NGOs calls on government to be on ‘right side of history’

Activists and MKs call for international cooperation.

A DRUSE man watches the fighting in Syria from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights (photo credit: REUTERS)
A DRUSE man watches the fighting in Syria from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NGO Israeli Flying Aid is calling on the government to “put Israel on the right side of history” with regard to the Syrian civil war, a day after a suspected chemical attack in Idlib killed almost 100 civilians and wounded hundreds of others.
“Gas attacks are a deja vu for us,” Gal Lusky, the humanitarian organization’s CEO and founder, said on Wednesday, adding that due to both the history of the Jewish people and Israel’s proximity to Syria, it should be vocal in demanding an end to the conflict.
“We must demand a no-fly zone and a safe zone for the Syrians,” she told The Jerusalem Post, saying that the organization was working on a campaign to put pressure on the Israeli government.
Syrians , victims of Syria civil war, receive medical treatment and help from Israel , Jan. 24, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)
“We have sent [gas] masks in the past, but there is no way to really defend them from this – it must be done in the diplomatic-political arena,” she said Branding Russian President Vladimir Putin a “murderer,” Lusky accused both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump of supporting him. “We continue to supply their [Syrians’] hospitals and Bibi continues embracing Putin, who destroys those same hospitals,” she said.
The organization stated that it would like to see Netanyahu taking a firm lead against the atrocities and asking countries of the world to transfer aid into Syria via the Golan Heights, “and to stop doing it through the UN into the hands of [President Bashar] Assad.”
Moti Kahana, founder and CEO of NGO Amaliah, also leveled criticism at the government. Responding to Netanyahu’s Tweet on Tuesday that “When I saw pictures of babies suffocating from a chemical attack in Syria, I was shocked and outraged,” Kahana Tweeted back at him: “shocked? why are you NOT condemning Russia for supporting #Iran and #Assad, who killed the kids. why you are not calling for Assad removal?” Shivi Froman, co-founder of the Just Beyond Our Borders campaign for aid for Syrian children, also called on the government to be more proactive. Noting that the state has helped the Syrian people – through aid and treatment of civilian victims – he said it was not enough. Froman stressed the need for a no-fly zone in order for humanitarian aid to reach civilians, and for responsibility to be placed on Russia.
“But we can’t do it alone – we need to push for an international effort,” he added.
The Committee for the Struggle against Genocide called on world powers and UN bodies to “stop the terrible massacre in Syria and the crimes against humanity immediately and without delay.
“It is the obligation of the international community, which to our regret repeatedly refrains from responding to these illegal actions,” the group said in a statement.
Opposition MKs Erel Margalit and Nachman Shai, both from the Zionist Union, also called for action from the international community, in a letter to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
“In the last few years Israel has provided humanitarian aid, has treated thousands of wounded Syrians and saved the lives of hundreds – yet it is still not nearly enough,” the letter read.
“The unbearable photos arriving from Syria, showing children, women and men dying, remind me of terrible times when the world stood still and regretted it when it was too late.
“People of all religions and faiths across the world are watching these photos where people are slaughtered by means of mass extermination, and cannot remain indifferent. As a member of the IPU, I reach out to you, the leaders of the Union, and ask you to help and take action.”
The MKs requested that the Inter-Parliamentary Union hold an emergency debate to find a way to put a stop to the atrocities taking place in Syria.
“The IPU has the ability to take a series of immediate actions that will prevent the inhuman deterioration. The world has no right to remain silent and move on. The world has no right to ignore the atrocities,” they wrote. “By remaining silent, the world loses its right to discuss morality and justice.”