17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Israeli deputy prime minister accuses Syria of genocide

10 June 2012, Sunday /REUTERS
A senior Israeli minister accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday of committing genocide during his crackdown on a 15-month uprising, in an unusually harsh censure of the Jewish state's Arab neighbour. 

Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz also criticised Russia for arming Damascus and repeated Israel's demand for international military intervention to topple Assad, akin to last year's campaign in Libya.      

Israel has until recently been slow to call for Assad's fall, wary of worsening the turmoil in Syria - the two countries are enemies but have been in a mostly stable stand-off for decades.       

With hourly media reports in Israel of Syrian civilian deaths, public anger has been growing and Israeli officials have been stepping up their criticism.      

"A crime against humanity, genocide, is being conducted in Syria today. And the silence of the world powers is contrary to all human logic," said Mofaz during an interview on Israel's Army Radio.     

Foreign powers were "making do with flaccid condemnation" rather than intervening to overthrow Assad, he added.     

"Worse than that is the Russian conduct, which weakly condemns the slaughter while continuing to arm Assad's murderous regime. Best-case, this is irresponsibility, and worst-case, it is a partnership in the slaughter," Mofaz said.     

A longtime Syrian ally, Russia opposes outside intervention against Damascus. Moscow has denied supporting any side in the conflict or providing arms that could be used in a Syrian civil war.      

 Russia says it would be open to Assad's exit from power as long as it was a result of an inclusive political process among Syrians.      

Mofaz, a former top general and political centrist who joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative coalition government last month, said Israel had limited options on Syria but had to lobby for international action.     

"We need to enlist the West. We need our voice to be heard. This slaughter is being carried out not far from Israel's border," he said.      

"We cannot get involved, for understandable reasons. But I think that the West, led by the United States, has an interest in guarding the threshold (so) genocide does not take place."     

Such language is especially loaded in Israel, which was founded in part as a haven for survivors of the Holocaust.     

Speaking separately on Israel Radio, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the Netanyahu government was prepared to help Syrians who take refuge in Jordan and other countries with ties to the Jewish state.         

@Big mouth Indian, you're the despicable one with your constant racists and ignorant comments against Israel and Jews in general. Learn about American history before you come to a Turkish paper. As a Native American Indian that you are, you know little about conquest. Seems like Turkish conquests do...
@Cherokee. Let us do the math. How many Muslims are dying by Muslims per Day? How many Armenian died by Turkey? How many Kurds died or dying by Turkey? How many Arab Spring victims dying per day or about to die by Muslims. How many Syrian are dying every hour by Muslim Syrians?. I know you cannot co...
Mofaz is wrong. Assad is a dictator and made atrocities- but the rebels are not angles themselves. Russia aids Syria whereas Turkey assists the FSA. This is not a place for Israel to get involved in.
The irrational, non fact based hate that streams from Middle Easternerners is really shocking in its backwards tribalism and psychosis. It is noteworthy a Jew whose family was kicked out of a moslem country for being a jew should care about moslem lives being lost. Humanity exists within civilised p...
Certainly Israelis understand crimes against humanity more than any other nation, as THEY are experts in that field. As title-holders to the Nation with the MOST UN Resolutions against it, Israel's internationally recognized crimes against humanity have become hallmarks of their government as they c...
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