There exists this shameful idea that Bashar Al-Assad stands for the Palestinian people, that his brutal response to Syrian demonstrators is part of his action plan to maintain power and to challenge Israel’s military might in the region. Unfortunately, this idea has permeated so many spheres of discussion that we see people attempting to minimize Al-Assad’s crimes by attributing them to a higher purpose. “He is doing the lesser of two evils,” I’ve heard, but he isn’t.
Al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on the civilian population of Syria is so disturbing that I wonder how anyone can faithfully believe he is helping the Palestinian cause, or any cause for that matter. Freedom and security, or whatever Al-Assad claims he is punishing the Syrian people for, is not worth the limb of a child or the torture of a mother as she stares at her husband’s lifeless body buried beneath the rubble of a home in Homs.
A woman by the name of Jumana Jaber was filmed giving the following message during a solidarity demonstration for Syria in New York last week. It really couldn’t be said any better.
“The horrible things happening in Syria, even Israel didn’t do to us in Palestine. Anybody who says that the Assad regime is with Palestine and that the atrocities happening are in our favor is wrong, and if the freedom of Palestine was dependent on the slaughtering of Syrian children, I would tell you as a Palestinian that I don’t want to be free.” (Translated from Arabic)
(Hat tip: Basil Ali)