March 31, 2011
Op-ed: Israel’s amazing altruism largely ignored by media as it doesn’t fit with Zionist stereotypes
Israel was the first country in the world to send aid to Haiti after the earthquake. An impressive mass of goods, people and emergency facilities was sent to the Caribbean island after the natural disaster. It happened also with the tsunami in Asia, when Israel was among the most generous countries. And now again, when disaster struck in Japan, Israel was the first to dispatch a field hospital to assist in the recovery effort.
However, Israel’s amazing altruism never had its legitimate space in the global media, because this radical goodness doesn’t fit in with the Zionist stereotype of the colonialist, fascist and apartheid occupier.
In Haiti, an IDF team worked to identify the victims. After the 9/11 attacks, Israeli pathologists helped their fellow Americans at Ground Zero. In 1979, Israel sent a delegation of medical staff to provide medical relief to thousands of displaced people in Cambodia following the downfall of genocidal communist Pol Pot. The Israelis also ran a pediatric field hospital in Rwanda during the Tutsi genocide, assisted the Albanians during the Kosovo war and helped Turkey following the 1999 earthquake.
There is an untold, sad reason for Israel’s ability to offer such help. For the Jewish State, terrorism has always been an involuntary master of speed, precision and caring. There is an amazing quantity of research, inventions and new techniques for helping the disabled and the paralyzed return to normal life after terrorist destruction.
During the Second Intifada, Dr. David Applebaum invented a special method to treat wounded people transported to the emergency room. In New York, Dr. Applebaum showed slides illustrating how it is possible to treat “44 injured people in 28 minutes,” as he had done after a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. Then he returned to Israel and took his daughter Nava to Cafe Hillel, the day before her wedding was supposed to take place. Both of them were killed by a suicide bomber. Applebaum’s method has been copied around the world.
Israel’s ignored goodness can be extended to the incredible record of scientific and medical discoveries. Especially now that the “light among nations”, as Israel was called by David Ben Gurion, is boycotted by universities around the world. The Jewish State is one of the world’s leaders in the per capita registration of US patents by its scientists and doctors. One of the most important tumor suppressor genes was cloned in 1983 by scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot (defective copies of this gene are found in more than half of all human cancers.)
A non-invasive diagnostic method for detecting breast and prostate cancer was developed by another Weizmann’s pioneer. Israel developed the early diagnosis of “Mad Cow” bovine disease in Creutzfeldt Jakob genetic disease in humans with a urine test instead of a brain biopsy. The list of miracles includes the identification of the gene that causes muscular dystrophy, a revolutionary supportive metal in a coronary arteries to prevent a heart attack, a vaccine that prevents the development of juvenile diabetes, the discovery of a gene linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, the development of drugs to combat Alzheimer, cancer, Parkinson and multiple sclerosis and the late deciphering of the structure of the ribosome – the cell’s protein factory.
Israel is also the definitive model for finding solutions to major climate challenges, from the fight against desertification to water shortages. The boycotters and the haters of Israel are damaging their own interests, because the Jewish State truly is a light that benefits humanity as a whole.
The first child born after the Haiti earthquake came into the world in the tents of the Israeli army. The mother had no doubts about the child’s name: Israel.
Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah. The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism