(posted on August 27th, 2017, by Aboud Dandachi)

The Times of Israel published a remarkable article by “Lieutenant Colonel A”, the commander of the IDF’s incredible efforts to provide aid and medical assistance to Syrian victims of the conflict in Syria, and the night it all began.

The colonel recounts the very moment the first group of 25 Syrian children crossed into the Golan to be received by soldiers from the IDF’s famed Golani brigade.

“It was surreal to see a mother holding her little daughter’s hands, almost collapsing from weakness. Instinctively, one of the Golani soldiers on the scene noticed the woman stumble and leapt towards her, gathering the child up in his arms”

There is something highly symbolic in an Israeli soldier instinctively displaying such humanity to a Syrian mother and child fleeing atrocities committed by the Syrian army. Indeed, alone among the region and world’s powers, Israel is the only country that has not sent in proxies to kill Syrians, but has directed its efforts towards saving Syrian lives, rather than adding to the killing.

In the article, Colonel A demonstrates an acute awareness of the historic significance of Israel’s aid to Syrians.

“Across the border there is a civil war – the cruelest of its kind — and our job was to make history and be remembered as the ones who did the right thing. Today, with the perspective I have gained from nearly a year, I realize that that very first moment at the fence was historic. A moment, I hope, that will be engraved in our memory – a moment of Israeli pride and Jewish compassion.”

Indeed, the Jewish people can take immense pride in the compassion of their sons and daughters. When the history of the Syrian refugee crisis is written, history will record that Israel and the Jewish people gave their all to help another people in need, a people who had nothing to give in return except gratitude.

Israelis had every excuse to shut out Syrian refugees, as the wealthy Arab and some European countries have done. It will be forever to Israel’s credit that thousands of Syrians are alive today, can walk and have use of their limbs, thanks to Israel’s incredible medical teams and hospitals, and the compassion of its people.

The IDF call the efforts to assist Syrians “Operation Good Neighbor”. Without a doubt, Israelis have proven themselves the best of Syria’s neighbors.

Indeed, if Syria had had more neighbors like the Israelis, there would have been far less refugees in this world.

The entire article is available here at the Times of Israel’s website.