I’m not a fan of IL4Syrians, which displays the typical liberal perversity of trying to help Muslims in countries that hate Israel. The female aid worker mentions having been in Pakistan and Iraq. That’s insane for too many reasons to count.
The Muslim reactions to the existence of the group have been mixed at best.
Coverage in the arabic press is here at Al Watan Voice (is in arabic):
“… the Arab countries offer condolences… but the best role is provided by the Israelis because they are crossing the border to provide assistance to the refugees who fled deprived of everything, risking their lives without a word of thank you…”
Jordanian activists denounced these acts done by the Israeli delegation, and demanded the government investigate this case, and tighten controls on the entry of Israelis to Jordan for tourism or other reasons.
But that’s generally their response to anything involving Israel. The more official reaction comes from a Saudi paper in London.
Syrian regime loyalists received a gift from Israeli TV when the latter screened a short film about people labeled “activists” who risk their lives by entering “hostile territory” in order to support Syrian refugees.
This is more than enough for “patriots” who are out to protect Arab rights to take advantage of the plight of Syrian refugees inside and outside Syria in order to promote the conspiracy theory that attributes the Syrian revolution to a Zionist/Western scheme.
Just as the column hints at the conspiracy theory that Israel really supports Syria. Both sides in any Muslim conflict accuse the other of being a Zionist/Western puppet.
There is a woman whose husband was attacked by Syrian regime thugs and needs an urgent surgery or else would lose his eyesight. When she knows that those offering her help are Israelis she starts crying for she would rather have her husband lose his eyesight than resort to this kind of help.
Is there a cheaper form of blackmail than offering to save a refugee’s eyesight provided that it is done in Israel?
Where else are Israelis supposed to arrange to provide eye surgery for Syrian refugees? Alaska?
As can be seen in the video above, the columnist somewhat misrepresents the scene which is that the woman is concerned about then being able to return to Syria.
However, the way Israeli TV hurried to make use of the tragedy of Syrian refugees reveals the shallowness with which it understands the future relationship between the Arab Spring and the conflict with Israel. It also reveals absolute insensitivity.
Portraying the “moral superiority” of Israeli activists through putting Syrian refugees to tests related to their stance on Israel is a cheap attempt that would ultimately fail in undermining the Syrian revolution or making its aims any less noble.
There’s no arguing that the video isn’t shallow and tacky at times. Israeli TV comes in two flavors. Shallow and tacky. And shallower and tackier. But it’s still a good deal better than most television in the Arab world.
Sensitivity is not something to be expected from Middle Eastern television. Or these days any television.
That said, IL4Syrians, in whatever its real form, obviously does not exist for the sake of a single belated broadcast. Its misguided activists are risking their lives and if they sometimes come off as tacky and annoying, it’s because they are Western liberals who can’t help sounding that way. In their own misguided way, they are trying to help people. And if the help is a bad idea for reasons that even they seem to occasionally understand, unlike the Saudis, they aren’t doing it to use the Syrians as a weapon against someone else.
The Saudis only care about Syria because they’re in a proxy conflict with Iran. Israelis are in a state of hostility with both sides in Syria.