israel’s campaign in Gaza evades a longstanding taboo, using logic uncomfortably close to what’s employed by Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists.
After the September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden argued that Al Qaeda was perfectly justified in killing all those people inside the World Trade Center because they weren’t really civilians–they were complicit in U.S. might and misdeeds.
Didn’t their taxes fund America’s CIA assassinations and war planes?
As every American understood perfectly well at the time, the attack that day would not have been justified even if all office workers in the Twin Towers had voted for a president and supported a military that perpetrated grave sins in the Middle East.
Or even, indeed, if they were all subletting spare bedrooms to U.S. soldiers.


Killing civilians is wrong, no matter how often those who do it insist that the humans they killed weren’t really innocent.

Everyone understands this truth when the civilians being killed are one’s countrymen or allies–but forget it quickly when the civilians are citizens of a country one is fighting or rooting against in war, even though the civilizational taboo against killing civilians becomes no less important.

The latest to succumb to this seductive illogic, to insist that slain civilians weren’t really civilians, is New York University’s Thane Rosenbaum, who writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Gazans sheltered terrorists and their weapons in their homes, right beside ottoman sofas and dirty diapers. When Israel warned them of impending attacks, the inhabitants defiantly refused to leave.

On some basic level, you forfeit your right to be called civilians when you freely elect members of a terrorist organization as statesmen, invite them to dinner with blood on their hands and allow them to set up shop in your living room as their base of operations.

At that point you begin to look a lot more like conscripted soldiers than innocent civilians. And you have wittingly made yourself targets.

For purposes of this article, let’s set aside all the adults killed in Gaza, just for the sake of argument.

The dead Palestinian children are evidence enough that “real civilians” are being slaughtered.

In the above passage, the author focuses on the dirty diapers rather than the baby that produced them.

Elsewhere, he acknowledges the revolting number of kids killed in this conflict, and then adds, as if it’s concession enough, “Surely there are civilians who have been killed in this conflict who have taken every step to distance themselves from this fast-moving war zone, and children whose parents are not card-carrying Hamas loyalists. These are the true innocents of Gaza.”

In fact, even a toddler whose father is a card-carrying Hamas loyalist is an innocent, by virtue of being a young child!

It is a moral failure not to acknowledge at least that.

And the failure is worth dwelling on because wide embrace of Rosenbaum’s logic would be a setback for a world where civilians have legal protection in war, however often it is violated.

As Daniel Larison explains:

Rosenbaum’s argument is extremely similar to the justifications that terrorist groups use when they target civilians in their own attacks. It is based on the false assumption that there are no real innocents or bystanders in a given country because of their previous political support for a government and its policies, which supposedly makes it permissible to strike non-military targets.

It is very important to reject this logic no matter where it comes from or whose cause in a conflict it is being used to advance, because this is the logic that has been used to justify countless atrocities down through the years.

Just so.

No matter one’s position on Israel, Palestine, or the current conflict, the fact that innocent civilians exist on both sides, that they ought to be protected from death and dismemberment, and that they’re presently dying in large numbers ought not be denied.

Lest there be any confusion about what sorts of attacks I am condemning, consider any bygone instance of a Palestinian suicide bomber blowing up a restaurant or discotheque–or the lobbing rockets into residential neighborhoods inside Israel–as well as Israeli attacks like one that the New York Times just reported on:

When the strike leveled a four-story house in the southern Gaza Strip the night before, it also killed 25 members of 4 family households—including 19 children—gathered to break the daily Ramadan fast together.

Relatives said it also killed a guest of the family, identified by an Israeli human rights group as a member of the Hamas military wing, ostensibly Israel’s target.

The attack was the latest in a series of Israeli strikes that have killed families in their homes, during an offensive that Israel says is meant to stop militant rocket fire that targets its civilians and destroy Hamas’s tunnel network.

The Palestinian deaths—75% of them civilians, according to a United Nations count—have prompted a wave of international outrage, and are raising questions about Israel’s stated dedication to protecting civilians.

Killing 19 children in order to get one Hamas fighter is horrific.

Says Larison, alluding to such attacks:

It may please Hamas to make use of these victims’ deaths for their own purposes, but that doesn’t absolve the Israeli government of its responsibility for causing those deaths.

If Hamas benefits politically from these civilian deaths, and it seems likely that they do, it would seem obvious that Israel should not want to cause any more, and yet at each step over the last few weeks Israel’s government has responded with tactics that are guaranteed to continue killing many more non-combatants for as long as this operation continues.

Israel’s experience as a terrorist target suggests that watching foreigners kill children in one’s midst does not break a people’s desire to fight—it strengthens it.

The spike in civilian deaths we’re witnessing appears to be a moral and strategic failure.

CONOR FRIEDERSDORF is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs.

He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Nightmare in Gaza: Noam Chomsky’s Op-Ed

Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel’s goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm.

For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements and infrastructure so that it can integrate into Israel whatever might be of value, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence.

For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more.

The negotiations taking place in Egypt has officially reached a dead end, but with an additional day of truce for more battle of ideas.

The US wants any deal that both sides are willing to agree on: Far more troubling battle fields out there to deal with.

As Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erikat declared:  “Israel don’t mind signing on any deal. Practically, Israel will apply and execute the items that she wants and ignore the res with total impunity”

Implicitly, Israel agreed on 5 of the 6 items that are not that important to the Palestinian in the long run.

Noam Chomsky | Nightmare in Gaza

Sunday, August 3,2014

By Noam Chomsky, Truthout | Op-Ed

The latest Israeli rampage was set off by the brutal murder of three Israeli boys from a settler community in the occupied West Bank. A month before, two Palestinian boys were shot dead in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

That killing of Palestinian kids elicited little attention, which is understandable, since it is routine.

Palestinian children gather books from the rubble of the Imam Shafi’i Mosque in Gaza City, Aug. 2, 2014. (Photo: Sergey Ponomarev / The New York Times)

Palestinian children gather books from the rubble of the Imam Shafi’i Mosque in Gaza City, Aug. 2, 2014. (Photo: Sergey Ponomarev / The New York Times)

“The institutionalized disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence,” Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani reports, “but also Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip.”

In an interview, human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, who has remained in Gaza through years of Israeli brutality and terror, said, “The most common sentence I heard when people began to talk about cease-fire: Everybody says it’s better for all of us to die and not go back to the situation we used to have before this war. We don’t want that again. We have no dignity, no pride; we are just soft targets, and we are very cheap. Either this situation really improves or it is better to just die. I am talking about intellectuals, academics, ordinary people: Everybody is saying that.”

In January 2006, Palestinians committed a major crime: They voted the wrong way in a carefully monitored free election, handing control of Parliament to Hamas.

The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

In reality, Hamas leaders have repeatedly made it clear that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the U.S. and Israel for 40 years.

In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.

The crime of the Palestinians in January 2006 was punished at once. The U.S. and Israel, with Europe shamefully trailing behind, imposed harsh sanctions on the errant population and Israel stepped up its violence.

The U.S. and Israel quickly initiated plans for a military coup to overthrow the elected government.

When Hamas had the effrontery to foil the plans, the Israeli assaults and the siege became far more severe.

There should be no need to review again the dismal record since. The relentless siege and savage attacks are punctuated by episodes of “mowing the lawn,” to borrow Israel’s cheery expression for its periodic exercises in shooting fish in a pond as part of what it calls a “war of defense.”

Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to rebuild somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. The most recent cease-fire was established after Israel’s October 2012 assault, called Operation Pillar of Defense .

Though Israel maintained its siege, Hamas observed the cease-fire, as Israel concedes. Matters changed in April of this year when Fatah and Hamas forged a unity agreement that established a new government of technocrats unaffiliated with either party.

Israel was naturally furious, all the more so when even the Obama administration joined the West in signaling approval. The unity agreement not only undercuts Israel’s claim that it cannot negotiate with a divided Palestine but also threatens the long-term goal of dividing Gaza from the West Bank and pursuing its destructive policies in both regions.

Something had to be done, and an occasion arose on June 12, when the three Israeli boys were murdered in the West Bank. Early on, the Netanyahu government knew that they were dead, but pretended otherwise, which provided the opportunity to launch a rampage in the West Bank, targeting Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to have certain knowledge that Hamas was responsible. That too was a lie.

One of Israel’s leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that “I’m sure they didn’t get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.”

The 18-day rampage after the kidnapping, however, succeeded in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing five Hamas members on July 7.

Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.

By July 31, around 1,400 Palestinians had been killed (climbed to 2,000), mostly civilians, including hundreds of women and children. And three Israeli civilians. Large areas of Gaza had been turned into rubble. Four hospitals had been attacked, each another war crime.

Israeli officials laud the humanity of what it calls “the most moral army in the world,” which informs residents that their homes will be bombed. The practice is “sadism, sanctimoniously disguising itself as mercy,” in the words of Israeli journalist Amira Hass: “A recorded message demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave their already targeted homes, for another place, equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away.”

In fact, there is no place in the prison of Gaza safe from Israeli sadism, which may even exceed the terrible crimes of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.

The hideous revelations elicited the usual reaction from the most moral president in the world, Barack Obama: great sympathy for Israelis, bitter condemnation of Hamas and calls for moderation on both sides.

When the current attacks are called off, Israel hopes to be free to pursue its criminal policies in the occupied territories without interference, and with the U.S. support it has enjoyed in the past.

Gaza people will be free to return to the norm in their Israeli-run prison, while in the West Bank, Palestinians can watch in peace as Israel dismantles what remains of their possessions.

That is the likely outcome if the U.S. maintains its decisive and virtually unilateral support for Israeli crimes and its rejection of the long-standing international consensus on diplomatic settlement. But the future will be quite different if the U.S. withdraws that support.

In that case it would be possible to move toward the “enduring solution” in Gaza that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for, eliciting hysterical condemnation in Israel because the phrase could be interpreted as calling for an end to Israel’s siege and regular attacks. And – horror of horrors – the phrase might even be interpreted as calling for implementation of international law in the rest of the occupied territories.

Forty years ago Israel made the fateful decision to choose expansion over security, rejecting a full peace treaty offered by Egypt in return for evacuation from the occupied Egyptian Sinai, where Israel was initiating extensive settlement and development projects. Israel has adhered to that policy ever since.

If the U.S. decided to join the world, the impact would be great. Over and over, Israel has abandoned cherished plans when Washington has so demanded. Such are the relations of power between them.

Furthermore, Israel by now has little recourse, after having adopted policies that turned it from a country that was greatly admired to one that is feared and despised, policies it is pursuing with blind determination today in its march toward moral deterioration and possible ultimate destruction.

Could U.S. policy change? It’s not impossible.

Public opinion has shifted considerably in recent years, particularly among the young, and it cannot be completely ignored.

For some years there has been a good basis for public demands that Washington observe its own laws and cut off military aid to Israel. U.S. law requires that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

Israel most certainly is guilty of this consistent pattern, and has been for many years.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, author of this provision of the law, has brought up its potential applicability to Israel in specific cases, and with a well-conducted educational, organizational and activist effort such initiatives could be pursued successively.

That could have a very significant impact in itself, while also providing a springboard for further actions to compel Washington to become part of “the international community” and to observe international law and norms.

Nothing could be more significant for the tragic Palestinian victims of many years of violence and repression.

© 2014 Noam Chomsky
Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate


Noam Chomsky’s most recent book is Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire. Interviews with David Barsamian. Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge.


Noam Chomsky: The Assault on Gaza

By Noam Chomsky, Truthout | Op-Ed

Palestinians in Gaza, in West Bank. Iraqis in North Iraq, Syrians in north-east Syria…Ebola in Africa, famine in Sudan and Ethiopia

The King is naked

The UN is naked

Two articles in one and a comment.

Israel court forbade publishing the names of children who died in Gaza. But you can peruse the names of families who were wiped out in Gaza with names of the members.

Palestinian Families bombed at home, Gaza, July-August 2014

Initial figures as the list keeps increasing by the days

Updated Aug. 11, 2014

During the fighting in Gaza, dozens of residences were bombed while residents were at home.

The following infographic lists members of families killed in their homes in 59 incidents of bombing or shelling. In these incidents, 458 people were killed, including 108 women under the age of 60, 214 minors, and 18 people over the age of 60.

Mouse over the houses for more details.

The figures are based on B’Tselem’s initial investigation. We will continue to investigate the incidents and update the figures accordingly.

Kaware’, 9 killed

  • Muhammad Ibrahim Kaware’, 50
  • Ibrahim Kaware’, 29
  • Hussein Kaware’, 13
  • Muhammad ‘Ali Kaware’, 13
  • Abdallah Kaware’, 12
  • Qassem Kaware’, 12
  • Bassem Kaware’, 10
  • Amar Judah, 20
  • Siraj ‘Abd al-‘Al, 8

Read more: Bombing family homes of activists in armed Palestinian groups violates international humanitarian law

Hamad, 6 killed

  • Fawzeyeh Hamad, 62
  • Mahdi Hamad, 46
  • Hafez Hamad, 30 (military branch operative)
  • Ibrahim Hamad, 26
  • Suha Hamad, 25
  • Dina Hamad, 16

Read more: Muhammad Hamad, 75, resident of Beit Hanun, relates how bombing killed his family members in their yard

Malakeh, 3 killed

  • Hanaa Malakeh, 28
  • Safaa Malakeh, 6
  • Muhammad Malakeh, 2

al-Masri family, 4 killed

  • Sahar al-Masri, 35
  • Amjad Hamdan, 24 (military branch operative)
  • Asil al-Masri, 15
  • Muhammad al-Masri, 14

Nawasrah, 4 killed

  • Salah Nawasrah, 24
  • Aishah Nawasrah, 22
  • Nidal Nawasrah, 4
  • Muhammad Nawasrah, 2

al-Haj, 8 killed

  • Mahmoud al-Haj, 55
  • Basmah al-Haj, 52
  • Najlaa al-Haj, 27
  • Asmaa al-Haj, 22
  • Omar al-Haj, 21
  • Tareq al-Haj, 18
  • Sa’ed al-Haj, 16
  • Fatmeh al-Haj, 14

Read more: Muhammad Shahin recounts bombing of al-Hajs’ home, Khan Yunis refugee camp; 8 members of al-Haj family killed

al-Ghanam family, 5 killed

  • Abd a-Razeq al-Ghanam, 58
  • Ghaliya al-Ghanam, 56
  • Kifah al-Ghanam, 33
  • Mahmoud al-Ghanam, 28 (military branch operative)
  • Wisam al-Ghanam, 20

al-Batsh family, 18 killed

  • Aziza al-Batsh, 59
  • Majed al-Batsh, 50
  • Amal Hassan al-Batsh, 49
  • Nahed al-Batsh, 41
  • Bahaa al-Batsh, 28
  • Jalal al-Batsh, 26
  • Marwa al-Batsh, 25
  • Mahmoud al-Batsh, 22
  • Yazid al-Batsh, 21
  • Samah al-Batsh, 20
  • Khaled al-Batsh, 20
  • Ibrahim al-Batsh, 18
  • Yihya al-Batsh, 18
  • Muhammad al-Batsh, 17
  • Manar al-Batsh, 13
  • Qusai al-Batsh, 12
  • Anas al-Batsh, 10
  • Amal Bahaa al-Batsh, 2

Read more: Sa’eed al-Hadad relates bombing of al-Batsh home in Gaza City with no prior warning, which killed 18 family members

Abu Mu’amar family, 3 killed

  • Musa Abu Mu’amar, 57
  • Hanadi Abu Mu’amar, 26
  • Saddam Abu Mu’amar, 24

Read more: Muhammad Abu Mu’ammar describes the bombing that killed his wife, father and brother in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, 13 July 2014

al-Astal, 4 killed

  • Kawthar al-Astal, 57
  • Hussein al-Astal, 23
  • Ousamah al-Astal, 8
  • Yasmin al-Astal, 5

Read more: Yasmin (5) and Usamah (8) al-Astal, sent to their aunt’s house because of shelling, were killed when her house was bombed, 16 July 2014

Antiz, 3 killed

  • Abed Antiz, 24
  • Muhammad Ibrahim Antiz, 13
  • Muhammad Salem Antiz, 3

Abu Musalam familiy, 3 killed

  • Muhammad Abu Musalam, 15
  • Walaa Abu Musalam, 14
  • Ahmad Abu Musalam, 11

Abu Jarad, 8 killed

  • Raja Abu Jarad, 32
  • Abed Abu Jarad, 23
  • Nai’m Abu Jarad, 18
  • Ahlam Abu Jarad, 16
  • Samar Abu Jarad, 15
  • Haniyah Abu Jarad, 3
  • Samih Abu Jarad, 1
  • Musa Abu Jarad, 8 months

Read more: Shadi Taleb tells of seeing Abu Jarad family home shelled, leaving 8 dead; recounts constantly fleeing with his family for fear of bombings

a-Zweidi family, 5 killed

  • Daliyah a-Zweidi, 36
  • Mahmoud a-Zweidi, 25
  • Muhammad a-Zweidi, 19
  • Ru’ya a-Zweidi, 5
  • Nagham Mahmoud a-Zweidi, 2

al-Hayah family, 5 killed

  • Ousamah al-Hayah, 30
  • Halah Abu Hin, 26
  • Umamah al-Hayah, 8
  • Khalil al-Hayah, 5
  • Hamzah al-Hayah, 4

a-Sheikh Khalil, 5 killed

  • Yusef Habib, 60
  • Abd a-Rahman a-Sheikh Khalil, 50
  • Ayidah a-Sheikh Khalil, 45
  • Muna a-Sheikh Khalil, 44
  • Hiba a-Sheikh Khalil, 14

a-Sha’er, 4 killed

  • Salah a-Sha’er, 55 (military branch operative)
  • Laila a-Sha’er, 30
  • Hiba a-Sha’er, 15
  • Muhammad a-Sha’er, 5

Ziyadah family, 6 killed

  • Muftiyah Ziyadah, 70
  • Jamil Ziyadah, 53
  • Yusef Ziyadah, 43
  • Bayan Ziyadah, 39
  • Omar Ziyadah, 32
  • Muhammad al-Maqadmeh, 30 (military branch operative)
  • Sha’ban Ziyadah, 12

al-Halak and ‘Amar families, 11 killed

  • Su’ad al-Halak, 60
  • Hani al-Halak, 50
  • Samar al-Halak, 30
  • Halah al-Halak, 26
  • Kinan al-Halak, 6
  • Saji al-Halak, 4
  • Muhammad al-Halak, 2
  • Ibrahim ‘Amar, 12
  • Iman ‘Amar, 9
  • Assem ‘Amar, 4
  • Rahaf Abu Jum’ah, 4

Abu Jame’ family, 26 killed

  • Fatmeh Abu Jame’, 60
  • Sabah Abu Jame’, 35
  • Ahmad Sahmoud, 34 (military branch operative)
  • Shahinaz Abu Jame’, 29
  • Yasser Abu Jame’, 27
  • Fatmeh Riad Abu Jame’, 26
  • Yasmin Abu Jame’, 25
  • Razan Abu Jame’, 14
  • Jawdat Abu Jame’, 13
  • Aya Abu Jame’, 12
  • Fatmeh Taysir Abu Jame’, 12
  • Ayub Abu Jame’, 10
  • Haifaa Abu Jame’, 9
  • Ahmad Abu Jame’, 8
  • Maysaa Abu Jame’, 7
  • Sajidah Abu Jame’, 7
  • Husam Abu Jame’, 7
  • Rayan Abu Jame’, 5
  • Tawfiq Abu Jame’, 4
  • Bitul Abu Jame’, 4
  • Siraj Abu Jame’, 4
  • Soheila Abu Jame’, 3
  • Rinat Abu Jame’, 2
  • Nur Abu Jame’, 2
  • Bisan Abu Jame’, 6 months
  • Nujud Abu Jame’, 4 months

al-Hilu, 10 killed

  • Jihad al-Hilu, 59
  • Siham al-Hilu, 57
  • Muhammad al-Hilu, 29
  • Ahmad al-Hilu, 27
  • Hidayah al-Hilu, 25
  • Tahrir al-Hilu, 20
  • Najiyah al-Hilu, 15
  • Maram al-Hilu, 2
  • Karim al-Hilu, 5 months
  • Karam al-Hilu, 5 months

Daher family, 7 killed

  • Majed Daher, 55
  • Hanan Daher, 48
  • Muhammad Daher, 27
  • Adham Daher, 23
  • Nariman Daher, 13
  • Shaymaa Daher, 10
  • Dana Daher, 1

Siyam family, 12 killed

  • Kamal Siyam, 31
  • Shirin Siyam, 30
  • Muhammad Mahrus Siyam, 27
  • Sumoud Siyam, 26
  • Amin Siyam, 17
  • Ahmad Siyam, 15
  • Mustafa Siyam, 9
  • Ghidaa Siyam, 7
  • Muhammad Ahmad Siyam, 7
  • Mu’in Siyam, 5
  • Bader Siyam, 4
  • Dalal Siyam, 9 months

al-Yazji, 4 killed

  • Wajdi al-Yazji, 55
  • Safinaz al-Yazji, 50
  • Yasmin al-Yajzi, 4
  • Hatem al-Yajzi, 3

al-Qasas, 10 killed

  • Faizah Siyam, 67
  • Sumayah al-Qasas, 33
  • Aliaa Siyam, 33
  • Islam al-Qasas, 15
  • Lamyaa al-Qasas, 11
  • Nasmah al-Qasas, 10
  • Israa al-Qasas, 7
  • Arwa al-Qasas, 4
  • Muhammad al-Qasas, 4
  • Samar al-Qasas, 3

al-Kilani and Dirbas families, 11 killed

  • Ibrahim al-Kilani , 53
  • Taghrid al-Kilani, 45
  • Rim al-Kilani, 12
  • Sawsan al-Kilani, 11
  • Yasin al-Kilani, 9
  • Yasser al-Kilani, 8
  • Elias al-Kilani, 4
  • Ayidah Dirbas , 47
  • Surah Dirbas, 41
  • Mahmoud Dirbas, 37
  • Inas Dirbas, 30

a-Ramahi, 3 killed

  • Yusef a-Ramahi, 21
  • Iman a-Ramahi, 14
  • Ibtehal a-Ramahi, 4

Ahel, 3 killed

  • Ahmad Ahel, 76
  • Muhammad Khalil Ahel, 66
  • Muhammad Khaled Ahel, 19

Abu ‘Aytah family, 5 killed

  • Ibrahim Abu ‘Aytah, 66
  • Jamilah Abu ‘Aytah, 55
  • Ahmad Abu ‘Aytah, 30
  • Muhammad Abu ‘Aytah, 30
  • Adham Abu ‘Aytah, 4

al-Astal, 3 killed

  • Sanaa al-Astal, 45
  • Ashraf al-Astal, 28
  • Nabil al-Astal, 13

al-Astal, 6 killed

  • Muhammad al-Astal, 33
  • Thaer al-Astal, 32
  • Milad al-Astal, 29
  • Malak al-Astal, 24
  • Nada al-Astal, 5
  • Amin al-Astal, 4

Abu Hasanein, 3 killed

  • Salah Abu Hasanein, 47 (military branch operative)
  • Abed Abu Hasanein, 14
  • Hadi Abu Hasanein, 12

a-Darazin family, 6 killed

  • Ghasan Abu Dabagh, 32
  • Yasser Abu Dabagh, 20
  • Muhammad Abu Dabagh, 12
  • Ahmad Abu Qadus, 13
  • Abd al-Karim a-Darazin, 5
  • Muhammad a-Darazin, 3

a-Najar, 20 killed

  • Khalil a-Najar, 60
  • Samir Hussein Muhammad a-Najar, 58
  • Ghaliah Muhammad a-Najar, 56
  • Sumayah a-Najar (Abu Yusef), 50
  • Samar a-Najar, 27
  • Riham a-Najar (Abu Jame’), 25
  • Kifah a-Najar, 24
  • Iman a-Najar (a-Raqab), 23
  • Majed a-Najar, 19
  • Rawan a-Najar, 17
  • Ahmad a-Najar, 14
  • Baraah a-Raqab, 11
  • Hani a-Najar, 7
  • Mu’taz a-Najar, 6
  • Ulfat a-Najar, 4
  • Islam a-Najar, 3
  • Amir a-Najar, 2
  • Samir Hussein Samir a-Najar, 1.5
  • Ghaliah Muhammad Samir a-Najar, 1.5
  • Amirah a-Najar, 8 months

Abu Zeid family, 7 killed

  • Ahmad Abu Zeid, 52
  • Maryam Abu Zeid, 30
  • Falastin Abu Zeid, 26
  • Sabrin Abu Zeid, 20
  • Shamma Abu Zeid, 16
  • Bisan Abu Zeid, 12
  • Abdallah Abu Zeid, 5

Dheir family, 19 killed

  • Turkiyyah Dheir, 65
  • Mahmoud Dheir, 46
  • Jamalat Dheir, 40
  • Omar Salameh Dheir, 37
  • Rim Dheir, 32
  • Wafaa Dheir, 29
  • Yasmin Dheir, 24
  • Izat Dheir, 23
  • Shuruq Dheir, 21
  • Ula Dheir, 19
  • Arwa Dheir, 16
  • Omar ‘Omar Dheir, 12
  • Salameh Dheir, 12
  • Mariyah Dheir, 12
  • Muamen Dheir, 9
  • Tasnim Dheir, 8
  • Muhammad Dheir, 7
  • Ghidaa Dheir, 7
  • Yamen Dheir, 6

al-Jamal family, 3 killed

  • Shaker al-Jamal, 48
  • Marah al-Jamal, 10
  • Ahmad al-Jamal, 9

al-Far family, 9 killed

  • Salem al-Far, 58
  • Fatmeh al-Far, 55
  • Zinat al-Far, 50
  • Amal al-Far, 28
  • Jihan al-Far, 25
  • Ramzi al-Far, 24
  • Riham al-Far, 24
  • Nivin al-Far, 18
  • Hanan al-Far, 15

al-Agha family, 14 killed

  • Ahmad al-Agha, 55
  • Marwa al-Agha, 50
  • Nader al-Agha, 47
  • Nariman al-Agha, 39
  • Mustafa al-Agha, 30
  • Abd al-Hamid al-Agha, 24
  • Ata al-Agha, 24
  • Ahmad al-Agha, 21
  • Muhammad al-Agha, 18
  • Nidal al-Agha, 18
  • Daliya al-Agha, 17
  • Iyad al-Agha, 16
  • Dina al-Agha, 14
  • Fadel al-Agha, 11

Abu Jaber family, 18 killed

  • Hamdan Abu Jaber, 78
  • Anwar Abu Jaber, 35
  • Ahmad Abu Jaber, 35
  • Sumayah Abu Jaber, 28
  • Jaber Abu Jaber, 27
  • Dina Abu Jaber, 26
  • Lina Abu Jaber, 25
  • Anwar Abu Jaber, 24
  • Aishah Abu Jaber, 23
  • Fadel Abu Jaber, 19
  • Hala Abu Jaber, 9
  • Muhammad Abu Jaber, 3
  • Lin Abu Jaber, 2.5
  • Salma Abu Jaber, 1.5
  • Sama Abu Jaber, 1.5
  • Ayman Abu ‘On, 26
  • Ahmad ‘Abd al-‘Al, 24
  • Tuqa Abu ‘Issa, 1

a-Najar, 3 killed

  • Siham a-Najar, 46
  • Ayidah a-Najar (‘Abd al-Ghafur), 21
  • Sarah ‘Abd al-Ghafur, 1

Abu Khusah family, 9 killed

  • Ibrahim Abu Khusah, 33
  • Sabrin Abu Khusah, 33
  • Fatmeh Abu Khusah, 3.5
  • Yazan Abu Khusah, 3
  • Fadi Abu Khusah, 2
  • Muhammad Abu Khusah, 1
  • Rital Abu Khusah, 1
  • Jana Abu Khusah, 1
  • Shahd Abu Khusah, 10 months

Abu Shamaleh family, 3 killed

  • Abd a-Rahman Abu Shamaleh, 74
  • Anis Abu Shamaleh, 52
  • Muhammad Abu Shamaleh, 10

a-Najar, 8 killed

  • Muhammad ‘Ata Mahmoud a-Najar, 50
  • Ata a-Najar, 33
  • Issam a-Najar, 24
  • Khaled a-Najar, 23
  • Ibtisam a-Najar, 21
  • Islam a-Najar, 15
  • Rafif a-Najar, 3
  • Muhammad ‘Ataa Muhammad a-Najar, 2

a-Najar, 7 killed

  • Fawziyeh a-Najar, 80
  • Muna Isma’il Khamis a-Najar, 43
  • Muhammad a-Najar, 30
  • Jihad a-Najar, 24
  • Hamad a-Najar, 23
  • Maysaa a-Najar, 18
  • Muna Jihad a-Najar, 1

Abu ‘Amer, Breikeh, a-Najar and Mu’ammar families, 35 killed

  • Jamil a-Najar, 48
  • Wael a-Najar, 25
  • Lamyaa a-Najar, 23
  • Aya a-Najar, 19
  • Du’aa a-Najar, 18
  • Muhammad a-Najar, 12
  • Liali a-Najar, 2
  • Aya a-Ramlawi, 9
  • Subhiya Breikeh, 59
  • Faiz Breikeh, 55
  • Ahmad Breikeh, 32
  • Ousamah Breikeh, 16
  • Jana Breikeh, 3
  • Lama Breikeh, 1
  • Ahmad Mu’ammar, 33
  • Hind Mu’ammar, 30
  • Yazan Mu’ammar, 3
  • Hala Mu’ammar, 1
  • Aya Abu Sitah, 23
  • ‘Arubah Abu ‘Amer, 41
  • Muna Abu ‘Amer, 41
  • Ahmad Suleiman Abu ‘Amer, 40
  • Wadah Abu ‘Amer, 39
  • Ahmad Hassan Abu ‘Amer, 36
  • Muhammad Hassan Abu ‘Amer, 20
  • Omar Abu ‘Amer, 12
  • Muhammad Ahmad Abu ‘Amer, 12
  • Abd al-Ghani Abu ‘Amer, 11
  • Imad Abu ‘Amer, 10
  • Marah Abu ‘Amer, 10
  • Yasser Abu ‘Amer, 9
  • Issa Abu ‘Amer, 8
  • Marwa Abu ‘Amer, 5
  • Iz a-Din Abu ‘Amer, 4
  • Suliman Abu ‘Amer, 2

Balata family, 10 killed

  • Na’im Balata, 45
  • Sahar Balata, 39
  • Maryam Balata, 24
  • Du’aa Balata, 22
  • Wafaa Balata, 21
  • Hanaa Balata, 19
  • Hadil Balata, 17
  • Walaa Balata, 14
  • Israa Balata, 13
  • Yihya Balata, 4

al-Khalili family, 7 killed

  • Ashraf al-Khalili, 37
  • Nidaa al-Khalili, 28
  • Ahmad al-Khalili, 27
  • Aya al-Khalili, 23
  • Lama al-Khalili, 5
  • Dima al-Khalili, 4
  • Ziad al-Khalili, 3

Abu Shuqa and al-Bayumi, 12 killed

  • Abir ‘Amer al-Bayumi, 27
  • Abir Nahed al-Bayumi, 27
  • Asil al-Bayumi, 16
  • Hadil al-Bayumi, 15
  • Hassan al-Bayumi, 12
  • Lama al-‘Assar, 6
  • Rinad al-‘Assar, 1
  • Hassan Zaqut, 21
  • Na’meh Abu Shuqa, 43
  • Labiba Abu Shuqa, 22
  • Ilham Abu Shuqa, 18
  • Malak Shaker Abu Shuqa, 2

al-Fara family, 9 killed

  • Abd al-Malek al-Fara, 60
  • Ousamah al-Fara, 34
  • Awatef ‘Abd a-Shafi (al-Fara), 31
  • Imad al-Fara, 28
  • Nadin al-Fara, 16
  • Muhammad al-Fara, 12
  • Abd a-Rahman al-Fara, 8
  • Yara al-Fara, 8
  • Lujayn al-Fara, 4

a-Nayrab family, 5 killed

  • Ahmad a-Nayrab, 67
  • Soheila a-Nayrab, 35
  • Muhammad a-Nayrab, 14
  • Mahmoud a-Nayrab, 10
  • Muamen a-Nayrab, 8

a-Nayrab and ‘Aytah families, 8 killed

  • Arwa a-Nayrab, 43
  • Duha a-Nayrab, 16
  • Ibtisam a-Nayrab, 10
  • Ula a-Nayrab, 6
  • Ibrahim al-Manirawi, 54
  • Ibrahim ‘Ayatah, 13
  • Muhammad ‘Aytah, 11
  • Ahmad ‘Aytah, 5

a-Rumi family, 4 killed

  • Ahmad a-Rumi, 52
  • Abd a-Rahman a-Rumi, 18
  • Amin a-Rumi, 15
  • Sumoud a-Rumi, 5

Abu Taha family, 4 killed

  • Sa’diyah Abu Taha, 45
  • Muhammad Abu Taha, 24
  • Yusef Abu Taha, 16
  • Rizeq Abu Taha, 1

Wahdan family, 3 killed

  • Hatem Wahdan, 52
  • Jamilah Wahdan, 28
  • Seniora Wahdan, 22

Abu Jazar family, 3 killed

  • Amani Abu Jazar, 23
  • Firas Abu Jazar, 3
  • Amirah Abu Jazar, 2

al-Ghul family, 8 killed

  • Isma’il al-Ghul, 63
  • Khadrah al-Ghul, 60
  • Muhammad al-Ghul, 42
  • Wael al-Ghul, 40
  • Hanadi al-Ghul, 25
  • Asmaa al-Ghul, 23
  • Malak al-Ghul, 6
  • Mustafa al-Ghul, 1 month

Jamil BERRY  posted on FB: GAZA

Du temps du siège du ghetto de Varsovie, les juifs assiégés creusaient la terre parfois de leurs mains pour créer un tunnel échappatoire afin de pouvoir sortir pour ramener des vivres, car des juifs y crevaient de faim .

Gare au tunnel que les Nazis découvraient .

Cette tragédie actuelle de Gaza, est en train de montrer au monde entier qu’Israel a été loin, très loin, dans la tuerie gratuite de masse.

Méfiance : se servir de la Shoa pour justifier des tueries est à proscrire . Il est devenu très contre productif .

Il n’y a nulle ” cause à effet “
Le “rêve” israélien de ce peuple sans terre pour une terre sans peuple, a non seulement vécu et ne trompe plus personne, et est devenu cauchemar pour la paix mondiale .

Cet israel qui s’est proclamé Roi dans la région, ce David, a créé son propre Goliath.
Les Gazzaoui ´s sont en train de montrer au monde entier que le Roi est NU.

Quand aux “United Nations ” ils étaient déjà NU
Victimes à Varsovie. Bourreaux à Gaza .

Les choses sont en train de changer en profondeur, et ne seront plus jamais comme avant…
( Jamil BERRY )

Arlette Mekhaël commented on Berry:

je ne suis ni juive ni sioniste , je ne suis ni insensible, ni assassine, je ne suis ni guerriere ni combattante, je ne suis ni haineuse ni fanatique!

Je fais la part des choses. froidement et avec réalisme. je vois et je lis trop de manipulations mensongères, ou avec des demies vérités , c est pourquoi, je ne dirais pas mon opinion sur ce conflit.

Juste une chose: ceux qui se focalisent sur Gaza et certains Palestiniens, oublient totalement le reste de l humanité souffrante , et soumise à tout un ensemble de lois naturelles ou humaines, qui les font vivre dans un gouffre sans fin , aussi insupportable que celui que vivent les gazaouis.

Maintenant c est le temps de penser aux chrétiens et aux yezedis!

En serez vous capables ou non? pas en paroles! mais en actes!

 Enverrez vous des vivres et des médecins bénévoles? des combattants pour faire taire ces démons de l enfer?

 Enverrez vous vos armées pour sauver les innocents attendant d être égorger? défendriez vous la liberté de pensée et de religion? ou simplement marcherez vous dans nos rues, avec des pancartes contre tous les islamistes radicaux du monde?

Alors vous serez humains!

Styles of compassionate reporting that bring fruits 

Does Jon Snow’s Gaza appeal risks reducing reporting to propaganda? Hardly.

Journalists have cried before ‘something must be done’.
But they must avoid emoting? Why?
What’s so objective in reporting anyway?

Andrew Bossone posted on FB:

Journalists are expected to be the voice of conscience and at the same time to suppress that voice.

When a journalist speaks up about an atrocity, it may cause a stir.

People in the U.S. have often said the turning point of public opinion in the Vietnam War was when Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America” returned from there and criticized what happened.

I don’t know how we are expected to remain silent particularly when we see an atrocity with our own eyes.

The press is hardly objective. We put our influence just by choosing stories.

Here is an interesting documentary about an artist that pointed out how the US press ignored genocide and starvation in Africa:

An elderly Palestinian woman walks through ruins in Gaza
‘The horrors of Gaza have been bravely narrated by reporters fully equipped with compassion and empathy, but not wallowing in their own feelings.’ Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA

Faced by the horrors of Gaza, Guardian columnist Giles Fraser last week urged reporters to show more emotion, condemning calm rationality in the face of the slaughter as “a particular form of madness”.

Is this is a dangerous path?

Emotion is the stuff of propaganda, and news is against propaganda. Reporting should privilege the emotional responses of audiences, not indulge journalists.

At the same time, from a slightly different direction, Jon Snow used a Channel 4 studio, but not the channel itself, to show how reporting from Gaza had emotionally affected him. His call on YouTube was for engagement from his audience, promising “Together we can make a difference”.

The same cry that “something must be done” was heard from reporters at the beginning of President Assad’s murderous campaign to hold on to power in Syria – more muted once the full realisation dawned that what should be done was complex, and that the alternatives might be worse than Assad.

It also echoed Martin Bell 20 years ago in Bosnia, asking to be relieved of the duties of BBC impartiality, instead wanting a “journalism of attachment”.

In his appeal, Snow said the world had shown it was not that interested in the death of children in Gaza. Almost three-quarters of a million hits showed that many were interested.

But how did the audience know enough to care? Not from reporters who had put their emotions on show. Instead, the horrors of Gaza have been bravely narrated by reporters fully equipped with compassion and empathy, but not wallowing in their own feelings.

The piece that inspired Giles Fraser to his incoherent appeal that “screaming is the most rational thing to do” – Peter Beaumont’s description of a father gathering the remains of his baby son in a carrier bag – is not reported emotionally. Instead, the writing is poetic in its spare intensity. “ ‘This is my son,’ he said and nothing else, tears tracking down his face.”

The missile that entered the house made a hole “the size of a toaster”. The domestic details take us there, and when we arrive, we find Beaumont, one of the finest reporters of his generation, to be a helpful guide, not an obstacle. He is not in our way telling us how he feels.

This kind of reporting has an honourable pedigree. Of all the situations when screaming might have been the most understandable response, the enormity of the concentration camps in 1945 is high on the list. But instead, when he came to Belsen, Richard Dimbleby reported what he saw with chilling precision: “the awful, ghostly procession of emaciated, aimless people, with nothing to do and with no hope of life”.

There is one significant difference. Reporters now routinely personalise victims in a way that was not done by Dimbleby, or indeed Michael Buerk, reporting the “biblical famine” in Ethiopia in 1984. Then the dead were nameless. But Beaumont tells us that the baby in the carrier bag in Gaza is Mohammad, his father Salem Antez.

With more access to the world at their fingertips than the passive consumers of news in the past, the public demand more engagement and participation from reporters than before. Social media is full of material that is more graphic and more directly emotional than the mainstream media, in Britain at least. News organisations are responding with different ways of editing material gathered by non-professionals, as well as new ways of storytelling.

But Snow’s YouTube appeal carried an implicit message that is more threatening, at least to TV news, than Fraser’s call for emotional reporting. He considered that he could deliver this only online since it might contravene rules governing impartiality in news programmes. It resembled the homilies that used to be delivered by TV anchors such as Walter Cronkite at the end of the nightly news in the US.

These could be highly opinionated, especially during the Vietnam war, stretching the bounds of the fairness doctrine that regulated American broadcasting at the time, similar to Britain’s rules on impartiality.

Ronald Reagan’s abolition of the fairness doctrine contributed to a significant weakening of TV news in the US, releasing a flood of ignorance – a salutary warning to those campaigning for an end to impartiality rules here in order to encourage reporters to be more emotionally engaged.

• David Loyn is the BBC’s Afghanistan correspondent. His report on Afghan war crimes is on Radio 4 on Monday 4 August at 8pm



 Isis rules in Mosul and Ninawa Province: “New US Reservation Land” for Islamist fighters denied re-entry to homelands

Since 1981, thousands of Muslim fighters flocked to Afghanistan to resist the Soviet invasion.

The US delivered the Stinger missiles in huge quantity to knock down the Soviet helicopters.

The Soviet troops vacated Afghanistan and the US stopped any reconstruction funds to stabilize and secure Afghanistan.

The Afghan warlords took over the country and Taliban was welcomed by the US as a “stabilizing factor”  until The Twin Towers went down after the gigantic Buddha statue in Bamian was blown up by Taliban. The same process of blowing all shrines, churches and mosques executed by ISIS.

All militants were denied re-entry in their homelands for fear of “destabilizing” the status quo of the political/social systems.

And Yugoslavia was split after a lengthy civil war .

And Chechnya civil war took a heavy toll and the fighters joined factions outside their homeland.

And then Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Mali, Chad… And all these fighters still denied re-entry.

And when they returned during the “Arab Spring” uprising, they were wooed to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Over 2,ooo Europeans have joined the extremist Islamic factions in Syria since 2011 and are denied re-entry.

Britain was unable to woo more than 170 to join its army as reservists, but hundreds of them were willing to travel and fight in Syria.

Do Iraqis living under Isis rule in Mosul are beginning to show resistance?

Despite military triumphs, Islamist militants are losing hearts, minds and obedience of residents who have had enough
Demolished grave of prohet Jonah near Mosul

Iraqis inspect wreckage of grave of prophet Jonah in Mosul which was allegedly destroyed by Isis. Photograph: EPA

Iraqis living under Isis rule in north Iraq, where non-Sunni residents have been forced from their homes and tens of mosques have been deemed idolatrous and marked for destruction, have started to push back against the extreme interpretation of Islam being imposed on them.

(Actually, far more Sunnis have been killed by the extremist factions for control of lands, oil, spoils and interests)

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has won significant territorial victories and declared an Islamic caliphate in swaths of land it has seized, from al-Bab in Syria to Falluja in Iraq.

The US recently said Isis was worse than al-Qaida (pdf) and that it had a “full-blown army”. It has subsequently increased reconnaissance flights over Mosul, from one flight a month just two months ago to 50 flights a day (as ISIS moved toward Kurdistan Erbil)

Isis fighters have fought and wrested territory from the Syrian army, the Iraqi army and the Kurdish peshmerga, but have revealed their fragility in governance, in particular, a brutal disregard for local religious and cultural values.

In Mosul, despite its military triumphs, Isis is losing the hearts, minds and obedience of residents who say they have had enough.

When its fighters destroyed the Nabi Jonah mosque (Jonah’s tomb) in the Iraqi city last Thursday, they failed to remove copies of the Qur’an and other religious texts. Residents treading through the ruins of the building found torn and burnt pages of the holy books scattered across the rubble. It was an insult to Islam that was captured on video and unified the city in outrage.

“[Isis] claims that having graves inside mosques is heretical but what about the Qur’an, why did not they remove the Qur’an from the mosque before destroying it?” one resident, who did not wish to be named, asked the Guardian.

The fighters – who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam (Wahhabi sect of Saudi Arabia) that requires the destruction of shrines and graves as idolatory – have reportedly drawn up a list of around 50 mosques to be destroyed in Mosul so far.

The group has a unit called Katayib Taswiya, the demolition battalion, whose job is to identify heretical mosques for destruction. The battalion razes to the ground any mosques built on tombs. If a graveyard has been built after the mosque’s construction, then they will destroy the graves and any section of the mosque building.

Among the 50 on the list are a shrine to the prophet Seth – considered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity to be Adam and Eve’s third son – and the 14th-century Prophet Jirjis mosque and shrine, which was bombed and largely destroyed on Friday.

The Prominent Iraqi architect Ihsan Fethi described the destruction of the heritage site in Nineveh as “cultural suicide”.

Speaking to the Guardian from Mosul, Bashar, a 38-year-old musician, said people had tried to occupy the mosques under threat in an effort to prevent fighters from bombing them.

When the demolition battalion made its move on the Jirjis mosque in the Souq al-Sharin neigbourhood, some residents decided to take a stand. On Friday and Saturday evening, they slept inside the mosque in the hope that their presence would dissuade the militants from their demolition attempts. The fighters came back on Sunday and destroyed the graveyard as planned, but most of the mosque is still standing.

Isis defended its destruction of the sites in a post on one of its main websites on Tuesday: “The demolition of structures erected above graves is a matter of great religious clarity. Our pious predecessors have done so … There is no debate on the legitimacy of demolishing or removing those graves and shrines.”

But on Sunday, Mosul residents continued their defiance.

They had named Monday as the first day of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. On Sunday evening, militants paraded through the city, ordering citizens through loudspeakers mounted on vehicles to continue their fast on Monday or face punishment. These warnings were ignored and the arrival of Eid was announced from Mosul’s mosques on Monday. In the face of public rebellion, Isis changed its mind and several hours later announced the end of Ramadan.

With at least 8,000 years of continuous habitation, Mosul is considered an archeological treasure, with many heritage sites belonging to all religions and sects. Dubbed “small Iraq”, people from a range of religions and ethnicities have lived side by side peacefully for centuries.

This solidarity was displayed last week when several thousand Christian residents were given a deadline of midday on Saturday to convert to Islam, pay a special tax or “face the sword”.

Fleeing Christians told the Guardian that when they were preparing to leave, fearful of the threats, their Muslim neighbours told them to stay put and promised to defend them should Isis come after them. Most of the Christian population fled regardless to areas under control of the Kurdistan regional government. (Stories of feeing residents claim that the neighbors wanted to occupy their possessions and homes and failed to protect them)

This weekend, reports leaked from the city that Isis had ordered the closure of women’s salons and placed specific restrictions on the styling of men’s facial hair. Drug supplies, particularly for those with kidney disease, are running short.

In what could be an indicative violent eruption of resentment and anger from the population, two Isis fighters were reportedly shot dead in broad daylight in the Qayara neighbourhood of south Mosul on Sunday. A witness told the Guardian he saw three assailants fleeing the scene through the city’s narrow alleyways.

The initial joy with which Isis was received in Mosul, as liberators for the Sunni population after years of sectarian corruption and restriction at the hands of the Iraqi army, may already have run dry.

(Maybe so, but wishful thinking does not replace the fact of the continuing occupation)




August 2014
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