This is the Israel I know

Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted the other day the following message in regard to Israel’s help to the people of Nepal: “Easier to address a far-away humanitarian disaster than the nearby one of Israel’s making in Gaza. End the blockade!”

So in other words, Kenneth Roth cynically uses a natural tragedy in Nepal to link an unnatural tragedy in Gaza back to Israel. So while people are dying and lives are destroyed and homes lie in utter destruction, Kenneth Roth decides to use his platform as head of a so-called Human Rights organisation to say that Gaza is somehow in the same category.  Somehow he wants you to believe that Israel uses the tragedy in Nepal to divert attention from the tragedy in Gaza.

But you see, Kenneth Roth doesn’t know Israel.  He may think he does, but he clearly doesn’t.  Because while he can make his cynical jibes, it doesn’t alter the very fact – and the fact that bothers him the most, and that is that Israel is one of the most compassionate countries on earth!

As the disaster in Nepal continues to evolve, Israel has sent a 260 man team, the largest of all countries, to set up its largest field hospital ever – a hospital with facilities that will include paediatric, surgical, internal medicine, neonatal and radiology departments, as well as a maternity ward and emergency and operating rooms.  It will have the ability to help 200 patients a day.  That’s 200 people who will be given hope and oftentimes a chance to survive, where previously that hope didn’t exist.

This is the Israel I know.

And when disaster struck Haiti, Israel was the first country, despite its distance, to arrive there with a fully functioning field hospital – even before the United States with all its resources and its much closer proximity managed to do.  Its efforts saved lives, and new children who were born out of that disaster, were given a chance to live, when so much death surrounded them.

This is the Israel I know.

In March 2011, after a devastating earthquake in Japan, Israel was one of the first countries to send aid addressing the needs and the requests of the Japanese government, and helping thousands of people.  After another earthquake in Kashmir in 2005, Israel again sent a mission to give supplies and to provide shelter for thousands of people.  Israel has also provided relief to storm victims in the Philippines, supplied food aid to the Congo, and sent relief teams to Vanuatu in March this year after the devastation of Cyclone Pam.  It doesn’t matter how far or how near these countries are – Israel has never let distance get in their way when it comes to helping their fellow human being.

This is the Israel I know.

They have pioneered technology that supplies clean drinking water to Chinese cities, where water can often be contaminated.  They have invented devices that allow people who are paralysed to walk again.  They have become experts in treating trauma victims and have helped countless countries including those with which they have no diplomatic relationship.

Israel does not have a lot of natural resources, and it does not have the oil the way its neighbours do.  The money that flows through the palaces of the despotic regimes around it does not flow through Israel, but instead, it offers something even more valuable than money.  It offers the most valuable resources it has – its people.   Despite its small size and its limited resources and the constant threat of annihilation by some of the surrounding countries, it has never stopped them in their efforts to make this world a better place.  They continue to reach out and provide help to whomever requires it and wherever they may be – including those very same countries that would wish it destroyed.

Is it a perfect country?  Of course not, but what country is perfect in this flawed world we live in?

So Kenneth Roth and the rest of the anti-Israel mob, can tweet their tweets, and rant their rants, and cry their crocodile tears for humanity and human rights – but in truth, when it comes to helping the people of this world, they aren’t even in the same ball park.

There are few countries in this world that do more for the people of this planet, for the environment of this planet, for the dignity of its people, and for the health of all of us than the State of Israel.

And that is the Israel I know.

About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.