Frustration and Disgust: International Inaction over Syria

Written by: Amb. Alan Baker

It is questionable whether or not the U.S. and the international community will ultimately punish Syria for the indiscriminate and criminal use of chemical weapons against its own civilian population. Whatever they decide to do, one striking fact nevertheless stands out. Over one thousand innocent civilians were cruelly murdered in Syria in one fell swoop on August 21, 2013. Thousands more were seriously wounded. Thousands of families have been destroyed and doomed, to the end of their days, to pain, suffering, and misery by one criminal decision so glibly and easily taken, to use poison gas against civilians. Thousands more civilians have been systematically and indiscriminately killed over the past two years in the unending hostilities between the Syrian regime and its opposition from within. Faced with all this, one may ask where are the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly? Where is the European Union? Where is the UN Human Rights Council? Where are they all, together with the myriad non-governmental organizations that are so quick and eager to condemn any and every action by Israel to defend itself against Palestinian terror, and any and every plan or decision regarding Israel’s settlement policy? Where are the EU sanctions and labeling policies that the EU’s Catherine Ashton and her European colleagues so enthusiastically and consistently impose on Israel and its products and institutions in the territories? Where are the UN General Assembly Emergency and Regular Session resolutions that are so easily and automatically adopted year in, year out, to condemn Israel for anything and everything? Where is the UN Human Rights Council, its Special Rapporteur, and Fact Finding Missions that are so eager to lynch Israel at every opportunity? Where are the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activists and supporters whose fixation at harming Israel and threatening performers who want to appear in Israel blinds them to all situations of utter and genuine cruelty and lawlessness in the world? Where are those hypocritical lawyers, jurists, academics, and labor union people who so readily pounce on Israel with boycotts, sanctions, and accusations of violations of international law, but who seem to turn a blind eye to genuine, blatant, and glaring violations of international law that have no connection to Israel?

Whether action will be taken against Syria or not, it is evident that the thousands of dead Syrians mean little to the UN, the EU, the BDS people, and the rest. They have their double-standard. It’s evidently much easier and simpler to come out and bash Israel for little or no cause, than it is to react to the brutal chemical murder and ruination of the families of thousands of Syrians. One wonders why?

About Amb. Alan Baker Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is former Legal Adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador of Israel to Canada.

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