Syria is a mess. News flash, I know. There is a lot of blame to go around, a bit of which falls on Obama’s feckless “red-line” comment, a check his mouth wrote but his resolve could not cash.
But Israel’s fault?
The Syrian revolution did not have to turn violent, Labwani told The Times of Israel in a telephone conversation from Amman, Jordan, recalling the early days of the uprising, which erupted in the southern city of Daraa in March 2011. Syrians took up arms, he said, after the Assad regime treated the population in a “criminal, unacceptable way.” Now, he asserted, there’s no going back on toppling Bashar Assad by all possible means.
It is extremely rare for a Syrian dissident to speak openly with Israeli media, but Labwani, who has sought political asylum in Sweden, believes the Syrian uprising has shattered many Arab taboos, including the cultural Arab taboo on engaging Israel.
“I am not the only one [who speaks to Israelis]; there are many others like me. Three years of revolution have destroyed many intellectual and cultural principles,” he said. “People today have begun thinking outside the box, exploring two fundamental things: changing ourselves and seeking help.”
Discouraged by the opposition’s traditional allies, Labwani now believes Israel is the Syrians’ best hope. The Jewish state has both the military capacity to help the Syrian opposition and the strategic incentive to do so.
“Israel is able to change the international mood,” he said. “You have ties with all decision-making centers in neighboring countries, and could change opinions if you would be convinced to.”
The field hospital established by the IDF on the Syrian border has had a significant positive impact on Israel’s image among the population of southern Syria, Labwani said. Nevertheless, most Syrians are still convinced that Israel is backing Bashar Assad, a sentiment that can be changed through a clear Israeli stance.
“If today 90 percent of Syrians believe you support Assad, what have you gained? Nothing. In my opinion, a clear political declaration from Israel saying Assad is a criminal will have a very important impact. Today, we hear conflicting statements.”
But a moral position by Israel is not enough. Israel must extend military assistance to Syrian forces fighting Assad, based on the internationally recognized “responsibility to protect,” he said.
Now, hold on, Ahmed. Israel didn’t start your civil war. Why should a single drop of Jewish blood be spilled to finish it? Because Syrians will be their bestest friends forevah if they do? I rather see a scenario where every Al Qaeda tool in the world joins the jihad against the Zionists. Such a headache Israel doesn’t need.
But you know what else Israel does to Syria? Are you sitting down?
In countless papers, including presumed studies published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, Israel has been accused of causing Arab men to beat Arab women because of the so-called Israeli “occupation.”
You bastards! Why are you making Arab men beat their women?
Accordiong to Khetam Malkawai, in today’s Jordan Times, “almost 88.9 per cent of Syrian women refugees who visited (18) counselling centers in Jordan are victims of violence.”
As someone who is studying honor-based violence and honor killing, I found that the following statistics, gathered by the Arab Women’s Organization, confirm my anecdotal and interview-obtained information. In terms of domestic violence, “83 per cent of the Syrian women reported they are victims of violence inflicted on them by their parents, while 72 per cent cited their husbands and 56 per cent their brothers.”
As long as young Arab and Muslim girls are normatively beaten by their parents and brothers; forcibly veiled, secluded, and monitored; forced into marriage at young ages, often to their first or second cousins; not allowed to obtain an education and a profession, and prevented from becoming independent—just so long will Arab civilization remain stagnant.
That doesn’t sound like “the occupation”. You know what it does sound like?
‘How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
‘Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.
You know what happened to the British political candidate who read those words aloud?
On Saturday, Paul Weston of Liberty GB, a candidate in next month’s European elections, was speaking on the steps of Winchester Guildhall and quoting Winston Churchill on the matter of Muslims (from The River War, young Winston’s book on the Sudanese campaign). He was, in short order, arrested by half-a-dozen police officers, shoved in the back of a van and taken away to be charged under a “Section 27 Dispersal Notice”. I had charitably assumed this was a more severe equivalent of the parade licensing that American municipalities use to discourage public participation by disfavored groups – ie, Mr Weston was arrested because he did not have his paperwork in order. I dislike such laws, but in America their use testifies at least to a certain squeamishness about directly punishing someone for the content of his speech.
Not so in Britain. The coppers dropped the Section 27 Dispersal business, and instead charged Mr Weston with a “Racially Aggravated Crime” – in other words, he’s being charged explicitly for the content of that Churchill passage, and the penalty could be two years in jail.
CAnt say this often enough: what a effed-up world.