Disclaimer : This is not a post to say that the war in Syria is more humane than in Israel or vice-versa. Nor to support Assad over Netanyahu or vice-versa.
If you’re present on Twitter and criticise Netanyahu, Israel and its war crimes, a response will be recurrent from obviously pro-Israel profiles. It is often the rationale of : “Why don’t you look at Syria crimes and all the crimes of the Middle East? Why don’t you condemn Syria? Assad is a dictator and a killer” And it often ends with: “Your singling out of Israel is antisemitic”.
It is as if we, people of conscience, when we criticise Israel, we ignore all the crimes of the World. Their conclusion is that condemning Netanyahu is saying Assad is innocent, it is of course zionist propaganda (Hasbara). The Electronic Intifada has reported last year that “interns” were paid by the state of Israel to “wash” the country of its crimes on social media.
With Israel coming under ever-increasing criticism for its human rights abuses and war crimes against Palestinians and other Arabs, changing the subject is a common tactic for Israel’s PR flacks and official propaganda or hasbara efforts.
This rhetoric isn’t only used by people on social media, it is often used by Israeli officials like Ron Prosol, Israel’s ambassador at the UN. In a article written for the New York Times, he condemned the UN and complained about Syria.
Knowing this history, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that, in the 2014-15 session alone, the General Assembly adopted about 20 resolutions critical of Israel, while the human rights situations in Iran, Syria and North Korea merited just one condemnation apiece. Day after day, member states turn a blind eye to the most deplorable crimes.
Syria? Again, just one resolution for a government that has pursued a war against its own people that has caused the deaths of at least 220,000 men, women and children — many by torture, starvation, chemical weapons and barrel bombs dropped on markets and schools.
This rhetoric is rather illogical, it’s disguising the fact that Israel is directly responsible of war crimes while exposing another fact, that the war in Syria, and other countries, amount to war crimes too. The crimes of Syria or any other country don’t render the crimes of Israel null.
This tactic is also baseless because of the current, factual UN numbers: Israel has destroyed more schools than any other country in the world in 2014. Israel also ranks infamously third position for most children killed in 2014. Syria is 4th. Hamas, with its unguided missiles killed one innocent child. Israel has killed more than 550 children, and its onslaught has killed much more civilians than militiamen from Hamas and other groups, so Israel is without doubt responsible for the number of children killed and its current rank
Here’s what the UN report says :
[…] The unprecedented and unacceptable scale of the impact on children in 2014 raises grave concerns about Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law, notably the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack, and respect for international human rights law, particularly in relation to excessive use of force. It is of particular concern that “Operation Protective Edge” was the third major Israeli military operation in Gaza within six years. The cumulative impact on children and the civilian population in general of these military operations, and the ongoing military occupation in the State of Palestine, is devastating. As indicated earlier in the present report, the number of Palestinian children killed (557) is the third highest in 2014, after the number of children killed in (a) Afghanistan (710) and (b) Iraq (679), and before the number of children killed in (c) Syrian Arab Republic (368) and (d) Darfur (197). The number of schools damaged or destroyed in the State of Palestine (at least 543) was the highest recorded number of all situations in 2014.
And yet, Israel continues to claim that its war were lawful and legitimate, it has cleansed its blood-soaked hands regarding the sadly known murder of the 4 Bakr boys at Gaza Beach. The boys were murdered while running away from Israel first attack, the attack were directly witnessed by a lot of international media outlets, the reporting teams were staying in a hotel just nearby.
The UN, despite its owns research results, removed Israel from the annual list of serious children abusers following US pressure.