Saturday, November 16, 2013

'Zionist Imperialists' quietly helping the Syrian people

Guest Post by Emunah

 Its a classic Girl Scout story.

While walking along a beach, an elderly man discovers a  young girl, picking up starfish one by one and tossing them gently back into the ocean.. He calls out, " May I ask what you’re doing?"

The girl replies, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, "There are miles and miles of beach and there are hundreds of stranded starfish  You can't possibly make a difference!"

The girl listened politely, then  bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, "I made a difference to that one."

Syria faces a devastating humanitarian crisis.  The dead number well over a hundred thousand- many more are missing. Millions are displaced.  Children are starving, and the nation may face a resurgence of polio, as thousands of children are unable to receive their vaccinations. 

The world wrings its hands and does nothing, but little by little, one by one, Israel is trying to make a difference.

 From the International Business Times

Historically bitter relations between Syria and Israel have been bypassed by the civil conflict as a wave of injured Syrians get urgent medical help from Israelis.
The two countries remain technically at war (Israel is frequently demonised as "Zionist Imperialism" by the Ba'ath Party rejectionists of the Assad regime) but that has not stopped more than 500 victims of the bloody civil conflict in Syria seeking life-saving treatment at three field hospitals especially constructed on the Golan Heights - occupied by Israel after Syria's defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. 
 One Syrian refugee gave birth to a baby boy in the field hospital, helped by an Israeli medical team.  Syrians are fleeing into the arms of their government's sworn enemy because medical facilities at home have been destroyed by the bloody civil war.
 October saw an all-time high of 120 patients treated at the field hospitals. Among the wave of injured people are likely to be fighters from both sides. The number is unknown because the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) does not ask a patient's identity.
The Financial Times has also written about this:

The IDF has kept a low profile about this rare regional humanitarian gesture. The hospitals involved have opened the door to journalists, but the military gives few details...

“We have the responsibility of people who come to the border and need help to try and facilitate and give them humanitarian aid,” says Lt Col Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman. “If it’s immediate medical needs, we treat them and send them back; if the situation is more dire, we take them to hospitals in Israel.”
It's not just medical assistance.  Syrian refugees in Jordan are receiving food, cooking oil and cleaning supplies thanks to IsraAid  and a network of Jewish donors across the Diaspora, including the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, the AJC, World Jewish Relief and the Pears Foundation. Read about it in the Times of Israel.

The help that Israel can give these refugees, the IsraAid volunteers and the director of the international aid organization both say, trickles in bag by bag, donation by donation. And if Israel’s involvement in Jordan is going to change political perceptions, they add, it’s going to happen in the same slow way.
“It’s not like we come in here and go, ‘We’re from Israel!,’” says the director of the IsraAid’s partnering organization. “You keep your mouth shut and you do the work. And maybe they will ask some questions after the fact, because actions speak much louder than words.”

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