Via Carl in Jerusalem, this can almost literally be called a Road to Damascus moment — or perhaps a Road to Hama moment, as troops loyal to Syrian strongman Bashar Assad are now surrounding the city where his father killed 10,000 people by dropping bombs on them. The Dubai-based Gulf News, which has no problem running Holocaust-denial columns on occasion and accusing Zionists and Nazis of conspiring to create a Holocaust hoax, published a column this weekend in which a Syrian journalist is shocked, shocked to discover that Arab dictators are much more brutal than Israelis have ever been:
In fact, the Sudanese regime killed hundreds of thousands of its own people in Darfur. The so-called Janjaweed gangs in Sudan used to annihilate the people of Darfur like flies simply because the latter clamoured for their basic rights. An Arab satirist once commented that an Arab dictator would not accept the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza even as an appetiser! …
The ongoing Arab intifadas have shown that some Arab rulers can beat the Israelis at their own game. An Arab website recently carried an opinion poll asking readers: ‘Who will be a killioneer?’ Sure enough, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya won the day. Not only did he kill a lot of his own people but also almost flattened many Libyan cities. It brought to mind western cities flattened by Hitler’s forces during the Second World War.
Take Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen. WikiLeaks has revealed that his ‘chairmanship’ gave the green light to American aircraft to bombard civilian areas to quell a local revolt. Add to this, of course, his brutal handling of the Yemeni revolution.
Other Arab despots are reported to have asked their security forces to aim their guns at protesters’ heads. Have you ever seen an Israeli officer torturing a Palestinian civilian to death in the street for everybody to see? Definitely not. Many of us have seen that in some Arab towns lately.
While Arab journalists screech about the Gaza embargo as an affront to human rights, Faisal al-Qasim wonders where all of the concern goes when it comes to fellow Arabs in the Sudan, who have slaughtered hundreds of thousands in Darfur. Where are the “satirists,” Qasim wonders, when it comes to Arab atrocities?
Interestingly, al-Qasim mentions a lot of dictators by name or country, but even he seems reluctant to mention Assad or Syria by name at all. In this avalanche of truth-telling and name-specifying, Assad is conspicuous in his absence from Qasim’s rant, especially given the ominous encirclement of Hama after the demonstrations and the dozens or perhaps hundreds of unarmed demonstrators murdered by Assad’s security forces. Perhaps al-Qasim is reluctant to challenge Assad directly for personal reasons, like having family or friends still in Syria that could find themselves endangered by honest journalism.
Even so, al-Qasim tells Arabs that claims of Israeli brutality in the context of Arab treatment of their own people are just rubbish:
It is true that Israel is forcing an embargo on Gaza, but I do not think that the Israelis are preventing the Palestinians from getting their daily bread, whereas the security services in some Arab countries stopped cars carrying food from entering certain areas. Nor are the Israelis cutting off electricity, telephone and other communication services from houses, hospitals and schools.
It has been reported that the security services stopped nurses and doctors from treating the injured during certain Arab demonstrations as a punishment for rising against the ruling regime. The thugs contracted by the police to help quell protests went even further. They shot at ambulances.
Unlike in some Arab countries, Arabs living inside Israel can organise sit-ins very comfortably. And when the Israeli police intervenes, they never beat demonstrators to death. And if we compare how Israel treats Shaikh Raed Salah with the way some Arab dictators treat their opponents, we will be horribly surprised, as the Israelis are very much less brutal.
They may be horribly surprised, but the only because Arab media simply doesn’t tell the truth, or at least they haven’t until now. Until recently, they didn’t cover Arab atrocities, instead focusing on propagating blood libels and Elders of Zion-like false propaganda against Israel and the Jews. And although al-Qasim never admits it, it’s Arab journalists like him and outlets like Gulf News that have been providing cover for the Moammar Gaddafis and Bashar Assads for decades by, as al-Qasim puts it in an odd New Testament context, focusing on the “dust particle” in Israeli eyes while ignoring the log in their own.
Al-Qasim concludes with an even more honest context:
Israel can always claim it is facing an enemy, whereas Arab dictators are facing their own people.
Israel is facing an enemy — an enemy that wants to exterminate them — and yet act with much more humanity than their enemies. That’s not shocking to the rest of the world. Maybe Arabs should start asking themselves why they’re just discovering this, and why they’re at war with Israel rather than the dictators that oppress them.