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.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Palestinian refugees, Syrian civil war

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism