Caabu Letter in the Guardian about Syria and Israel
23 October 2012
Jonathan Freedland's argument about contrasting reactions to events in Israeland Syria is significantly flawed (Comment, 20 October). First, there has been huge outrage over the Assad regime's brutality, including weekly protests outside the Syrian embassy and others in Trafalgar Square. Is there any credible figure in British politics who has not condemned its behaviour?
Second, the British government has quite rightly unequivocally opposed the Assad regime's crimes and supported 19 rounds of sanctions against regime figures and entities. Though Israel's crimes are not directly comparable, when its forces bomb schools, level villages, use human shields, demolish houses, torture civilians, and steal land there is little more than routine tame verbal criticism and a business as usual approach. Britain cannot even support Palestinian statehood. This rank hypocrisy and double standards rankles with many.
There is little more that we can expect the British government to do on Syria short of engaging in a dangerous war, while the Assad regime hardly cares what British protesters think, any more than it cares about peaceful Syrian demonstrators. In contrast, there is much our government could do tangibly to demonstrate that it takes Israel's consistent violations of law and Palestinian human rights seriously, not least a full arms embargo.
In both cases there has been plenty of prominent media coverage, not least in the Guardian. Those suffering in other conflicts such as Congo would love even a fraction of the attention.
Council for Arab-British Understanding
For further information about Caabu's Syria programme please see here