It is a given that Israel and Syria are mortal enemies – not because Israel wants to destroy Syria, but because Syria wants to destroy Israel. It is also a given that the people of Syria are taught from an early age to hate the Jewish state and its people. Indeed, Israel and Jews are demonized by official Syrian agencies at every turn.
It is also a given, despite Israeli denials, that Israel has at times attacked Syrian nuclear installations because it was the eventual target of the deadly work being done in them.
What the world has always assumed was also a given was that Israel feels toward the Syrian people the same animus they feel toward Israel.
Now, thanks to the Agence France-Presse, the world must change that assumption. According to the AFP, and confirmed in Israeli newspapers, is the fact that Israel has set up a field hospital on the Golan Heights, near the Syrian border. Its purpose: to treat Syrians injured by the indiscriminate and brutal attacks on Syrian towns and villages as the regime of Bashar al-Assad seeks to put down all opposition to its continuance. A civil war rages in “enemy territory,” yet Israel steps in to afford vital aid and comfort to suffering members of the human family.
Some of the wounded have even been moved to Israeli hospitals because their injuries warranted the kind of treatment a field hospital alone cannot provide.
According to a report in Haaretz, “Senior reserve IDF officers and public figures in February submitted a request to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak that Israel grant humanitarian aid to Syrians wounded in the country’s devastating civil war. The signatories to that letter â€¦ proposed the establishment of a field hospital on the Israeli-Syrian border that could provide medical treatment to individuals wounded in the fighting.
“‘Offering humanitarian aid is an important point that must be revisited and put on the agenda,’ the letter said. ‘Humanitarian aid in the form of erecting a field hospital (in the buffer zone on the Golan) that will treat Syrian victims, save lives and heal the sick and wounded, can lead to a positive change in the way the Syrian population relates to the State of Israel.'”
That Israel has set up this field hospital – coupled with the fact that Israeli army units recently took out a Syrian army position that was firing missiles at its own people – should give the world pause and should be noticed, as well, in other Arab capitals.
Israel is not the enemy of the Arab people. It cares about its security, but it also cares for people, whoever they are and wherever they come from.