The muffled and muted response to the ongoing slaughter in Syria is truly disgusting, especially when you compare it to the way in which the world hyper-actively responds to any and every Israeli minor action.
Of course, we hold ourselves to higher moral standards than those of the butcher of Damascus, and it’s no surprise or outrage that the world does too.
Bashar al-Assad can massacre 100 to 200 people a day, and the issue doesn’t rate much more than a mention in the daily briefings of the foreign ministry spokesmen in Washington, Bonn, Paris and London. But all Israel has to do is place a few caravans on a Samarian hilltop, and every spokesman will be sure to condemn Israel in the strongest terms snap-quick in the morning.
Assad can launch massive artillery barrages into civilian areas day after day, and the story isn’t even front page news in most world newspapers. But if one Israeli shell goes errant and hits a Palestinian or Lebanese shack despite all our prodigious cautions and safeguards, you can be sure that the U.N. Security Council will rapidly convene in emergency session to vilify us.
Syrian guns can obliterate a field hospital; leave the wounded bleeding to death in the streets; and rampage through hospitals shooting rebel troops, while the world merely clicks its tongue in disapproval. But if Israel tries to move 25 Palestinian squatters from a shanty village they set up in a Jerusalem national park, the global protests will be loud and vociferous.
Five thousand to 10,000 Syrians have been killed by Assad’s snipers and howitzers, yet the world can’t agree to intervene or investigate. Israel kills nine armed Islamic radicals trying to run our coast under Turkish cover in support of an Iranian-backed terrorist group, and the world swiftly demands and convenes an international committee of investigation.
Assad’s tanks run over civilian cars at random, and his storm troopers ransack houses, burn furniture in the street, and torture women as collective punishment, yet French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe thinks that “any external intervention would make the situation worse.” The same day, the U.N. Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People met at the ambassadorial level to approve a year’s worth of conferences and seminars and other “interventions” meant to oppose “Israeli apartheid reborn.”
After almost a year of fighting and massacres, the U.N. Secretary-General can be roused to express his dismay at Syrian brutality. The Security Council might even be forced to meet -- and agree on nothing. But it takes the Secretary General fewer than five minutes to strongly condemn Israeli archaeological work in east Jerusalem and less than a week for the Security Council to convene the highest level consultation on how to stop Israeli restoration of ancient Jewish mosaics.
The U.N. can’t cobble together a peacekeeping force to protect Syrians from their murderous leader even when the Arab League -- the Arab League! -- is begging for it. But UNESCO will send international observers at the drop of a hat to make sure that Israel doesn’t rebuild the Mughrabi Bridge leading to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
After Assad cut off electricity to 800,000 residents of Homs and set up military bases and sniper posts in schools, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights actually declared the situation deplorable, although she couldn’t convince the General Assembly to convene an “Emergency Special Session” on Syria. There never was an emergency session when Hafez Assad butchered tens of thousands in Homs. In fact, there have been only 10 emergency sessions of the assembly in its history, five of them focused on Israel, and the 10th such session (condemning Israel, of course) has been reconvened 15 times.
Children can be kidnapped from their parents and sent back to their Damascus homes as chopped-up body pieces or with their genitals mutilated, yet the only person that the brilliant world can find to “monitor” the situation is a Sudanese general suspected of war crimes himself. But when Israel seeks to destroy Hamas missile bases and arms depots in Gaza and to defend itself after eight years of rocket attacks, the U.N. craftily locates a Jewish jurist named Goldstone to produce heavy-duty legal writ to crucify us.
All this makes sense if you understand what country is the greatest threat to world peace and security. Israel, of course.