Should Israel Do More for Syrians?

This is maintained by Eldar:

Here’s some problems. First it’s false, as Eldar claims, that only Israel holds formerly Syrian territory: Turkey has occupied Hatay province since the thirties. Moreover, now is in fact an opportune time to reflect on the consequences of a counterfactual Israeli return of the Golan in either the ’90s or ’00s. In short, where currently the Golan harbors national parks and peaceful Druze villages, in such a scenario it would have seen devastation and Al-Qaeda infiltration (as is the case currently in the Syrian Golan).

But this aside, Eldar suggests Israel should welcome  Syrian refugees, while at the same time offering the example of rebels abducting the Syrian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox bishops. But the Christians who are victims of the Sunni rebels are precisely complicit in the Assad repression. So what stance should Israel adopt there? 

Further, Israel will understandably be hesitant to open its borders to masses of Sunni refugees, since Jihadist rebel groups will undoubtedly exploit the opportunity to infiltrate behind Israeli lines. How would Eldar like to be responsible for an Al Qaeda attack in Israel due to his suggested refugee policy? In other words, policy advice must take the perspective of a policy maker, not a moralist.

Finally it’s hardly difficult to appreciate Israelis feeling equal difficulty empathizing with Sunni and Shi’a armed groups, since both, on an organizational as well as a popular level, are virulently anti-semitic and irrationally antagonistic towards Israel. Has any empathy for Israelis or Jews ever emanated from post-1948 Syrian public life?

Still, Eldar is correct that the possibility of Israeli humanitarian aid to Syrians must be explored further than it is today, merely out of an absolute moral concern for human life.


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