You may have noticed there is no Goldstone Report being proposed in the United
Nations to investigate the massacre of civilians by the Syrian
In fact, many Arabs – mainly the professional activists and
the extremists – are looking at Syria as if it is some kind of anomaly. Not an
Arab Spring at all, but rather, an Arab Winter giving pro-Democracy pleas the
Deep down, the Arab activists don't want the spring to
come to Syria. And for good reason.
The Arab world has turned its back on
the pro-Democracy protesters in Syria who are being massacred by the Syrian
More than 2,000 have been murdered.
Tens of thousands have
been injured and thousands have been imprisoned.
The Arab world activists
scream for Israel's blood when it kills Arabs – and Israel has killed many
Arabs, but those activists are silent when it comes to atrocities committed by
The silence is not only driven by the usual hypocritical politics
of the activists, but by the “Holy Grail” of their hypocrisy, the Palestine
conflict. It's a hypocrisy based on political convenience that sees Egypt and
Syria differently. Egypt was long ago compromised and its president Husni
Mubarak is in shackles and awaiting trial.
The activists screamed loud in
favor of Egypt's Tahrir Square because Egypt was pro-Israel.
the other hand, is at the frontline of the battle against Israel. It hosts the
headquarters of Hamas and is a power behind Hezbollah, a group that issued a
statement urging Arabs to give Syria and its president Bashar Assad a
Syria is second only to Iran when it comes to screaming about
Israel. Yet historically, Syria's response to Israel has been the weakest of
Syria's stance, which so closely reflects the empty rhetoric of the
ineffective activists, is for public consumption only.
The Syrian Army,
which often parades its hatred of Israel (and the United States), has collapsed
repeatedly in defeat when facing the IDF.
So oppressing its own citizens
is about all the Syrian Army can do, aside from occasionally brutalizing their
neighboring Lebanese citizens too.
THE ARAB LEAGUE has proven to be
equally worthless in the Arab Spring and in Syria's Arab Winter. During a recent
visit to Damascus, the head of the Arab League complained not about the massacre
of innocent civilians, but rather the "foreign interference" in Syria's domestic
Like Arab activists for many years, Syria is wrapped in a
quandary of self-oppression and dictatorship, the hallmark of Arab world
Like the failed Arab activists, Syria's only strategy has been
to churn up hatred of Israel not to free Palestine or liberate Palestinian
lands, but rather to distract their people from focusing on and speaking out
against Arab world failures and brutality.
The Arab League and the Arab
activists are weighing the imbalance of political interests. They fear that
Syria's collapse will only further weaken the spotlight that historically has
been placed on Israel.
This failed Middle East policy is fueled by the
inaction of the West, a West driven by an addiction to oil. Four NATO and
Western countries profit from Syria's crude oil, Germany, Italy, France and the
They are hesitant to take any action that might undermine
Ironically, the Muslim nation that has the toughest stand
against Syrian oppression is Turkey, once one of Syria's closest allies. This
week, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries criticized Syria, but they did so out
of predictable selfish interests. Saudi Arabia has been battling with Syria for
years over Lebanon.
AMERICAN ARABS reflect the hypocrisy of the Arab
activists. Recently in Detroit, the publisher of a leading American Arab
newspapers organized a rally for Syria that drew more than 400 people. The
English- Arabic newspaper, of course, only reported on the rally in Arabic. It
also launched a campaign attacking American Arabs who have been calling for
action against Syria and compromise with Israel.
Khaled Salah, the
spokesman for the Syria American Council which supports the pro-Democracy
movement in Syria, said during my weekly radio interview show
(www.RadioBaladi.com) that the pro-Democracy protesters have been giving their
weekly protests names that reflect their exasperation with the hypocrisy of the
Arab World and the Arab activists.
Two weeks ago, they called their
protest “Your Silence is Killing Me,” referring to the failure of US President
Barack Obama and the US Congress to take any substantive actions against the
Last week, they called their protests “Only God is
With us” to reflect their isolation in the Arab World.
This week, maybe
they should call their protest, “Why have the Arabs forsaken us?” The Arab
activists and extremists have it all wrong. It is true that the Syrian
dictatorship has been very anti-Israeli, but the truth is they have been very
ineffective as champions of Palestinian rights. Imagine how effective a truly
democratic Syria could be in fighting for Palestinian rights and pushing for
peace? The Arab World can't effectively champion Palestinian rights until they
learn how to fight for the rights of their own people.
The Arab Spring
has brought freedom closer for some, but for many like Syria it is still far
The Palestinians should be speaking out loudly in support of the
Syrian people, even at the cost of losing the worthless empty rhetoric of the
But as long as the Arab activists manipulate the
“Palestinian cause,” that wont likely happen.The writer is an
award-winning columnist and Palestinian activist.