The long running war in Syria is the greatest humanitarian crisis in our time. More than 11 million people are either internally displaced or refugees, and around half a million people have been killed.
Israel and Syria are enemies, and do not have diplomatic relations. Yet Israel has been helping those Syrians in need in various ways in the past few months. During the heavy fighting in Aleppo at the end of 2016, Mr Netanyahu told the IDF that they should try and provide medical assistance to those in need to the extent that they could. Yesterday, the Interior Minister took a decision to allow 100 orphaned children to move Israel, to be brought up by Israeli-Arab families. They will become full Israeli citizens after four years.
Beginning in 2013, many Syrians have entered Israel to receive medical treatment in Ziv hospital in Safed. Recently, a pregnant Syrian woman who came to Israel for medical treatment gave birth in the hospital. She named the baby “Sarah” as an act of appreciation to the Jewish state.
A few weeks ago, the Israeli public also got involved in the humanitarian effort. A project called “Just Beyond the Border” raised tens of thousands of dollars within a few days, and in the end raised three hundred and fifty thousand dollars for Syrian refugees.
Israelis still see Syria as the country that fought wars of destruction against the country in 1948, 1967 and 1973. But even though the countries are enemies, Israel is not turning away from the people of Syria at their time of greatest need, and it is helping out; if only a little, but nevertheless doing its part to ease some of the tremendous human suffering happening just a few minutes away from Israel.
Contributed by Aron White, CAMERA intern