Thursday, January 28, 2010


The Zionist Federation welcomes the safe return of the Israeli rescue and medical team that did such incredible work in helping with the search and rescue and medical treatment in Haiti

We also congratulate the Save a Child's Heart organisation for identifying a number of children whom they hope to bring to Israel for heart surgery, and welcome the arrival of the first child in Israel today (Thursday). We urge people to respond to the SACH fundraising appeal to make this possible.

We note with pleasure that the Israeli team has left a legacy of equipment behind, including 30 tons of medical equipment for use in the ongoing aid effort. This includes bandaging gear, surgery equipment, two incubators and other medical accessories as well as 1150 blankets, 30 large-sized tents, 500 mattresses, 200 sleeping bags and kitchen equipment. The equipment will be distributed to tent-cities in different locations in Haiti, under the coordination of the Israeli Ambassador.

We are proud that Israel has played such a valued role alongside the delegations from other countries around the world, including the UK, saving many lives and providing medical care for the injured, demonstrating the highest level of humanitarian concern after this tragedy.

Joy Wolfe co President Zionist Federation

The ZF extends condolences to the families of the bereaved in Haiti, and sends a message of sympathy to the many who have suffered hardship.
Israel has featured predominately in the news for its response it has provided in Haiti after sending over 200 troops to assist in the search and rescue for survivors, along with setting up a field hospital.  Below are only a few of the links showing Israel’s importance and achievements on the ground. 
• CNN’s video state’s that:  “No one except the Israeli hospital has taken any of our patients. [At seeing the Israeli field hospital – set up in a football pitch] “I am amazed at what’s here.  Its like another world compared to the other hospital”.  “Have the Americans set up a field hospital?  Not yet.  The Israeli’s came from the other side of the world”.  Watch the video here. 

• At the Israeli field hospital a baby was delivered by Doctor Shir Dar on Sunday.  The mother has decided to name the baby ‘Israel’.  Watch the YouTube video here.

• Tom Gross writes:  Israel’s Disproportionate Response.  Because of Israel's long history of enduring bomb and missile attacks the Israeli army (the IDF) is one of the most experienced in the world in treating mass-injuries and using specially trained sniffer dogs to locate wounded persons in the rubble.  The IDF was one of the first on the scene in Haiti last week (sending considerably more troops than, for example, Britain and France did). Over 5,000 Haitians have already been treated in the IDF Medical and Rescue Field Hospital, set up in a large tent on a soccer field in Port-Au-Prince. In addition, Israeli forces have located and rescued survivors trapped in ruined buildings, including many who were injured during the collapse of the UN headquarters.  In addition to teams from the IDF's canine unit, Israel sent 52 doctors and 25 nurses as well as paramedics, and has set up a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal medicine department and a maternity ward. Israel has since sent a further 220 doctors, medics and nurses. Israel also sent a number of French-speaking translators to aid doctors. 

• The Israeli Army is the “Rolls Royce” of medicine in Haiti.  You can see six new videos of the Israel team in Haiti by clicking here and scrolling down to the third item.  

• After only 38 hours the ZAKA international rescue unit delegation pulled eight students alive from the collapsed university building.    In an email that the head of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit delegation managed to send to the ZAKA headquarters in Jerusalem on Sunday, he writes of the “Shabbat from hell. 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. 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”.  Amid the stench and chaos, the ZAKA delegation took time out to recite Shabbat prayers - a surreal sight of ultra-orthodox men wrapped in prayer shawls standing on the collapsed buildings. Many locals sat quietly in the rubble, staring at the men as they prayed facing Jerusalem. At the end of the prayers, they crowded around the delegation and kissed the prayer shawls.