The so-called Arab Spring, a glimmer of hope for millions of citizens living
under authoritarian rule in Arab countries, has become, over the past year, a
fading opportunity as Egypt remains chaotic and others, including Libya and
Tunisia, continue to be unstable.
But it is Syria which has dominated the
headlines. The country’s president, Bashar Assad, appears determined to rule
over his citizens with an iron fist and with no sign of relenting. His forces
have murdered thousands over the course of the past year and, with the recent
multiple attacks on civilians in Homs, some reports have placed the total number
of fatalities at over 7,000.
Such a number of innocent dead women and
children would surely spark worldwide condemnation and protests in Western
To place this in perspective, the worldwide protests against
Israel in 2009 took place in response to a war in which, according to the Health
Ministry in Gaza controlled by Hamas, 1,314 Palestinians died.
of individuals and organizations concerned with the cause of human rights were
quick to jump on the bandwagon and condemn Israel for this.
regard to the absolute massacre taking place right now in Syria, these so-called
human rights activists and groups are silent. Where are they? Why are they not
lobbying their governments to isolate Syria and place its leaders on trial? The
United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution this week against
Syria, though it rarely has trouble doing so with regard to
Rather than focus its full attention on Syria, Amnesty
International said on Tuesday that in light of fears that Khader Adnan, 33,
could die following more than 50 days of a hunger strike, Israel must bring
charges against the Palestinian or release him from administrative
Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the
Middle East, criticized the practice of administrative detention, in which
Palestinians arrested during military operations in the West Bank can be held
without charges filed against them.
And Human Rights Watch also recently
called on Israel to end Palestinian residency restrictions.
Why the focus
on Israel? Syrian citizens are being massacred by their own government and these
organizations have offered nothing more than a low-level response as compared to
the way they malign Israel.
In 2009, during Israel’s defensive war in
Gaza in which it sought to end indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas on Israeli
civilians, the world was paying attention.
But they weren’t there to
stand in solidarity with Israel. Their aim was to vilify Israel.
January 2009, The Guardian
reported that “tens of thousands” of protesters
marched on the Israeli embassy in London.
The New York Times
a demonstration in New York that “stretched four blocks.”
others demonstrated in, among others, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and
So after months of witnessing thousands of innocent Syrian
civilians dying at the hands of Assad’s brutal military, and after the attack on
Homs last week which reportedly claimed 300 lives, one would think the streets
of London, Paris and New York would be filled with thousands of protesters
crying out for the rights of the Syrian people.
Instead, as The Guardian
reported, “About 150 demonstrators descended on the London embassy in Belgrave
Square.” A few dozen protesters gathered outside the Syrian embassy in
Washington. Elsewhere, small numbers of protesters demonstrated outside Syrian
and Russian missions in Jordan, Kuwait, Britain and Germany among
Clearly, the world’s double standard against Israel has once
again proved itself.
The lack of protests, by those who claim to stand
for human rights, over the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in Syria is
Not surprisingly, it was former British MP George
Galloway, now the head of an organization called Viva Palestina, who described
the 2009 war in Gaza as a “savage assault on a captive people so ferocious that
not since the Second World War have we seen anything like it.”
it was Galloway who once asked Assad for support in organizing a convoy to
But now, Galloway, in completely hypocritical fashion, has decided
that the Syrian massacre is not worthy of a mass protest.
WE ARE faced
with an issue of blatant reverse discrimination against Israel, by which
hypocritical organizations and activists have demonstrated unfair and biased
attitudes toward the Jewish state.
They differentiate between terrorists
and victims but, when it comes to Israel, have thoroughly confused the two,
blaming Israel as the aggressor.
In the past, and even today, with regard
to Africa, the West in general appears to have adopted a mentality of “let the
black man fight the black man.”
And this has carried over to Syria.
Compared to its vociferous reaction against Israel’s justified war in Gaza, the
international community has remained relatively indifferent to the Syrian
government’s massacre of unarmed civilians.
It appears that when Israel
fights legitimate defensive wars against terrorists bent on its destruction, the
world perceives such measures as “white man against black man” and seems unable
to stomach such an “unfair” situation.
Israel is a light unto the nations
with regard to human rights.
This has been proven in every war it has
fought against its enemies when it sought to target only combatants and not
civilians. And this continues to remain, for the Israel Defense Forces, the
accepted doctrine in all cases.
It was none other than Israel that made
preparations to absorb Syrian civilians in the event they sought asylum – and
Syria is considered an enemy state.
It is Israel that sends emergency aid
to any country in need, regardless of whether diplomatic relations exist between
the two countries.
The international community is guilty, whether of
anti-Semitism or philo-Semitism, of treating the Jews differently.
unfortunate but this will not change in the near future.
must battle this centuries-old mentality and continue to demonstrate that Israel
has the most compassionate military in the world and strives to be a leader in