U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., are teaming up to bring out a resolution “reaffirming support for collaboration among United States nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including faith-based organizations, and the IDF to deliver humanitarian assistance to Syrians, such as through Operation Good Neighbor.”
Mast, who served in Afghanistan where he lost both his legs and later volunteered with the
Israel Defense Forces (IDF), noted that 14 million Syrians have fled their country as that nation has been torn apart by civil war for the past eight years. The IDF has worked with American NGOS in “Operation Good Neighbor” to send humanitarian and medical supplies to the southern part of Syria.
“When I volunteered alongside the IDF in Israel, I witnessed firsthand how the men and women of the IDF play such an important role in not just protecting Israel but also providing stability in the Middle East,” Mast said on Wednesday. “The IDF’s Operation Good Neighbor has resulted in important humanitarian aid and relationships between the IDF and the Syrian people. We should continue to use this program as a model as we find new ways to bring long-term stability to the region.”
“Operation Good Neighbor was a rare bright spot amid the never-ending tragedy of the Syrian Civil War,” Sherman said. “It was yet another powerful example of the immense good the United States and Israel can do when we work together—not only for ourselves but for the region as a whole.”
The resolution expressed support for American charities–many of them being faith-based organizations–and the IDF “for having provided vital aid to internally displaced people and local residents in southern Syria while also countering generations of hostility, promoting dialogue between neighbors, and ultimately advancing long-term stability in the region.”
Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Ok., and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., have a companion resolution.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.