Will the Syrian Regime Ever Repent?
By: General Michel Aoun
(Translated by: Elias Bejjani)

With the Nazis' invasion of France came a wave of anti-Semitism. Some of the French officials who were installed by Nazis participated in persecuting Jews, and in the Holocaust that inflicted upon them.

After half a century it was necessary to review French documents and archives of the Second war era in a bid to identify accountable officials and pinpoint responsibilities. French scholars were able to name some of those officials who are still alive and hold them accountable as an example for all betrayers. The latest case of this is that of Morris Baboon, who is on trial in Bourdo City, where he performed his official duties during the German occupation of France.

It is encouraging to know that the French Government has recently declassified its archives in order to provide the judiciary with another case, which uncovered Baboon's official practices as head of the Paris police force. He violently dispersed an Algerian demonstration in 1961 in which many were killed and many others deported.

This case coincided with the French Catholic Church apology for its silence with regard to the Holocaust, even though many courageous priests rescued and assisted Jews. Currently another movement is very active among professors at the Sorbonne which aims to submit a public apology for their participation in the persecution of Jews through silence and writings.

The French Government gave us a lesson in courage. The government was able to judge itself and disclose historical facts and bear responsibility. The Catholic Church gave us a Christian parable through its commitment to Christian principles, even though its stand (during the Holocaust) was largely due to its organizational structure. The Church considered its silence over the crime of persecuting Jews a crime in itself and apologized for it. Soon the Sorbonne's professors will give us an ethical example in reviewing what they have said and done. They will explain publicly the reasons for their silence. All these matters are happening because there is a conscious evolution with civilization, and because such crimes are no longer acceptable, regardless of the circumstances.

The question is, will Syrian professors ever apologize for their regime's crimes committed in Lebanon and in Syria?. Will Lebanese professors one day recognize that remaining silent during the perpetration of a crime is a criminal act itself? We know that politicians in our country are like Baboon and Tufia, but the acts of some spiritual leaders who applaud their inhumane practices, the occupation forces, and their puppets continue to puzzle us. They should speak up during their own lifetimes, for after they are dead history will not judge them kindly.