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Syria’s Chemical Weapons Attack: Voices from Israel about the West and its Response

From Washington Post:
Picture provided by
Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

Rabbi Fred Guttman posted these quotes about the Syrian chemical attack on its own people. The quotes provide a glimpse into the unanimous voice of Israeli leadership on all sides of the political spectrum on the horror of the Syrian use of chemical weapons.

I am neither a politician nor a general. I have opinions but I do not make geo-political strategies. What I do know is that it is terribly wrong for anyone to use such weapons. It is wrong. It is immoral. It is incumbent upon each of us to speak out against such attacks.

It reminds us also that when weapons of mass destruction get into the hands of unstable governments, they seem to necessarily want to use them.  And now, it appears that one such government has.

Read what Israelis are saying, and then raise your own voice against the use of these weapons.

If Jews don’t speak out, who will???

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Defense Minister Moshe (Bogey) Ya’alon: “This is not the first time that Assad has used chemical weapons and it now looks like he may be losing and decided he has nothing to lose… the question is will the world react?”

President Shimon Peres (in newspaper Yediot): “The world cannot accept genocide and slaughter of children and women… Assad is not his people’s leader – he is a murderer of children.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “The events in Syria prove that the world’s most dangerous regimes must not be allowed to gain possession of the world’s most dangerous arms.”

Ha’aretz veteran analyst Ari Shavit: “What’s happening in Syria proves the validity of Netanyahu’s warning that the greatest danger to world peace in the 21st century is the combination of unconventional weapons and unconventional regimes. Lunatics really are insane. Barbarians are really barbaric. Huns will be Huns. Those who act mercifully toward Huns bear direct responsibility for the fact that nuclear weapons are being built in Iran, chemical weapons are being used in Syria and doomsday weapons threaten the future of the Middle East. … Those who underestimate the inherent danger of the Huns bear direct responsibility for the deaths of today’s victims, the Syrians, and tomorrow’s victims, the Israelis, Europeans and Americans. It’s time to break free of the moral relativism, multicultural hypocrisy, and political correctness that prevent us from seeing our evil neighborhood as it really is. A terrible warning siren is being sounded in Damascus. Do we hear it? Does the world hear it?”

Yediot columnist Eitan Haber (Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s bureau chief): “It is often said that if during World War II the mass media had been as developed as it is today, some of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people and the world as a whole would have been averted. And yet… since the pictures began to flow out of Syria showing bodies wrapped in white sheets… the world wasn’t startled, it wasn’t shocked, it did nothing….. It is incumbent upon us in Israel to learn the sad lesson of the Syrian story. The world was silent back then, during World War II, and the world will also be silent even if a new doom is upon our doorstep. We are alone. The decisions need to be made by the isolated Israeli government, and preventing disaster from striking will also lie on the shoulders of an Israel that is surrounded by enemies, and abandoned more and more by its friends.”

Yediot defense analyst Alex Fishman: “There is no chance of the horrific footage in Syria changing American or European policy towards the bloody struggle. Syria’s tragedy is that it is not a sufficiently important country insofar as concerns Western interests… The Syrian army uses chemical weapons against Syrian civilians because it can, and because it has the support of Russia and Iran. While chemical weapons aren’t its first choice, it uses them when it feels that its back is against the wall. And that is the lesson that the world needs to learn from the turn of events in Syria – there is no crime and punishment, countries do not go to war for humanitarian purposes, and the only thing that counts are their cold interests.”

Consider these quotes as well:

Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (MLK – 16 April 1963, Birmingham, AL)

and

Eli Wiesel: I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. … There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. (Eli Wiesel)

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