Israel quietly rescues wounded Syrians

Monday, September 09, 2013 |  Aviel Schneider

Embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has threatened to destroy Israel if his regime is attacked by the US. This despite the fact that Israel has saved the lives of many Syrians wounded in their nation's civil war.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict until early September, the Jewish state had treated more than 150 Syrians in hospitals across northern Israel. Wounded Syrians try to flee across the Syrian-Israeli border on an almost daily basis.

The Israeli media recently reported on a Syrian grandmother who fled with her nine-year-old granddaughter to Israel because Assad's troops had blocked all roads to the hospitals in Syria. In Israel, the girl received the life-saving treatment she required.

The names of most of these victims cannot be published because eventually they have to return home to Syria.

Another Syrian in an Israeli hospital told Israel Radio that he had nothing bad to say about Israel: "Assad is the one that caused Israel and Syria to be divided. Most Arabs in Israel, the Golan Heights and Palestine [sic] are originally from Syria. If the borders were open, we would have the freedom to visit one another."

The director of one of the northern Israel hospitals, Prof. Yaakov Farbstein, stressed that his doctors treated all patients equally, regardless of where they come from. "We see in each a patient, and nothing more. It is our duty and responsibility to help people in need."

In private conversations, many of the Syrians treated in Israel have praised the genuine care they received, acknowledging that contrary to what they were taught, Israelis are actually more merciful than most Arabs.

"At home in Syria we are slaughtered. But among our enemies, the Israelis, we find refuge," said a 30-year-old Syrian who came to Israel with his severely wounded brother.

This amazing story of love for one's enemies has been largely ignored by the international media, and, for tactical reasons, Israel has kept quiet about its field hospital established on the Syrian border.

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