Green Room

Syrian rebel: “The Israelis showed us their humanity”

posted at 2:25 pm on October 16, 2013 by

The Israelis have kept a fairly low profile in regard to the civil war in Syria.  They have rebutted the notion that their security would be compromised in any outcome of the conflict, but otherwise have tried to keep their mouths shut.  That doesn’t mean that Israel has had no contact with the conflict, though.  McClatchy reported earlier today that some of the moderate rebels have turned to Israeli medical care in a pinch — and that may be more influential in the end:

Syria and Israel are formally at war, and the idea of Syrians being treated in an Israeli hospital once would have been unthinkable. But the brutality of the Syrian civil war has driven some 200 wounded Syrians in the past six months to seek help at the Israeli frontier on the Golan Heights, according to the Israeli army.

Soldiers take them to a field hospital for treatment and triage, with more serious cases sent to hospitals in northern Israel. About 100 have been treated at the Nahariya hospital, with more arriving as news of the Israeli medical aid spreads by word of mouth.

For the man in the bed, who declined to be named for fear of retribution against his family back home, treatment in Israel has been a profoundly transforming experience.

“I thank the Israeli army,” he said. “Two and a half years of revolution have changed my opinion of Israel. Look what Bashar Assad” – Syria’s president – “has done to his people. Everything he says is a lie. He spreads hatred of Israel, but Israel is a friend, not an enemy. The Israelis showed us their humanity.”

It’s not an isolated case, either:

In one hospital room, a 22-year-old fighter from the Free Syrian Army was recovering from a gunshot wound in the shoulder. The Syrian army, he asserted, had committed atrocities, destroying mosques and raping women. “The Free Syrian Army will never fight Israel,” he said. “Assad’s army is the enemy, not the Israeli military.” …

A 17-year-old who entered the room in a wheelchair said that at the border he’d been frightened by Israeli soldiers pointing their rifles at him and ordering him to raise his hands. After an examination and transfer for medical treatment, he said he was surprised by the “compassion, sympathy and humanity” shown him at the hospital.

This won’t change the face of the Middle East on its own … but it’s a start, and a good reminder of the differences between the regimes’ propaganda and reality in the region.

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That’s the big difference.

If Israel’s enemies lay down their arms, they will live in peace.

If Israel lays down its arms, it will be wiped out.

CurtZHP on October 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM

We have been doing this here for over a year, if not for 2. Also search around for how we have humanitarian volunteers on the ground in Jordan, helping with food and facilities.

But you know what? When it’s all over, no matter who wins in Syria, it’ll be the same ol’ same ol’.

Shy Guy on October 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

It’s really pitiful how surprised they are to find that the Israelis don’t actually want to suck their blood.

jdpaz on October 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I’d have to bet that these Syrian rebels aren’t of the al-Qaeda strain.

Bitter Clinger on October 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

We have been doing this here for over a year, if not for 2. Also search around for how we have humanitarian volunteers on the ground in Jordan, helping with food and facilities.

But you know what? When it’s all over, no matter who wins in Syria, it’ll be the same ol’ same ol’.

Shy Guy on October 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Because the least-likely outcome is the moderate rebels winning and remembering fondly the medical treatment provided by the Israelis.

Related, I seem to recall the Israelis providing a bunch of intelligence and some materiel during the first Gulf War, but having to have the source scrubbed by the US and the Saudis.

Steve Eggleston on October 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

For the man in the bed, who declined to be named for fear of retribution against his family back home that his buddies would saw off his head.

FIFY

pain train on October 16, 2013 at 3:15 PM

As bad as the news has been over the last few weeks/months/years, this actually makes my heart sing a little. In the grand scope of things, this is small-ball. But every little bit makes a difference. And maybe word-of-mouth will start spreading around the border towns in Syria, and a de facto detente will take hold between the Israeli and Syrian citizenry.

Who knows. Stranger things have happened.

nukemhill on October 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

A feel good story but I doubt sincere Muslim soldiers of Allah would agree.

For the man in the bed, who declined to be named for fear of retribution against his family back home,

That is your money quote right there.

BL@KBIRD on October 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM

It’s really pitiful how surprised they are to find that the Israelis don’t actually want to suck their blood.

jdpaz on October 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Sort of like Brigitte Gabriel’s story, when she first wound up in Israel with her wounded mother.

Shy Guy on October 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Fight terrorism, support Israel

crosshugger on October 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Support the IDF…..

crosshugger on October 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Stand by Israel, no matter what. Not doing so could send you to your eternal doom.

HomeoftheBrave on October 16, 2013 at 4:57 PM

“The Free Syrian Army will never fight Israel,” he said.

Don’t be so sure.
Mid-Eastern militias are not known for their restraint.

itsnotaboutme on October 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Stand by Israel, no matter what. Not doing so could send you to your eternal doom.

HomeoftheBrave on October 16, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I love Israel as much as you do, but what?

“Doom” (destruction in Hell) is for all sin, not just refusing to “stand by Israel.”

Thank God for his mercy. Even Israel-haters can repent & receive the forgiveness Jesus’ blood paid for.

itsnotaboutme on October 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM

BTW, the story shows that some Israelis are living out Jesus’ words:

Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

itsnotaboutme on October 16, 2013 at 5:46 PM

If Israel’s enemies lay down their arms, they will live in peace.

CurtZHP on October 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Well, they would have nothing to worry about from the Israelis.
However, given the neighborhood, “living in peace” may not be an option.

Count to 10 on October 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Stand with Israel.

mankai on October 16, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Simply Put: Great Post, Ed…

bobnox on October 16, 2013 at 11:10 PM

BTW, the story shows that some Israelis are living out Jesus’ words:

Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.

itsnotaboutme on October 16, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Those are JEWISH values.
Jews don’t need Jesus to go anywhere.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM