Security Council Rejects Petition on Syria War Crimes: ‘No Mention of Israeli Atrocities’
New York, NY (AP) – The United Nations Security Council reacted coolly to a petition calling for the body to investigate alleged war crimes by the Syrian government, saying that the request failed to provide for adequate condemnation of Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
The petition, signed by 58 countries, asked the Council to look into accounts of massacres and the targeting of civilians by Syrian forces and affiliated militias. It comes against the backdrop of continued violence all over the country, including a newly intensified campaign in the north and the Syrian Air Force bombing of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.
Russia, long opposed to international intervention in the two-year-long civil war gripping Syria, warned that it would veto any resolution targeting the Assad regime. Russia seeks to forestall foreign involvement in its internal struggles with separatist elements, and sees in its longtime ally Syria a precedent for such involvement. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow, “Russia sees no benefit to singling out one side in this bloody conflict for condemnation,” unless it’s Israel, which was oppressing countless innocent, peace-loving Palestinians long before Assad began killing them indiscriminately.
China, also wary of legitimizing international “meddling” in other countries’ internal conflicts, does not wish to invite scrutiny of its policies in Tibet, and has shied away from “one-sided declarations that will accomplish nothing,” as the Foreign Ministry in Beijing phrased it, unless those declarations are leveled at Israel. “The wholesale slaughter of women and children in the Yarmouk refugee camp must not be used by cynical partisan parties to imply that anyone but Israel mistreats Palestinians,” its statement read. “The allegations of carnage serve no one but the merchants of death who wish to encourage further involvement,” and since Israel cannot be blamed directly for the massacres, it is best to remain silent on the issue.
The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, Navi Pillay, lamented the lack of UN action on the issue of Syrian refugees, expected to number one million by the end of the winter. “But I can’t really blame the Security Council for this one,” she explained. “Since it’s not Israel driving these people from their homes, who can be expected to care? It’s not as if actual concern for human lives has ever been the driving force behind Security Council resolutions.”
At press time, the Shiite Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, allied with Assad, had announced that it was prepared to start another war with Israel so the international community might do something. “Plus, we’d get to launch all these cool rockets into Israel,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the movement’s leader.
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