Monday, January 18, 2010

Israel's disproportionate response


If you google the words "Israel disproportionate response" you will get in excess of 14 million hits.  The vast majority of the results will describe how Israel's response to attacks on its people and its territory has been disproportionate to the attack or threat to which they respond.  Today, Peggy Shapiro at American Thinker describes a disproportionate response of Israel that is unlikely to find its way to your evening news:
In the midst of the tragedy and chaos in the Haitian capital, Israeli doctors, part of IsraAID -F.I.R.S.T. (the Israel Forum for International Aid), delivered a healthy baby boy in an IDF field hospital. When the baby's grateful mother, Gubilande Jean Michel saw her newborn son, alive and well, she named him Israel in gratitude to the people and nation who brought her this blessing.



Little Israel is one of the hundreds who have been saved by Israeli doctors or rescue teams. A search and rescue team from the ZAKA Israel's International Rescue Unit pulled eight Haitian college students from a collapsed eight-story university building. Despite its small size, Israel sent a large contingent of highly-trained aid workers to quake-stricken Haiti. Two jumbo jets carrying more than 220 doctors, nurses, civil engineers, and other Israeli army personnel, including a rescue team and field hospital, were among the first rescue teams to arrive in Haiti. In fact, they were the first foreign backup team to set up medical treatment at the partially collapsed main hospital in Port-au-Prince. Yigal Palmor, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "It's a large delegation and we're prepared to send more."


The international agencies that condemn Israel for its "disproportionate response" when it is attacked are not mentioning Israel's disproportionate response to human suffering. The U.S. has pledged 100 million and sent supplies and personnel. The U.K. pledged $10 million and sent 64 firemen and 8 volunteers.China, a country with a population of 1,325,639,982 compared to Israel's 7.5 million sent 50 rescuers and seven journalists. The 25 Arab League nations sent nothing.


Israel's "disproportionate" response stems from Jewish memory and tradition. Mati Goldstein, head of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit delegation managed described the scene, "Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. It's just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust - thousands of bodies everywhere. You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension." At the start of Sunday's regular Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Israeli team had already treated hundreds of patients. "I think that this is in the best tradition of the Jewish People; this is the true covenant of the State of Israel and the Jewish People," he said. "This follows operations we have carried out in Kenya and Turkey; despite being a small country, we have responded with a big heart. The fact is, I know, that this was an expression of our Jewish heritage and the Jewish ethic of helping one's fellow. "


In the rubble and suffering of Haiti, Israelis are relentlessly searching for and saving lives. It is this "disproportionate response" that rankles their enemies the most, for it shines a light on their failings.
After further review, it seems my low expectations of the media may have to be revised.  It seems that the swift and effective response of Israel has indeed garnered the attention of some members of the mainstream press.  From Ynet News:
The valiant work of Israel's rescue mission to Haiti has been widely covered in the Israeli press. Now it has earned praise from a surprising source: On Monday, US media broadcast items praising the assistance provided by Israel, and one reporter even sent a letter of thanks to Israeli representatives in New York.



CNN reported that Israel is the only state so far to have sent a field hospital equipped with all that is required for surgical operations. Doctors from various missions send patients requiring surgery to Israel's makeshift hospital, particularly those whose condition is critical, the news network said.

According to the report, other field hospitals contain no more than stretcher beds and medical teams who administer first aid, and they are not prepared for complex surgery.

Resourcefulness saves baby's life


ABC praised the Israeli mission which had assisted a birth using a complicated procedure. The network's reporter, himself a trained doctor, came across a woman on the point of giving birth. First he tried to assist, but when he got into difficulties he remembered the Israeli field hospital, called the Israeli consulate in New York and was directed to the IDF camp.


"I understood that they were looking for the Israeli mission," said Joel Lion, Israeli consulate spokesman. "I called the military attach√© in Washington to get the address of the mission… then, via Blackberry, I managed to get the coordinates and direct them there."


When they arrived at the hospital, the young woman was taken in and eight hours later a healthy baby was born.


ABC reported extensively on the story, and even sent a letter of thanks to the Israeli representative in New York. "They were very moving moments. It was amazing to be party to saving life and bringing a baby into the world. And most amazing was that it was all directed via a cell phone," said Lion. "We will pass on the expressions of thanks to the doctors and the wonderful staff at the Israeli field hospital in Haiti."
Let there be no mistake.  Israel's swift, efficient and effective response to this historic disaster was not designed to impress you or anyone else of this earth.  Israel has neither sought nor expected accolades or approval from the east or the west since its inception in 1948.  Indeed, as Shapiro asserts, Israel responds according to Jewish memory and tradition.  I would only add that they also clearly keep faith with their covenenant with God.

No comments:

Post a Comment