BLOG 563

April 25, 2022


Having traveled and worked in the Middle East since l968, Robert L. Wise has journeyed through the region, giving him insights from behind the scenes. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon. Each week he attempts to present an objective view of current events.


Here’s a couple of items from Israel worth noting. Remember the “little girl in red” who was filmed in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Guess what? She’s still around.

Now grown up, the Polish woman who played the standout part of the girl in a red coat has been helping Ukrainians fleeing to her country, and says she hopes her iconic role as an innocent victim of war will help draw further attention to the plight of modern-day refugees.

Oliwia Dabrowska, 32, as a child participated in the famous scene in the middle of the Holocaust movie when she was three years old. Oskar Schindler watching the dissolution of the Krakow Ghetto, suddenly notices the small child walking down the street. Strikingly, the girl’s red coat is the only bit of color in the entire black and white film. Later in the movie, Schindler sees the girl’s body loaded onto a cart.

Dabrowska, who lives in Krakow, told The Washington Post on Friday that when the war in Ukraine started and refugees began streaming into the country, she felt she had to do something. She convinced her mother to go with her to volunteer at the border, and has spent weeks helping to connect refugees with families who could host them, as well as driving them to various destinations across the country.

The numbers from Poland remain staggering. Over 11 million Ukrainians reported Friday. Nearly six out of 10 Ukrainian refugees — 2,867,241 so far — have crossed into Poland.

Here’s the other item. In Jerusalem the situation remains troubling. A Palestinian man who suffered a serious head injury during clashes on the Temple Mount on Friday has lapsed into a coma and is in a critical condition, his family stated. Palestinians say that the man, Walid a-Sharif, 21, was hit by a sponge-tipped bullet. However, police said he was injured after he fell and hit his head while throwing rocks.

Clashes and unrest broke out early Friday at the Temple Mount following both morning and afternoon Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Calm was eventually restored, and evening prayers — attended by at least 100,000 Palestinians according to reports — passed with no major incident.

As the Muslim month of Ramadan continues, Israelis remain concerned for more outbreaks turning into a full- scale war. Rockets have been fired from Gaza and that’s not a good sign.

We’ll see. Stay tuned.

Readers of my Wise on the Middle East blog will be fascinated by my latest book MIRACLES NEVER CEASE!


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Filed under Gaza, Israel, Palestinians, Russia

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