Christina Lin

Will Israel and the West silently watch a Mideast Holocaust?

In the Book of Proverbs it is said, “deliver those who are drawn towards death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.” (Proverbs 24:11)

Now as a genocide of Christians, Druze, other religious and ethnic minorities is unfolding in Syria and the Middle East, will Israel and the West watch silently?

This week Syria’s Druze community, long under the protection of the Assad regime, came under attack from the Turkey-Qatar-Saudi backed Army of Conquest that includes al-Nusra. Al Nusra slaughtered more than 20 Druze villagers in northwest Syria and threatens further persecution of the nation’s 700,000 Druze, prompting them to turn towards their Israeli neighbor for help.

Israel has its own Druze community that serves in the military and are considered loyal citizens held in high regard. Now, their relatives in Syria are under threat.

Ayoob Kara, an Israeli Druze member of PM Netanyahu’s Likud party and currently deputy minister for regional cooperation, said the Israeli Druze community “do not plan to sit idly by while our brothers are being slaughtered in Syria.”

They are currently lobbying hard for arm shipments to help the Syrian community defend itself from further onslaught by the jihadis, and have raised the issue with Israel, U.S., Jordan, and others.

Israel is now facing a moral and strategic dilemma—whether to continue staying out of its neighboring conflict and allow the Druze to fend for themselves while jihadists weaken the Assad regime, or support Israel’s Druze citizens to assist their kin in Syria.

As David Essing in IsraCast observed, to do nothing would be a terrible betrayal of Israel’s Druze citizens, and lending military aid to the Syrian Druze would likely spark a war with the Islamic State. However, “does anyone believe that ISIL will not attack the Jewish state, if and when the time is ripe?”

Here one is reminded of German Pastor Martin Neimoller and his warning against inaction in the face of evil during the Holocaust.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Now in face of a Holocaust in the Middle East, perhaps one could see a parallel.

“First they came for the Yazidis, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Yazidi.
Then they came for the Christians, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Christian.
Then they came for the Druze, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Druze.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

This past Wednesday on 10 June, the National Press Club in Washington DC premiered a film “Sing a Little Louder,” about genocide, Christians, and the mute acceptance of evil.

This 12-minute film is based on the true story of an old man who remembers the horrors of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, and the passivity of his parents, pastor, and fellow Christians in the face of ultimate evil.

In the film a train carrying Jews to concentration camps breaks down in front of a church. The worshipers inside could hear the captive Jews banging on the inside of their car, screaming for help. But not one heeded the distressed calls of their fellow human beings, and instead the pastor raised his voice to preach his sermon, and then instructed the choir and congregation to sing a little louder to drown out the wailing prisoners.

Now as the Mideast Christians, Yazidis, Druze, and others cry out while Salafi jihadists continue its Holocaust, will Israel, U.S. and the world just sing a little louder?

About the Author
Dr. Christina Lin is a US-based foreign policy analyst specializing in China-Mediterranean relations. She has extensive US government experience working on national security issues and was a CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) research consultant for Jane's Information Group.
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