Could there have been two more contrasting images this week than a scene from Syria and a scene from Holon, Israel?
In Syria, the butcherous dictator Bashar al-Assad made a rare public appearance. Was he huddled with his war cabinet? Was he comforting the widows of soldiers? Was he in a mosque praying for the dead?
No—he was caught on tape, strolling around (in jeans and a t-shirt) getting in to his beautiful Porsche sports car and cruising off to who knows where!
While the man with the blood of 120,000 (and counting) people on his hands was living the high-life, a 4-year-old Syrian girl lay in a hospital bed in—of all places—Israel. You read that correctly, Israel.
In the midst of the ongoing Syrian civil war (now in its third year), the little girl’s mother made a desperate journey to save her dying child’s life. Born with only one heart ventricle, she had only weeks to live. After fleeing to Jordan, the girl’s family got in touch with an American-Christian organization who then contacted Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart Foundation, which for years has brought children from Arab and Muslim countries to the Jewish State, for life-saving surgeries they couldn’t otherwise have.
The surgeon, Doctor Lior Sasson told Ynet News: “It’s uplifting to perform surgery on a child from a hostile country. We can show Syrians and the world we look for peace.”
What a remarkable statement.
As Syria descends deeper and deeper into madness (did you see the YouTube video of the Syrian rebel leader eating a human heart?) and the world stumbles and bumbles about, without a clue as to how to stop it - a calm gesture of humanity, in the eye of the storm.
But beyond just the beautiful irony of an Israeli hospital saving the life of a Syrian child, I was forced to ask myself, “Why did this child need to come to Israel?”
There are dozens of Arab and Muslim countries around us, with billions and trillions of dollars of oil wealth. Surely they have the resources to save the life of this Syrian child, right? Tragically, they don’t.
When the late king of Jordan was dying of cancer, where did he seek treatment? It was America’s Mayo Clinic. When Saudi Arabia’s King needed back surgery, where did he go? He went to New York’s Presbyterian Hospital. When the brother-in-law of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh needed heart surgery, where did he receive the life-saving procedure? He went to Israel.
Which again begs the question—why don’t these oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran and Kuwait and Libya, have the greatest medical facilities in the world? We’re sending them billions and billions each year to buy their oil!
It’s because of their priorities.
The U.S., Israel and Canada and other “rational” nations, put a premium on life. We build hospitals and schools and universities and laboratories where we try to cure diseases.
These Arab and Muslim countries put their resources into terrorist training facilities, weapons, religious police forces and the best public relations firms to try to fool the world that they’re really the victims of the evil western imperialist nations (and Israel, of course).
They go to Russia and North Korea to buy the latest and greatest nuclear technology and missile defense shields. But they can’t find any money to build a clinic or a research facility or a medical college or a concert hall.
They take to the streets to protest YouTube videos insulting Muhammad. They throw rocks and launch rockets in honor of Nakba Day (the “Day of Catastrophe”) marking Israeli Independence. They stage votes in their parliaments to kick Israeli diplomats out of their countries. They hold never-ending talks about peace and nuclear disarmament that never result in either, and on and on and on. They do nothing—nothing to build up their own societies and their own people.
It pains me to write these words. I hate painting with broad brushes and speaking in generalizations. That is usually the root of all ignorance—to classify all of one certain type of people as being “this or that.”
But, this week, I reached my limit—again—on the sickening hypocrisy of the Arab world.
If there are good and decent Arabs and Muslims, then where are they? Why don’t they stand up and finally do something about the madness that is being perpetrated on this planet by their own people group?
We are living in an era of history that is defined by a never-ending threat of horror and pain and evil inflicted on the majority of humans by Muslims.
As Nigeria institutes a state of emergency due to Muslims slaughtering Christians; as limb-less citizens of Boston lay in hospital beds one month after the marathon bombing’ as the new spiral is hoisted on top of the new One World Trade Center building (remember how the old ones were knocked down?); as Syrian mortar shells land on Israel’s Mt. Hermon; as Hezbollah and Iran and Hamas continue to threaten Israel and the world—we must ask ourselves, “Is this what life is going to be like from here on out?”
Is this plague of Islam-inspired violence what now defines our era in history?
I’ll end where I began. With a 4-year-old Syrian girl, getting a second chance at life, thanks to the generosity of Israel.
Who will pay her medical expenses? Will President Assad? Oh wait, he can’t. He spent all of his money on a new Porsche.
Chaim Goldberg is the director of media for Maoz Israel and writes a weekly column for Charisma Media’s Standing With Israel website.