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Israelis raise funds for Syrian children

The fundraising event in Tel Aviv for Syrian children had a slow start, as many Israelis show apathy to the suffering of their neighbors, but the Israeli committee supporting war-stricken Syrian children is determined to address the indifference in Israeli society.

As Israel is shifting to the right and right-wing activists rally in protest of any event perceived as leftist, marginal as it may be, the fundraising event organized in Tel Aviv on the evening of Nov. 30 by the Committee for Humanitarian Aid to the Syrian People — set up to aid the millions of Syrian refugees, first and foremost the children, to get through the cold winter — passed quietly, without public protests or demonstrations.

Reactions on the street to the event ranged from “What a group of delusional people” to “I don't really care what they are doing there.” No one stopped to voice their objections or support. The Israeli public, it turns out, is not really bothered by or interested in the horrible Syrian civil war, which has been raging for the past 3½ years. One of the speakers at the event, Israeli novelist Ronit Matalon, fully aware of the situation, said, “There is no use denying it: We are few.” She was right. The 200-seat auditorium was half empty.

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