Israel Defense Forces in Haiti

22 Jan

Susie and I have been following the terrible suffering in Haiti.  We can’t begin to imagine the pain and horrors the people there are experiencing.  They are just unbelievable.  Coupled with the immediate shock of the disaster, we have been even more exasperated by the slow response/ stagnation of the international aid.

However, I talked with my father tonight and he mentioned the Israel Defense Forces has been on-site in Haiti helping.  I hadn’t seen this in the British news.  So, I did a quick search on the Internet and found out that the the day after the earthquake, Israel sent a search and rescue team including medical staff.  They also sent a team of 220 emergency aid personal to setup a fully equipped field hospital within the same week of the disaster.  I’ve seen a few quotes from aid workers associated with the IDF Hospital:

I’ve been here since Thursday; no-one except the Israeli hospital has taken any of our patients.

It’s like another world here compared to the other hospitals. They have imaging… my God, they have machines here, operating theatres, ventilators, monitoring, it’s just amazing.

From what I understand, as of Tuesday the 19th, the IDF hospital is the only field hospital doing surgeries.  They even delivered a baby, which the mother named ‘Israel’.  So, it sounds like there are people making a difference on the ground.  It’s impressive news and I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything about it here.

From looking at the newspapers here, I’ve been under the impression that aid is still in a trickle. Ironically, the only British news that has the IDF Haiti efforts front and center is Melanie Philips’ Spectator Blog and the English Nationalist Party.  The later was quite a surprise.  At the same time, BBC1’s flagship news program “Panorama” devoted their program to anti-Israeli propoganda.  There was even a table this weekend in Cambridge’s market centre protesting Israel (yet again).  It was next to an aid support for Haiti table.  I went up to the Palestinian Supporters and asked what have then done for Haiti.  There was no answer, obviously for some people it is easier to hate than help.

Can you guess who got my support?

Other news articles worth reading that seem to be divergent in presentation are: Yediot Aharonot and  NY Times.