April 7, 2017
I wrote yesterday about the marvelous statement made by MK Ohana. I knew there was a stand-alone video of his statement but didn’t locate it (on Israelly Cool) until after I had posted. It is powerful, and makes important points. And so I want to share it here with readers:
Please, notice the woman’s threat: “You are going to lose us…” because you are not doing what I think you should be doing.
Then, let me here switch gears to mention, which I did not yesterday, the absolutely horrendous situation to our north. It has been horrendous for a long time, with some 500,000 Syrian civilians killed by the ruthless Assad in the course of the six-year Syrian civil war.
What happened on Tuesday is that Assad, in an act that was both immoral and illegal, used poison gas to move civilians out of the rebel stronghold of Khan Sheikhoun near Damascus. The evidence is irrefutable; it was the worse gas attack in years. The damage was done to the innocent – including children and babies, with from 70 to 100 dead and many more injured. Some of the victims were “writhing, choking, gasping or foaming at the mouth.”
What I share here is a second video, this showing a statement by Lucy Aharish, Israeli Arab newscaster. It is impassioned and conveys the message that needs to be conveyed.
Scroll down for her video statement:
The good news, if there can be good news, is that President Trump, reversing his position on Assad, ordered an attack.
At least 50 Tomahawk missiles were fired from two US warships in the Mediterranean at the Syrian airfield from which the chemical attack had originated.
Even before the attack was ordered, Trump had declared:
“I think what happened in Syria is one of the truly egregious crimes. It shouldn’t have happened. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
“I think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity…” (Emphasis added)
Then after the attack, he said:
“Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons. There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council.
“Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed and failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.
“Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types. We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed and we hope that as long as America stands for justice, that peace and harmony will in the end prevail.”
An excellent statement. This is Trump assuming leadership and providing moral guidance, where his predecessor had offered neither. He took his stance in the face of Russian protests, which is also important as critics have accused him of being too closely allied with Russia.
Secretary of State Tillerson has indicated that steps are underway for forming an international coalition to pressure Assad to relinquish power. “There would be no room for him to govern the Syrian people.”
It was thought that Assad was going to lose the war, until Iran and Russia intervened on his side.
And so, the dynamic is shifting; there is hope for a better day.
Here in Israel, there is unanimous applause for Trump’s words and action. Netanyahu said:
“Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision and hopes that this message of resolve in the face of the Assad regime’s horrific actions will resonate not only in Damascus, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and elsewhere.”
There is also talk about how we can be further involved (we’ve been treated injured Syrians for years).
Plans are in the works for bringing in Syrian orphans to be adopted by Israeli Arab families, and there may yet be more.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.