35 thoughts on “What Assad and Bibi Have in Common: Murdering Civilians – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I think you will find it is the US/AUE/Israel-supported ISIS that is fond of killing civilians. Assad just wants to defend his country from liver eaters.

  2. RS: “His forces operate under the assumption that there are no civilians in areas they attack.”

    Umm, actually, you can’t make that claim based upon the transcript that you provide.

    The reporter is describing a tactic that the Syrian Army has adopted to surround an enemy stronghold and then wait them out.

    Assad in his reply states that the Syrian Army only carries out that tactic in areas where the civilian popln has already fled (and, let’s face it, that is exactly the same tactic the US military used in Fallujah), and he reinforced that in a part of the transcript that you didn’t reproduce.

    Here, in fact:
    Question 52: “It is the case though, that your government has restricted the supply of medicines to rebel-held areas. Elizabeth Hoff, Syria representative of the World Health Organization, said at the end of last year that the government is restricting what is sent to rebel-held areas. Do you accept that is a problem for the civilians who are still in those areas?”

    President Assad: “You know the northern city of al-Raqqa, that’s been taken over by al-Nusra first then later ISIS, you know that?”

    Question 53: “Yeah.”

    President Assad: “You know that till this moment, we still send them food and medicines and everything. So how can we do it for any other area in Syria?”

    The point he makes there is that the Syrian government does take the effort to determine whether (or not) a rebel-held area contains a significant civilian population. And if it does then Assad makes at least some effort on their behalf.

    The interview is actually quite interesting, since Assad gets much the better of his quite-hostile interviewer.

      1. What would you do if he went all Tony Abbott and challenged you to fisticuffs or did something like sic the revolting bouncer on you?

    1. @ Gal: I hope Netanyahu comes to your house while you’re asleep and then creeps into your closet and watches you all night.

    1. Choosing between Hafez al-Assad and the Syrian opposition is rather like choosing between a bad case of the flu and prostate cancer. You don’t really want either one, but if you absolutely had to choose, the former is the less bad option.

  3. Contrary to earlier reports on this blog, it now appears that last month’s drone attack on a Hezbollah/Iranian convoy in Syria, was aimed at assassinating Mustafa Badreddine, the head of Hezbollah’s ‘Unit 1800’ (See Bergman, above).
    Unit 1800 is “the Hezbollah force dedicated to assisting Palestinian terrorist groups by operating in the “ring countries” around Israel and infiltrating individuals into Israeli territory to conduct terrorist attacks and collect intelligence'”


    1. Why would you offer WINEP, an Aipac-affiliated think-tank as a credible authority here? WINEP’s job is to blow smoke on behalf of Israeli intelligence. Now offer a credible, independent source to support this claim.

      1. @Richard

        I googled ‘Hezbollah-Unit 1800’ and got a few pages with similar links. I filtered out the links you consider treif, and I picked the WINIP article.

        Unit 1800 seems to be the Hezbollah version of America’s Green Berets.

        If the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and Central Asian Affairs chose to hear the July 25, 2012 testimony of WINIP’s Matthew Levitt regarding Hezbollah, than what are us ‘ordinary citizens’ supposed to think?

        I’d also like to hear from another credible independent source regarding Unit 1800. Have you any?

        1. @ Jack: And you believe that U.S. senators are independent thinkers when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict? Since when? They do what they’re told by the Lobby and WINEP is most definitely part of the Lobby.

          1. @Richard

            ” They do what they’re told by the Lobby and WINEP.. ”

            More reason for you to provide us with what you believe are more credible, independent sources regarding the mission of Unit 1800.

  4. Comparing the IDF to Assad is disgraceful and a lie.
    Nobody not even Al-Jazzera has made such a ridiculous and fabricated comparison.

    1. The only difference is that the war is ongoing and nationwide in Syria, as a civil war.

      I shudder to think how the IDF would behave, considering the way it does already, if faced with a war comparable to the Syrian civil war in terms of size and length.

  5. While all loss of life in conflicts seems tragic to me, the estimate that 80% of the casualties in Gaza in the 2014 Israel-Gaza were civilians is not an established statistic. The Gaza Health Ministry claims that 70% of identified fatalities were civilians. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 69.1% of the casualties were civilians. Israel Security calculates the percentage to be 45%.

    These and other estimates and their methodologies for calculation are documented on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict#cite_note-eight-291).

    1. @ Harry: You see, this is why I demand that twits like you offer sources. You didn’t. So I looked up real source to confirm my memory and lo & behold instead of your claim that OCHA says 69.1% of the dead were civilians, this Telegraph article notes that OCHA says “80%” of the dead were civilian.

      Next time you want to offer shoddy statistics remember that I actually check up on people like you. Offer sources or don’t make such claims.

      1. @Richard “this Telegraph article notes that OCHA says “80%” of the dead were civilian” – this article is from July 14th. You can’t seriously think it is valid anymore if it was valid in the first place before anyone had time to confirm the dead real identity.
        A report from October has it at 1,486 civilians which comes up to 68% and another 25%’members of an armed group’. The rest were still unidentified.

      2. Richard,
        You seem a bit quick at the draw to call people “twits” — perhaps you didn’t notice that I did source my info (the link is at the end of my original post).
        I’m not used to being called such offensive names. I can sense your hostility so I will refrain from posting often.

        1. @ Harry: You’re right. I was remembering the 80% number from back in July. The number is 70%. Now are you prepared to denounce Israel’s killing of that many Gaza civilians? Or do you just want to quibble about statistics as the average hasbarist would?

          1. I would consider the fatality figures compiled by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (at the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center). The findings of the ITIC’s examination so far (based on approximately 54% of the names of the dead) suggest that terrorist operatives constitute about 52% of the fatalities who have been identified, and non-involved civilians constitute approximately 48%. This ratio may vary in the future.

          2. @ Jack: You would consider figures compiled by a think tank that is a creature of Israeli intelligence? Maybe you would, but we won’t here.

            My comment rules contain a long explanation of the importance of credible sources. Sources which are funded or closely allied with Israeli intelligence are, by definition, deeply suspect. Don’t offer them here. And stop with the nonsense about Gaza’s civilian dead. This is your last comment in this thread. Move on.

          3. @Richard – one thing you must respect in Meir Amit figures is the fact it is on an individual name basis which opens it to criticism by the Palestiniansor anyone else. ALL other sources give figures w/o any explanations whatsoever.
            Personally I suspect them as well and I’m still waiting for b’tselem figures which I believe would be more balanced.

          4. @ Ariel: This is completely wrong. THe Gaza NGO al Madan has interviewed and researched every death, family, survivors, etc. They have meticulously documented information identifying every victim. Any Israeli group has not, and cannot do that because it is not on the scene. Meir Amit’s figures are, pardon the expression, worth s(^T.

  6. I have come to the opinion that Abbott is an out and out fool, missing all judgment and political decency – he might be nice to his wife and children. Using the term “holocaust” in that context provides one more bit of evidence. I have wondered how a man like that could ever have been picked as a Rhodes scholar, in his young years, and have come to the conclusion that he owed it to his sporting prowess and student activism (on the side of the powers that be).

    His latest stunt: Australia is the only country in the world that keeps the children of asylum seekers in detention, a policy for which both Labor and the conservatives are to blame. When the Human Rights Commission came out with a report this week pointing out the damaging consequences for the children concerned Abbott saw fit to call the report a ‘“stitched up job” and a “blatantly partisan exercise”. Not a word about the actual issues.

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