In Syria, the terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood is providing humanitarian aid to victims of that country’s civil war – and attacking and demonizing other aid groups trying to do the same. They want to be the only “good guys” in this situation, hoping to win hearts and minds to their cause. But other aid groups are trying to help anyway. The most profound story of all: an NGO made up of Israeli medical personnel is operating secretly inside Syrian borders. Israeli TV and the Jerusalem Post both are telling stories about what’s happening.
The Syrian regime may win. But if it loses, what will take its place? There are those involved in the Syrian offensive against President al-Assad who want him replaced with an Islamic state based on Sharia law. But there are also secular Syrians who want a non-religious democratic government. The Israelis are working with the latter group, delivering food, water, clothing, medicine, and other basic supplies. In addition, the Jewish military has mobilized MASH units; of the thousands injured at least a few hundred Syrians have been able to cross their southwestern border to receive medical care from the Israeli army. Severely injured victims are transported to hospitals deeper inside the country. Many, especially children, are initially frightened and suspicious, since not only do they find themselves far away from home and family, they have been taught Israel is their enemy. But at these hospitals they meet Jews, Christians, and Muslims who work together to save their lives. When healed, they are repatriated back to Syria if possible, their identities kept anonymous to protect them from retaliation by Islamists. And all of this is done free of charge.
The Jews are not necessarily motivated out of pure altruism. They trust their efforts counteract terrorist propaganda, and hopefully, slowly, their help just might be part of what could bring about peace in the Middle East. This work, especially for Jews secretly serving inside war-torn area among a people hostile to them, is dangerous. But doing nothing is equally dangerous. In the television report, sitting in a darkened studio, her voice digitally altered, the head of this NGO said it best: “I think that for most of my volunteers, what they fear more than death is indifference.”
Do you? When we are indifferent to the suffering of our fellow man, part of us is dead. Pray for them – and if you need to, pray for yourself as well.