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Sunday, December 28, 2003

Double tragedy

This morning, I read with horror the estimates of the dead in the Iran earthquake. Numbers like 20,000 are impossible to imagine. They become more horrifying when you see the follow-up statements from Iranian officials stating that they don't really know how many are dead or missing...it cold be twice that amount!!! Each one of those people was part of a family, a workplace, a community...and without warning is now part of a meaningless statistic.

It seemed to me that nothing could possibly compound this tragedy...yet while searching the news sites, I came accross something that did exactly that:

It seems that Jahanbakhsh Khanjani, a spokesman for Iran's Interior Ministry, said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran accepts all kinds of humanitarian aid from all countries and international organizations, with the exception of the Zionist regime."

The article went on to say, "Iran refused Israeli help in dealing with its catastrophic earthquake, saying the Islamic Republic would accept aid from all countries of the world, except Israel. "

I had to read this several times for it to sink in. Israel had offered humanitarian aid, including its specially trained search & rescue teams, to help ease the suffering of the earthquake victims and, among all the nations on earth, had been told, "no".

To put this in perspective, there have been documented incidents of wounded Palestinians treated by the Israeli Army medics refusing transfusions of Israeli blood on the grounds that "Jewish blood was always tainted and impure" (an old Joeseph Goerbels charge). In such cases, the IDF responded by having "acceptable" Arab blood flown in from Jordan at NO small expense to transfuse the Palestinians. While wildly offensive...such a refusal from some minor Palestinian Red Crescent official is not the statement of an entire government!

Where are all the Europeans who are always so quick to call Israel racist? Where is the U.N.? The fact is, the world will do or say little about such a statement. There are different rules for the rest of the world, and Israel is held to a different standard.

The article I was reading went on to describe, "Large-scale Israeli assistance following a massive earthquake in 1999 in northwestern Turkey that killed over 15,000 people, and a huge earthquake in western India in 2001 that killed some 20,000 people, helped strengthen ties between Israel and those two countries.

In 1999 Israel airlifted to Turkey doctors and equipment for a field hospital, as well an emergency rescue team comprising 250 persons, sophisticated rescue equipment, and rescue dogs.

And in 2001, Israel dispatched a field hospital and some 150 people to India to assist in rescue and medical efforts following the earthquake in Bhuj. The help Israel provided in these cases is still mentioned often by Turkish and Indian officials when discussing their ties with Israel. "

Say what you want about Golda Meir...she hit the nail on the head when she said, "we will never have peace with the arabs so long as they hate us more than they love their own children".

Posted by David Bogner on December 28, 2003 | Permalink


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