Sunday, January 17, 2010

Disproportionate action by Israel

Don't worry, loyal readers. I don't intend to shift the focus of this blog to the Middle East, but I need to raise one issue. I am sure I am sensitized because of my recent visit to Israel, but have you noticed that there is virtually no news coverage in the major media about Israel's immediate response to the earthquake tragedy in Haiti? Test this out: Do a Google search on "Israel help for Haiti" or similar topics and see what pops up. Lots of stories, like this one, but none from the major media.

A friend writes: "Israel, a nation of 7.5 million people, has sent a team of 220 people that include medical personnel and will establish the largest field hospital in Haiti, treating up to 5000 people a day, an experienced search and rescue team and medical supplies. As in previous earthquake disasters, such as in Gujarat India in 2001 and in Turkey, in the bombings in Kenya, Israel has been one of the most generous givers of aid and assistance."

The major media outlets are quick to publish stories when Israel is accused of disproportionate use of force in other situations. Their failure to do so when it offers a disproportionate humanitarian response is disheartening.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

2.5billion per year aid from us to israel. thats pretty generous

Paul Levy said...

Yes, overwhelmingly for military help. And we give Egypt $1.5 billion. What does that have to do with anything?

More interestingly, we also send Saudi Arabia billions of dollars to pay for 1 million barrels of oil per day. Try to find any mention of help from them to Haiti.

Anonymous said...

Your post prompted me to do a brief search on which countries had contributed aid to Haiti. This led me to view a vicious argument on topix.com forums on whether Christian or Islamic countries helped more in natural disasters, and then inevitably to which religion was "better", etc. etc.
Some people will use any excuse to further their point of view, and I don't see any point in fanning the flames. Thank you to Israel and to all the other countries of whatever persuasion who are contributing aid to Haiti, a country which all agree is in sore need of long term assistance.

nonlocal

PJ Geraghty said...

The article cited states that the Israeli field hospital can treat 500 people a day, not 5000. Still, an impressive and laudable effort. A quick search for Egyptian and Saudi aid revealed nothing. I didn't bother searching for Palestinian aid.

Abe Bird said...

Let me brief you shortly on the US and Israel relations and tell you that Israel wanted twice in the past to gradually lower the amount of US military annual loans. The US was the one to pressure Israel from that step and influenced her to go on with the existing procedure of military consuming. In any case, Israel is the only one to pay back those loans. In the mean time the US can assure its military industry for at least one safe consumer. In any case, Israel has highly sophisticated capabilities to develop new technologies and military systems which the US is the first and sometimes the only benefiter. This close strategic relations exposed the US to new science and technological adventures and inventions that were passed to the US for free and save her even more then the annually loans given to Israel. The “arrow” missile is just one of those scientific break-through which save the US time and money. Drones were developed in the 70th in Israel who is the most advanced country for now, and the first drones and know-how were given to the US in the 80th. Israel sell more than 1000 kinds of military items to the US cheaper than the market price, which including missiles, avionics, cock-pit electronics until soldiers shoes and
Beyond that there is a closely security and intelligence cooperation between the two, which both sides benefit from.

Suzie said...

As one of my immigrant students said in class- the media decides what we know and what we don't get to hear. How can we change that?

Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly as per:
http://zalmi.blogspot.com/2010/01/our-boys-arrive-in-haiti.html

Theirs is the ONLY functioning OR in the whole of Haitoi right now. They delivered a baby today - the mother named it Israel. See video on : http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk#p/a/u/0/-jHcwlKqYLo

Keith said...

And countries of lesser means will also send support (Cuba). I am not sure you enlighten us with this piece of information. Goverments can simultaneously do good and bad things; it rarely is a situation where one country is entirely evil or entirely good.

If your point is biased media coverage, then this just points to the fact that the stories that get exposure are those that tend to generate controversy, or those involving conflict and disaster. People stop or slow down to see the car wreck. When has this not been the case? Read the paper and see how many positive stories you find vs. negative or bad news stories!

Your claim seems to frame this as some media bias against Israel,which you do not do a good job of making the case. Instead, what I see is the constant focus of the media on American involvement, seemingly ignoring everyone else's contribution including Israel's.

nesscake said...

Israeli field hospital treats, operates on hundreds of Haitians

Ohad said...

I can't believe I am talking about this ini a blog relating to Haiti but here goes.

US aid to ISR: It's not a welfare check. US aid to Israel is in the form of guarantees for world bank loans. The money is returned and Israel is only allowed to use the money to buy American. Basically, US cosigns loans for Israel to buy American. All the others get the money free of charge. so think of that

B) this cosigning is also meant to help the US decrease competition from Israel and sell American. 2 examples:

a couple of years ago Israel won a 600 million dollar contract to upgrade turkish tanks. US claimed it was a security threat to US, General Dynamics took the contract with Israel main subcontractor. Without US cosignging, Gen. Dynamics would have lost the ocntract.

F-35 - no one, including the US who bought the F-22, wants this plane. Dutch refused it saying even US did not take it. So America stuffs it down reluctant Israel throat at a high price so they can promote it instead of firing thousands of Lockheed employees.

Now can we get back to the Haiti issue?

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing. Here's another story about the efforts. Here in NY the media only shared a small portion of this story when they "heard a commotion behind them while filming another story and found an Israeli rescue team rescuing people". At least it received a few seconds of coverage.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1263147915110&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Leah O. said...

There was a great piece on ABC news last night about the efficiency and strength of Israeli medical personnel in Haiti. And the reporter was Dr. Richard Besser, who trained at BIDMC.

Anonymous said...

And here's a viewpoint from yet another group: (don't ask me why this link is so long, hope it works!)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3aa70e3396-6663-4a8d-ba19-e44939d3c44fForum%3a7cceb09e-a8ae-44b4-b7af-92605cbce240Discussion%3aca2d4bdc-1b69-4c9f-a30a-11d711e888c3

nonlocal

Anonymous said...

Dianne Sawyer's team gave alot of attention to this and filmed the Israeli team. It was the first I'd heard of it! Sunday night

Anonymous said...

For the person who ridiculed the possibility of Palestinian aid to Haiti, I'm sure this news won't fit in your prejudiced views, but it's in Haaretz:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1143436.html

And President Levy, and anyone else interested in the Israel-Paletine Issue, please read this article by Henry Siegman - former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100125/siegman/single

I'd like to hear what you think about the article President Levy.

Paul Levy said...

I don't think I ridiculed anybody, and I don't know why you say that.

Shimshon said...

When I see what the Israeli rescue team is doing in Haiti it makes me really proud to be an Israeli! Show me an other country that comes from the other side of the world to help those people in such an effective way.

nesscake said...

Article:


Grieving and grateful: Thoughts about Haiti, Israel and the USA

Don Schwartz, said...

Good for you pointing this out. I made the same observation while I was scrolling through the news networks the first few days after the Haiti crisis. Fox news did mention the fast and stunning appearance of the Israeli field hospital, but only briefly. Either Fox or CNN did let the grateful statements of the mother who named her new baby Israel through -- but it almost seemed like the coverage of that was truncated, as if the media was embaressed to dwell on it. I remarked to myself my eerie feeling that the mainstream media seemed to feel it was almost verboten to heap deserved praise on Israel for this -- that as soon as favorable coverage was uttered something kicked in to stop it from being repeated.

Perhaps related to this, I saw an article on Yahoo yesterday that Obama was contracting with Israel to set up field hospitals in the US, and then a related piece by Nancy Pelosi noting that the US had of course also considered Arab hospitals but they couldn't get past the hibab barrier. When I tried to find those today (including via Google) I couldn't --the juxtaposition of the two was so absurd that I wonder if it was a spoof.