Israel has been stricken by tragedy yet again. As Israel stands united during this painful event, people from across the globe express their feelings and thoughts on the kidnappings which have shaken the entire world. Many people express sorrow, many express anger and some even express the desire for revenge.
Yet amongst the sea of stressed emotions and anxiety ridden thoughts, the actions which are being taken by Israel during operation “Shuvu Achim” (“Return Brothers”) contradict the situation at hand. What do I mean? I mean that even during the most sorrowful of times, Israel still extends a helping hand to those in need. More specifically – although shocking, yet true – Israel still manages to lend a helping hand to their enemies in need.
As Israel sends out endless teams of IDF soldiers and officials to search for our boys in Palestinian territory, the country which serves as the only U.S. ally within the Middle East still provided medical treatment to the Palestinian president’s wife. Amina Abbas was admitted to the private Assuta hospital located in Tel Aviv on Thursday June 12th, the same day our boys were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists.
Israel, a country which is certainly no stranger to war and terrorism, still holds its head high and extends acts of humanitarianism even to the people who have shed blood on their own ground. Israel, a small country in the Middle East, still demonstrates multiple acts of human kindness even during the most tragic of times. Israel, a country built by a displaced group of people 66 years ago, still stands tall when the majority of the world views it as an “unsafe” country to live in.
It’s all about morals
Why does Israel do this? As an American Jew living in Tel Aviv, I can tell you that Israel is a country built around morals. While Israel’s enemies continue with their acts of terror, Israel still recognizes the importance of saving lives. Why? Because this is the only moral thing to do when people are confronted with death.
And the treatment of the Palestinian president’s wife is just one example of humanitarianism demonstrated by Israel during times of tragedy. Don’t forget that Israel set up multiple hospitals all around the northern border during the Syrian civil war. It has been noted that approximately 700 Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals since 2013, a staggering number when you consider the acts of violence Israel has previously suffered from Syria.
I personally remember watching these humanitarian efforts unfold during the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. I was at home watching a news story about a young Syrian baby being treated in an Israeli hospital by an Israeli doctor. I remember thinking, “Israel is truly incredible, even after all of the tragedy they still come out as humanitarian leaders.” My admiration for Israel grew even stronger after the conflict in Syria.
And now, as I sit in the living room of my Tel Aviv apartment, I am overcome with thoughts on just how truly amazing Israel really is. It even makes me wonder if America would react the same as Israel if they were in a similar position. Comparisons aside, the fact remains that Israel will always be confronted with tragedy and will always continue to extend a helping hand to those in need.
As Palestinian terrorists continue to shed harm upon Israel, Israel continues to provide these very same individuals with electricity and running water. A prime example of this was seen after a series of harsh winter storms struck Israel in December 2013. Israeli citizens transferred aid supplies to Gaza with their very own hands following the floods, even when many Israelis were left without electricity.
How we can help
As tragedy continues to spread throughout Israel sparked by the kidnappings in the West Bank, the best thing I think we can do to help the situation is to show continual support for the efforts being made by Israel. It should be known worldwide that Israel is not an “unsafe” place to live, but rather the opposite.
It must be understood that Israel is a country in the Middle East surrounded by terrorist groups, and that each day Israel must protect itself while still acting in a moral manner. While this may not sound like a big deal on paper, I think that it’s one of the biggest dilemmas a country could ever face. And with that in mind, I want to conclude by saying that Israel should be seen as a humanitarian leader worldwide, by every country and by everyone.
May G-d and the IDF bring our boys back safely.