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Friday, May 27, 2011

Israel should be providing humanitarian and medical aid to Syria

David HaIvri argues that Israel ought to be providing humanitarian and medical aid to the Syrian rebels.
As neighbors, and a people who take pride in our Jewish values and our drive to help those in need, Israel can both assist (in the form of humanitarian and medical aid) and benefit from (by exploiting the uncertainty surrounding Arab regimes), the Syrian revolt. Israel should base its policies on a basic principle: we are the strongest (democratically, economically, militarily) neighbor in our region and should be independently leading the charge, through both soft and hard power, on any and all developments in our backyard.

In the past few years alone Israel has significantly increased its use of soft power, providing humanitarian aid to countries following natural and manmade disasters in all corners of the earth. We have sent our elite search-and-rescue organization, ZAKA, to assist in rescuing and recovering humans buried in the rubble of hurricanes. We were the first country to operate a field hospital in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, we have sent rescue workers and volunteers to Turkey and Japan – and the list goes on.

Proportionally, Israel has perhaps the largest and most effective humanitarian-aid system in the world. In keeping with this tradition, Israel should directly assist the victims of the Syrian regime. It may not be possible to establish a field hospital in Daraa, but we should be providing food, medicine and other non-military supplies to the Syrian people. There is no guarantee of what the result of the protests (revolt) will be, but Israel should take the lead in establishing a new relationship with the Syrian people.

This is not some naïve dream; everyone knows that Israel's enemies will not line up around the corner waiting to sign a peace deal because of its soft power. The soft-power approach will only be effective when combined with hard power; a concept well understood in Israel's backyard.
Read the whole thing.

In theory he is right, but how would we get it there? The only way I can think of at the moment is dropping it from the air onto towns like Daraa and Banias and Homs. The problem with that is that Assad's forces would probably keep the people away and collect it themselves.

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At 5:23 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Suggestion to Israel:
Israel help the Joplin business re-start (see Carl's previous post), and leave the neighbors (e.g., Syria, Egypt, etc.) to the NGOs, etc. so you don't get sucked into a neighbor's civil war willy nilly.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Also, any Syrian who moves to touch any Israeli donated item will be given the death penalty as collaborator, no? Like they are in prison every day.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

If by aid you mean send guns and hatchets to both sides and let nature take its course, I agree

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Neshama said...

It might backfire and cause Assad to start a war with Israel to mess up everything. All he needs is an excuse. Don't trust him either.


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