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Protestor in Damascus beaten
Photo: MCT

Silent on Syria

Op-ed: Voices of human rights groups, peace activists grow silent in face of Syria violence

For a week now I have been looking for the Israeli response to the riots in Syria. It’s not as though I’m in favor of needless interventions, yet nonetheless, something significant is happening right under our noses.

 

Our northern neighbors are protesting in favor of human rights, against torture and in the name of democracy – yet here all we have is silence. A handful of experts are explaining to us, with an academic yawn, that what we are seeing in Syria is an uprising, and beyond that there seems to be no interest around here.

 

There is nobody that would write a song for our Syrian brothers and post it on YouTube, as was the case with Libya, and there is nobody that would engage in debates about the possibility of better days to come without Assad and the Baath Party.

 

Moreover, there is not even a genuine debate or question marks over the readiness of certain groups in Israel to hand over Mount Hermon to an eye doctor in a precarious position in Damascus.

 

We can explain the above by referring to a rather unclear tendency adopted around here in recent years: Presenting a neutral façade any time a dramatic event takes place in the region. As though if we conduct ourselves like Switzerland in the United Nations, people will think we are indeed Swiss.

 

However, such explanation in a democracy like ours does not absolve the unofficial voices that can respond, protest and raise a hue and cry, as Israelis tend to do.

 

Hence, this past week I felt that the voices of human rights groups and peace activists are missing. Where are the encouragement to the protestors and the familiar chants against oppression and occupation? Where are the protests and boycotts we got accustomed to? I won’t deny it, I expected it and was waiting for it, yet precisely in a week where Assad is butchering his demonstrators, all these voices disappeared.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 03.25.11, 15:21
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