[Marxism] Qusai Zakarya's op-ed about Yarmouk in FP

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 11:13:07 MDT 2015

Michael, excellent and accurate on all points in your last two posts.
Where are the quotes about Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis from? It matches what I've
read but in more detail. (Plus I'm losing track even of what I've posted :)

On Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 12:01 PM, Michael Karadjis via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> We may have spoken too soon about the PLO leadership: apparently, these
> were just the views of one leading PLO official, but now the official
> position has come out:
> PLO rejects idea of joining Yarmouk fighting:
> "We refused to drag our people and their camps into the hellish conflict
> which is happening in Syria and we categorically refuse to become one of
> the parties involved in the armed conflict that is taking place in
> Yarmouk," it said.
> "We refuse to be drawn into military actions, whatever or wherever they
> are, and we call for other means to ensure the safety of lives in Yarmouk
> and to prevent more destruction and forced displacement."
> http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Apr-10/294032-plo-rejects-idea-of-joining-yarmouk-fighting.ashx?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Mideast%20Brief&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign
> From: Michael Karadjis
> Sent: Friday, April 10,
> 2015 7:34 PM
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
> Subject: Fw: [Marxism] Qusai Zakarya's op-ed about Yarmouk in FP
> From: A.R. G
> Sent: Friday, April 10, 2015 11:51 AM
> > Is it believable that in this instance, Assad actually let the IS
> fighters into the camp? From what I understood, this was a major strategic
> blow to the Assad regime.
> This has been a tremendous strategic victory for the Assad regime. I don’t
> mean ISIS are its direct agents, but the levels of coordination, or at very
> least strategic coincidence of interests, is are enormous. The Syrian
> rebellion conquers its first provincial city, Idlib (2nd after Raqqa, but
> Raqqa was lost to ISIS), defeats the regime in parts of Aleppo, defeats the
> regime in Bushra al-Sham in Deraa in the south, seizes control of the
> Jordanian border, and so, .... ISIS invades Yarmouk, which is controlled by
> anti-Assad Syrians and Palestinians, besieges the revolution-held town
> Salamieh (as ken H sent info about the  other day:
> http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article3950) and attacks
> the rebellion in Aleppo, blowing up 35 FSA and Levant  Front and other
> rebel fighters in car bombs (
> https://twitter.com/ValkryV/status/585515341608026112).
> Specifically Yarmouk: the regime has bombed, shelled, starved, tortured to
> death the people there for years, but could not break them; suddenly out of
> the blue ISIS invades the camp, Assad helps them by barrel bombing hell out
> of the camp, the whole world finally notices Yarmouk as a victim of ...
> jihadi terrorists, Assad readies for an “anti-terrorist” operation in
> Yarmouk, the Palestinians, genocided by the regime for years, now forced
> into a corner of the camp by ISIS, are given a “choice” by the regime: sign
> up for an invasion of the camp by the regime in order to get rid of ISIS!
> And, as Andy sent us a little earlier, the official PLO leadership has
> signed up with gusto. But this oddball alliance of the treacherous PA, the
> arch-epigones of Fatah, with the Assadist intelligence branch known oddly
> as “PFLP-GC”, might seem odd since Assad used the latter to attack and
> split Fatah back in the days when Fatah was a real resistance organisation,
> but in fact isn’t: since the outbreak of the Arab Spring, after some
> hesitation, Abbas and the PA decided they had much more in common with
> Assad and other Arab tyrants than with the rebellious masses.
> *However*, while Andy is right to call the “PLO”/PA leadership treacherous
> for lining up with Assad, the harsh realities are obviously not that
> straightforward for the besieged, starved, battered to bits camp residents.
> A beggar’s bargain is all they have – the regime has been much worse than
> ISIS, but the regime has it in its hands to “promise” them that it will end
> its starvation siege and its barrel bombing if only they sign up to allow
> the regime to enter the camp to deal with the latest immediate threat from
> ISIS to life and limb. What do you do? Obviously, based on other
> “ceasefires”, such as in Homs, there is no reason to trust the regime’s
> word – it will come in, defeat ISIS (or pretend to), then turn on all the
> rest of the Syrian and Palestinian resistance, kill them, arrest and
> torture  and disappear them, and make ISIS look like elves in comparison –
> but at this moment, it might seem easy to believe the promises just to get
> rid of the ISIS horror right now.
> On the “bright” (??) side, latest reports are that ISIS now only controls
> 60%, rather than 90% as reported, of the camp (
> http://english.palinfo.com/site/pages/details.aspx?itemid=71081); if
> true, the resistance inside the camp may have more bargaining power and may
> have a chance to fight ISIS on their own terms.
> The other thing is that, while the PLO and other exile based Palestinian
> groups have apparently signed on to a joint invasion of the camp alongside
> the Assad regime (hell, why not invite in Netanyahu as well?), “it was
> unclear whether that position was shared by the Palestinian fighters on the
> ground inside the camp. The key (Hamas-linked) Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis group
> fighting IS inside Yarmuk was not present at the meeting,” and also Hamas
> itself was not present at the meeting of exile-based groups. Aknaf Beit
> al-Maqdis has been strongly allied to the revolution (it was the
> assassination of one of its cadres by ISIS, and its subsequent arrest of
> ISIS scum, that led to the ISIS invasion of the camp). So if true, there
> may still be hope.
> But if hope is very slim, this underlines what a strategic blow in favour
> of the regime ISIS’ invasion has been.
> Of course, what we hear is that this puts ISIS closer to Damascus than at
> any time before. Now, tens of thousands of rebel fighters, from the FSA and
> various Islamist militias, have dominated all the poverty-stricken slums
> around Damascus the last 3 years, and have not been able to break into
> downtown Assadist-bourgeois Damascus (and vice versa), yet Assad should
> tremble in his boots due to the proximity of a few hundred ISIS rabble? He
> could wipe the whole lot of them out with a few barrel bombs. He’ll do that
> once they have outlived their usefulness.
> > I should also add that while I'm glad that people are finally beginning
> to talk about the situation of those in Yarmouk, it's not just the Syrian
> regime that is being ignored in the discussion. Where is Israel in all of
> these pieces?
> Israel is the reason the Palestinians are in Syrian Yarmouk rather than
> Palestine. Apart from that, Israel is nowhere in this discussion. Why
> should it be? Why does Israel have to waste its WMD on Yarmouk Palestinians
> when that task has been contracted out to an Arab tyrant? Israel can keep
> its WMD for Gaza.
> Seems to me we don’t need to forcefully insert the word “Israel” at all
> times just to show our stripes. My stripes on Palestine are clean and
> proud, I don’t give a shit if some confused “anti-imperialists” want to
> laughably question that (I’m of course not referring to your point here).
> If the Palestinians in Yarmouk, and the Syrians in Yarmouk and everywhere
> else in Syria really need to suffer any more than they already have in
> order to earn the same right as the Palestinians themselves to be
> recognised, by the western left, as being terrorised and massacred on a
> genocidal scale and dispossessed al-Nakba style, then they will probably
> just need to all die en-masse.
> > Other than those two points I think this is an important perspective.
> - Amith
> On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 8:56 PM, Michael Karadjis via Marxism <
> marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
>   Must read: Qusai Zakarya's op-ed about Yarmouk in FP </div><div>
>   </div>The Starving of Yarmouk, Then the Capture
> http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/04/09/the-starving-of-yarmouk-then-the-capture-islamic-state-assad/
>   After Bashar al-Assad’s regime spent nearly two years massacring
> Palestinians in Yarmouk camp, after regime bombardments destroyed nearly 70
> percent of the camp, after thousands were arrested and tortured to death,
> and after civilians were forced to resort to scavenging through trash and
> weeds to ward off starvation — after all this, the world is finally paying
> attention to the situation in this long-suffering southern Damascus
> neighborhood. And all they want to talk about is the Islamic State.
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