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

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 17:13:20 MDT 2015

Hi Andy

sorry, the quotes about Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis and Hamas itself not being part is here:  http://news.yahoo.com/palestinians-back-joint-yarmuk-operation-syria-army-130625131.html

From: Andrew Pollack 
Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2015 3:13 AM
To: Michael Karadjis ; Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
Subject: Re: [Marxism] Qusai Zakarya's op-ed about Yarmouk in FP

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."

  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

    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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