Gideon Levy : Opinion The Hypocrites Crying Over Aleppo
They’re the worst, the hypocrites and the self-righteous. The ones who are shocked at the scenes from Aleppo, tsking as they watch television and certain that the world has to do something. The world, but not they and not their country. Urgently, right now, without delay, but not they and not their country. They are assuaging their conscience, so beautiful, superior and moral in their own eyes. They are after all not indifferent to the horrors of Aleppo; they are people of conscience and justice and this pains them.
It pains them so much – they can’t sleep at night at the sight of the dead children, they think about their grandmothers and grandfathers in the Holocaust and how the world stood by and did nothing and how this must not be allowed to happen again. Never again. But not they and not their country. Somebody else. Israel, after all, can’t. It is an enemy country and so it can’t interfere, and it’s a special case and therefore it can’t take in refugees, like Sweden for example.
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They are the worst of all, the hypocrites and the self-righteous. People who rejoice over the scenes from Aleppo – and we have those, too – are preferable. At least they’re honest.
Israelis are divided over Syria. Many hope for success for all sides. Arabs killing Arabs is always good news to them. Not only because of the pleasure over the killing (of Arabs), but because this shows the true face of our enemies. Look, world, at who we’re dealing with. With what animals. This is what would happen to Israel if it withdrew from the Golan Heights. This is what would happen to Israel if it withdrew from the West Bank. This, too, is what will happen if it withdraws from Amona. Aleppo also serves to diminish the occupation’s horrors.
The second group is the indifferent people. What does all that have to do with them? Israel is not involved, and all the rest is not interesting. In fact, nothing interests them except for their own private world. Occupation-shmockupation, asylum-seekers, Syria. Just leave us alone to plan our next vacation in peace.
The third group are the people who are horrified and not willing to lift a finger. They have plenty of excuses, just like Europe had in the 1930s. They are shocked not only by the horrors but also by the world’s response. What a crappy world, they post on Facebook.
But none of this group wants their kid to go off and fight to liberate Syria. They only volunteer European soldiers and the U.S. to do it. Anyone who is unwilling to volunteer their own children has no right to preach morality to anyone else. At least they should keep quiet in their shamefulness. Why should a mother from Connecticut agree to what a mother from Ramat Hasharon won’t? The last time Jews went off to fight for someone else was in the Spanish Civil War. Worth remembering.
Instead of intervening militarily Israel should have at least opened its gates. Not to a smattering of wounded people selected according to their organizational affiliation, treated in front of the propaganda cameras and sent right back into the inferno – as Israel does – but to open the gate to refugees. Yes, tens of thousands of Syrians, hundreds of thousands even – what would happen? – should be offered asylum in Israel. It wouldn’t be easy. It’s not easy for Syria’s other neighbors, Turkey and Jordan. It’s not easy to take in millions of people. It’s not easy for Sweden either.
Israel is always a “special case” in its own eyes. It is exempt from obligation to foreigners in distress except for building field hospitals in far-away disaster zones, and even then only for a moment and in front of the cameras. But Israel should have done something: 1. Because of the past; 2. Because it shares a border with Syria. And it is doing nothing. Not lifting a finger. In that it is no different from the locked-gate countries in Europe.
Under these circumstances at least let’s not be hypocritical and self-righteous. We should admit the truth: The fate of the Syrians touches us not in the least and in no way on earth are we a moral country.
Anyone who is unwilling to volunteer their own children to fight to stop the killing and liberate Syria has no right to preach morality to anyone else | Opinion
haaretz.com|Di Gideon Levy