Some people have enough moral sense to criticize Israel, but not to criticize anything that Assad and his supporters have done and are still doing. They see ISIS stoning women and chasing away Christians, but they ignore all evidence and testimony of torture, mass rape and mass murder in Assad’s concentration camps. They ignore evidence of collaboration between ISIS and Assad. They ignore Iran’s role in the current mayhem in Syria, Iraq and Gaza, and advocate engagement with her. They defend Russia and ignore her duplicity in war crimes in Syria and Ukraine. Clearly these people cannot truly be concerned with human rights. Their stand by the Palestinians at this stage seems motivated more by ideology than any sense of moral solidarity – an ideology that put Israel and America, and sometimes the West as a whole, at the center of all evil designs in the world; an ideology that, in essence, covets the power that these countries have and longs to appropriate it, rather than be truly dedicated to holding all equally accountable for their misdeeds.
It took decades for Palestinian to finally win overt support in some mainstream international media outlets. But, and as is often the case with modern-day Arabs, the victory is Pyrrhic in nature and will not translate into any substantive support for the Palestinians’ goal of establishing their own independent state.
The reduction of our choices in Syria to a lesser of all evils was something that was orchestrated by the Assad regime and its allies from the early days of the Syrian Revolution back in 2011. Indeed, our road to this particular hell was paved with all the ill-intentions and foresight in the world by people who have done this repeatedly before, and made quite the survival strategy out of it. Still, it does take a strong element of willful blindness on part of so many who are clearly in a position to know better to let something like this happen, again and again. Considering the repetitive patterns involved, one cannot but assume ill-intentions here as well. In other words, and for all the talk about good intentions paving our way to hell, in reality, we more often get there on account of ill-intentions and evil designs.
The hard truth is: yes. Just like the Assad regime in Syria, and Arab leaders in general, the calculus of Hamas leaders when it comes to the conduct of war and peace is rather different than what we are publicly told. Their ultimate mandate is not to protect their civilian population and build the state, but to protect their rule and increase their power, even at the cost of incurring heavy civilian casualties and destroying the state. If they can still retain control at the end, that’s victory enough for them.