One of the most famous commands in the Bible is to love one’s neighbor, and the Israelis are carrying that out, even for citizens of an enemy country. The IDF Spokesperson announced on Twitter on Monday that Israel has assisted “nearly 1,000 Syrian children in need” as part of Operation Good Neighbor. The program, now almost a year-and-a-half old, offers aid and medical care to Syrians suffering in that nation’s brutal civil war.
The IDF Blog reported that a field hospital near the Syrian border launched last September and has “already cared for hundreds of Syrians and changed their lives,” Lt. Col. A., Commander of Operation Good Neighbor was quoted as saying. Politico reported that the clinic is run by a Christian organization from the US. However, Israel’s fingerprints are everywhere. The IDF Blog reported that the staff of the facility were trained by the IDF to be a military-caliber field hospital.
Given the proximity to the warzone in Syria, the Israelis have also set up a secure bunker for the facility, security guards on patrol and more. Inside the facility, it’s a one-stop shop for aid. Lt. Col. A. said that in addition to obtaining medical care at the clinic, needy Syrians can also receive aid kits from Israel with food, hygiene products and medicine.
The clinic is staffed by unpaid volunteers from the organization Friend Ships Unlimited, but it’s paying off for Israel. Lt. Col. A. said in the IDF Blog that “the Syrians also understand that the State of Israel is doing a great thing for them.”
But while Israel may ultimately benefit diplomatically better relations with the Syrian people and perhaps an end to decades of conflict with their neighbor, the project is called Operation Good Neighbor for a reason.
Said Lt. Col. A, in the IDF Blog, “We must not forget, this operation is a moral stance taken by the State of Israel with regard to the situation of the Syrians across the border.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 20, 2017)