Dr. Mordechai KedarDr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.
What has not already been said about Syria's chemical weapons? By now, how much proof does the world have to have as to the Syrian government's use of forbidden chemical weapons against its enemies? Isn't there an agreement to destroy and do away with Syrian chemical weapons?
The above notwithstanding, there are reports almost daily of Assad's government using bombs containing chlorine gas, fatal in high concentrations and a cause of strangulation and paralysis in lesser amounts. Chlorine gas does not differentiate between militants and children, between Assad supporters and those who are involved in the fighting. Hundreds of men, women and children have been killed by the gas up to now.
Syria's crime is taking place after the world granted it a "reprieve" for the use of a more severely poisonous gas in August 2013. And also after its agreement to destroy and dispose of chemical weapons, the agreement that saved Obama from having to act on the threat with which he had faced Assad, "that the use of chemical weapons is the crossing of a red line".
Assad crossed that red line many times, but as soon as the moment for reacting arrived Obama retreated, preferring an agreement to action. At the time the agreement was reached, six months ago, there was already a distinct possibility that Assad would not keep the agreement and over the last few months, carrying it out has been repeatedly postponed.
In addition, during the past several months western intelligence organizations have received bona fide reports that significant amounts of sarin and VX chemical weapons have remained in Assad's hands stored in secret hiding places, this despite his promise to destroy all of it.
Worst of all is that Syria continues to import another chemical weapon – chlorine gas – from Iran, who buys it from China. It is important to point out that UN Security Council decisions do not allow Iran to export weapons, but the Iranians did not hesitate to send chlorine to Syria despite that fact, all this concurrent with meetings with western representatives for talks on reducing the international sanctions on their country.
The conclusions reached from this are horrendous:
1. The Syrian mass extermination government is confident that nothing will happen to it if it uses chemical weapons.
2. Iran's leaders are confident that nothing will happen to them if they defy UN Security Council decisions.
3. The West, eager for business deals with Iran, ignores Syria and Iran's defiance of UN Security Council decisions.
4. Agreements and promises signed by Assad's government are not worth the paper on which they are written.
5. The West does not consider the blood of Syrian citizens worthy of its consideration..
The resulting question is how long this situation can continue – and why the enlightened world continues to ignore the terrible crimes of the dark Iranian and Syrian regimes?
The answer involves several factors:
a. At present, the world is preoccupied with the Ukranian crisis, and the free world's leaders have no desire to deal with the ongoing 3-year-old Syrian issue. Ukraine's crisis could possibly spread to other countries that were once part of the USSR and there is too much similarity between what is happening in Europe now and what occurred in 1938, when Hitler's appetite was whetted by the West's appeasement "for the sake of peace" with regard to Czechoslovakian territories.
b. The West is afraid that the alternative to Assad is a takeover by extremist Islamic organizations such as "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" and "Jabhat Al-Nusra", who will export terror the way Afghanistan used to do under the rule of the Taliban and Al Qaeda up to 2001. That is the reason the Western nations ignore the Assad government's crimes, despite the fact that the Syrians may take revenge on the West for this in the future. Their revenge can take the form of terror perpetrated by Syrian exiles, thousands of whom are already in Europe.
c. The West really does not care about Muslim and Arab blood, as long as it is being shed between the two groups. That is the situation in the dispute between the Western Sahara and Morocco, that is what went on for years while a civil war raged in Algeria with thousands of dead during the years 1992-1998. This is how it was during the half century in Sudan when close to 2 million people were victims of the war between the Muslim north and the Christian-Animist south. Even the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war in which a million men, women and children were killed did not shock the western world, and it supplied weapons to both sides.
Israel must deduce the following conclusions from what is happening in Syria; they are crucial for her security and future wellbeing:
1.Any agreement or paper that the Assad government signs with Israel is worthless. If the lives of Syrian citizens are worth less than nothing in his eyes, why would Israel's citizens be worth any more? If his government is not worried about breaking an agreement with the United States, will it be concerned about breaking an agreement with Israel?
2. Iran continues scoffing at the world: On the one hand, she smiles and talks charmingly and politely in order to lighten sanctions – and on the other hand, ignores UN Security Council decisions and commits war crimes by exporting arms and intervening directly in the "revolutionary guards" of the Syrian war.
3. Israel cannot depend on western promises when it comes to her security, because every international crisis will deflect the world's attention from its commitments to Israel, even if Israel takes risks in her attempts to achieve peace with her neighbors.
Developments in a Palestinian state may mirror those in Syria: a dispute between the government and the population that will weaken the nation's hold on law and order and attract Jihadists such asf "Al Qaeda". A similar situation is developing in Yemen, Lybia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and the Sinai Desert – and there is no inoculation hat will prevent a Palestinian state from going the same route.
Israel is celebrating 66 years of independence during this period. The Jewish people, who began returning to their land over 150 years ago, has learned the hard way to defend its rights, its lands and its independence without depending on the promises of others who can easily turn into hollow reeds that give no support at all.
Israel is an oasis located in a vast desert expanse in which an agreement is not an agreement, international decisions are not binding, human rights are violated on a wholesale basis. The "enlightened" world rushes to accuse Israel of whatever it can, while the rulers of mass extermination are forgiven all their sins.
With things the way they are, and taking into account Israel's problematic geopolitical surroundings, the Jewish people can rely on no one except He Who sits in heaven, on its own strength and strong spirit.