What the world calls bragging…

Over the last few days, I’ve gotten a bunch of complaints about what I’ve posted on Twitter, my blog, even Facebook. Apparently, it bothers people that Israel is bragging (if that’s what we’re doing)…about the help we are sending to Nepal.Some comments were downright nasty. All were accompanied by the ridiculous comment that the rest of the world is doing the same thing but only Israel is boasting. Why, they ask…and so, perhaps yet again, it worth explaining not only why we do it, but why we are talking about it.
So, why are we in Nepal…among the first nations in the world to actually GET there and do something, not just pledge some money. Sure, aid is important, but right now, the people in earthquake-ravaged Nepal don’t need money. That’s for tomorrow…or more likely next week. What they need NOW…are human beings on the ground to relieve their exhausted rescue workers. They need doctors there NOW; they need people to rescue those still stranded, those still buried. That’s now and that’s there.
Sure, they need our prayers, but if the sum total of what you are doing is offering them prayers, don’t compare it to what Israel is doing. Little Israel is managing to pray AND act.
So WHY are we explaining to the world what we are doing? We are a nation constantly accused of doing the worst things imaginable, today’s modern-day Nazis, some call us…a claim the Germans, especially, love to use because in attempting to make us look bad, in some twisted way, they think that makes what they did explainable, excusable, whatever.
The Arabs love that claim as well…and no one but Israel gets the absolute irony of the world falling for this when the Arabs were allies with the Germans; the Jews their victims.Since the world loves to assume the worst, we tend to work harder to offer a balanced picture. Those who condemn Israel, amazingly, don’t speak of Syria, the Congo, Yemen, and so many other places where men and women are tormented, abused, murdered….only Israel, always Israel.So, what is the world doing for Nepal…what has it done so far, days after this horrific natural disaster?Well, the London Guardian posted this:
  • The UK government has announced that it will donate £5m to help the rescue effort in Nepal
  • John Kerry said the US will pledge $1m to the aid effort (they WILL also send aid…no word on when).
  • Australia has also pledged a $5m Australian dollar aid package.
  • Pope Francis led prayers in St Peter’s Square for the dead, displaced and injured in Nepal and surrounding areas.
  • India, Sri Lanka, the UK, China and others are all sending disaster response teams to assist in search and rescue.

Well, that sucks…let’s see how BBC handles it:

  • China, India, the UK and US are among those sending aid from abroad.
  • Both countries [China and India] have sent emergency teams to Nepal, along with Pakistan, which said it was dispatching four C130 transport planes carrying a 30-bed hospital.
  • Other countries, including Britain, Australia and New Zealand are also contributing aid, alongside international agencies.

Oh, and BBC added a list of dead or missing foreigners:

  • Australia: 549 Australians registered as traveling in Nepal, 200 confirmed safe
  • Bangladesh: 50 nationals, including members of the country’s under-14 girls’ football team, evacuated. No information on exact number of nationals in Nepal
  • China: Four nationals dead in Kathmandu, Xinhua news agency reports
  • Colombia: Seven nationals missing
  • France: French authorities have located 1,098 nationals, but another 674 are still not in touch
  • India: Five killed in Nepal
  • UK: Several hundred Britons believed to be in Nepal. No reports of casualties but some missing.
  • US: Three Americans killed
  • Victims from other countries include a dead Estonian national and a Japanese man killed.
  • UK: Dozens of Britons among the missing

Wow, that sucks worse…so Colombia is missing 7 people. I hope they find them…did they send planes to search for them? Helicopters?
Never mind. What’s missing from these reports?

Well, from the last part, Israel immediately began tracking and searching for 250 missing Israelis…earlier today we were down to about 120 missing, and at last count, we’re still missing about 50. Why are we less important than the other nations? Colombia is missing 7…but Israel isn’t worthy of even a mention…

And what else is missing from both of the above?

Well, while the pope is praying and the others are PLANNING and WILL send aid…this is what Israel has DONE:

  • A Boeing 747 jumbo jet sent by El Al has landed in Kathmandu, bringing an IDF search and rescue mission of over 200 soldiers from a specialized search and rescue team and their equipment to the earthquake-ravaged area. It’s already there!
  • Israel had rescued and brought back to Israel, some of its citizens.
  • Some of those helicopters bringing people off Mt Everest were commissioned by Israeli insurance companies…four of those taken off the mountain were Israelis.
  • Four other airplanes are expected to land in the city during the night – meaning, many hours ago, packed with equipment and people, they FLEW to Nepal.
  • A full field hospital, which will be operational within 12 hours of landing.
  • The search and rescue team consists of 60 members. It is capable of operating in three separate locations simultaneously. It’s on the ground there now!
  • The IDF delegation rented two Boeing 747s to carry personnel and 95 tons of supplies.
  • The field hospital will include “pediatric, surgical, internal medicine, neonatal, and radiology departments as well as a maternity ward and emergency and operating room,” The IDF said in a statement.
  • The hospital would be able to treat about 200 patients a day…starting in less than 12 hours from NOW.

So BBC feels it is relevant to mention a 30-bed field hospital WILL BE set up by India…but not a 200-bed field hospital with advanced medical equipments including an on-site radiology department?

And the London Guardian thinks the pope praying and financial aid will save lives more than equipment and trained rescue workers?

CNN? Well, hey, at least they got around to mentioning Israel…”China, India, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore and South Korea were among the nations sending aid and search and rescue crews.”

What’s wrong with this? Well, it’s better than the others, but still lacks proportionality.

China and India are right next door, as is Pakistan. But France, Italy, Britain, Canada, Australia, etc…they have the means…and yet they don’t have five planes of aid on the ground right now…they haven’t delivered 95 tons of aid.

And so, if you leave it to the world news, you’ll never know what Israel is doing in Nepal…

Brag? Isn’t it interesting that no one is accusing any of the other nations of bragging…perhaps, that has less to do with their attitude and more to do with their actions. The EU is sending money? Italy is sending money? Will money pull people from the rubble? Will it repair broken bones?

The bragging was done in front of the microphones, where politicians ran to announce how much money they would send. What Israel has, once again, delivered is action. Our soldiers and doctors and rescue teams rushed into action and the only reason they weren’t there 18 hours ago was because the airport in Nepal wasn’t cleared for the landing.

Tell me we don’t have a reason to be proud and a right, even an obligation, to remind the world THIS is Israel…a tiny country who once again flew around the world…around the WORLD…with tons and tons of equipment and doctors and rescue workers, while the other countries are talking about dollars and prayers!

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.
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