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April 12, 2016 6:59 am

We Must Show the World All the Good That Israel Does

avatar by Judith Bergman

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A 13-year-old boy who lost his leg in the Syrian civil war with Rambam Hospital physiotherapist Amar Mahmoud. Photo: Pyotr Pliter, Rambam Hospital Spokesperson's Office.

A 13-year-old boy who lost his leg in the Syrian civil war with Rambam Hospital physiotherapist Amar Mahmoud. Photo: Pyotr Pliter, Rambam Hospital Spokesperson’s Office.

In December 2015, the British Daily Mail reported that Israel had saved more than 2,000 Syrians since 2013, at a cost of 50 million shekels ($13 million). Many of those saved were Islamic militants and sworn enemies of Israel, while only around 20 percent were civilians, according to the report.

These humanitarian rescue missions are very controversial. Why should Israel risk its soldiers and spend money to rescue Salafists who have a burning wish to destroy Israel? But it does, and this attests yet again to the under-reporting of facts about Israel in the international media. Compared to Israel’s size and the magnitude of Israel’s own security issues in the region, it is remarkable how Israel manages to be there for so many people in need around the world. When detractors whine about Israel not carrying its share of humanitarian outreach in the region, they are of course conveniently overlooking the fact that Israel is carrying infinitely more than what should be expected of a nation of Israel’s size, especially when that nation is actually treating and caring for its own enemies.

In just one development, Israel saved a 5-year old girl after she was seriously wounded in a firefight between rival militias in Syria. But that was not all. Israel is now also saving her from the cancer Israeli doctors discovered she was suffering while she was hospitalized in Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.

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The story reads like something out of a thriller that could only take place in Israel: The hospital refused to release the girl after doctors discovered that she had cancer and security officials agreed. A bone marrow donor had to be found, and was — a relative living in an unnamed country that is an enemy of Israel’s, rendering it impossible for the relative to travel openly to Israel. Instead, a secret operation by Israel’s security services was launched to smuggle the relative out of that country and into Israel. The relative arrived on Monday and is now quarantined at the hospital with the girl, awaiting for the first round of treatment.

All the characteristics of the typical Israeli approach to life make up the ingredients of this story: the feeling of extreme responsibility of the doctors, refusing to let the girl go after saving her life once, and the almost unbelievable willingness of the security forces to risk their own soldiers to save her. This is Israel at its best and it is not a rare occurrence in this country, even if this particular example is of course extraordinary.

This is the ethos of Judaism and it is the ethos of Israel. But the world will never acknowledge this, because it refuses to see and hear the truth about Israel with a savage stubbornness that is reserved only for Israel. Appreciating that Israel values life above all else — all life, not just Jewish life — would make the anti-Israeli hatred, the anti-Jewish tropes and caricatures, the howls of “apartheid” and “injustice” melt away in an instant.

In an age where facts have long ceased to matter, however, all that the haters, especially those in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, have to do is ignore those facts. The world is overflowing with naked emperors prancing about, peddling their lies and delusions to uncritical and impressionable audiences, who are much too willing to subscribe to them.

Thankfully, however, those lies and delusions are not having much of an impact on Israel itself. They are, however, having a detrimental effect on especially Diaspora Jewry around the world, notably on young Jewish students on college and university campuses in the West, where the anti-Israeli narratives are strong and thriving, not only in the BDS movement, but even among college and university staff to whom these narratives are almost as natural as breathing.

It is only persistence and proud stubbornness that will ultimately make the truth about Israel prevail in those dark corners, where the prejudiced hatred against Israel is allowed to fester. It is a supreme irony, of course, that Western universities have become feeding grounds for this hatred, considering that they are the rightful inheritors of the tradition of Enlightenment. This irony, however, is lost on most college students today, but it ought not to be lost on those who still believe in the value of truth and getting that truth out there. The story of Israel’s rescue of Syrians would be a good place to start.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom. 

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  • Reform School

    “Appreciating that Israel values life above all else — all life, not just Jewish life — would make the anti-Israeli hatred, the anti-Jewish tropes and caricatures, the howls of “apartheid” and “injustice” melt away in an instant.”

    APPRECIATION is a characteristic of highly-evolved beings. Fifty consecutive years of falling average SAT scores suggest the Enlightenment has reversed, with those able to walk on their hind legs now a dwindling minority. For those never trained to think critically no effectively, the distance between dimmy and dhimmi grows exceedingly short.

  • Harold Schogger

    brilliant piece and more people need to be aware of the importance of Israel

  • Thanks Judith, great article. My work shows that Hebrew itself is a gift to the world.
    When we write any word in Hebrew, even a word like “karma,” a term from the Hindu religion, embedded within the word is a message, possibly divine in origin. Take a look at my Youtube video that describes my discovery: “Proof of G-d’s Existence.” The link is:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCZ9m848esY

  • Michelle

    Israel is always first with rescue teams when disaster hits a country/ take Haiti as one example of many..,….
    Where are the Muslims in this non selfish form of aid?

    • When propaganda works it has an agenda. There is no agenda in telling the truth and the problem with Israel has been its inability to press home the truth. Show the accusers the lies that are aimed at the Jewish People and counter them with the Truth. All too often if the lie sticks around for too long, it sticks!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    מה מייצג חכם להפליא של האמיתית , האותנטית , ישראל החת שאני יודע , אהבה , ולחיות !! דוגמא נוראה נורא של תקשורת ההמונים מותנעת סופי תהיה בקרוב בתקשורת ברחבי העולם : עומר ברגותי יוצע עד כמקבל הבא לפרס הנובל לשלום ! לעג שערורייתי כזה של הטבע הנשגב של הפרס הזה על ידי הרשות הפלסטינית כנראה יאבד למיליון מודעים, חוסר המצפון חסידי נאיבית של התנועה הפלסטינית הנרטיבית כוונתה לשנות את ההיסטוריה של המזרח התיכון , ובמיוחד של היהודי מדינת ישראל .

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    What an incredibly intelligent exposition of the real, authentic, intrepid Israel that I know, love, and live in!! A terribly ghastly illustration of the mass media being turned on end will soon be in the media around the world: Omar Barghouti will be offered up as the next recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize ! Such outrageous mocking of the august nature of this award by the Palestinian Authority will probably be lost to millions of unconscious, lacking in conscience naive adherents of the Palestinian movement and narrative and its intent to revise the history of the Middle East, especially of the Jewish State of Israel.

  • Rabbi Aryeh Spero

    It is not noble or responsible to save the lives of jihadists, terrorists, and the very people who tomorrow will murder your family. That is not a moral value. You are sending the wrong, and dangerous message, that we should care for the terrorists as we do for the innocent. Such a message, if followed, will bring terrorists and jihadists into neighborhoods all across the world. Judaism believes in fighting against evil and vanquishing it. That is the responsible thing to do. To protect your families.

  • Mickey Oberman

    How many western media do you think will back up this admirable effort?

    • Mickey Oberman

      Even if Israel paid for space or time you can be sure the western media would refuse to run their ads.

  • Moshe David

    The world could care less about the good that Jews do. So you ghetto minded, wanna-be goyim can stop trying to assimilate for acceptance by the world. Be loyal to your own people for once. Try observing the Torah, where all the answers are to be found and beg to be accepted from the only One that matters.

    • Mickey Oberman

      “All the answers”???
      Six million dead.. WHY?

      • Moshe David

        One of several reasons was the high assimilation rate. Thus, violating the agreement our forefathers made with Hashem at Sinai. Of course many good Jews had to be punished along with the assimilators, because we are responsible for each other. The righteous and good Jews could have and should have done more to prevent the others from violatin the Torah and Mitzvot. Remember how many Hebrews perished in the plague of darkness in Mitzryam? The golden calf? Yes, the Torah has all the answers. It is the blueprint for running the world.

  • mercury

    Might be a good time for Israel to start it’s own University in the US.

    • stevenl

      Liberal Jews will be quick to undermine IT

  • Paul

    Israel DOES indeed do so many exemplary, wonderful humane things.It is a pity this cannot really be seen by the world, who is first of all confronted with the fact that after 50 years, Israel is still holding the Palestinians under their control by military force, while colonising the West Bank with a minority of civilian settlers.
    No matter how good we are in some ways, we are pulling the rug from under our feet by insisting on modern-day colonialism, justified only by messianic claims that God gave the Jews this land, 4000 years ago. (Sorry, Mister – your family may have lived here for the last 2000 years, but 3000 years ago we were here and 4000 years ago God told Abraham it was his – so bye bye ! Historic right is something reserved for Jews only !!)
    Duhh !!!!
    The wisdom of Ben Gurion, Rabin and Sharon has been thrown out and replaced by the very dubious wisdom of Bibi and his extreme nationalistic right wing backers.

    • Mickey Oberman

      “….after 50 years, Israel is still holding the Palestinians under their control by military force, while colonising the West Bank with a minority of civilian settlers.”

      The military would not be necessary the the pseudo Palestinians were not dedicated to detsroying israel and Israelis.

      The ownership of the West Bank is still undecided however Israel has the strongest claim but for the UN’s decision which applies only to Israel that lands gained in a war of defence belongs to the victor.

  • Irving Weinsoff

    The world knows but Muslims won’t ever care because their only interested in death.

  • I do this every day, but the antisemites say it is ‘Zionist propaganda’ and not true.

  • Paul la Demain

    IMO, Spending millions to save the lives of a nation’s declared enemies is actually a form of disrespect to humanity in general and a lack of self-respect in particular. That Israel would misapply the services of its physicians or its health care system so that KNOWN murderers and rapists can be restored to health and regain power, and to engage in this absurd virtue-posturing for the sake of garnering a favorable opinion in the eyes of the “international media” is precisely why the arab enemy and their British enablers relishes bullying Jews and attacking the Jewish state of Israel.

    • stevenl

      Israel has returned many terrorist and criminal Palestinians to the PA for them to be released and then commit new crimes against the Jews! This is the revolving door of the PA criminal justice.

  • Mbwana Kivava

    For us who are outside the ME all we care is the solution to the Palestinian question
    Sort that out and you will have removed ammo from the guns of your haters
    A two state solution is the way out

    • Mickey Oberman

      Mr. Kivava,

      Have you ever heard of Israel?
      Have you ever heard of Jordan?
      TWO STATES.

  • A Simple Jew

    Israel may do good in the world, but this won’t make people love us any more. Anti-Semites can alway justify doing business with Jews if they can turn a profit. The goyim will take our inventions on Monday, and denounce us as Christ killing bloodsuckers on Tuesday. Better for the goyim to respect our strength rather than for us to pander to them.

  • Yaakov

    There are many ways in which Israel could improve in the eyes of the world, and those ways have to do with Jewish values. What one would want to see is a society based on honesty, free of corruption, free of materialism, free of pride, free of the rich exploiting the poor, free of the worship of wealth, status, and celebrity, and free of the divisiveness that follows from the creation of dichotomies, such as religious vs. secular, Arab vs. Jew, Ashkenazi vs. Sefardi vs. Mizrachi, hasid vs. mitnagid, national religious vs. haredi, etc. If you want to improve, pay attention to your faults, not to your virtues. If you become a light of nations, that light will eventually be seen by those with open eyes.

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