Total Pageviews

Friday, June 15, 2012

Syria, Israel's Nasty Neighbor Just Hasn't Changed a Bit

Nadene Goldfoot
In February of 1982, President Assad  mowed down a quarter of Hama to stop an uprising there.  Does that sound familiar today in 2012?  Nothing much has changed.  Then it was the Muslim Brotherhood that was doing the uprising.  Between 10,000 to 30,000 civilians were killed in that massacre.

Syria is made up of 22,505,000 people with 90% being Sunni and the rest Shi'a.  President Hafez Assad has absolute authority and his many security services have been responsible for severe human rights violations.  They use torture complete with reported equipped torture chambers where they gouge out eyes, extract fingernails and toenails and use electric shocks on sensitive parts of the body, arrests and detentions, lack of fair trials in security cases, and do not have freedom of speech, press, associations, or the right of citizens to change their governments nor workers' rights where they might have independent trade union.  It's autocratic and that's it.  No wonder Assad has been scared of a democratic state of Israel right next door.  People will get ideas!

Public criticism of Assad has been illegal.  He belongs to the Baath party who owns and operates all broadcast media and publishing houses.  How convenient for him.  Mail is censored, telephone conversations are often recorded and the security police are always listening in.  Demonstrations and public meetings are illegal unless the government gives permission and when has that been?  How have they stopped political opposition?  By mass murder, of course.

Quite frankly, all of Israel's neighbors are nasty people with  non democratic regimes that take advantage of their people but the world has preferred to charge Israel, the one democratic state,  with human rights violations, and it has been just such violators who have wielded the charges in the UN!

Jews living in Syria today number less than 80 as of 2005, but at one time had a large population living there, going back to King David's time when Damascus was at times even a friend to Israel.  In Herod's day it had a large Jewish population.  Many Jews found refuge here in 1492 from the Spanish Inquisition.  .  30,000 were living there in 1948.  by 1970 Israel held Operation Blanket, involving Israeli navel commandos and Mossad operatives to rescue young Jews  that had to leave because of persecution.  Many Jews from Syria are living in Brooklyn, NY today as well.

Today Assad has destroyed a Sunni-populated village, Haffa,  with his Syrian forces and militiamen who cleansed it from rebel fighters.  The population either were massacred or fled because other Sunni sites experienced mass killings.  The report is that they used Russian equipment like helicopter gunships.  Russia is Syria's main supplier.

Resource:  Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell Bard and Joel Himelfarb
Oregonian newspaper, 6/15/2012 page A9, Monitors find village in ruins by Rick Gladstone, NY Times news service
New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

No comments: