On atrocities in Syria and Gaza

An Arab deputy in the Israeli Knesset, Ahmad al-Tibi, requested to read out the names of people killed by the Israeli army this week, a Knesset member responded, saying “shut up when you recall the martyrs’ names who were killed by your brothers’ missiles.”

The verbal altercation, regarding the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian situation and the heavy Israeli shelling of Gaza, may be one of the most interesting political and media moments regarding the deterioration of security in Gaza.

Today, and more than any other time, the Arab media and society have never appeared so confused regarding their stance on what’s going on in Gaza

Diana Moukalled

Enthusiasm to defend the Palestinians’ plaint is barely noticeable, and most of the time it’s fabricated. Apart from a few voices, there’s no real rally for what’s happening in Gaza. At this point, we must admit that the ordeal of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has not easily appealed to the sentiment of many Arabs despite the number of those killed by the Israeli aggression.

Arab media’s hesitancy

The Arab media’s laziness, or rather its hesitancy to cover a security and humanitarian incident that within few days killed dozens and injured hundreds, is clear. The Arab public opinion and media presented a confused approach regarding the stance from the Hamas movement as most of the times the entire Gaza Strip is viewed as just representing Hamas.

Despite all the footage of victims, it seems like this tragedy is deadlocked. It makes no sense for this tragedy in Gaza not to appeal to our sentiment, and we may have to search to figure out where this defect in our relation with the Palestinian cause lies.

Yes, the past three years revealed the hypocritical discourse regarding the Palestinian cause. Today, and more than any other time, the Arab media and society have never appeared so confused regarding the stance on what’s going on in Gaza.

The Palestinian cause, in this sense, is the first victim of the resistance rhetoric which the Syrian regime adopted. The Syrian regime has exploited the Palestinian cause during its war against its people. The Syrian official stance in brief goes something like this - We’re killing our people to liberate Palestine. The fact is, it’s killing its people to stay in power and not to liberate Palestine.

Syrian regime’s massacres

Photos of the Syrian regime’s massacres did not move us much and this tragedy is repeating with the photos of the Palestinian victims. It’s difficult to produce a second Mohammad Durra although the Palestinian victims are still victims and although Israel is still an occupying and aggressive force. Take Mohammad Abu Khdeir, the boy burnt to death by settlers, and his cousin Tarek, whom Israeli soldiers attacked, as an example.

The difficulty here is that there’s an unjust, realistic approach. On the day when these two boys were attacked, there were dozens of other victims in Syria and Iraq. Palestine is no longer the only tragedy of the Levant. Someone harmed Palestine when it committed atrocities that are worse - this is the Syrian regime’s crime.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on July 16, 2014.


Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

Last Update: Wednesday, 16 July 2014 KSA 11:15 - GMT 08:15
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.

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On atrocities in Syria and Gaza
Enthusiasm to defend the Palestinians’ plaint is barely noticeable, and most of the time it’s fabricated
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