Some Arabs Rejoice Over Israel Fires, Others Shelter Victims
Arabs across the Middle East love that Israel is burning; but many local Arabs are also affected, and want to help
While many Arabs in the Palestinian Authority and across the Middle East celebrated the wildfires currently ravaging Israel, a number of Arab municipalities offered to shelter victims being forced by the flames to evacuate their homes.
The hashtag #israelisburning is now trending on Arabic-language social media, with many Palestinians and those in neighboring countries viewing the fires as divine retribution against Israel.
Video clips of joyous celebrations during which Allah is thanked for punishing the Jews have gone viral in recent days.
In reality, Israeli officials believe many, if not most, of the fires were set by terrorist arsonists. Already 12 suspects have been arrested, and many more are being questioned.
But while many Arabs further afield are pleased by the fiery destruction, most of those living closer to the blazes realize they are in the same boat as their Jewish countrymen, and are looking to help.
Several of the larger Arab municipalities on Thursday notified the government and the municipalities of those cities most endangered, like Haifa, that their towns were open to shelter both Jews and Arabs forced to evacuate their homes.
More than 75,000 Israelis have had to flee their homes as firefighters struggle to contain the fires. At one point, more than 200 fires were burning simultaneously. At least 100 homes have already been destroyed.
The Palestinian Authority also dispatched some of its firefighting teams to help the Israelis. They will join teams that have already arrived from Russia, Turkey, Greece and Croatia. On Thursday night it was reported that the US would send its supertanker firefighting plane to battle the inferno.
But worrying to many Israelis is that if indeed the fires represent a new form of Muslim terror, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to fully bring an end to the blazes without a tremendous amount of rainfall. And all predictions are that this will be a very dry winter.