Israelis show solidarity with Syrians before Jewish day of atonement

Published October 13th, 2016 - 08:56 GMT
The aftermath of an airstrike in East Aleppo (AFP/File)
The aftermath of an airstrike in East Aleppo (AFP/File)

Israel shuts down on Yom Kippur – the Jewish day of atonement. As sirens go off before sundown, the streets empty as Jews enter their homes and synagogues to begin 25 hours of fasting, and prayer. But just before the holiday began, over 1,000 Israelis demonstrated across the country to show signs of solidarity with the Syrian people. 

According to local reports, around 1,500 Israelis attended the demonstrations Monday. The events included prayers for the Syrian people, particularly those in Aleppo. A slogan of the protests was “the world is silent, but we aren’t,” and they occurred in several Israeli cities, including Haifa, Jerusalem and Beersheba.

East Aleppo is presently experiencing massive bombardment from Russian and Syrian jets, which killed 50 on Tuesday alone. Forces loyal to the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and its allies are attempting to take control of east Aleppo from various rebel groups.

On the surface, it may seem surprising that Israelis – who cannot travel to Syria and whose parents and grandparents fought wars against the country – would show support for the Syrian people. But the uncordial – if not hostile relations – between the two countries’ governments is undoubtedly one reason some Israelis are sympathetic to the Syrian opposition and the people under attack by the Assad regime.

Moreover, the Israeli government supports some rebel groups in Syria, and some Israeli political analysts are openly sympathetic to the rebel cause, such as Elizabeth Tsurkov.



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