Yes­ter­day, Syr­i­ans attempted to breach Israel’s bor­der caus­ing a flood of atten­tion away from Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar Assad’s ongo­ing blood­bath and cast­ing a flood­light of atten­tion on Israel. Was there any­thing unusual about it? Lots. The Syr­ian Reform Party con­firms that those border-jumpers were indeed paid $1000 dol­lars a pop.

And what if one gets shot in the process? The gov­ern­ment has that cov­ered too. The border-jumper’s fam­ily gets a huge pay­day: $10,000 for suc­cumb­ing to Israeli fire. This kind of ter­ror­ism for jack­pots has been used in Gaza to recruit youths to either launch mis­siles at Israel or worse, to pay sui­cide bombers’ fam­ily large sums while hon­or­ing them for mak­ing their sons’ or daugh­ters’ mar­tyrs. It’s also been used by the Ba’ath Party in Iraq, under Sad­dam Hus­sein, to pay Intifada-driven Pales­tini­ans $25,000 to their next-of-kin should they die throw­ing stones. These atroc­i­ties must stop.

It’s extremely con­cern­ing as the aver­age salary in Syria is around $200 a month. No one can for­get the mas­sive stain on Syria right now as the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues a bru­tal cam­paign mas­sacring its own peo­ple. Here is an excerpt of a press release the Reform Party of Syria (RPS) released yesterday:

It is obvi­ous, with this action, Assad wants to divert the atten­tion of the world away from his own mas­sacres and bru­tal­ity that resulted in some 70 deaths yes­ter­day and about 30 today in Jisr al-Shoghour. RPS expects, on the basis of today’s suc­cess, for these oper­a­tions of incur­sions to mul­ti­ply in scope in the near future for two rea­sons: 1) Divert the atten­tion away from Assad’s bar­barism and sav­ageries, and 2) Stand tall again in the eyes of the regime’s sup­port­ers whose morale has taken quite a beat­ing the last 3 months because of the vio­lence per­pe­trated by Assad against unarmed civilians.

Israel acted in accor­dance with inter­na­tional law. Yet, there were some peo­ple on Twit­ter yes­ter­day ask­ing why Israel didn’t warn Syr­i­ans or set off tear gas before fir­ing. Obvi­ously, they did repeat­edly. The image here shows the tear gas the IDF released after those rush­ing the bor­der ignored ver­bal attempts to retreat. Syr­ian offi­cials did NOTHING to stop their cit­i­zens from rush­ing the bor­der fence, which again sug­gests they had a hand in it. Act For Israel spent most of yes­ter­day get­ting the truth out.

While Act For Israel and RPS dif­fer on the own­er­ship of the Golan Heights (it’s a strate­gic mil­i­tar­ily for Israel’s secu­rity), it’s clear the world needs to con­tinue look­ing at motives of why Syr­i­ans would risk their lives to rush any country’s bor­der. This wasn’t a peace­ful “Naksa” demon­stra­tion (though that’s oxy­moron in itself), this was a attempted secu­rity breach of another country’s sov­er­eignty. We can­not sup­port ter­ror regimes that use their own peo­ple as polit­i­cal pawns to con­ceal human rights atroc­i­ties.  Act For Israel urges world lead­ers to put pres­sure on the Syr­ian gov­ern­ment as Syr­i­ans deserve a bet­ter life under reformed gov­ern­ment, not one that pays them to be com­mit crimes, get injured or worse.

Photo credit: Oded Balilty/Associated Press
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