Wednesday, August 6, 2014

You should never remain neutral

I have friends and colleagues and acquaintances who followed the conflict. Good people, kind people. People who are wise and honest.

Several of them have told me in recent days that empathy for suffering in Gaza didn't/doesn't make you anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. Or pro-Hamas.

They’re right. This isn’t about them. 
I know it isn’t because these are people who just generally are empathetic.

But there are others. And this is about them.

It’s the first time I've heard them speak about suffering, and war crimes, and disproportionate use of force. They didn’t speak up when 700 Syrians were killed the other week in a 48-hour period. Nor did they protest when hundreds of thousands were killed in countless other conflicts around the world and the Middle East. They didn’t complain about ‘disproportionate’ kill-ratios when‘their’ troops were involved.

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, said it best the other week … “If in the past year you didn’t cry out when thousands of protesters were killed and injured by Turkey, Egypt and Libya, when more victims than ever were hanged by Iran, women and children in Afghanistan were bombed, whole communities were massacred in South Sudan, 1800 Palestinians were starved and murdered by Assad in Syria, hundreds in Pakistan were killed by jihadist terror attacks, 10,000 Iraqis were killed by terrorists, villagers were slaughtered in Nigeria, but you only cry out for Gaza, then you are not pro Human Rights, you are only Anti-Israel.”

If you care about democracy and freedom, there was a clear right side and wrong side in this conflict. 
In Ambassador Derner’s words: "You should never be neutral between a democracy that shares your values and a terror organization that hates everything you stand for."

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