Why are Palestinian rights groups ignoring the tragedy of Yarmouk?

As these words are typed, it’s likely that the last few elderly Palestinians left in the Yarmouk district of Damascus are either being killed or forced to flee.

An area that once contained well over 100,000 residents of Palestinian origin has been completely ethnically cleansed by the Assad regime.

A ruined street in the Palestinian district of Yarmouk, Damascus (Credit: Reuters/Haaretz)

Yarmouk has long been a punchbag for the Syrian regime, being subjected to indiscriminate bombardment whenever one of the anti-government groups seized it. As long ago as December 2012, Assad’s forces slaughtered several hundred civilians in response to the Free Syrian Army’s infiltration of the district.

Untold numbers of people starved to death as a result of the siege subsequently imposed by Assad and it’s estimated that thousands were seized and tortured to death. The most recent assault has been going on for about a month now and has caused at least scores of deaths of civilians . This ongoing slaughter has been completely ignored by the Irish media with the exception of the Irish Independent which reported on the plight of the elderly residents who have been unable to leave.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that the mainstream media become exceptionally interested in the Middle East if there is any Israel-bashing to be done.

Syria gets attention only when the slaughter toll runs well into triple figures. Yemen is ignored.

But what of those groups who profess to be pro-Palestinian, specifically groups like Sadaka and the IPSC? A quick time-specific search via Google of the IPSC website shows some references to Yarmouk but none since April 2015. The Sadaka website has no references at all. None. So the two main Irish groups who claim to advocate for Palestinians have effectively no interest in what is – by some distance – the greatest tragedy being experienced by people of Palestinian origin in decades.

They’re also remarkably silent on discrimination against people of Palestinian origin in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Why might that be? Could the lack of interest be because Israel isn’t involved? Surely not. Because if so, then they’re not pro-Palestinian: they’re just anti-Israeli.

by Editorial

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