The Israeli army opened a field hospital on the Golan Heights next to the Syrian border and has so far treated 700 patients wounded in the war next-door.
Working there, and being treated there, must be quite an experience. I don’t know of any nation on earth that’s lied about as much as Israel is in most Arab countries. The misconceptions average Middle Easterners have about the Jewish state is otherworldly. They hate an Israel that doesn’t exist, has never existed, and never will exist. I can’t even imagine how shocking it must be to get shot at by your own government and taken care of by an enemy government.
But it’s happening. And Yifa Yaacov at the Times of Israel interviewed a couple of Syrian patients.
The patients…cross the border armed with gross misconceptions about Israel and its people.
“They say that before the previous week, before they came, they thought we were the Great Satan, the enemies, and looked for the tails between our legs,” Zoarets said.
Firas, a rebel fighter who was being treated at the hospital at the time of filming, blasted Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for neglecting and oppressing the people of Syria.
“Every day there are aerial bombings of cities. Each city is bombed three or four times by fighter planes,” Firas, who defected from Assad’s army to join the rebels fighting to topple him, said.
“Bashar [Assad] didn’t take care of us. Here, in Israel, we are being taken care of. Bashar doesn’t care about us, whereas Israel does. Bashar fires shells at us, he doesn’t care about us at all.”
Another patient, Latif, said, “They taught us about the Zionist enemy, the Zionist oppressor. But when we saw the Zionists, [we realized] they were nothing like what we’d been told. They’re human beings just like us, human, and even more than that.”
Ahmed, who was also being treated at the hospital at the time of filming, said that in the aftermath of the uprising against Assad, “we came to understand who is an enemy and who is a friend.”
He said that as the fighting raged on, many Syrians began to doubt what they’d been taught about the countries across the border from their own.