As Palestinians Continue to Suffer in Syria, “Pro-Palestinian” Activists Remain Indifferent

Jan. 21 2020

The London-based organization Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) recently released a report documenting the effect of the Syrian civil war on that country’s Palestinian population, noting that the number of dead has now reached 4,013. While Palestinians have fought alongside Bashar al-Assad’s forces and against them, most of the suffering was inflicted by the Assad regime and its allies, as Khaled Abu Toameh writes:

AGPS estimated the number of Palestinians who have died of torture in Syrian prisons at 614. Another 205 Palestinians died as a result of lack of proper medical treatment and medicine because of the Syrian army’s siege on the Yarmouk refugee camp, the group said.

Another 311 Palestinians were killed by sniper gunfire, 142 in various bombings, 92 in “extrajudicial killings” by the Syrian authorities and its proxy groups, and 315 who were executed or died of suffocation and arson incidents. At least 52 Palestinians are believed to have drowned while trying to reach Europe.

Alarmed by the world’s continuing indifference toward the plight of the Palestinians in Syria in general and that of journalists in particular, AGPS denounced the “apathy of the international community and Palestinian leadership.”

That apathy, notes Abu Toameh, is shared by the many groups and individuals who call themselves pro-Palestinian. To him, the explanation is straightforward: “these Palestinians’ problems cannot be blamed on Israel.” He adds:

They are being killed and tortured in an Arab country, by their own brothers, and as far as the world is concerned, as long as there is no way to hold Israel responsible, it is fine for Arabs to commit atrocities against their Palestinian brothers.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Palestinian refugees, Syrian civil war

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy