Leading Jewish news agency JTA headlines a story like this:
Israeli aid effort helps Haitians—and Israel’s image
The article discusses the humanitarian work and adds:
In a statement, the head of the delegation, Mati Goldstein, was quoted in an e-mail describing a “Shabbat from hell” in the earthquake-ravaged city. ZAKA is made up of Orthodox Jewish volunteers.
“Everywhere, the acrid smell of bodies hangs in the air. It’s just like the stories we are told of the Holocaust — thousands of bodies everywhere,” Goldstein wrote. “You have to understand that the situation is true madness, and the more time passes, there are more and more bodies, in numbers that cannot be grasped. It is beyond comprehension.”
To lift their spirits, the rescue workers from ZAKA taught Haitian survivors to sing “Heiveinu Shalom Aleichem.”
Whether clad in IDF uniforms, wearing the flag of Israel on their shoulders or holding Shabbat prayers during a brief break from their rescue work, the Israeli aid workers’ visible presence in Haiti is helping to promote a positive image of Israel in a world more accustomed to seeing the nation negatively.
“I am sure it is good for the Israeli image, but we’re not doing it only because of this,” said Danny Biran, ambassador of logistical and administrative affairs for Israel’s mission to the United Nations and the Americas. “We are doing it because we believe in what we are doing.”
“We always carry an Israeli flag and hang it wherever we work. We don’t do anything under the radar,” said Zahavi of IsraAid. “It’s important for us to show that we come on behalf of the Israeli people, and people should know we’re there for them.”
Nice try. It’s beyond shameful that Israelis care deeply about the chaotic reality of Haiti while maintaining an illegal siege on Gaza. This profound hypocrisy is not forgotten by the world and nor should it be.
Israel has opened the floodgates of one of its dams in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, flooding Palestinian houses and causing severe damage.
The Israeli authorities opened the dam’s floodgates without any prior warning or coordination with local authorities in Gaza, stunning the residents of the area, the Press TV correspondent in Gaza reported late on Monday.
There has been heavy rain in the region over the past 24 hours. It seems the Israeli authorities could not handle the huge amount of rainwater and decided to open the floodgates without prior warning.
Because Gaza is located in a low-lying area and the elevation decreases on the way to the Mediterranean Sea, water gushed into the area, flooding two Palestinian villages and displacing a hundred Gazan families.
Besides, despite the trauma in Gaza itself, the people there are capable of sharing the pain of the Haitians:
Palestinians in Gaza are offering donations and financial support for the victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake at the Strip’s Red Cross headquarters, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on Monday.
The Ma’an reported said that Gazan family members of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel also participated in the effort, offering financial donations and goods such as blankets and covers, as well as food and milk for children.