Saturday, February 16, 2013

16-Feb-13: An Israeli response to the Syrian bloodbath

From the website of Ziv Hospital in northern Israel
We're not Arabs. So it may sound jarring, even condescending, if we express outrage and pain at the ongoing Arab-on-Arab carnage. Arabs are proud people, and from experience we know they have an acute sensitivity to what they perceive as patronization on the part of non-Arabs.

Still it's way beyond shocking to see how little is being done by Arabs in the face of the latest Arab-on-Arab slaughter going on day after day in Syria.

Saudis say Syria death toll may be 90,000: Kerry
AFP February 14, 2013 | US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday the death toll in Syria may have reached 90,000, citing figures given to him by his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal... The figure is much higher than estimates given this week by UN rights chief Navi Pillay who said the death toll from the civil war was “nearing 70,000... Estimates say more then 750,000 people have fled the country, while a further 2.5 million are displaced internally.”
It may be jarring, as well, for readers of the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar to see what is being doing to Syrians today by the hated Israelis. The following report is appearing these evening in a number of Arab venues. 

Israeli Army Says it Treated Wounded Syrians
Naharnet | February 16, 2013
The Israeli army on Saturday evacuated seven Syrians wounded in clashes on the Golan Heights and took them to a hospital inside the Jewish state, where they were being treated for their injuries. A spokeswoman for the Ziv hospital in Safed told Agence France Presse the army had on Saturday afternoon brought in seven wounded people, all of whom have been operated on... Neither the army nor the hospital would provide details on the nature of their wounds or any political affiliations. An unnamed military official was cited on public radio as saying that Israel had a policy of providing humanitarian aid to refugees, while keeping the border sealed tight against hostile elements... Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told Channel 2 television that Saturday's intervention was "an isolated incident on humanitarian grounds of wounded people who reached the border." He stressed that this did not reflect a change in Israel's stance which does not wish to be involved in the Syrian conflict, nor does it welcome a possible deluge of refugees from the war-torn land. 
The Rebecca Sieff Hospital, also known as Ziv Hospital, is located in the historic northern Israeli city of Safed. It is government public general hospital with 310 beds, and a medical staff that speaks Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic and English. It is close enough to Lebanon and Syria to have taken a Katyusha rocket hit from the heroes of the Syria/Iran proxy force, Hezbollah in 2006. This injured five patients, 2 doctors and two other members of staff as well as causing damage to the hospital's infrastructure.

We frequently tell people how much they can learn about the Arab/Israel conflict by looking at what happens day after day in Israel's hospitals. Here are four examples from our past blogs, selected pretty much at random:
If you agree with this way of looking at things, we invite you to go take a look [starting here] at a brief description of the work being done, day after day and with little publicity, in Israel by an organization with which we're connected and which has changed for the better the lives of many hundreds of Arab families.

1 comment:

Penina Sarah said...

I hope this really great article gets full coverage in the Arab press---since last spring, when then Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel stood ready to help the wounded and ailing from Syria and orphaned children if any could get to Israel, a message he had relayed through his deputy Ayoub Kara, with connections to the Druze community in Syria, I had expected to hear of more people coming to avail themselves of this offer, though instead I heard about Israelis coming at risk of their own lives to bring aid to needy Syrians, short of food, fuel and perhaps even potable water, and medical aid in the ongoing turbulence. It is gratifying to hear that in addition to the one teenage boy who I read got some help in Israel, that others who are in difficult straights are coming and being treated and helped. I also understand that in this case, some of the rebel groups had been beseiged by the Syrian government forces, whose attack went over the border. I realize Israel does not have the resources or the socio-political ability to absorb refugees in masses of 100s of thousands like Turkey and Jordan do, but it is good to know that even with the loss of Avigdor Lieberman as current Foreign Minister, his humanitarian policy is being carried out, to good and life-saving effect, and I hope it can continue to be done, in a manner which hopefully will have a positive, long-term effect.