Winston Churchill once said, “The further back you look, the further forward you can see.”
This truth hangs over the General Assembly today. Long before Assad’s planes demolished major cities, long before his thugs murdered entire families in their homes, long before the death count rose well above 20,000, the dangers of inaction were unmistakable.
The duty of the international community was clear long ago. It still is.
The daily slaughter in Syria represents the dying breath of a tyranny that goes back four decades.
As Bashar al-Assad was getting ready to graduate from High School, his father massacred tens of thousands in Hama. Years later, the keys to the regime’s Presidential Palace and killing machine were passed down from father to son.
We know what this regime represents. It does not stand for human rights or human dignity. It does not stand for democracy. It does not stand for pluralism or freedom.
Before our eyes, we see the brutality and cruelty that Assad is willing to unleash on his own people.
The words that we just heard from the Syrian delegate remind of the story of a man who murders his parents and then cries out, “I’m an orphan.”
He had the audacity to stand in this hall and ask the international community for funds to care for the people that his government is brutalizing on a daily basis.
It is time for all voices in this chamber to be clear. Bashar al-Assad has no moral authority to govern. He never did. His hourglass is running out.
Iran’s dream for the region is the Syrian people’s nightmare. Iran is the problem in Syria – not the solution.
Every day it provides Assad with the tools of mass murder. Iranian revolutionary guards are on the ground today assisting Assad's henchmen. They have been deployed on Syrian soil to help sustain the Syrian regime and take part in the slaughter of the Syrian people.
The outside forces that have been instrumental in Assad’s killing spree speak in a Persian accent. Asking the Iranian regime to take part in developing solutions for Syria is like inviting the Mafia to head the murder investigation squad of the NYPD.
Along with Iran, the Hezbollah terrorist organization forms the third member of Assad’s “trio of terror”. Hezbollah has hijacked the Lebanese Government – and transformed the south of the country into an Iranian outpost for terror. Make no mistake. When the Lebanese delegation speaks in these halls about Syria, the black shadow of Hezbollah hangs over its shoulder.
Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah sits on Assad’s Advisory Board, offering the tyrant of Damascus guidance on how to butcher his own people more effectively. As Nasrallah recently told a cheering crowd, Syria is “a real military partner" for Hezbollah. This is the same organization that is the self-proclaimed “protector of Lebanon”.
The world cannot ignore the frightening reality that Assad’s stockpiles of chemical weapons could soon be placed in the hands of Hezbollah. All must wake up to this danger – today, not tomorrow. Action is necessary. The red lines are very clear.
The people of Syria are not the indiscriminate victims of a natural disaster. They are not the tragic fatalities of a famine. They are not the accidental casualties of war. They are the deliberate targets of a brutal regime that will commit any crime and cross any line to cling to power.
It doesn’t matter where you come from, or what politics you preach, or what faith you belong to – no decent human being can stay silent in the face of what is happening in Syria.
Israel will continue to raise its voice for the People of Syria. We extend our hand to them, offering humanitarian aid, food, and medicine.
History’s lessons echo in this chamber today. Our moral imperative is clear. Yet, the slaughter continues, the casualties mount, the violence goes on.
The voices of the victims call to us. We must all be there for them.
Thank you, Mr. President.