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The world cannot preach morality to Israel if it doesn't act to stop the carnage in Syria
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The world cannot preach morality to Israel if it doesn't act to stop the carnage in Syria

In March 2011 a series of nonviolent demonstrations began in the cities of Syria, which expressed the wish of its citizens to live in a more decent state. Two and a-half years later, more than 100,000 are dead and four million are refugees in Syria and abroad. Hundreds of thousands of houses and apartments have been turned into rubble and the infrastructure in large parts of the country has been shattered. Without a doubt, there has been enough time, enough deaths, refugees and destruction for the world -- which claims to be guided by moral considerations -- to wake up and do something beyond verbal condemnation.

But this has happened. The world continues to look away. As far as it's concerned, the Syrians can die like insects just because they want to get rid of the dictator who presumes to serve as their liaison officer with paradise by turning Syria into hell.

The Western world, which invented the concept of "human rights", has forgotten that Syrians are also "human". There's no one to lobby on their behalf because there is no oil in their country. The knights of human rights have not been moved by events in Syria since no Jews or Israelis are involved in perpetrating the disaster. What would they be saying if Israel had done to its Arab citizens just one percent of what the regime in Syria is doing to its citizens?

A document written by General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff reveals the truth: The United States does not intervene in Syria because it had no national interest in doing so.

Not a single country has even so much as announced a boycott of products manufactured by enterprises belonging to the Syrian government. The world is afraid to confront Syria because Iran has threatened to act against the oil industry in the Gulf if Syrian President Bashar Assad is toppled.

The world has also been standing by as Islamists attack the Christian Copts in Egypt, burning dozens of their churches and killing their adherents.

The sad conclusions to emerge from the world's silence in the face of the suffering in the Middle East are very important to us as Israelis:

1. Even if tens of thousands of Israelis are killed, injured or displaced by war or terrorism -- the world will fail to respond.

2. Israel must not make any concessions in return for international guarantees, because when put to the test, every state operates according to its current interests, not according to its past commitments or moral considerations.

3. Moral considerations do not affect actions. Anti-Semitism, however, pushes moral imposters to boycott Israeli products.

4. Even those who use non-violent means may be exposed to violent reaction, and the world accepts this immoral equation.

5. If Iran does not threaten the West, the West will again be willing to sacrifice the Jews to the point of extermination, as long as oil from the Persian Gulf keeps flowing into the energy market.

6. In an international system that operates without a moral compass, Israel must act according to its own best interests. And if the security interest - Israel's existence - means holding on to all the Land of Israel or part of it - other considerations must not be involved in the decision.

7. Ethical considerations such as "the Palestinians also deserve a state" must be compared to saying that "Syrians deserve to live." A European or American who does not care about Syrian life has no right to demand that Israel be more moral than him.

8. Peace in the Middle East will only be achieved by he who is able to demonstrate to his opponents that he is invincible.

Mordechai Kedar is Director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation) at Bar-Ilan University, Israel



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