arab israeli war


LEBANON. Bint Jbeil. July 31, 2006. During a 48 hours ceasefire, Lebanese civilians, mostly the elderly, are rescued by the Lebanese Red Cross. They are all starved, dehydrated and in shock by days of heavy Israeli bombing. The Lebanese Red Cross also evacuates the bodies of civilians killed in Israeli airstrikes (last picture). The minibus hit by a rocket was transporting civilians who were trying to flee the bombing of the town.

Photographs: Jerome Sessini/Magnum Photos

A Brief Overview of How the CIA Messed Up Syria

The extent of US involvement in the bloodless coup, which overthrew the secular democracy that sprung up in Syria after World War II, has been disputed ever since it happened. The general understanding is that in 1949, the CIA decided their best bet to further US interests in the area would be to “encourage” a coup d’etat in the country. They had a “reasonable” reason, too. A proposed construction project, the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, was in danger of not being built under the rule of Shukri-al-Quwatli, the first president of Syria. And no one messes with the United States’ god-given right to an uninterrupted oil supply!

Husni al-Za’im (above), who had been convicted less than a decade earlier for graft, was basically chosen by the CIA to be the next leader of Syria. He was encouraged, given money and men, and dutifully overthrew Syria’s democratically elected president. And who would have guessed it? Almost immediately, the pipeline plans were approved! As were a number of pro-American initiatives, such as peaceful negotiations with Israel, just a year after the first Arab-Israeli War which Syria was prominent in.

Husni al-Za’im lasted just four months before being “deposed” (read: secretly executed) by his slightly-more-popular colleague, a strongman who ruled as a dictator for five years before being deposed in turn. Coup after coup occurred. Finally, in 1963, one wannabe dictator actually figured out his stuff and held the country for thirty years until his death. That would be Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar al-Assad.


Trump is mulling moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

  • Trump is mulling moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from its location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as soon as next week, a move which could enrage Palestinians and other regional governments, CNN reporte.
  • The U.S. embassy is located in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem because both Israelis and Palestinians consider the city, one of the holiest sites of all Abrahamic religions, their capitals. 
  • Israel has held West Jerusalem since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, but the UN unanimously opposed its annexation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Third Arab-Israeli War and its control of that portion of the city is nearly universally regarded as illegal by the international community.
  • Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would likely be seen as an unambiguous recognition of Israel’s claims to complete territorial control, which could set off a political firestorm. Read more (5/15/17)

LEBANON. July 2006.

Abbas, a chubby young boy, sat on the side of a narrow village road, held his injured mother’s hand and wept. “Don’t leave me, mother, don’t go, don’t go.” “Take care of your brothers and sisters,“ the mother moaned softly, as her eyes closed leaving two white slits. A piece of shrapnel had cut into her chest and almost severed her right arm. Blood stained mother and child.

Abbas, his mother, brother, aunts and a grandmother, 18 in total, were cramped inside a small white minivan, fleeing their village in south Lebanon when an Israeli rocket pierced the roof of the car. Now the survivors were scattered on the road or in the shadow of a building crying, while inside the van lay the headless corpse of an uncle, a dead grandmother and a neighbor.

“Why are you leaving me,” Abbas started yelling at his mother, as her arm fell on the ground. He buried his face in his hands and wept. His brother, 12-year old Ali, stood on the other side of the mother, his hand bandaged and eyes staring into the horizon, as the Lebanese Red Cross started helping the survivors.

Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty Images
Article: Sudanese Jews recall long-lost world with nostalgia

Lily Ben-David gets emotional when she talks about her childhood in Sudan. She still dreams of her school, the courtyard, the balcony and frolicking on the banks of the Blue Nile, even though it has been more than 50 years since she saw any of it.

Sudan’s Jews once made up the smallest Jewish community in the Middle East, a close-knit group of 1,000 people who enjoyed warm relations with their Muslim neighbors. But the establishment of Israel in 1948, followed by a series of Arab-Israeli wars, forced them to flee in the 1960s. Although Israel and Sudan are now bitter enemies, the remnants of that community retain fond memories of the northeast African country.

“If I could get a ticket under an assumed name, I will go, honestly,” the 71-year-old Ben-David, who left Sudan in 1964 and now lives outside Tel Aviv, said with a chuckle.

The history of Sudanese Jews has been largely unknown, even among world Jewry, until now.

Over the last year, Daisy Abboudi, a British researcher and granddaughter of Sudanese Jews, has been working to record the stories of her forefathers. Adding to very few works on Sudanese Jews, she started the website Tales of Jewish Sudan, where she posts extracts of interviews with living members of the community.

The stories, presented in the interviewees’ own words, include the celebration of a Jewish holiday, a Miss Khartoum beauty contest and food recipes. Abboudi, 26, hopes to collect these stories in a book.

The idea came to her during a discussion over dinner with her family on their life in Sudan.

“We should keep these stories, we should preserve them,” she recalled telling her family. “They are all getting old. If someone doesn’t do it now, it’s going to be too late,” she said.

Sudan was home to a few Jewish families in the 19th century during Ottoman rule. An Islamic uprising forced them to convert to Islam. The recapture of Sudan by an Anglo-Egyptian army years later allowed for converts to return to Judaism, though some remained Muslim. The expansion of commerce and the civil service under colonial rule brought some Jewish merchants and administrators from other parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

The community grew to about 1,000 people at its peak, with most living in the big cities of Khartoum, Omdurman, Khartoum North and Wad Madani. Many met regularly at Khartoum’s synagogue or the city’s Jewish Recreational Club.

“We used to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath, celebrate New Year, and if someone was missing, someone would ask,” remembers Regina Cohen, 70, who left Sudan in 1966 and also lives in Israel.

Most had warm relations with the rest of society. David Gabra, 74, used to join his Muslim friends in fasting during Ramadan.

“I used to fast Ramadan with the rest of the Sudanese, 30 days, so I can sit and eat with the rest when the cannon goes off,” marking the end of the fast, he said.

Yehoshoa Ben-David, Lilly’s husband, warmly remembers his time at the University of Khartoum and walking to the nearby soccer stadium to support the “Al-Hilal” team.

But the creation of Israel in 1948 and the Arab-Israeli wars made daily life uncomfortable for many Sudanese Jews. Anti-Israel protests erupted, and rhetoric at times became anti-Jewish, bringing on suspicion, hate and intimidation.

Ben-David, 73, says he remembers when a crowd threw stones at his aunt’s house in downtown Khartoum during the 1956 war. Just after the Six Day War, in 1967, things got even worse.

“They arrested all of the men, and even my mother was called in for questioning in the police station,” said Ben-David, who said he left the country a week before the war.

The nationalization of big businesses in the early 1970s added to doubts about their future. Feeling threatened and uncertain, most Sudanese Jews reluctantly decided to migrate to the United States, Britain, Switzerland or Israel, leaving their homes, shops, friends and wealth behind.

Abboudi, who has interviewed 50 people for her project, summed up their experiences and memories as a mix of nostalgia, sorrow and bitterness.

“It’s a bit bittersweet when they look back because on the one hand it was such an amazing life but on the other, they were effectively forced to leave,” she said.

Robert Kramer, a professor of history at St. Norbert College, Wisconsin, who has written on Sudanese Jews, said he also has noticed the community’s strong sense of identity.

“The thing that really struck me the most about Sudanese Jews is that sense of nostalgia, a lot of them really felt Sudanese,” Kramer said.

Not much remains in Sudan of the Jewish minority: A handful of elderly people, a neglected cemetery, an old optician’s shop sign.

“I still have the taste of the water of the Nile in my mouth,” said Cohen.

EGYPT. Sinai Peninsula. 1972. Hand of a dead Egyptian soldier. 

‘Five years after the 1967 war in Sinai, I returned with colleagues to have a look at the battlefield. The wind had blown away the sand, revealing a macabre memento of the war. The hand of an Egyptian soldier who had found his grave in the dunes. Next to it was his helmet. His forefinger was pointing to heaven as though in admonition: No More War. But Sadat had arrived 10 years too late for him’

Photograph: David Rubinger/Corbis/Getty


A Tiny Widdle Tank of World War II — The M22 Locust

One of the major challenges of airborne warfare, even to this day, is how to equip paratroopers with enough gear and weaponry to make a formidable assault force, yet still be light enough to be taken into the air and dropped onto a drop zone.  Often, airborne forces must make a compromise by being only equipped with the lightest of weapons while lacking in the area of heavy firepower.

During World War II, Allied forces attempted to bridge the gap between airborne forces and armored forces by creating a new class of tanks called “airmobile light tanks”, which were intended to give airborne troops some measure of armor support.  Among a handful of tank designs, one American creation was the tiny little M22 Locust.  These little tanks were only 7.4 tons in weight, 13 feet long, 7 feet in width, and 6 feet high.  Think about that for a second, it was only six feet high, about as tall as a somewhat tallish American person today.  I myself, am 5′11′’.  It had to have been extremely cramped in that tiny little war beast for its three crewmen (gunner, driver, and commander).  The M22 was lightly armed for tanks of the day, with a 37mm cannon as a main gun and a M1919 machine gun as a secondary weapon.  At its thickest it only had 12.5mm of armor.  Top speed was around 40 MPH.

Obviously the M22 Locust was designed with compactness and lightness in mind for airborne operations.  Typically they were loaded into gliders which were towed to the battlefield.  

After testing it was found that the M22 had several flaws.  It was underpowered and mechanically unstable.  The puny 37mm gun could do little even against lightly armored German vehicles.  Most importantly, it’s thin armor made it vulnerable, as even a .50 caliber machine gun could riddle the tiny tank with holes.  A few American “airborne tank companies” trained with the M22, but none saw combat in American hands.  Most of the 830 M22′s produced were shipped Lend Lease to British forces.  In British hands they were used in some minor operations during the invasions of Madagascar, North Africa, and Sicily.  Later they were used by the British during the Normandy invasion, and in Operation Varsity towards the end of the war.  It didn’t take long for the Brits to realize that the M22 couldn’t go toe to toe with German armored units.  So for the most part the M22 was used to support the paratroopers against other infantry, or used as reconnaissance vehicles.  After World War II most M22 Locusts were sold to the Egyptian Army.  Several company sized units of Locusts were deployed by the Egyptians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

LEBANON. Beirut. 2006. Affluent Lebanese civilians visiting a devastated neighbourhood.

Like all images of conflict, I have mixed feelings about this picture I took in south Beirut in 2006. I see it every morning framed on a stark white wall in my Brooklyn apartment. The opaque nature of reality in the Middle East is captured in the image. The beautiful subjects in the red Mini Cooper driving through a devastated neighborhood took offense at how they were depicted. They falsely claimed to reporters that they were actually refugees. The way I was subsequently treated by numerous members of the media made me want to leave the profession and go someplace far away.

For me, this picture also stirs feelings of hopelessness for the region. War has developed a vicious tenacity in the Middle East. It seems to only get bloodier and darker with each passing year. News pictures are a hostage to time and place, liberating them from the fallout of what happens in the days and months after the click of the shutter.

Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Not saying that Kissinger had anything to do with this, but like, it wouldn’t exactly drop me fucking dead if he did, like come on. Kiss’ relationship with Nixon wasn’t exactly BFF material.  Nixon hated Jews almost as much as he hated himself, and there’s a lot of evidence that Henry was frustrated by Nixon’s alleged alcoholism, especially when it coincided with a fucking  Arab/Israeli WAR (allegedly, but also probably). Like one of the reasons Nixon had his entire tape thing was because he didn’t trust anybody, ESPECIALLY his advisers and especially Kissinger. Hank’s a guy who’d overthrow your government if they didn’t have Diet Dr. Pepper in their embassy vending machine, sliding a few quips the Post’s way isn’t unimaginable. 

Anyway, that’s just some good old fashioned Krogan hot air, please don’t quote me for any book reports. 

n17r4ms  asked:

1, 3 and 12

1. I technically cover Spanish Civil War WW2, Arab-Israeli War, Vietnam, the Yugoslav Civil War and the Russo-Ukraine war.

2. I enjoy WW2 reenacting the most, mostly because I get to do it more often.

12. During my second or third time reenacting WW2 my entire squad was killed except for me, so I borrowed my NCO’s MP40 and sprinted through a building full of GIs, shooting and screaming. It actually worked well enough to get their reinforcements to retreat.

Why does no one on socialist/communist Tumblr talk about the history of communism in the Middle East??? Particularly Nasserism/ Arab Third Worldism because the Arab League was unity against the West, although probably not as strong as in Asia, but it was pretty profound in the Arab-Israeli Wars. Just, no one talks about Nasser being a socialist. Perhaps because he stressed an alliance with kingdoms (Saudi Arabia being particularly problematic, since a week before the first AL meeting Assad bombed SA). Idk, I think Middle Eastern socialist history is interesting.

LEBANON. 2006.

This image I took, as the only embedded photographer with the Israeli Defense Forces in Lebanon (IDF), depicts a classic “sacrifice” visual narrative of a hero giving his life for his nation. I was told by several people that it was ’very Vietnam’. Since this image was not overtly gruesome and since the soldier survived his injuries, it could be prominently displayed. I later learned that this scene actually represents a victim of a friendly fire incident, though it had already circulated and had been published with the caption that this soldier had been wounded in a Hezbollah attack. Because I insisted that information be included in the caption, the image lost value as a propaganda tool.

I have come to believe that embedded “war photography” simplifies the brutal ambiguity of conflict into well-worn and widely recognized visual templates. We, “war photographers,” help in reinforcing masculine myths of war as a purging experience. As it stands, I believe my images did a great disservice to the people who died or participated in this unnecessary and farcical demonstration of force in 2006, which besides claiming the lives of more than one hundred Israeli soldiers, also killed almost 30 times more Lebanese civilians than the 44 Israeli civilian dead. This conditioned Israeli public opinion to accept similar carnage in Gaza in 2009 and 2014 as a reasonable response.

Photograph: Yoav Galai