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'Why don't you write about Syria?'

Reports on Syria have become a public commodity in the political conversation regarding Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinian refugees in Syria have become an object in a debate, not living people that need urgent help.

It’s not unusual for any report on a wrongdoing by the IDF in the occupied territories to be received here with comments such as: “why don’t you write Syria instead?” Or, when a report on a massacre in Syria does surface, someone is only to eager to use it to improve Israel’s image, in some sick, relativist fashion.

A rather funny – or tragic, depending on what you think – example was when Likud MK Ophir Akunis attacked the Israeli organization Physicians for Human Rights for criticizing the Israeli government “but saying nothing about Syria.” Only that PHR did talk about Syria – several times. Akunis, who blocked the Facebook commenters who tried to state this fact on his page, wasn’t really interested in the Syrians, but in the delegitimization of the struggle for the rights of Palestinians under Israeli control.

The same goes for many other such comments. And when one does write about the Palestinians who are being killed in Syria, the responses are usually along the lines of “what makes the Palestinians so special? write about the rest of the population!” and so on. At the same time, I am also surprised by the relative indifference for the plight of Palestinian refugees in the civil war by those supporting their cause on other fronts. Where are the mass protests against the brutal, inhuman policy of the Jordanian government, which lets Syrian refugees in but sends the Palestinians back?

Naturally, I think Israel should be the first to help Palestinian refugees in trouble, for obvious historical reasons. With the current political trends here, such hopes are beyond science fiction, and even an honest debate is impossible.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Aaron Gross

      Naturally, I think Israel should be the first to help Palestinian refugees in trouble, for obvious historical reasons. That’s an interesting point. I believe in collective responsibility, and that Israel (the state and the people) has a collective responsibility to Palestinians, not just to refugees, due to the injustice of Zionist settlement starting a century ago.

      On the other hand, there’s a war, not just between the Israeli government and Palestinian militias, but between Israelis and Palestinians, and both peoples are largely responsible (collectively, again) for their side’s actions.

      Seems to me, Israel should especially try to help Palestinian refugees, because of its collective responsibility, but not in ways that will help the Palestinians in their war against Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      The reason people like me keep harping on Syria is because the “Progressives” here at 972 and other places keep flattering themselves that they have some special sensitivity to human rights. The fact that 60,000 dead and hundreds more being added to the list every day DOESN’T really move them shows that bashing Israel is their favorite pastime and it has nothing to do with human rights of the Palestinians, simply animus to Israel, Zionism and maybe even Jews. There is plenty that can be done even short of military The time for such hypocrisy is over!

      Reply to Comment
    3. dukium

      XYZ this not a comparison because all the syrans suffer from the syrian regime. All dictatorship inflict suffering on their people and that’s why we have to fight against them. On this site we are mainly speaking about a state which declares itself a democracy and which should give equal treatment to all its citizens as well – or especially – to the ones that lives under occupation

      Reply to Comment
    4. rose

      “the time for such hypocrisy is over”: it is the time for the 4 decades of the occupation that is over!

      Reply to Comment
    5. ToivoS

      The reason people like me keep harping on Syria is because is to deflect attention from Israeli war crimes.

      I continue to focus on Israeli war crimes because it is my government that funds the enterprise and protects Israel diplomatically. Crimes against humanity inside Syria are completely beyond my control, the US does not support them either financially or diplomatically. On the other hand, with Israeli crimes I have one small voice — and that is to urge the US to stop enabling Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        Just so.

        Reply to Comment
    6. aristeides

      “What makes the Palestinians so special” is that they are refugees and therefore stateless. And why are they stateless refugees? Because Israel made them so.

      It always comes back to the original sin.

      Reply to Comment
      • I’m not interested in original sin; the concept has imprisoned many, many lives over a millinnea plus, and continues so. When a State has the ability to alter its actions, or partially redress them, what happens elsewhere is just irrelevant. With TovioS, above, my interest in 972 partly comes from my country’s rather large dose of military aid and (previously) financial credit to Israel. But that interest is also nutured by the courage of 972; and by the clear constitutional crisis Israel is enduring in slow motion. I see no reason to think ill of myself for not focusing on a failing State where the US has little direct impact. Those who comment herein on Syria never suggest redress for the focal event reproted; this is pure misdirection.

        Finally, I think people like XYZ have a point when they note Syrian Palestinians are not wanted in the Bank and likely Gaza, nor Jordan, nor Israel. It is best to admit the political reality of “right of return” rather than make it a mirror image of Zionist free ingress into Israel. Solace shall not be granted to all at the end of these days. And XYZ–that 60,000 is likely a significant underestimate.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Robby

      Hundreds of Palestinians dead, 30 in the last week, including many women and children. Many are dead as a result of sniper fire, most are probably civilians.

      Where is the Palestinian leadership? Where is Abbas and the PLO? What about their new found UN recognition, why aren’t they using it? What about HAMAS?

      Every time an Israeli passes gas the Islamic Jihad threatens revenge, yet in Syria where Palestinians are being slaughtered by the hundred they remain silent.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        We all note the thunderous silence of the Israeli Arab parties, all of whom are beholden to Assad. What he is doing to his own people is of no interest to them, as long he is good to the Israeli Arab parties. Same with Saddam Hussein. Even though he killed and tortured his own people for decades, the Palestinians loved him for his financial support of the suicide bomber terrorist families and for firing a few Scuds on Israel. They were indifferent to what he did to his own people. But, of course, it works both ways….the other Arabs are indifferent to the Palestinians, for instance, refusing to give them needed financial aid. Every man for himself in the Arab world!

        Reply to Comment
    8. Hey there! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally
      got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock
      Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

      Reply to Comment

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