The Syrian civil war affects many on the outside of Syria.
An Israeli charity has just delivered 70 tons of sanitation items, 670 tons of food, as well as 20 tons of medications to Syrian refugees. Because of the traditional hostility of the Syrian government, the organization cannot be named. Nevertheless, 1,200 Israelis continue to serve the victims of Syria’s civil war. They have been fund-raising to purchase 3,000 special protection kits for Syrian medical teams now working in 14 towns in Syria.
Israeli relief groups recognize the danger that they could come from Arab attacks. However, they believe they are at the right place at the right time making a significant difference. Rather than retreat because of fear, they believe not recognizing the impact of indifference also has its own way of killing.
Jordanians struggle with different concerns. Even though they are a small country, Jordan hosts a huge number of refugees. Because the civil war seems endless, they fear many omigrants are settling in for a long stay. Because of the influx of large numbers of Palestinians fleeing the Israeli war of Independence as well as the Yom Kippur war, they know that such numbers can upset the fragile demographic balance. The Jordanians had to eventually run Yasser Arafat and the PLO out of their country. The war in Iraq sent tens of thousands into Jordan. In a country of six million, the new presence of 600,000 Syrians produces a new challenge to the balance of power.
With a common language and racial background, the Syrians quickly adapt to their Jordanian surroundings and settle in. Obviously, schools and water supply are stained by the sudden increase in population. However, the balance in population is also affected by the influx of outsiders. The original population of Jordan came from Bedouin tribes previously known as the “East bankers.” However, his group, (that the monarchy depends on) has slowly been losing their influence as previous wars have brought more immigrants into their country. East bankers and the indigenous population fear they could become a minority and guest in their own land.
A government minister recently noted that the influx is the equivalent of the United States absorbing Canada overnight. The cost of hosting these Syrian refugees is now at least a billion dollars a year. To add to the strain, low-skilled Jordanians often lose their jobs to Syrians who work for less and are generally better trained.
A Jordanian recently said, “We’re not against the Syrian refugees, but we want them kept inside the camps.”
No end is in sight except to build more camps.