ZOA Praises Israel’s Unequalled, Magnificent Humanitarian Efforts In Haiti
January 27, 2010

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised the astonishing efforts of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) medical and rescue teams, as well as other Israeli medical and aid organizations,  dispatched to Haiti in the wake of this month’s terrible earthquake that killed over 100,000 Haitians, describing the huge Israeli relief efforts as “unequalled” and “magnificent.”


In the wake of the massive Haitian earthquake on January 12, Israeli dispatched medical and disaster relief teams to Haiti which among others things set up a field hospital which includes operating rooms; an intensive care ward; a maternity ward; a pediatric ward; incubator units; a pharmacy; x-ray equipment; 90 beds; 66 intensive care beds; and two delivery beds. To date, the Israeli 250-member emergency relief delegation from the IDF Home Front Command, comprising a search and rescue team as well as medical staff for the field hospital, has treated 960 victims, including dozens of children. Israelis have performed more than 290 lifesaving operations and delivered 16 babies in the hospital’s maternity ward. Moreover, the Israel Forum for International Aid (IsraAID) has sent a delegation of 27 medical and logistical staff to Haiti which has provided emergency medical assistance and distributed humanitarian supplies. Also, Magen David Adom has sent a team to the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, which has assisted in providing medical assistance at the Red Cross field hospital.


Other major contributions to relief efforts, both in personnel and money, have come principally from the U.S. and other Western democracies.  The oil-rich Arab and Muslim states have contributed a mere 0.1% to relief efforts. As distinguished journalist in residence at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) Claudia Rosett writes, “That puts them in a collective tie with Botswana. That’s a pretty good guide to their contributions to other multilateral efforts as well. In contrast to the U.S. government’s 2008 contribution to the ICRC of $237.8 million, for instance, Saudi Arabia chipped in $216,460. Iran gave $50,000” (‘Givers and Misers,’ Forbes, January 22, 2010).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud the superb and selfless Israeli medical and relief personnel who have performed wonders in saving lives and healing the injured, sick and traumatized in Haiti. To many hundreds of survivors of the earthquake, Israeli doctors and rescue workers were the first people to offer a ray of light and hope amid the tens of thousands of human tragedies. Their performance in swiftly arriving on the scene, fully equipped and organized, setting up a field hospital, delivering babies, operating on the injured and providing trauma care to thousands of survivors is simply unequalled and magnificent. The IDF personnel have saved innumerable lives and done a great kiddush hashem.


“Yet, Israeli relief efforts had scarcely begun before anti-Semites started disseminating lies about Israelis harvesting organs from Haitians. It is never surprising when anti-Semites try to defame Israel and Jewish people, even when what Israel has been doing to save and heal thousands of injured and suffering Haitians is evident to anyone who merely watches the evening news. We saw and read new versions of the lies about Israelis harvesting the organs of Palestinians that have been making the rounds since last year. This only shows the maniacal obsession of anti-Semites, who cannot cope with any data that shows Jews as being anything other than demons and ghouls. It is a threat to the anti-Semites to see Jews selflessly and effectively helping earthquake victims, because they cannot so easily demonize Jews as being monsters.


“What Israel has done and accomplished for the survivors of the horrific earthquake in Haiti would have done honor to even the strongest and richest countries in the world. That Israel, a small lone Middle Eastern democracy beset daily by murderous enemies, was able to do this speaks volumes about the essential goodness and achievements of Israel which, sadly, stand in stunning contrast to the meager to non-existent efforts of some of its large, enormously wealthy but hostile and dictatorial Arab neighbors. Tragically, Arab countries have rarely been interested in humanitarian efforts.”

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