by Joshua Levitt
An Al Jazeera Arabic anchor recently asked his audience why Arab armies, and, in particular, the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in Syria, can’t behave more humanely towards civilians, like the Israeli and French armies do?
In a clip uploaded to YouTube this week and flagged byMideast Media Analyst Tom Gross, the anchor asks, “Why don’t they learn from the Israeli army which tries, through great efforts, to avoid shelling areas populated by civilians in Lebanon and Palestine? Didn’t Hezbollah take shelter in areas populated by civilians because it knows that Israeli Air Force doesn’t bomb those areas? Why doesn’t the Syrian army respect premises of universities, schools or inhabited neighborhoods? Why does it shell even the areas of its supporters?”
“I will also give you the example of France. All Syrians remember that the French forces, when they occupied Syria tried to avoid, when rebels entered mosques or schools, they stopped. The people would prefer that France come back! For God’s sake, if a referendum were to be held… if people were to be asked, who would you prefer the current regime or the French, I swear by God they would have preferred the French.
“The Israeli army, if it wanted to break up a demonstration, would have used water cannons or rubber bullets, not rockets or explosive barrels as happens in Aleppo today.
“You mustn’t compare the Syrian army with French or Israeli… The Israeli army didn’t shell Aleppo University and students there. They didn’t shell the university with rockets killing dozens of students… The Israelis or the French didn’t kill their people. Please tell me how many of their people did the French army kill?”
Watch a clip of the Al Jazeera program below: