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Why has Israel closed its doors to Syrian refugees?

Israel/Palestine

Three questions about the Syrian refugee crisis. First, Why is Israel doing nothing?

On our northern border with Syria, within sight of Israeli hikers in the Golan, bombs are to be seen exploding, people running in fear and panic for their lives, as casualties fall.  For those watching, though the victims are seen as ‘the enemy,’ the question is: “Can’t we let them come here for safe haven?  Can’t we do something?” Good questions!

We have indeed traveled a long way since Menachem Begin originally accepted 66, and finally 300, Vietnamese boat-people to Israel in the late 1970s because “we Israelis know what it means to be refugees” and understood the certain death implicit in being refused. 

Israel has recently been interning (in terrible conditions), or repatriating, bona fide Eritrean and South Sudanese refugees, currently via Jordan to a third, African state;  this, despite those refugees having originally faced death in the countries of their origin, and again when returning.  Not to mention the excruciating torment of their original flight being repeated, and possibly resulting in capture, rape, torture, imprisonment or even death.  On our southern border a huge fence has been hastily constructed to keep such refugees out, even when their presence begging at our gates has been life threatening for them.

As to Syrian refugees, Minister of Defence Ya’alon and Prime Minister Netanyahu have followed their previous form, saying “We have no intention of opening refugee camps” (Ya’alon) and “Israel has maintained that it will not allow refugees into the country, but it has treated a small number of wounded Syrian civilians” (Netanyahu).  Both leaders take that position of denial, presumably because they see those ordinary civilian neighbours as enemies, as Arab Muslims, against whom they are waging battles on many fronts and in many guises. 

They see themselves fighting demographic warfare whereby the strategic capture of land, or revocation of identity documents disallowing Palestinians from living in East Jerusalem, or from family reconciliation, serve racist goals of containing Palestinians in ever smaller ghettoes or forcing them to leave.  But never making peace with them, or treating them as equals.  Or reaching out.  Or espousing universal values, such as human rights.  Oh no.

Tragically for Israel in 2013, Ya’alon and Netanyahu do not, I believe, have the ability to review those attitudes and see that even a goodwill gesture could turn the “game” upside down to Israel’s benefit.  Were we to cease demonising our neighbours (or indeed all Muslims – including those with whom Israel has peace treaties), and were we to cease seeing this as a zero sum game, but rethink conflict management and opt for conflict resolution, win-win could be our vision.  In other words, adopting Syrian refugees, in the spirit in which Begin adopted Vietnamese boat-people, could shift the entire Middle East logjam by galvanising a re-think, and opening our closed minds and cold, selfish, fearful hearts, which cling to our traumas like scabs constantly being scratched off.

No surprise Israelis were totally flummoxed, during the Carmel Fire in 2010, when neighbours actually sent fire-fighting ’planes to help us.  Turkish assistance, especially, came as a huge surprise, since the Mavi Marmara slaughter was still very much a thorn wounding the relationship.  Palestinian fire-fighting equipment was of a far higher standard than our own, causing no small embarrassment, especially at a time when the sides were refusing to meet.  But no, in the ghetto mentality, one must go it alone against the world.  So foolish and so tragic.  And in the multi-ethnic world in which we live, our colonialism, exceptionalism and racial purity are extraordinarily badly timed!  We are really out of step, lagging behind a world that has moved forward.  Stubbornly clinging to our victimhood, so that other victims will never qualify for status, and we shall never be part of a normalised world — a world which increasingly has to come together to fight the modern plagues, such as global warming.

Is it defensible?

This attitude may be understandable at a gut level, but is really self-defeating if we aspire to be a humane, compassionate and modern society and not a failed state, banana republic.

As humanitarians we accepted a few Syrian patients to our hospitals, but immediately repatriated them back into the line of fire.  Innocent civilians need safe haven.  Far wiser to differentiate maturely between ordinary civilians in need, and fighters with whose cause we differ (especially since the Free Syrian rebel army is now constituted of fighters from distant lands fighting proxy wars).

In pursuing this narrow-minded, tribal mindset, where egotistic self-interest is limited to nationalistic politics and short-term goals, we lose track of the basics of Judaism:  treat others as you would be treated. 

Who is pointing this out?

On September 6th 2012, Lisa Goldman wrote in +972 Mag of Israel’s refusal to accept Eritrean refugees:

”Today, the government announced that it was allowing three of the refugees – two women and a child – to enter Israel. The other 18 men were turned over to the Egyptians, who may repatriate them to Eritrea. According to Human Rights Watch’s reports, those men face indefinite forced army service, torture or jail in their native country. Or perhaps torture and death at the hand of Sinai smugglers who murder refugees in order to reportedly harvest and traffic their organs. In order to save those two women and a child, they basically sacrificed their lives.

According to an Associated Press report about Israel’s rescue of the Vietnamese boat people, Menachem Begin agreed to take them in and grant them citizenship after Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong had refused to accept them.  He called their refusal “shameful.” Former prime minister Golda Meir added, “Would one not rescue a stray dog or a wounded bird?” 

As far as I know, none of the major Jewish organizations have called the Israeli government to task for its deeply shameful and cruel treatment of a little band of Eritrean refugees.”

Nor is anyone raising the roof in Israel to demand shelter for some of the million or more Syrian refugees in flight from a land in which over 90,000 have recently died, even when those refugees threaten the viability of neighbouring hosts such as Jordan, in an ever more volatile region.  One can only surmise that this lack of commitment comes as a response to the changing demography, in which Israel, although more powerful by far in the Israel-Palestine equation, sees itself as the victim, weak, threatened by millions of hostile neighbours and its agenda dominated by military “wisdom” which increasingly makes us racist, xenophobic, in denial and inhumane. 

While Europe and the United States are seen as our mother countries, we long since have turned our backs, with our Iron Wall-, fortress- or ghetto- mentality, on neighbours of the Middle East, whose goings on might as well be taking place on another planet.  Indeed, our ghetto mentality precludes involvement in the big bad world around us – far safer to stay alone, hunkered down, sure in the knowledge that they all hate us.

Maybe talkbacks to this article will argue against the impression that no one’s pointing out this folly.  Israeli activists work with African refugee or migrant worker communities to defend their rights, as indeed does the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Tel Aviv.  Yet public silence reigns about the need to host Syrian neighbours urgently in need of haven; if a ’quake struck Damascus, would we not send rescue dogs and field hospitals?  Don’t ask.

Working with Bedouin refugees from 1951, currently threatened with ongoing forced displacement, one is well aware of traditional hospitality whose greeting “Ahalan wa sahalan” means “our home is your home.”  But no, Israel 2013 is a state of rejectionism.  Just leave us alone.  Don’t remind us that the status quo is unsustainable, that the world around us is in flux.  It’s all too much.  Just leave us alone to keep on muddling through, miserable in our muddle, with no clarity or leadership to lead us to the promised land.  Go look somewhere else, so we can pass the buck.  And keep on displacing our own internal refugees, while the international community talks grave breaches, war crimes or crimes against humanity.  While we shoot down the messengers of chutzpah, such as UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the OPT, Prof. Richard Falk, for doing his job.

AngelaJahalin
About Angela Godfrey-Goldstein

Angela Godfrey-Goldstein is Co-director of The Jahalin Association (Nabi Samwel), an organisation working to prevent the planned forced displacement of thousands of Bedouin refugees from the Jerusalem Periphery. Legal opinion as to such displacement labels it a war crime and a grave breach of IHL; other experts use the language of cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing..

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38 Responses

  1. Les
    Les
    June 17, 2013, 10:37 am

    Would ending its occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights, help Israel’s refusnik reputation?

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 17, 2013, 10:52 am

    Seems apparent to me that the basics of Judaism: treat others as you would be treated–has morphed since ’67 (the test of virtue is power) into support Israel no matter what it does because it’s the only safe haven from genetic Gentile anti-semitism. A recent advocate of this is, of course Joe Beiden, who does not exclude his fellow 98% Gentile Americans from this active proposition. Joe’s career is known for his expedient plagiarisms. We of substantial Irish extraction call him Chicklets or Plugs.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    June 17, 2013, 11:23 am

    “This attitude may be understandable at a gut level, but is really self-defeating if we aspire to be a humane, compassionate and modern society ”

    I wouldn’t bother. You’ll just be called self hating . And a humane society wouldn’t have the IDF running the show.
    Israel is more like a medieval theocracy crossed with Sparta.

  4. talknic
    talknic
    June 17, 2013, 5:18 pm

    “Northern border” ? Refer to UNSC res 497

  5. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    June 17, 2013, 5:57 pm

    RE: “Indeed, our ghetto mentality precludes involvement in the big bad world around us – far safer to stay alone, hunkered down, sure in the knowledge that they all hate us.” ~ Angela Godfrey-Goldstein

    SEE: “Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths”, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11

    [EXCERPT] . . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2

    P.S. ALSO SEE – “Iranophobia: The Panic of the Hegemons”, by Ira Chernus, Tikkun Magazine, November/December 2010
    LINK – http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/iranophobia-the-panic-of-the-hegemons-3

  6. goldmarx
    goldmarx
    June 17, 2013, 7:27 pm

    If Israel did allow Syrian refugees in, do you really think anyone of the usual suspects here would praise it for its humanitarianism?

    Or would they assume that Israel is doing it to score points against the Arab world?
    “Hasbara! Hasbara!” they would cry.

    So what does Israel gain by making such humanitarian gestures? If it’s not going to make a difference, why should it bother trying?

    Also, why would Syrian refugees want to go to a country that is condemned by all the Syrian media and society? What do those refugees actually think of Israel, hmmm?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 18, 2013, 1:48 pm

      “So what does Israel gain by making such humanitarian gestures? If it’s not going to make a difference, why should it bother trying?”

      To nomal, moral people (which clearly excludes a majority of zionists), doing good for others is its own justification.

  7. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    June 18, 2013, 4:32 am

    Goldmarx, you wrote:
    “So what does Israel gain by making such humanitarian gestures? If it’s not going to make a difference, why should it bother trying?”

    Are you saying that humanitarian gestures, in your understanding, are made based on what a giver gets out of giving?

    Do you think people who employed similar thinking in Europe and Americas during second world war were fully morally justified for looking after themselves, and should never be made guilty for turning Jewish refugees and asylum seekers away?

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      June 18, 2013, 3:23 pm

      @Eva That’s one of those things that if they don’t get it, you can’t explain it to them.

      Are you saying…? That’s exactly what he’s saying.

      Plus s/he neglects the bit about Israel generating a significant amount of the problem by perpetuating the violence for its own political reasons. So if Israel did allow some Syrian refugees in, even altruistically, it would still be a wash.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 21, 2013, 8:51 am

        Ritzl: I didn’t ‘neglect’ anything. You guys have no moral authority to criticize Israel for not letting the refugees in, since you would attack it anyway if they did allow them in.

        “…it would still be a wash.” Exactly what I’d knew you’d say!

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        June 21, 2013, 11:26 pm

        @goldmarx I’m glad you on top of this enough to know what I’d say, but what is difficult to understand for myself and maybe others here is that you completely fail to comprehend or maybe even contemplate ‘why’ I said it.

        If I was your neighbor and beat you about the head and neck with an ax handle, then in a fit of after-the-fact sentimentality, drove you to the ER and dropped you off in the parking lot, would I deserve some positive recognition for only the latter? I think most normal people would say prolly not.

        Like in so many of these threads, most of you all just skip right over the basic causality of pretty much everything (Israeli violence/occupation/aggression/subjugation/humiliation) and go right to the reflexive de-de-legitimizing hasbara effort. It’s old and it really doesn’t make any sense anymore. Too much info out there at this point.

        If you want Israel to be recognized unequivocally for good things, then stop doing the bad stuff. Stop killing your neighbors (among other things, great and small). Make peace. Get a grip on the limits of your foundational mythology, current methods, and embrace some constructive engagement with your neighbors.

  8. Ecru
    Ecru
    June 18, 2013, 5:39 am

    …what does Israel gain by making such humanitarian gestures?

    I realise this’ll be a difficult concept for a Zionist to get their head around but…..we’re not as human beings actually supposed to make humanitarian gestures for what we get out of them. We’re supposed to do them because they’re the right thing to do.

    Tikkun olam” my arse!

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      June 18, 2013, 10:01 am

      Ecru: I realize this’ll be a difficult concept for an anti-Zionist to get their head around but…we’re not as non-hypocritical human beings actually supposed to ask for or expect humanitarian gestures from a country depicted by most of the commenters here as the epitome of unrequited evil.

      You guys demonize Israel, but you turn around and suddenly act all buddy-buddy when you need something from it.

      • Donald
        Donald
        June 18, 2013, 10:55 am

        Goldmarx, you’re portraying Israel as worse than all the “demonizers”. You don’t seem to realize this. Speaking for myself, I don’t think Israel is the epitome of evil. Right now Syria is committing far more atrocious acts than Israel–one would have to go back to the 1982 war, which only lasted a few months, to find Israel killing at the rate the Syrian military is killing. Israel is perhaps the country where there’s the biggest gap between how it is portrayed by our American politicians and how it actually behaves.

        Anyway, does Israel decide what to do based on what commenters at this blog think of them? That’s front page news if true.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 18, 2013, 1:23 pm

        Donald: “I don’t think Israel is the epitome of evil. Right now Syria is committing far more atrocious acts …” Glad to hear that, but you do realize you just got crossed off Woody Tanaka’s holiday party invite list?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 18, 2013, 1:52 pm

        “Glad to hear that, but you do realize you just got crossed off Woody Tanaka’s holiday party invite list?”

        Was that supposed to be a joke? I am on record noting that North Korea is the most evil country in the world right now, but slander does come easy to the likes of you. I think that israel does evil things. If you don’t want your dung heap of a state to be called evil, stop doing evil.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        June 18, 2013, 2:48 pm

        Donald, are you coming out as a “humanitarian interventionist”? what atrocious acts has Assad’s government done other than to fight the nato/israel/Saudi Arabia/Qatar supported jihadists? do you realize that the indigenous ARMED Syrian opposition – what little there was of it that was unpaid – has all but collapsed once people came to realize who exactly is behind the attempt to bring Syria down through a faux-sectarian “civil war”? can anyone remotely imagine that the actual people of Syria (as opposed to those badly discredited Syrian “exile’ groups who have zero support on the ground) will not see through an obvious ploy to break up their country and bring untold chaos and misery to its citizens? Every town and village where the so-called ‘rebels” (cf. various islamist extremists, local and foreign) took over has turned against them, which is why the Syrian army found it relatively easy to recapture them. When the population is not with you, well, it gets a bit difficult to hide, doesn’t it?

        Yes, saudi Arabia and Qatar – those bastions of democracy – seem to have a ready supply of cannon fodder. But do you know of any humanitarian way that a country can fight against invaders other than by killing them?

        An aside: one cannot believe much of what comes out of that Syrian observatory group in London regarding casualty figures. The final word on actual victims and who they consisted of is not in yet. When the dust settles, I kind of doubt it will be possible to lay even a majority of the casualties at the government’s feet.

      • yrn
        yrn
        June 19, 2013, 1:16 pm

        So Dana.
        What is your point
        Are you a PRO Asad ?

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 20, 2013, 9:57 am

        WT: I did come across a comment you made about North Korea being the “worst” country in the world, but “worst” does not necessarily mean the most evil. So, no slander from that.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 20, 2013, 10:44 am

        gm: If you don’t get “most evil” from “worst,” then you are a pedantic fool. Either way you should go take a walk.

      • Keith
        Keith
        June 20, 2013, 9:39 pm

        DONALD- “Right now Syria is committing far more atrocious acts than Israel–one would have to go back to the 1982 war, which only lasted a few months, to find Israel killing at the rate the Syrian military is killing.”

        So, you have hard intelligence data on how many and who the Syrian military is killing versus who and how many the “rebels” cum mercenaries are killing? Jeez, I hope you aren’t relying on the MSM for your info. I trust that you are aware that Syria was one of the 7 countries which the neocons targeted for regime change back in 2001? Am I defending Assad? No, I am blaming US/NATO for instigating and supporting militarized ethnic conflict in Syria to achieve geostrategic objectives. Some quotes in support.

        “To read the Western press, there are no regime supporters, but only subjects cowering in fear of Assad goons.

        This is nonsense. A very substantial proportion of the population clearly supports the regime, which would not likely have survived for two years otherwise. In fact, one of the chief complaints was that the regime had abandoned many of its supporters and failed to restore order in their communities, thus forcing them to become refugees when armed rebels and “foreigners” drove them out.

        According to this view, Syria is in danger of being overtaken by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Libya, and other sources, and that they will tear the country apart. Whatever the faults of the Assad regime, therefore, it is the only thing preventing the utter destruction of Syria.” (Paul Larudee)
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/21/the-first-syrian-casualty/

        “Syria is absolutely essential for NATO’s long-term prospects. The port city of Tartus, on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, hosts the only Russian military base in the East Mediterranean. NATO doesn’t want the Russians to have that base, seen as an impediment to NATO’s expansion across the Mediterranean.” (Pepe Escobar interview)
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/31/shaky-diplomatic-breakthrough-on-syria/

        “Despite the Western government and media narrative describing the violence in Syria as the result of “a popular pro-democracy uprising” that has turned into a “civil war”, the weight of evidence shows a very different scenario. That is, that the conflict in Syria is mainly a result of a covert war for regime change sponsored by the chief NATO powers of Washington, London and Paris, along with their regional allies of Israel, Turkey, Jordan and the Persian Gulf Arab oil kingdoms….The mercenaries fighting in Syria come from more than 30 countries, including Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, the Russian Caucasus, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.” (Finian Cunningham)
        http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/frances-chemical-pre-action-to-propaganda-defeat-at-qusair-by-finian-cunningham/#more-146400

        “Britain and France speak as if the struggle was between an overwhelmingly popular insurgency and a hated dictatorship. But it was a rebel commander, Abu Ahmed, in the al-Tawheed Brigade that is part of the FSA in Aleppo, who volunteered to a reporter earlier this year that 70 per cent of people in Aleppo support Assad.” (Patrick Cockburn)
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/17/the-syrian-target/

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        June 20, 2013, 7:18 am

        Oh I don’t expect Israel to show any humanitarian concern for the people of Syria at all actually – unless there’s something in it for the Jewish state that is, a photo-op at least. “Refugee Washing” perhaps. Nope, not for a nanosecond. It’s not the way Zionism works. Common humanity from Jewish supremacists? Yeah, maybe when Hell freezes over and by then I’m sure they’ll have worked out an excuse for why not even then.

        The fact that Israel doesn’t show this common compassion to refugees (or as it charmingly terms them “infiltrators”) and that people like you find it unreasonable to perform humanitarian actions without there being anything in it for the “Jewish State” is just another in a long long long list demonstrating the core inhumanity of Zionism and Zionists.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 20, 2013, 10:00 am

        Ecru: Now you see, that was my point. If Israel did show humanitarian concern for some Syrian refugees who actually wanted refuge in Israel (fat chance!), the Mondoweiss crew would condemn it as refugee washing. If it does not take in refugees, then the Mondoweiss crew says it demonstrates the core inhumanity of Zionism.

        Israel – damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t.

      • Donald
        Donald
        June 20, 2013, 10:40 am

        Goldmarx, calling a country the “worst” would mean the most evil–the context here is that everyone knows North Korea is a Stalinist state. You’re just being deliberately obtuse.

        And in your reply to Ecru you don’t seem to realize you’re proving his point, at least in your own case. If the Israeli government actually makes decisions about refugees on the basis of how it makes them look, and probably government bureaucrats do tend to think that way, then they aren’t showing humanity, but rather a keen grasp of how public relations work. I don’t know for certain that they do think that way, but you obviously do.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        June 20, 2013, 11:09 am

        No it’d be condemned if that’s the reason it took in refugees. If Israel turned over a new leaf and actually started treating non-Jews as human beings I for one would applaud it. However the chances of that are so low they’d get the Heart of Gold from here to the most distant quasar in less than a second.

        And frankly whether people still condemn it or not shouldn’t make a damn bit of difference. You just don’t get it do you?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 20, 2013, 12:01 pm

        “Now you see, that was my point. If Israel did show humanitarian concern for some Syrian refugees who actually wanted refuge in Israel (fat chance!), the Mondoweiss crew would condemn it as refugee washing.”

        And if it had a true humanitarian concern, it would do it anyway, because it’s the right thing to do, and it would not care what its critics say about it. If it’s not doing so out of concern for its critics, it is doing nothing but proving those critics right.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 20, 2013, 1:34 pm

        Donald: “Worst” is not necessarily the “most evil”. A country suffering from a great famine or with the lowest lifespan might be considered “the worst” at one time or another.

        Actually, I don’t know for sure how the Israeli government thinks about the issue in question – my point is that most of the anti-Zionists here seem pretty certain they know for sure, and taking that as a starting point, I was extrapolating to the logical conclusion.

  9. quercus
    quercus
    June 18, 2013, 10:04 am

    Are you serious? Why would the JEWISH state (a state that is NOT “a light unto the nations”) allow non Jews into the country for humanitarian reasons?

  10. Obsidian
    Obsidian
    June 18, 2013, 11:14 am

    I don’t see neighboring Greece or the EU accepting Syrian refugees.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/syrian-refugees-find-little-help-in-greece/2013/06/17/1b727bfc-c58c-11e2-8c3b-0b5e9247e8ca_story.html?hpid=z4

    So why the double standard?

    BTW. Israel has treated dozens of Syrian wounded in her hospitals.
    BTW. Israel and Syria have been in a ‘cold war’ since 1973.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 18, 2013, 12:20 pm

      “BTW. Israel has treated dozens of Syrian wounded in her hospitals.”

      Wow. A whole 20-some people. What a light.

      “BTW. Israel and Syria have been in a ‘cold war’ since 1973.”

      Nonsense. You people have been committing war crimes and acts of war against the Syrian people since 1967 and before.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      June 18, 2013, 1:13 pm

      More “what aboutary” Obsidian?

      The fact the EC should do more (and it should) is hardly an excuse for Israel to do less. And btw – Greece is around 700 miles over the sea from Syria and broke, Israel’s right next door and kept by its sugar daddy the USA!

      As for the “cold war” the West had decades of a Cold War with the East – it didn’t use that as an excuse to turn away refugees.

  11. yrn
    yrn
    June 18, 2013, 12:36 pm

    Would you escape to a country, your leaders and government for 60 years pushes propaganda that’s Israel is the worse enemy of Syria religiously, politically, you name it.
    Or would you prefer to escape to your Brother Arabs (Iraque,Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey?

    How stupid can you be ?

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      June 18, 2013, 4:30 pm

      What do you think refugees are doing yrn, looking through holiday brochures for where to run to? They flee to where they can flee to.

      As for how stupid a person can be, well I’ll leave you and your ilk to demonstrate that one.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        June 20, 2013, 11:06 am

        Truly, Ecru. It’s amazing this worldview. Amazingly jaded, if not outright sick.

        It’s like the super critical need to take the shortest path to safety for your family is somehow mitigated by political angst. It doesn’t matter though, because Israel is never going to let them in. So I guess in that sense the political decision has already been made for them, by Israel.

  12. Obsidian
    Obsidian
    June 19, 2013, 4:04 pm

    You may not have noticed on your map, but Syria’s border with Israel is the smallest border of all her neighbors.

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      June 20, 2013, 7:05 am

      Your point being?

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        June 21, 2013, 12:00 am

        That Syrian refugees have easier access over there borders to her other neighbors. I doubt, given much choice, Syrians would even want to flee to Israel. Druze refugees from Syria with family in Israel may be the exception.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      June 20, 2013, 12:09 pm

      “You may not have noticed on your map, but Syria’s border with Israel is the smallest border of all her neighbors.”

      Yes, in the midst of a densely populated portion of the country, aslo where there is a lot of fighting. So it is exactly where one might expect a human country to welcome refugees. Humane, being the operative word.

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