Syrian Refugee’s Website Thanks Israel for Aid
A Syrian refugee now living in Turkey has created a website to acknowledge the help that Israel, and Jews worldwide, have been providing to displaced residents of his native country.
39-year-old Aboud Dandachi, who worked in high-tech before the war, created a website called Thank you Am Israel, which links to stories documenting aid provided by Israel, as well as global Jewish organizations, given to his countrymen during the civil war that has killed over 250,000 and forced millions from their homes.
Dandachi told Ynet on Friday that he grew up being told that “the Jews are evil,” but over the past five years, he has seen that “the Jews are the most humane and generous people of this era. When I see that Hezbollah and the Iranians are coming to kill me and I’m forced from my home by Syrians, and then I hear that Israelis and Jews are helping Syrians, my view of the world changes.”
Dandachi suggested that when the civil war is over, Syria should make peace with Israel, as “there no reason for us to be in a conflict with Israelis.” He praised Israel for “doing exactly what it must do.”
It is not taking part in the war, but is helping wounded Syrians who need help. And it’s not only the government. Israelis are helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, in Greece, Serbia, North America. No one would have blamed the Jews and the Israelis if they had said it was not their problem. That is, by the way, what many Arabs and Arab countries did. The Gulf states, for example, shut their doors to Syrians – and these are the countries that call themselves friends of Syria….
At a time when Donald Trump is defaming us, when Denmark and Switzerland confiscate Syrian refugees’ belongings, when all these countries are against us – we have the Jews who even endanger themselves to help us. So why should I be an enemy of the Jews? They have proven that they want to be my friends. They held out their hand, so why should I turn against them?”
He noted that some of his expressions of gratitude towards Israel were erased from a Syrian opposition website, and that some opposition members objected to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Syrians being treated in Israeli hospitals as “propaganda.” His response to those attitudes was “Are you crazy? You can’t even say thank you?”
To do so, Dandachi created his website last December, because “we as Syrians cannot give back to Jews what they give to us, so we should at least thank them.”
Dandanchi admitted that he didn’t support the Syrian opposition, but had his mind changed after the forces of Iran-backed dictator Bashar al-Assad killed 100 protesters in a single night. He fled the country in September 2013 after Assad used chemical weapons in Damascus and ISIS simultaneously captured the city of Raqqa. He was the last of his family to leave.
Dandanchi explained the motivations behind his website on its “about” page:
It is said that one of the truest moral tests of a society is in how it treats those in need, and who have nothing to offer in return save for gratitude. It is a challenge that this generation of Israelis and Jews have met with exemplary generosity and charity, and it is that generosity that Thank You Am Israel was set up in acknowledgment and appreciation of.
Thank you to the people of Israel and the Jewish people the world over, for showing kindness and charity to Syrians, whether it is through your IDF medical teams, your aid workers in Greece and the Balkans, or your congregations in North America raising money
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