Double Standards for Israel and Syria

When Israel bombards Gaza after some ineffectual rocket attacks, the U.S. sees a right of self-defense, but different standards apply to Syria when foreign-backed terrorists fire deadly rockets and mortars, notes Rick Sterling.

By Rick Sterling

There is a hypocritical disconnect in Western and especially U.S. foreign policy. When it comes to Israel, the U.S. is quick to claim “Israel has a right to defend itself.” For Syria, that same right does not seem to exist.

When Israel executed intense bombing campaigns against Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014 the U.S. justified the attacks. At the United Nations on July 18, 2014, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said , President Obama spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning to reaffirm the United States’ strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself…. Hamas’ attacks are unacceptable and would be unacceptable to any member state of the United Nations. Israel has the right to defend its citizens and prevent these attacks.”

The Israeli government has cited rocket fire from Gaza as justification for its bombardment and assault on the narrow strip of land holding some 1.8 million Palestinians. (Graphic from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Facebook page)

The Israeli government has cited rocket fire from Gaza as justification for its bombardment and assault on the narrow strip of land holding some 1.8 million Palestinians. (Graphic from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook page)

Israel claimed it was simply responding defensively. The human rights group BtSelem reports that over the decade between June 2004 and July 2015, Palestinians launched over 8,700 rockets and 5,000 mortars from Gaza into Israel. But the total number of civilians killed over 10 years was 28 for an average of fewer than three persons per year. Using this as a justification, Israel has attacked by air and invaded every few years inflicting far heavier casualty rates on the Palestinians in Gaza. For example, Israeli attacks on Gaza in Summer 2014 killed more than 2,000 Gazans, the vast majority of them civilians and many of them children.

With so few deaths and little damage caused by the rockets from Gaza, it seems Palestinians have launched these as almost symbolic protest against Israeli repression. The Gazan economy is hugely restricted, the borders are closed and even the sky and ocean are off limits. Many people would say that Israel is keeping the entire population of Gaza in prison-like circumstances. In addition, many residents of Gaza are descendants of refugees from nearby Israeli towns and cities. Under the Geneva Conventions and U.N. Resolution 194, they have the right to return but have been deprived of this in addition to most other rights.

In summary, Palestinians have launched rockets and mortars to protest Israeli occupation and apartheid policies. The Palestinians are not seeking the overthrow of the Israeli state so much as recognition of their rights and an end to the Occupation. Casualties from the rockets have been few. In response, the West has given Israel a virtual free pass to attack Palestinians in Gaza and unleash horrific bombing in densely populated urban areas where there are huge civilian casualties.

The disproportionate nature of these Israeli attacks suggests that the Israeli government is not defending itself; it is imposing punishment on a captive and defenseless population.

Syrian State Under Real Attack

The situation in Syria is dramatically different. The armed opposition in Syria has inflicted a huge number of deaths and damage in its five-year campaign to overthrow the government.  Data from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is sympathetic to the opposition, show the following number of casualties since March 2011: Pro Government forces (army and militias) – 105,000; Anti Government forces – 101,000; Civilians – 86,000.

Smoke billows skyward as homes and buildings are shelled in the city of Homs, Syria. June 9, 2012. (Photo from the United Nations)

Smoke billows skyward as homes and buildings are shelled in the city of Homs, Syria. June 9, 2012. (Photo from the United Nations)

These numbers reveal the intensity of the violence and how wrong it is for critics to blame President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian government for all the deaths. As shown, soldiers and militias defending the state make up the largest number of casualties.

The conflict in Aleppo is currently in the news. Aleppo was the largest city in Syria and the industrial and financial engine. The largest and most effective opposition force in Aleppo is Al Qaeda’s affiliate Nusra Front, which is recognized to be “terrorist” even by the U.S. and was never part of the “cessation of hostilities.” There are other factions and fighting groups in Aleppo also seeking to destroy the Syrian state. Most of the groups are explicitly Wahhabi sectarian and hostile to secularism, Christianity and moderate Islamic faiths.

The opposition in Syria is heavily armed with weapons, ammunition and explosives. Daily they launch hell cannon missiles into western Aleppo, killing randomly in this government-controlled part of the city. Car bombs have killed thousands of civilians and soldiers. Tunnel bombs have killed thousands more.

Aleppo was relatively quiet until summer of 2012 when thousands of armed fighters invaded and occupied neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city. The “rebels” were disliked by the majority of the population from the start. This was documented even by Western journalists such as James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, who went there inclined to be sympathetic to the opposition. (Foley and Sotloff were later captured and beheaded by Islamic State jihadists.)

Martin Chulov of the Guardian described East Aleppo in 2015 and estimated its population at just 40,000. In sharp contrast, there is a large population of about 1.5 million Syrians living in the rest of the city. This is reflective of the reality: the vast majority of Syrians support the government and hate the terrorists. This includes many who are critical of the Baath Party and who want reforms but not violence and destruction. This important fact is generally ignored by Western media. (The current situation in western Aleppo is described here by journalist Eva Bartlett.)

In contrast with Israeli’s periodic wars on Gaza, the Syrian government is truly fighting to defend itself – and its civilian population – against an armed opposition that is violent, sectarian and unpopular with the large majority of Syrians.

Adding to the legitimacy of the Syrian government’s right to defend itself, the armed opposition in Syria has been heavily supported by foreign governments. Western states and their Gulf allies have supplied weapons, training, logistical support and salaries for many thousands of fighters.  Qatar’s Al Jazeera has broadcast misinformation, fabricated stories and heavily biased reporting from the start.

The same governments have been complicit in the recruitment and travel to Syria by thousands of foreigners from all parts of the globe. European, North American and Australian governments “looked the other way” as their citizens were recruited and then traveled to Syria via Turkey to join ISIS or Nusra. According to one study, over 12,000 foreigners including 3,000 from Europe and North America traveled to Syria in the first three years of the conflict. That was before ISIS peaked. Only in the last year, following terrorist actions in the West, have Western governments started arresting or detaining recruits and recruiters.

Violating International Law

The situation in Syria is more extreme but has similarities to the situation in Nicaragua in the 1980s when the Reagan administration was covertly arming and financing the Contras, a rebel army that inflicted death and destruction across parts of Nicaragua. On June 27, 1986, the International Court of Justice ruled:

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria. 25 September 2016 (UN Photo)

Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria on Sept. 25, 2016 (UN Photo)

“the United States of America, by training, arming, equiping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State”.

The court also decided that the U.S. should make reparations to Nicaragua for injury caused by the violations. The U.S. ignored the ruling and later withdrew from the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

The former Nicaragua Foreign Minister and former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto, has written “What the U.S. government is doing in Syria is tantamount to a war of aggression, which, according to the Nuremberg Tribunal, is the worst possible crime a State can commit against another State.” (Personal correspondence quoted with permission)

Some foreign governments seeking “regime change” in Damascus have poured huge amounts of money into what is called “smart” or “soft power” via the funding of an array of organizations with nice sounding names to control the narrative and influence public opinion.

There is the Syrian Justice and Accountability Centre, initiated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to prepare for victor’s justice. There is the Syrian Network for Human Rights which largely ignores the deaths of Syrian soldiers and seeks U.S./NATO intervention. There is the Syrian Civil Defense also known as the White Helmets, a support group for Al Qaeda/Nusra but most importantly a political lobbying tool actively campaigning for U.S./NATO intervention.

All of these organizations, and many more, are said to be “Syrian” and “independent.” But they were all created after the conflict began and they are all funded by the foreign governments that seek to overthrow the Syrian government.

These and other organizations support the opposition in various ways, demonize the Syrian government and romanticize the opposition. They are part of the reason why many people around the world believe that the anti-government protests in 2011 only became violent after peaceful protests were brutally crushed, which is untrue. There were seven police killed in the first protests in Deraa. That was soon followed by dozens of soldiers being massacred in Deraa and Banyas at the end of March and in April 2011.

By justifying the continued “rebel” violence, this “soft power” acts in concert with “hard” or military power. For example the White Helmets was originally called the Syrian Civil Defense and began with a military contractor training some Syrians in Turkey. This group was then rebranded as the “White Helmets” by a New York marketing company called “The Syria Campaign.” Since then, the “feel good” White Helmets brand has been heavily promoted.

As a measure of the marketing success, the White Helmets recently won the Right Livelihood Award for 2016 and are even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Ironically, there is a REAL Syrian Civil Defense working since 1953 and a REAL White Helmets/CascosBlancos from Argentina which have received little recognition alongside the slick new “White Helmets” created and promoted by the shadowy PR firm.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian government.


Soft power distorts the reality in the conflict. Thus we are not told that the Syrian government is defending against terrorists but that the “Assad regime” is ‘”targeting hospitals and civilian markets.” Are the claims true? My investigation of the claims regarding the Doctors Without Borders/MSF supported “Al Quds Hospital” in April 2016 revealed that the accusations were full of contradictions, inconsistencies and unverified accusations.

The “hospital” was an unmarked building; the damage was unclear; the number of deaths varied wildly and could not be verified. The photographic evidence, supplied by the ubiquitous White Helmets, was dubious. The investigation resulted in a open letter to MSF. So far they have failed to corroborate or document their accusations and claims.

Doctors Without Borders/MSF continues to issue politically biased messages. Their Oct 2 tweet about a “bloodbath in East Aleppo” led to false accusations that two teenagers were killed by Syrian government bombing when they were actually killed by terrorist bombing.

Currently the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), funded by France and other countries, has been at the forefront accusing Syria and Russia of intentionally bombing an underground hospital. Is the story real or fabricated propaganda? The Russians and Syrians are trying to fight the terrorists; why would they waste resources and generate negative publicity by attacking a hospital? The reports seem to be based on phone or skype conversations with sources of unknown reliability.

The narrative promoted by “soft power” is that the Syrian government is an unpopular dictatorship dominated by the Alawi religious group. Is that true? On the contrary, key ministries including Defense and Foreign Affairs are held by Sunni leaders. The majority of the Syrian Arab Army are Sunni. Visitors to Syria readily meet mothers who are proud of their sons who died defending their country against foreign-backed terrorism.

The narrative promoted by “soft power” is that the Syrian uprising was largely progressive, secular, and seeking democracy. This myth makes for a good rationalization for effectively supporting the “regime change” war against Syria, but it is contradicted by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. In a classified report from August 2012, the DIA analyzed the conflict as follows: THE SALAFIST [sic], THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI [“Al Qaeda in Iraq,” now known as ISIS or the Islamic State] ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.”

“Soft power” in Syria has involved the creation and funding of Syrian groups who convey a message supportive of the “regime change” goals. For example there is a group in the town of Kafranbel which produces an English language banner each week. The group is provided with the message by a foreign source and the group holds the banner to be photographed and displayed on social media in the West. Most of the locals probably have no clue what it says.

Then there is the Aleppo Media Center which creates videos for influencing Western audiences, and the White Helmets previously discussed. These Western-created groups are the examples of the “Syrian Revolution” by those who promote this narrative. What kind of “revolution” is on contract with the U.S. State Department?

Current Situation and Coming Crisis

The Syrian government, with the support of the majority of Syrian people, is doing its best to defend itself against an onslaught financed by some of the wealthiest and most powerful countries on earth. The Syrian Army and popular militias have suffered huge losses but are advancing. In the last year, Russia has provided crucial air support. Unlike the invasion of Syrian land and air space by the U.S., the Russian intervention is in compliance with international law because it followed a request for assistance from Syria’s internationally recognized government, whereas the U.S. government and its allies have no such permission.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the  YouTube video]

U.S.-backed Syrian “moderate” rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video]

Currently the Syrian government and allies are seeking to drive Nusra and other terrorist groups from eastern Aleppo. If that is successful, they could then focus on ISIS in Raqqa and the remaining terrorists in other parts of the country. Unlike densely populated Gaza, the opposition-held areas of Aleppo have very few civilians left. Although civilian casualties happen in all wars, it makes no sense that the Syrian military would target civilians. On the contrary, the government has opened corridors to facilitate civilians and fighters to leave Aleppo.

Largely unreported in the West, the Syrian government has an active reconciliation program which allows former gunmen to move to a different area or return to society. This has been successfully used to clear the last remnant of terrorists from Al Waer near Homs and Darraya near Damascus. Many thousands of Syrian fighters who were coerced or bribed into joining the opposition have laid down their arms, signed an agreement and rejoined society.

In contrast with the frenzy and alarm in Western media and political circles, there is a growing optimism and hope among the vast majority of people in Aleppo. Syrian journalist Edward Dark recently tweeted Aleppo soon will be freed from the jihadis that invaded & destroyed it. After 4 years of hell its people will finally know peace.” They are looking forward to the final defeat or expulsion of the terrorists who invaded the city in 2012.

What will the foreign enemies of Syria do to prevent this? Will they continue or escalate their campaign to destroy Syria as they destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya? Are they prepared to risk potential World War III with Russia? In the last month Turkey sent troops into northern Syria and the U.S. attacked the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor, killing at least 62 soldiers. The U.S. claims this was an accident, but many believe it was intentional.

Since the collapse of the cessation of hostilities, “soft power” propaganda has escalated. Accusations that the Syrians and Russians are targeting hospitals are linked to new social media campaigns to “Save Aleppo.” Two things are clear:

–The public should be wary of media stories based on the claims of biased actors and not supported by solid evidence

–The Syrian government has the right to defend itself against foreign-funded violent extremists seeking to destroy it.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist and member of Syrian Solidarity Movement.

26 comments for “Double Standards for Israel and Syria

  1. October 16, 2016 at 12:41

    @ “There is a hypocritical disconnect in Western and especially U.S. foreign policy. When it comes to Israel, the U.S. is quick to claim “Israel has a right to defend itself.” For Syria, that same right does not seem to exist.”

    Regarding the U.S. foreign policy toward Israel referred to, it is not based on law: As the occupier, Israel has no right of self-defense to assert in Gaza, the West Bank, and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. See the excellent article by professor of international law Noura Arakat, No, Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory, Jadaliyya (11 July 2014),

    Since Syria is not an “occupier” of its own territory, it has the right of self-defense.

  2. Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
    October 11, 2016 at 18:38

    You made good points mixed with anti-Semitism.

  3. usman
    October 6, 2016 at 01:03

    hmm very interesting.

  4. PAZ
    October 5, 2016 at 20:08

    We should compare the destiny of Gaza and the destiny of the West Bank.
    Why all the wars have happened in Gaza and not in Ramallah? How many Israeli bombings in Ramallah?
    Why does the Hamas still want the destruction of Israel on his chart? A Symbol?
    What does it want to achieve by building dozens of tunnels? Symbols?
    What does it want to achieve by smuggling weapons? Symbols?
    Would you like to live under continuous rockets threats like this has happened in Sderot?
    Would you find it normal to hide in a shelter when you live in NYC or Paris?
    Israel gave Gaza back and they got nothing but problems in return.
    Terrorism, provocations and hatred only triggers victims on both sides.
    Why doesn’t the Hamas recognize Israel and ends terrorism? Wouldn’t that be a good start?

    • Danoj
      October 14, 2016 at 14:02

      Why doesn’t Israel simply recognize Palestine. Palestinians have a right to have a nation on this land more so than the Polish immigrants of Israel since this land was there’s just over 6 decades ago.

  5. Andrew fox
    October 4, 2016 at 23:35

    Odd that all believe in the hypocrisy of autocratic rulers in the Middle East where its citizens have no rights or freedom of speech and are in constant fear for their lives and well being and there is only one democracy that entitles the rights to all of its citizens male and female. All of these Arab states suppress their citizens so they can control them, are there free elections, can other parties speak their voice, are the same rights given to females as well as males, for Shia or for Sunni, for Christians and Moslems, why the mass exodus from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, they are leaving because there is no freedom for its citizens, there is no equality, until women are treated as equal and are resented will these countries come to grips that they are not chattel but the most important part of a vibrant society who cares for one another. Let them lead these countries out of peril and lead these countries into the 21st century

    • Rob Roy
      October 6, 2016 at 05:13

      I hope you are not talking about Israel as the one democracy.

  6. October 4, 2016 at 19:26

    Huge video and data cache on the fake NGO Syrian White Helmet jihadists

    Netflix, the White Helmets, Syrian false flags, USAID and the Nobel Peace Prize

    On September 18th Netflix released a documentary titled “The White Helmets” –

    The descriptions state “These ordinary men are extraordinary heroes.” and “a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble.”

    What Netflix doesn’t tell their paid subscriber is that the White Helmets in Syria have been filmed on numerous occasions working alongside terrorist groups and that members of the White Helmets have participated in executions, torture, driving vehicles for terrorists, providing propaganda for jihadist groups, conducting false flags and brandishing weapons in combat. The Netflix documentary also promotes the idea that these ‘lifesavers’ should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, an award that a number of US officials and Think Tanks are also promoting in regards to the group, while also failing to mention that the White Helmets is funded by the USAID program to the tune of $23 million, and organized and trained by the British government and others. The White Helmets themselves state on their website that they receive no outside funding even though US State Department spokesperson John Kirby recently revealed USAID supplies them $23 million.

    In the following links and video I will provide extensive evidence that the “White Helmets” are, in actuality, people whose members work alongside terrorist groups that killed and took over the vehicles and command posts of the Real Syrian Civil Defense in 2012. These groups are now being promoted by western governments and media outlets as ‘heroes’ in the war in Syria.

    21st Century Wire, a new media outfit operating out of the UK has been uncovering the warcrimes associated with the White Helmets and chronicling their collusion with terrorist groups since 2013. Here is their latest piece covering new revelations regarding the Netflix documentary, the Soros Foundation, new UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the coalition of international partners funding the White Helmets.

    At the bottom of this post I will include links to all the most important 21st Century Wire articles tying the White Helmets to the terrorist groups in Syria. These links include photo and video evidence that clearly shows White Helmets members both in and out of uniform operating alongside or in collusion with terrorists and jihadist groups, some of which are involved in child beheadings and recent large scale propaganda events. For a quick refresher on all the most important 21st Century expose’ on the White Helmets please see this link which includes many of the most important videos tying the groups to terrorist activities as well as the US State Department and British mercenary James Lemesiur:

    In this first video posted in March 2015 we see a large group number jihadists who have captured an enemy combatant celebrating with a number of White Helmet members in uniform. Note that the jihadist’s show no contempt for the White Helmets and instead even pat them on the back while some White Helmets stand around with their hands in their pockets.

    The Syria White Helmets Exposed as US UK Agents Embedded with Al Nusra and ISIS – video features multiple instances of collusion with terrorist groups

    Netflix and the White Helmets, hand in hand with al Qaeda – video covers the boy in the ambulance and child beheading in truck in August 2016 – reveals that western propaganda is failing

    Recently released video: al-Nusra Spokesman Acknowledges The Syrian White Helmets As Mujahideen (Eng subs)

    Additional links to White Helmet videos showing them interacting with terrorist groups such as al-Nusra Front and arar al-Sham, as well as filming themselves in often ridiculous situations that were obviously staged or overacted.

    Overacting White Helmets Shoulder-To-Shoulder With Terrorists in Hama-

    White Helmets propaganda – “Assad now dropping barrel bombs filled with gas

    Allah ahkbar shouting Salafascist White Helmet/al-Nusra goes beserk.

    Every jihadist gets a White Helmet uniform now

    Official UK financed White Helmets News Channel “Smart News Agency” You Tube channel shows where jihadists are trained up and placed in uniforms financed by western and Gulf States to make them appear legitimate. This organization receives funding from the USAID program. The way these groups are being financed and legitimized is very reminiscent of the way that the Right Sector battalions in Ukraine were also pushed as the tip of the spear in that conflict. A nice new uniform does wonders for putting a new face on a terrorist.

    Syrian soldiers tortured and executed by US backed ‘Rebels’ in Aleppo – This video is highly graphic and shows the execution of two Syrian soldiers. The van that these prisoners were driven around in was driven by a known White Helmet as proven in the 21st Century Wire videos below. The White Helmet member took photos of himself driving the van and posted it to his social network page where it was passed on to 21st century Wire who are leading the charge on exposing the White Helmets as terrorists operating under a blanket of western financed propaganda and deep financial pockets.

    Published on May 10, 2016
    Two young Sunni Syrian soldiers from Aleppo were beaten and executed by Jaish Al Fattah rebels in Aleppo. Jaish Fattah, a coalition of US backed rebel groups and al-Qaeda (Jabhat al- Nusra). The video of the soldiers being humiliated was posted by a member of the White Helmets, which the US supplied $23 million dollars to through the USAID program, as stated by US State Department spokesperson John Kirby.

    Link to Facebook post of White Helmet driver. (Facebook content now removed).

    White Helmets facilitate execution with al-Nusra (Highly Graphic Warning)

    This is an actual execution showing White Helmets members standing by while the execution takes place, then quickly removing the body. Al-Nusra is al- Qaeda in Syria. Do not click if you are not prepared for what you might see, Highly graphic warning:

    Syrian girl exposes truth about Syrian War and the White Helmets, propaganda using children and recent child beheading-

    US Peace Council reveals truth about Syrian War at the UN- blames the United States and allies for supporting terrorist groups

    Links to recent investigative reports on the White Helmets deception/propaganda from various media outlets :

    NGOs: Grassroots Empowerment or Tool of Information Warfare?
    Eye opening video regarding how propaganda is currently being disseminated using NGO’s. In a timely manner, it focuses on both the Syrian and Ukraine war propaganda efforts.

    ‘The White Helmets’, fake ‘Syrian humanitarian group, exposed as an al Qaeda support group headed by a British military man and funded by the US Government. Short documentary by Steve Ezzedine, drawing on research by Vanessa Beeley.

    Syria White Helmets: Humanitarians or “Executioners”?

    At the 13:28 mark in the above video we see the White Helmet member that drove the vehicle in which the two Syrian captive soldiers who were tortured and executed were held. covers all western propaganda efforts related to Syria and the ongoing US financed wars.

  7. Joe B
    October 4, 2016 at 16:58

    A very good article and comments. It is sad that fascism gives rise to fascism among its victims, who empower their own self-seeking warmongers. The worst case in point is the creation of zionist fascism as a response to Nazi fascism. As awareness grows in the US, more and more have the courage to resist zionist fascism, and are rejecting the duopoly candidates as a result.

    • Bill Bodden
      October 5, 2016 at 12:56

      As awareness grows in the US, more and more have the courage to resist zionist fascism

      Unfortunately, Joe B., “more and more” doesn’t equate to many people. In the case of politicians they remain few and far between.

  8. Jerad
    October 4, 2016 at 16:00

    If the author had simply made the point that Syria should be allowed to defend itself just as Israel is allowed, then he would have made a good point. However, to suggest that Israel or any sovereign nation should not respond to rocket and mortar fire with aggressive force reveals a great bias. It is especially offensive to see the writer refer to indiscriminate rocket and mortar fire as a “symbolic protest.”

    • John P
      October 4, 2016 at 18:28

      Violent responses should be expected when you lock a displaced people in a prison, deprive them of freedom, supress their economic activities, divide them (early Israeli support of Hamas to weaken Fatah). In most instances Hamas tried and succeeded in reducing the firing of rockets and mortars, but when its own people were struck by Israeli forces in the air then the gloves came off. What more have they got to lose today. Jerad, do you have the ability to put yourself in their place? The blinkered views and blindness of Zionism !!!

    • Bill Bodden
      October 4, 2016 at 20:25

      You apparently missed this paragraph or chose to deny the disproportionate violence applied by Israel against Gaza:

      “Israel claimed it was simply responding defensively. The human rights group BtSelem reports that over the decade between June 2004 and July 2015, Palestinians launched over 8,700 rockets and 5,000 mortars from Gaza into Israel. But the total number of civilians killed over 10 years was 28 for an average of fewer than three persons per year. Using this as a justification, Israel has attacked by air and invaded every few years inflicting far heavier casualty rates on the Palestinians in Gaza. For example, Israeli attacks on Gaza in Summer 2014 killed more than 2,000 Gazans, the vast majority of them civilians and many of them children.”

      28 Israelis killed over ten years versus more than 2,000 Gazans including women and children in less than two months in 2014. And that was only one of Israel’s similar “operations” against Gaza in the same ten-year period.

    • Annie
      October 4, 2016 at 20:45

      I think you really missed the point of this article, but first I would like to argue your position on Israel. Israel is an occupying power that operates with a blatant disregard for international law, and wantonly engages in war crimes which unfortunately the US continues to support. If you read this article without a bias of your own, which is blatantly clear in your response, you would have understood the article’s content in much broader terms.

    • David Smith
      October 5, 2016 at 00:08

      Jerad, Mr. Sterling, and Bernie Sanders have things bassackwards. It is the GAZANS who are RESPONDING to daily military attacks by the zionist entity. Jerad, the zionist acts on, but does not understand its own murky, satanic-talmudic brain, but I do. The zionist entity keeps attacking Gaza because in 1948 the Irgun numbskulls failed to “clear the title”, that is the effing “Pals” escaped to Gaza, and their heirs in present day Gaza hold legal title to much of the zionist entity.

    • Bill Bodden
      October 5, 2016 at 12:52

      Here is more about the disproportionate violence applied by Israel against Palestinians:

      Over 230 Palestinians have been killed, and 18,500 injured, since beginning of ‘Jerusalem Intifada’ a year ago by Kate –

      The barbaric indifference among, apparently, the preponderance of Israelis should be a cause for concern among civilized people.

  9. Bill Bodden
    October 4, 2016 at 14:15

    The US government has been using double standards for decades when taking positions on Israel and other nations. It is astonishing how officials and politicians can get away with this practice. Why they do it is not surprising. They have sold their souls to the Israel Lobby with the consequence that whatever conscience they might have ever had has atrophied. It is tempting to consider that a nation so corrupt that double standards are routine cannot survive and must therefor decline and fall, but the US government has been corrupt since its founding and has survived for more than two centuries raising the question, “How much longer can the US get away with this?”

  10. Annie
    October 4, 2016 at 13:39

    Just, Bravo for an article that tells it like it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a keeper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Joe Tedesky
    October 4, 2016 at 13:09

    Here is one account of how the war in Syria started.

  12. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    October 4, 2016 at 12:35

    The confusion of this “Double Standard” can very easily go away if we realize that the actual name of the US is “The United States of ISRAEL”……………AIPAC and the rest of the “lobby” make sure that every American Politician know that very well…………..Israel is the ONLY thing both Dems and Repubs agree on all the time…………..The Think Tanks, Newspapers like NYT and Washington Post make sure the American People also stay in line…otherwise, calling people “Anti……” is always available to make them shut up.

  13. David Smith
    October 4, 2016 at 11:44

    Although the Syria section is excellent, Mr. Sterling unfortunately repeats a serious distortion of the Gaza situation. He is in good company, as Bernie Sanders shilled an indentical party line, which in it’s Inaccuracy, merely bolsters the zionist entities false claim of “response”. This is the same lie the zionist entity used to justifly it’s failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006(the real goal was to sieze the S. bank of the Litani River and pump the water to the z.e.). The reality for Gaza is constant harassment by air from zionist entity helicopter gunships, F-16s, and armed drones. The great Palestinian patriot Sheik Yassin was murdered in this way(plus innocent women as “collateral damage”). The rockets fired from Gaza are in response to attack, which includes zionist entity navy gunboats machine-gunning Palestinian children on the beach. It is imperative to note that the population of Gaza is the result of Palestinians fleeing zionist military attack in 1948, to what was then Egyptian territory. The Palestinians fled their homes, farms and businesses which were promptly seized and occupied by “guess who?”. Interestingly, the occupiers to this day do not have title, the land is held by the zionist entity National Trust, so “right of return” can be easily accomplished. The zionist argument that “they bought” large sections of Palestine( besides having zero political implications) is absolutely false. The deeds(titles) to land purchased by zionist front companies are invalad. The Ottoman Empire, which held Greater Syria(of which Palestine is an illegally severed part) had difficulties collecting tax revenue from Palestinian land, which was held in the ancient and noble Communal Village System. The Ottoman solution was to create a “private property” style title to these communal lands, which was sold to Propertied Class speculators on the condition they pay the property tax, which they extracted from the villagers through payment-in-kind scams. As the Palestinian Communal Villagers(now refugees in Gaza), not only paid the propertied tax but occupied and improved the land, the Ottoman Empire titles are doubly invalid as they are imposed by an Imperial occupier, and the Palestinians have “squatters rights”/ were the actual payers of property tax. These bogus Ottoman land titles are what the zionist front companies purchased, nothing but illegal paper. This is why “right of return” scares zionists, as their bare rear-ends are in the wind, they know a simple title search and a court hearing would return all the territory of the zionist entity to the residents of Gaza and Jordanian and Syrian refugee camps(since 1948!!!!). The zionist entity is a house of cards, perhaps that’s why they are always so angry.

  14. October 4, 2016 at 11:20

    The bottom line remains that the entire responsibility for all the horrors of Syria – hundreds of thousands killed and millions running for their lives as refugees and threatening to de-stabilize Europe – belongs to the United States.

    Despite its willing helpers in this filthy war – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain, France – nothing significant would have happened without America’s approval and direction.

    The war in Syria is one of the most shameful events of our time.

    And it is a perfect measure of the achievements and ethics of politicians such as Obama, Clinton, and Kerry.

    Truly, they have created a small holocaust just because they want to get rid of a leader they do not like, despite the support of his people and the country’s army through five years of hell.

  15. Altani
    October 4, 2016 at 10:18

    I am a woman. I am part Shia and part Sunni, I am Moslem.I don’t know why the two groups hate each other so much. I don’t like the idea of killing, maiming and burning children, regardless of their religion. Assad should save his people before Syria turns into dust.

    • Obrzezany Prac
      October 4, 2016 at 11:42

      Come and join the atheist and you’ll for ever be free of religious nonsense

    • David Smith
      October 4, 2016 at 12:26

      Altani, if you are who you say you are, you would know that PRESIDENT Assad is saving his people with an army that is 70% Sunni. Interesting how this(artificially created)”Sunni/Shia Divide” doesn’t exist in Syria, even the Kurds are non-political. In Syria, for centuries, Moslem and Christian have lived peacefully together, but you should know that if you are who you say you are. I am sure this article will attract the usual bellowing satanic hasbara trolls, we might even be treated to a visit by “Fergus Hashimoto” giving us a link to the putrid “Palwatch” website. Oyvey!!!

    • Ali Mallah
      October 4, 2016 at 12:48

      What is missing in this article is that for the action of few in Sept 11, USA and its allies launched illegal wars against Afghanistan, Iraq causing the death of hundreds of thousands,destroying both countries.
      Then, the USA and under Mr. Obama increased the illegal assassination by drones that caused the deaths of so many in Pakistan, Satanist, Yemen…etc
      How about the destruction of Libya?
      Then, Comes Syria and the unholy alliance between USA, UK, France, Turkey, Qatar, EU,KSA and the terrorists.

      So, Sister Altani, this is bout about shias and Sunnis?
      It is the USA & Western plots for Blood Borders and the New Middle East.

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