A general view shows the town of Majdal Shams near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. File picture: Ammar Awad/Reuters
On Tuesday, November 19, Israel intercepted four rockets launched from Syria. The missiles never hit Israeli soil because they have a very effective Iron Dome air defense system.

A logical person would know that it could not have been sanctioned by the Syrian government. And, given that there is a truce, it was unlikely to have been initiated by any formal Palestinian structures, despite the USA’s decision to undermine international law and legitimise the expansion of Israeli settlements into Palestine. It is assumed by the Israelis that the rockets were fired by the Iranians.

A mature leader have would called (on Palestinian leaders) and engaged to try to understand the source of the aggression, with the objective of developing a collective resolution. A mature leader would even have set up a meeting with the Syrian government given that they are less than an hour’s drive apart. But no, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not possess the emotional intelligence nor the political sophistication to behave maturely. Like a Neanderthal, he is driven by primary instinct and the law of the jungle; a “my weapon is bigger than yours” mentality.

Israel is too easily provoked. Minutes after intercepting the rockets, Syrian official news agency SANA reported that explosions were heard near Damascus Airport. Today, thirty minutes, between 1.30 am and 2 am, was dedicated to reigning bombs on Syria. Our window shutters rattled as the sounds of the blasts permeated the air. The exact extent of the damage is still to be determined.

That the people of Syria are innocent does not matter. That they are human beings who love, feel, and are fallible does not matter. All that matters is the need for Mr Netanyahu to display his insatiable quest for the blood of the vulnerable and the unlimited need of the USA to possess the resources of others.

Too much of our time is being consumed conducting damage control as a consequence of the actions of these two countries. There are bigger challenges to be addressed such as eradicating poverty and hunger; providing critical social infrastructure; and managing the impact of climate change. But as the rest of us try to build, they engage in unabated destruction. If they are not imposing sanctions on all and sundry; then they are instigating instability or bullying countries into submission with reckless bombing.

It cannot be correct that these two countries are causing havoc across the globe. At some point this has to stop. But it will not stop if we continue to turn a blind eye.

The primary mandate of the United Nations Security Council is to maintain international peace and security. Its efforts to regulate the conduct of the USA and Israel, which now are tantamount to state terrorism, have had little impact. It is incumbent upon the citizens in those countries to protest en masse and demand that this senseless aggression comes to an end. In addition, they should vote them out of power. They deserve leaders with vision. More importantly, they deserve leaders who respect life.

Likewise, the international community at large needs to be far more assertive and South Africa should lead in this regard. South Africa would not have defeated apartheid without the support of the international community. It is time for us to assist in reviving those anti-apartheid movements and for the USA and Israel to be compelled to account. This revival is an imperative for the sake of global peace and development.

Reneva Fourie
Damascus
Syria