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Arlene Bridges Samuels
In Essentials, Unity

Israel: A Humanitarian Nation Quick to Help in Disasters

Amid this week’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Reuters reports today that the death toll is soaring hour by hour, now estimated at a heartbreaking 25,000 deaths.

I also read an amazing statistic that 100 countries are responding to the disaster and around 7,000 rescuers, medical teams, food supplies, etc. are on the ground. In a world of chaos with wars, rumors of wars, and hardships of all kinds, 100 countries working TOGETHER is worth noting!

USA and Israel teams are already in Turkey. The US sent two search and rescue teams with around 180 experts and 100 Los Angeles County firefighters, structural engineers, and six trained search dogs. Israel’s IDF Operation Olive branches is in full force. Right now, they are setting up a field hospital in Turkey after fifteen Israeli Air Force cargo planes landed with hundreds of tons of equipment, 230 doctors, nurses, and rescue experts.

An IsraAid team quickly traveled to Turkey offering expert search and rescue efforts. In Syria, Israel has mounted assistance with medications, tents, and other supplies. Although Syria and Israel have no peace treaty, and anti-Israel Iranian military are stationed in Syria, Israel has also offered medical treatment for Syrians in Israeli hospitals.

Israel is a prime example of humanitarian outreach worldwide. While the jaded, bias media paints Israel as perpetrators, that is outright propaganda. Israelis intensely understand trauma and crisis, meeting their own decades-long challenges against terrorism by developing logistics and aid for their survival. Not simply focused on themselves though, the small nation looks beyond, and sends their expertise worldwide.

Whether mainstream media mentions Israel’s compassion in action and their massive amount of aid from such a small country, thousands of Turkish and Syrian people will experience a strong dose of genuine compassion from Israeli personnel. Israel’s aid should be no surprise since one of Judaism’s cultural foundations is to “repair the world” (Hebrew: Tikkun Olam). The biblical concept of compassion embraces actions intended to improve the world.

Israelis long for peace, not war, to shape their homeland with shalom—a shalom that encompasses the meanings of peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility and toward other nations. Their peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, the Abraham Accords, and consistent efforts to negotiate with Palestinian leaders are evidence of Israel’s goals. Tikkun Olam offers proof that the world’s only Jewish state extends humanitarian aid where possible even to nations and peoples who hate them or where conflict exists.

In my Christian faith-originating from Judaism in ancient Israel-Tikkun Olam rests within our American culture and Christianity too! Christian organizations are sending aid or on the ground already, among them Samaritan’s Purse, and The Christian Broadcasting Network’s Operation Blessing. Smaller ministries, churches, and individuals are joining in. The disasters in Turkey and Syria are overwhelming, yet our contributions, however small, are helpful when added together, similar to the nations banding together to help victims.

Since ancient times, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has guaranteed-through His eternal promises-Israel’s survival for His chosen people and land. Countless other nations benefit since modern Israel reaches out in compassion as a light to the world with Tikkun Olam.

May God have mercy on the citizens of Turkey and Syria and everyone from multiple nations who are risking their own lives to save them.

About the Author
Arlene Bridges Samuels is a pioneer in pro-Israel Christian advocacy for more than two decades in positions with Israel Always and Earl Cox, Israel's Goodwill Ambassador to Christians and Jews, SE Region Outreach Director at American Israel Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC) and International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA's project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Since 2020, she is the weekley featured columnist at The Christian Broadcasting Network Israel, and frequent Guest Columnist for Allisrael News and The Jerusalem Connection Report. Arlene co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited. Traveling to Israel since 1990, by invitation she attends the GPO Christian Media Summit and serves on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina.
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