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August 31, 2011

Syria Cartoonist Ali Farzat بالسلامة علي فرزات والله سوريا حرية


Gilad Atzmon : The wandering who

Gilad’ s New Book: The Wandering Who? will be out in October. It is already available (pre-order)  on

bandannie read the book and was mesmerized by the accuracy of his analysis.

Jewish identity is tied up with some of the most difficult and contentious issues of today. The purpose in this book is to open many of these issues up for discussion. Since Israel defines itself openly as the ‘Jewish State’, we should ask what the notions of ’Judaism’, ‘Jewishness’, ‘Jewish culture’ and ‘Jewish ideology’ stand for. Gilad examines the tribal aspects embedded in Jewish secular discourse, both Zionist and anti Zionist; the ‘holocaust religion’; the meaning of ‘history’ and ‘time’ within the Jewish political discourse; the anti-Gentile ideologies entangled within different forms of secular Jewish political discourse and even within the Jewish left. He questions what it is that leads Diaspora Jews to identify themselves with Israel and affiliate with its politics. The devastating state of our world affairs raises an immediate demand for a conceptual shift in our intellectual and philosophical attitude towards politics, identity politics and history.

You can now pre-order the book on  or

“A formidable improvisational array…a local jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height…”-John Fordham, The Guardian

 “Best Musician” living in the world today, Robert Wyatt, The Guardian 


“…Atzmon is an astonishing musician.” John Lewis, Metro

Click below for  samples of his music :

The Tide Has Changed by Gilad Atzmon

Fatal torture ‘widespread’ in Syrian jails – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Fatal torture ‘widespread’ in Syrian jails – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

Unbearable to listen to the brother of the victim but do bear with his narration.

The Murder of Sakher Hallak by the Syrian Security Apparatus

The chronology of events:
•        After visiting the USA to attend a medical conference, Dr. Sakher Hallak was arrested by the Syrian secret police, the Mukhabarat, on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, on his way home from work, at 11:30 at night.
•        On Thursday, May 26, his wife called a person she knew, a relative who worked in the Syrian Congress, named Adnan Alsokhneh. He assured her that the Mukhabarat had him, and that he will ensure that he is released soon.
•        On Thursday, Sakher’s office manager/nurse contacted one of his patients who has connections in Damascus. He told her that someone form the intelligence service wrote up something against Sakher, and that he was in deep trouble. He promised to check on his status at the Mukhabarat, and to call her back with any new information.
•        Dr. Sakher Hallak called his best friend, a psychiatrist, on Thursday morning to tell him that he is at the Mukhabarat and that he is well, and that he would be released in a couple of days. The Mukhabarat wanted to ask him about his recent visit to the USA, he said. He visited the USA from April 15 to May 05, 2011 in order to attend a medical conference in Miami, Florida. Later that morning, his friend visited Sakher, and he told the family that Sakher was well.
•        On Friday, May 27, the Mukhabarat interviewed Sakher’s wife and daughter. They were told that everything would be OK, and that he would be released on Saturday.
•        On Saturday, his wife called again, and she was told that he should be on his way home, but he had to stop at the courthouse to sign some documents.
•        His body was found freshly dead Friday at 6 PM, in a village 20 km from Aleppo. It was dumped in a ditch in an out-of-the-way area.
•        On Saturday evening, May 28, the coroner’s office called family, and told them that they have a body in the morgue, and that it might belong to Sakher.
•        Indeed, the body was that of Sakher. There was evidence of multiple injuries, consistent with torture and direct trauma to the head. His eyes and his penis were mutilated. Most of the bones in his body were broken, and marks from different types of boots were imprinted on his body. He died by strangulation. There were handcuff and rope marks on his fingers, suggesting that he was trying to dislodge the rope off of his neck.
•        In the morgue, the Mukhabarat told family that they never had Sakher in their custody, but, that, instead, they found him dead on the street.
•        The coroner’s official cause of death was torture and strangulations by rope. They refused to release the full report or the date and time of death.
•        The Mukhabarat wrapped the body with gauze, like a mummy, making sure that only his face, with his eyes closed, and his feet were showing, to prevent any incriminating photos. The family was not allowed to be alone with his body.
•        Sakher’s body was monitored by 2 Mukhabarat agents at all times. They also prevented people from attending his funeral; only 200 were allowed to attend. They used official cars to transport the body to the funeral and made sure that no photos were taken.
•        The family were told that he was killed by the Mossad. No one believed it, since he was a physician, not a nuclear scientist.
•        Subsequently, the family was told that his nurse manager murdered him. They took the cameras out of his office, and accused her of stealing. She was in jail for a period of time, charged with theft, but not murder. She was released recently.
•        In June 2011, a physician, helping a boy injured in a demonstration in Aleppo, was arrested by the Shabiha. They told him that he was being taken away to join Dr. Sakher Hallak.

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