A classic strategy of unpopular governments is to distract and dissipate its populace’s discontent and unrest by focusing on an external enemy. Syria’s government, under siege by domestic uprising since January, is doing exactly that.
Spurred by anti-government protests in Arabic Middle East which began first in Egypt, Syrians too started protesting on 26 January and have continued to protest since. In Daraa in March, demonstrators exceeded 20,000; troops were brought in and reportedly more than a hundred were killed.
Although Syria’s president tried to appease the demonstrators by asking the entire cabinet to resign and naming a new prime minister, protests have continued. Entire cities (Deraa, Baniyas, Homs) are under siege by the Syrian army. Tanks are brought in to shell residential areas; hundreds are believed to have been killed; deaths and mass imprisonment of local youths have been reported.
And so Damascus is diverting its populace’s hostilities outward.
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu of Israel National News reports on May 15, 2011 that last Sunday, nearly 1,000 Syrian Arabs who called themselves “Palestinians” invaded Israel’s Golan Heights when Syrian troops at the border chose not to prevent the infiltration.
At least one person, an Israeli, was killed and dozens were wounded as Israel’s IDF soldiers tried to beat back the invading horde with tear gas and live fire.
At the same time of the massive infiltration into the Golan Heights, hundreds of Syrian Arabs have crossed into Lebanon to flee the violence from Assad’s security forces who already have killed nearly 800 demonstrators.
Analysts had predicted precisely what happened last Sunday — that the Syrian government would “allow” the border crossings to draw the populace’s attention and participation away from the ongoing rebellion in the country and the regime’s harsh crackdown on civilian protestors.
For a dramatic video of Syrians swarming across Lebanon’s (and Israel’s?) borders like locusts, GO HERE and scroll down the page to the video at bottom of page.
Meanwhile, Guy Milliére, reporting for Hudson New York on May 16, 2011, is sounding the alarm of the full-blown return of anti-Semitism in Europe:
During the last decade, synagogues were vandalized or set on fire in Poland, Sweden, Hungary, France. Anti-Semitic inscriptions are being drawn on building walls in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Rome. Jewish cemeteries are being ransacked. Jews are being attacked on the streets of most major cities on the continent. In the Netherlands, the police use « decoy Jews » in order to try arrest the perpetrators red-handed.
Jewish schools are being placed under police protection everywhere, and are usually equipped with security gates. Jewish children in public high schools are bullied; when parents complain, they are encouraged to choose another place of learning for their children.
In some cities such as Malmö, Sweden, or Roubaix, France, the persecution suffered by the Jewish community has reached such a degree that people are selling their homes at any price and leaving. Those who stay have the constant feeling that they are risking their lives: they must be extremely streetwise and carry no sign showing who they are. In 1990, approximately 2000 Jewish people lived in Malmö; now there are fewer than 700, and the number is decreasing every year.
Jews now, in fact, have to be streetwise in all European countries: men wearing a skullcap usually hide it under a hat or a cap. Owners of kosher restaurants located on avenues where protests are organized close their facilities before the arrival of the participants — even if the protest is about wages or retirement age. They know too well that among the demonstrators, there will always be some who will express their rage at the sight of a Jewish name or a star of David on a store front. In Paris, on Labor Day, May 1st, in front of a Jewish café on Avenue of the Republic, several hundred demonstrators stopped and began to boo « Jews » and « Zionists ». A man coming out of the café was assaulted until police officers arrived on the scene.
In the context of all these events, it is interesting that yesterday, Glenn Beck announced he will be holding a major rally in Israel this summer.
“I believe I’ve been asked to stand — in Jerusalem,” Beck told his audience recounting a list of times in history when people and nations failed to stand with the Jewish people. “Things in Israel are going to get bad…it’s only a matter of time. They are going to attack the center of our faith, our common faith, and that is Jerusalem. And it won’t be with bullets or bombs. It will be with a two-state solution that cuts off Jerusalem, the old city, to the rest of the world. It is time to return inside the walls that surround Jerusalem and stand with people of all faiths all around the world.”
Events in Israel and the entire Middle East seem to be quickening, toward…what? It is unsettling, to say the least.