Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Israel to the Rescue in Haiti

From DAILY ALERT Monday, January 25, 2010

Israel to the Rescue - David Horovitz Editor-in-Chief (Jerusalem Post)

While other countries dithered, countries both nearer and far better resourced, Israel utilized the experience born of its previous earthquake rescue missions - to Turkey, Greece, Armenia and Mexico - and got down to business in Haiti. Our "light unto the nations" Haitian relief effort encapsulated much of what is best about our country. It demonstrated our heartfelt desire to come to the assistance of others in the time of their greatest need, with no desire or expectation of reward.

The Israeli mission to Haiti also underlined our capacity to think and act fast and effectively - to pull together and surmount obstacles at a time of crisis. While relief teams from more than two dozen countries were running into all kinds of logistical difficulties, the Israeli teams, quietly, efficiently, and with a minimum of fuss, somehow circumvented or cleared all the obstacles, and went to work.

There is one thing that our Haiti rescue outreach made emphatically clear, and that the Palestinians might want to ponder: If you're in trouble and you're not trying to kill us, there's no one like the Israelis to help you out.

See also A Medical Mission of Pride and Promise - Dr. Jonathan Halevy, director-general of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem (Jerusalem Post)

From CBS to CNN to MSNBC, wide-eyed medical reporters have been witnessing the Israeli operation in Haiti with an underlying tone of combined admiration and jealousy. With relief delegations of all shapes and sizes, it's the Israelis who travel halfway around the world and within hours have a fully operational hospital in place. Journalists ask outright why anyone else can't be doing this.

Admittedly, our adeptness in launching these types of operations stems from a history of confronting hostilities. Those of us involved in emergency management and disaster response know all too well that Israel has a unique advantage over most, if not all, nations in this discipline. Our protocols and emergency departments have become models for hospitals all around the world. The IDF Home Front Command has made it a principal training objective to remain ever-ready for all types of disasters.

The world has quickly learned that the "successes" we are achieving in Haiti have come because we appreciated the continuous need for this type of training. Even more so, it is recognizing that we have a role in contributing to the greater welfare of the international community.

See also Video: The "Legendary" Israeli Medical Unit in Haiti - Diane Sawyer (ABC News)
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