Israel’s place in the world community

Samantha Bass

In the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, countries all over the world pledged to come to HaitiâÄôs aid. Israel was among the first to arrive and quickly set up a hospital on an abandoned soccer field. Given the extremely small size of Israel and the 6,500 miles separating it from Haiti, one cannot help but be amazed by IsraelâÄôs contributions. Media sources covering the earthquake, such as CNN, have responded to IsraelâÄôs actions in Haiti with shock and awe. According to a CNN report, the Israeli Defense ForcesâÄô field hospital, which has been deployed in numerous humanitarian disasters around the world, offered sophisticated medical technology that even surpassed what the United States was able to offer on the ground. As of Jan. 27, the Israeli Defense Force delegation to Haiti had treated over 1,110 patients, delivered 16 babies, completed 319 life-saving surgeries and aided in the search and rescue of many Haitians trapped beneath the rubble. Israel has a history of helping in natural disasters worldwide. Recent examples include the 2003 El Salvador earthquake, the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in New Orleans. Israel has a place in our global community. The technology and skills demonstrated by the Israeli Defense Forces in Haiti were developed in Israeli universities, institutions and by the military. Were it not for IsraelâÄôs prompt and efficient response amid hopeless devastation, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of earthquake victims would have died from completely treatable infections and wounds. The compassion, courage and humanity of the Israeli forces aiding Haiti is one of those instances in the life experience in which one is proud to be a member of the human race. As a Jewish student in the greater University of Minnesota community, I am proud of IsraelâÄôs commitment to the Haitians during their time of need. Samantha Bass Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) University undergraduate student