So much for proximate cause.
While Syria certainly allowed the unarmed Palestinian refugees to cross the Golan yesterday during Naksa protests, there is only one party responsible for the use of lethal force- the Israeli Defense Forces.
But not according to the State Dept, which is eager to deflect all criticism of Israel:
The United States said on Monday that Syria was “clearly” behind lethal confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters along the once-quiet ceasefire line between the two countries and that Israel has a right to defend itself.
“This is clearly an attempt by Syria to incite these kinds of protests,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, saying Damascus hoped to divert attention from its own internal problems. “Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself.”
Meanwhile, the Jordanian government on Monday condemned the killing of Arab protesters by IDF troops on the Golan Heights over the weekend.
“Israel is applying double standards by preaching the values of democracy and freedom and at the same time giving orders to its forces to kill unarmed people who were protesting at the continued occupation of their land in violation of international law and UN resolutions,” Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said in a statement.
As I said in my post below, the U.S.’ willingness to make excuses for Israel essentially gives them a green light to use disproportionate force in the future and it further alienates us from the Arab Spring, as many in the region see the US as completely hypocritical in how it determines which protests are worthy of support and which are not.
Rather than blaming Syria, the U.S. should be talking to Israel behind the scenes and telling them if the bloodshed continues there will be no further public statements of support. Of course, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of that actually happening, you know, with the 2012 elections coming up and all.