Not just comfort for the Jews

Shlomo Avinery, Ynetnews, May 18:

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made a wise decision when she took the initiative to include Israel in the effort to aid the Darfur genocide refugees. It was impossible not to be shocked by the hardened hearts of government authorities in Israel (police, IDF, and the Ministry of Interior) that dealt with the Darfur refugee problem through the narrow prism of them formally being “nationals of a hostile country.”

These authorities should be awarded the prize of moral obtuseness. This was exactly how respectable officials acted on the eve of World War II in face of the suffering of Jewish refugees who arrived in countries such as Switzerland.

However, it is important that Israel take more far-reaching measures than simply designating resources for treating the refugees who found shelter in neighboring Chad. In such matters there is significance to symbolic measures – Menachem Begin demonstrated this with his first act as prime minister, when he permitted entry to Vietnamese refugees who were rescued by an Israeli ship after their boat had drowned at sea.

Israel cannot make a significant contribution to solving the refugee problem: The UN and the entire international establishment are once again exposing their chronic helplessness in face of the genocide of the Darfur population carried out by the Sudanese government. Naturally, even the Arab League has kept mum. Human rights issues were never its top priority: Human rights issues are not adhered to even minimally in Arab countries, even if it is not “politically correct” to say so.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common