Apr 10 2019
Mast Volunteered Alongside The Israel Defense Forces Prior To Serving In Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18), who volunteered alongside the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) following his U.S. military service, and U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30) today introduced a bipartisan 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.”
Since its beginning eight years ago, the Syrian civil war has forced 14 million Syrians to flee the country. The IDF’s “Operation Good Neighbor” worked with United States NGOs to deliver food, fuel, medicine, ambulances and medical supplies from Israel into southern 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,” Rep. Mast said. “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.”
The resolution reaffirms support for collaborative efforts between United States NGOs, including 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.”
“Operation Good Neighbor was a rare bright spot amid the never-ending tragedy of the Syrian Civil War,” Rep. 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.”
A companion bill was also introduced in the Senate by Senators James Lankford (OK) and Bob Casey (PA).