By Gideon Levy
September 04, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - They are the most
boring and low-priority reports of all. Most Israeli
media outlets don’t even bother to post them. They
are like a bus plunging into a river in Nepal, like
victims in Chad’s civil war or trapped mine workers
The same applies to the victims of yet another
Israeli air strike in
Syria. Who’s heard about it? Who knows about it,
who cares? Who has the energy to look into it?
Military correspondents parrot, as is their wont,
unfounded statements dictated by military spokesmen,
with diplomatic correspondents celebrating in the
Emirates, while on Monday night
11 more people are killed in a raid in southern
Syria, attributed to Israel. On Wed night,
Syria reported another strike.
According to the Damascus Center for Human
Rights, three of the victims were Syrian soldiers
and seven were “Iranian militia operatives,” which
automatically justifies any bombing. A female
villager was also killed and her husband wounded,
but these things happen, after all. A dead woman in
Syria really is a non-story.
Are these air strikes essential? What is their goal? What are the risks they entail? What is being bombed and why? It’s Iran, you know. Everything is done under a thick smokescreen, with Israeli media openly and gleefully collaborating, with no one stopping to ask questions or bringing it up for discussion. The sun rises in the east, and Israel bombs in Syria. What is not clear here? What is not self-evident? Only those who understand nothing or know nothing dare ask questions.
The army spokesman, in response to the strike:
“The IDF is working day and night to ensure that its
strategic goals in the northern arena are met in an
appropriate fashion.” We seem to be satisfied with
this blah-blah. It’s hard to think of a greater
insult to one’s intelligence. After all, the
IDF is also working day and night in the West
Bank, where we’re familiar with the results and with
the modus operandi, but the media and public opinion
will swallow anything. As long as not one hair of a
Jewish soldier’s head is touched, nothing is of
interest. Go ahead, bomb Syria, bomb Lebanon, bomb
Iran, bomb Gaza, to your heart’s content.
Every few weeks there is an air strike in Syria,
usually with lethal results. On July 20,
five deaths were reported in a strike in
Damascus. On June 23,
five Iranians and two Syrians were killed in an
attack attributed to Israel. On June 4, there were
nine victims in a bombing by warplanes firing from
Lebanese airspace, attributed to Israel, not to
Luxembourg. On February 7, the Russian Defense
Ministry announced that an IDF attack in Damascus
had endangered a passenger plane with 172 people on
board. Three months earlier, there were reports of
23 fatalities and dozens of wounded in an air strike
attributed to Israel.
Only imagine 11 Israeli fatalities, three
soldiers and seven settler militia members, in a
Syrian air strike, in a mirror image of what
transpired this week in Syria. War would ensue. But
11 Syrian dead in an Israeli bombing, who’s
counting? Imagine a constant bloodletting with
dozens of Israeli fatalities over several months.
Israel would never put up with it, and rightly so.
But in Syria it’s all right. It will go on as long
as Israel can continue. It will go on until Israel
pays a price for its strikes.
Israel is determined to prevent Iran from getting
a foothold in Syria. Are the strikes contributing to
this process? To what extent? The possibility that
Israel will one day pay a terrible price for all
this warmongering is not even raised for discussion.
That’s Israeli hubris, which usually pays off.
Usually, but not always.
Such fateful decisions cannot be kept in absolute
darkness. They cannot be left up to a handful of
politicians, intelligence officials, pilots and
generals. After all, we’ve learned in many areas
that we can’t trust them blindly. So why is it that
when it comes to war and peace, we shut our eyes,
submitting ourselves to them in total blindness?
Continue bombing in Syria. We trust you. Everything
will be fine.