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Over the weekend, a missile from Syria hit a truck on the Israeli-Syrian border, killing a 13-year-old Israeli boy. The boy’s father was driving the water truck for a construction project, and was also wounded, Yediot Achronot reports, though losing his son was the far greater tragedy:
The boy was a high-school student who decided to join his father for work only a day after summer recess began.
Speaking to Ynet from his hospital bed at the Rivkah Ziv Medical Center at Safed, the father said “he was very happy when I agreed to take him with me today, and now this joy has turned into a tragedy.”
The father spoke with great pride of his son: “He was gifted child who also spoke about wanting to be a doctor.
“I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t know how I will deal with this loss. I can only hope that something like this will never happen to any family, because no one can deal with this type of death,” he said.
Let us remember the boy’s family in our prayers, as well as all of the men and women who patrol or work along all of Israel’s borders.Comments (3) »
Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Stand For Israel
As civil war continues to devastate Syria, one of the country’s holiest Jewish sites was destroyed by the government’s forces. The Daily Beast reports that the 400-year-old Jobar Synagogue was destroyed this weekend, along with many priceless Jewish artifacts:
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The area where the synagogue once stood has been under bombardment by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for months. The Syrian regime is laying siege to the town, one of the few rebel strongholds in the area. It’s all part of what the opposition calls Assad’s “scorched earth” policy, which includes random and violent attacks on civilian populations.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the destruction of Jobar Synagogue, which was a treasure of Jewish and Syrian cultural heritage,” said Shlomo Bolts, an official at the Syrian American Council, an American charity connected to the Syrian opposition.
Bolts, a Jew of Syrian ancestry, said that the Syrian Jewish community is only the latest victim of Assad’s strategy to target religious and cultural institutions.
Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Stand For Israel
We have previously detailed how Turkey is a bad actor in the Middle East and how the tension on the border between Syria and Turkey has led to limited military engagements. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin calls out Turkey for its hand in helping kill more than 100,000 Syrians:
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CNN has reported on the jihadis flying into Hatay and then paying bribes to Turkish border guards to cross into Syria. Now the Kurdish media based in Syria has interviewed captured jihadis who have talked about how they, too, transited Turkey
Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at 8:25 AM | Stand For Israel
In the backward world of Middle East politics, there are few morality plays and even fewer ethical actors. Faisal Al Yafai writes in The National that one of the most immoral regimes in the world – that of chemical-weapons user and mass murderer Bashar al-Assad of Syria – is nonetheless probably popular enough in his country to win election in a free and fair vote:
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In 2007, and even up to 2011, life was getting better in Syria. It wasn’t moving fast enough and the country was riddled with corruption, but for many of the urban middle-class in Damascus and Aleppo, life was better than it had been. Syria was safer than any neighbouring country. The chaos of Iraq next door felt far away. The uprising changed that. Many who supported it in the beginning, when it looked like it would swiftly topple a long-standing regime, regretted their position as months became a year and a year became three.
Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at 8:15 AM | Stand For Israel
As Israel celebrated its 66th Independence Day last week, and remembered its fallen heroes, the Jewish state also honored many of its outstanding soldiers currently serving with the IDF. One of these honored soldiers was paramedic Noga Erez, who has saved the lives of many Syrians injured in their country’s civil war and brought for treatment to the Golan Heights field hospital where Erez is stationed. The video above and this Times of Israel piece both discuss the medical care given to wounded Syrians by Erez and other IDF members:
Erez said she not only treats patients in the hospital itself, but also helps to transport them from the border to the facility by ambulance.
“When I’m in the ambulance, I’m the senior medical authority,” she said. “I can’t panic.”
The hospital, staffed by soldiers in uniform, includes an emergency room, an intensive care unit, an operating theater, a mobile laboratory, a pharmacy and an x-ray facility. It treats Syrian patients who cross the border regardless of creed — or of where their loyalties lie. IDF medical teams deployed in the Golan Heights give them preliminary treatment. Those who are well enough are sent back across the border, and those who require further treatment are evacuated to the military hospital, a field commander at the facility told Channel 2 earlier this year. In this way, the hospital treats about a hundred Syrians per month.
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Monday, May 12th, 2014 at 10:04 AM | Stand For Israel
Andrew Tabler, writing at The Atlantic magazine, lays out the Assad regime’s strategy to end the Syrian civil war on terms favorable to the status quo ante – beginning with the rigged reelection of dictator Bashar al Assad:
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Allowing Assad’s forced solution to go forward will only contribute to the spread of a Syria-centered Middle Eastern proxy war between Iran and Arab countries, demonstrate to dictators that mass slaughter works, and show Moscow and other U.S. adversaries that Washington is unwilling to follow through on its foreign-policy principles and diplomatic agreements. But reversing Assad’s course will require the kind of military action from the West and its regional allies that Obama has been extremely reluctant to use due to its expense and uncertain result for the United States.
Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at 8:52 AM | Stand For Israel
In September, Turkish air forces shot down a Syrian helicopter after it flew across the border into Turkish air space. And, yesterday, the border skirmish continued as a Turkish fighter shot down a Syrian jet that had also flown where it shouldn’t have.
On the one hand, the Turks have every right to defend their airspace. If foreign jets were flying into U.S. airspace, how long would we sit back and allow it? Of course, we wouldn’t.
On the other hand, Turkey has, for years, allowed foreign jihadist elements to operate on the Turkish side of the Turkey-Syria border. Under normal circumstances, the country in which these elements are based is responsible for policing their activities. But, when jihadists stream over the border into Syria, make trouble, and try to run away, the Syrians are understandably called on to give chase. Those who think it’s easy to stop at an imaginary line in the sky are seeing this conflict as little more than an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard where Sheriff Coltrane stops chasing the Duke boys at the county line.
It’s also worth remembering that conflict with Syria furthers the jihadist ambitions of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We’ve written many times about the sad, terrible path down which he has taken his country, which was once on a path to E.U. membership and remains (inexplicably) a NATO ally. In the battle over Syria, in which dictator Bashar al-Assad has aligned himself with Sunni Iran and Iranian proxy Hezbollah against the Shiite rebels and their al-Qaeda-inspired allies, Erdogan has firmly planted himself on the side of the rebels. And his air force isn’t afraid to let Syria know it. As with recent Israeli air strikes inside his country, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad – who is not in a position to open another front in his continuing war – has little choice but to ignore these attacks.
As the Syrian war continues – and as Assad and his Iranian backers seem to…Read More » Comments (7) »
Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 8:19 AM | Stand For Israel
An IDF jeep traveling on the Golan Heights near the Syrian border came under attack Tuesday, when an explosive device was detonated in its vicinity.
Three soldiers sustained light-to-moderate injuries.
The incident came after an IDF convoy traveling in the Har Dov (Shaba Farms) area, on the border with Lebanon, was the target of a bomb set off by Hezbollah on Friday night.
Please pray for the swift recovery of the three injured soldiers — and, as always, for safety and protection for all Israel’s fighting men and women.
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Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 8:56 AM | Stand For Israel
We all know that there is a disconnect between what the world says it believes about countries and leaders that wage aggressive war and purposefully kill civilians and what the world’s actions in response to those events suggest. Michael Young, writing at The Daily Star in Lebanon , illustrates this disconnect in regards to Syria and Russia:
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A belief in implementing and expanding international humanitarian norms can only grow if there is a conviction that the international community will join together to take up such a burden. But the frequent inability of the U.N. to act decisively on humanitarian matters, as in Syria, has pushed states to act unilaterally in given crises, further eroding the idea of a common interest in defending human rights and international law.
Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 8:13 AM | Stand For Israel
Adam Taylor, writing at the Washington Post, discusses the impact a picture that is making the rounds on social media might have. The picture shows Palestinians in the refugee camp of Yarmouk lining up to receive UN food aid. Will anything convince the world to get involved in the fight in Syria? Taylor is skeptical:
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It’s been almost two years since we first began seeing striking images from Homs after heavy government shelling, for example, and almost a year since we saw the videos showing the truly horrific aftermath of an alleged government gas attack. The Syrian conflict has lasted almost three years, but broader public interest, not to mention the possibility for intervention, appear to have waned over the years.
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Stand For Israel