“All they have to eat is cucumbers”
By Tom Gross
While hospitals across northern Israel continue to treat hundreds of severely wounded Syrian adults and children, Israeli doctors have been smuggled into refugee camps in Jordan and elsewhere, where they continue to perform life-saving operations on wounded Syrians. For security reasons they cannot be filmed.
But some ordinary Israelis have also taken matters into their own hands, smuggling shampoo, soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent, sugar, rice, toys for children and other basic items -- all donated by members of the Israeli public and Israeli supermarket chains -- into Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and elsewhere.
Officially Jordan does not allow Israelis to help Syrians and has threatened the Israelis that do so.
These actions have largely been kept a secret outside Israel in order to protect the Israelis but they have now been revealed on Arab websites, which have compared the help given by Israelis to Syrian refugees to the lack of assistance given by Arabs.
Israel’s Channel 10 television accompanied one group of Israelis, and this 15-minute film is well worth watching if you have time.
As one of the volunteers discovers, all that the Syrians had had to eat before they arrived were cucumbers they picked from the fields
This film was made in early 2012. There have been many more missions since then by members of the Israeli public but out of safety concerns, these have not been filmed.
At the time there were only 50,000 refugees -- today there 2.5 million out of Syria and another 5 million inside Syria.
While some of the Syrians are hostile when they find out their helpers are Israeli Jews, others can be seen in the film saying in Arabic “May God bless Israel”.
There is a follow-up to this dispatch here:
Thousands of Syrian refugees crossing into Iraq
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