Bashar Assad wasn’t the only person paying protesters lately.
A Lebanese man who rushed the border in last month’s Naqba Day incident told The Guardian:
One demonstrator who was wounded that day told the Guardian the Lebanese militia Hezbollah had given him $50 to turn up at the border and $900 to have his gunshot wounds treated by physicians. He said he had been planning to return to Maroun al-Ras yesterday until the rally was cancelled.
So the Palestinian Spring sponsored by Hezbollah and Assad is neither Palestinian, nor Spring.
A few years ago, David Brooks pointed out that the Palestinian cause was being co-opted by outsiders — then Iran and Hezbollah. Add Assad to the list — with 38 Syrians killed in Idlib, Naksa’s a fantastic distraction. As Dominic Waghorn puts it:
Using Palestinians as pawns is one of a dwindling number of cards held by Bashar al Assad.
Related reading: Naksa Day: Plotted Paydirt, Not Popular Palestinian Protest