Video dispatch 18: Syrian refugees: “May God bless Israel”

September 02, 2013

“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:

* Israel's secret doctors (& Disabled Gaza toddler lives at Israeli hospital)


Thousands of Syrian refugees crossing into Iraq

 

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Other dispatches in this video series can be seen here:

* Video dispatch 1: The Lady In Number 6

* Video dispatch 2: Iran: Zuckerberg created Facebook on behalf of the Mossad

* Video dispatch 3: Vladimir Putin sings “Blueberry Hill” (& opera in the mall)

* Video dispatch 4: While some choose boycotts, others choose “Life”

* Video dispatch 5: A Jewish tune with a universal appeal

* Video dispatch 6: Carrying out acts of terror is nothing new for the Assad family

* Video dispatch 7: A brave woman stands up to the Imam (& Supporting Bin Laden in London)

* Video dispatch 8: Syrians burn Iranian and Russian Flags (Not Israeli and U.S. ones)

* Video Dispatch 9: “The one state solution for a better Middle East...”

* Video dispatch 10: British TV discovers the next revolutionary wave of Israeli technology

* Video dispatch 11: “Freedom, Freedom!” How some foreign media are reporting the truth about Syria

* Video dispatch 12: All I want for Christmas is...

* Video dispatch 13: “The amazing Israeli innovations Obama will see this week (& Tchaikovsky Flashwaltz!)

* Video dispatch 14: Jon Stewart under fire in Egypt (& Kid President meets Real President)

* Video dispatch 15: A rare BBC recording from 1945: Survivors in Belsen sing Hatikvah (& “No Place on Earth”)

* Video dispatch 16: Joshua Prager: “In search for the man who broke my neck”

* Video dispatch 17: Pushback against the “dictator Erdogan” - Videos from the “Turkish summer”

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.