Our best ambassador
Yinon Shenkar
Published: 26.01.10, 17:39
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22 Talkbacks for this article
1. Send Shenkar to Haiti
Joe ,   Harare Zimbabwe   (01.26.10)
Israel has done more than anyone! Israel owes nothing to this lousy world! If you do not like it, Shenkar, go to Haiti and clean toilets, you hypocritical fool!
3. Haiti help
areyh ,   USA   (01.26.10)
I agree with the article that there should be continued Israeli medical presence in Haiti. I understand that because of so many amputations there is a great need for prosthetics, This is something Israel is very familiar with and good in producing. I hope that people in decision making capacity consider the idea of continued help to Haitians.
4. 100% - Crazy to remove them at this point.
Stu   (01.26.10)
5. Agreed, #4
Cameron ,   USA   (01.27.10)
Still mystified as to why the Israelis are pulling up stakes, and heading for the airport. Wrong moment to bow out. The Israeli field hospital did sterling work, but there are more injured folk there than one can wave a stick at. Does not look good to suddenly take off amid the howling need of this kind of disaster. See it through.
6. Our Best Ambassador
Albert Reingewirtz ,   Havertown, PA   (01.26.10)
Don't close the hospital! Haitians need it and Israel needs it more because of the Arab terror propaganda. Force the Arab world to look in the mirror.
7. IDF in Haiti
Gayla Goodman ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (01.27.10)
Israel Flying Aid is still in Haiti setting up an orphanage, being funded by Orange Telecommunications, Israel. It will be staffed by Israeli and Haitian volunteers. http://israelflyingaidhaitinews.wordpress.com/
8. # 7
Birdi ,   Israel   (01.27.10)
Thanks alot Gayla for this great information.
9. Dont wear out your welcome-charity begins at home.
Alan ,   SA   (01.27.10)
10. Just quietly slip away, eh Alan?
Cameron ,   USA   (01.27.10)
The powerfully, symbolic effort has come to an abrupt end? The Yanks give enough cover to withdraw? real comitment = real respect A fundamental change in how a nation is viewed is not born overnight, Israelis. Move beyond the dramatic symbolism, and become a real, substantial player.
11. Why Don't You Ask Them?
NYC Girl   (01.27.10)
There have been several articles and opinion pieces on the subject of the Israeli field hospital leaving Haiti. Unfortunately, they've yet to address the question as to why the hospital is closing down while Haiti is still in such desperate need. No doubt, a good deal of thought went into this decision. However, it would be helpful if somebody involved in the process would come forward and enlighten the public as to what the reasons might have been. Because, up until now, all we've gotten is a lot of speculation.
12. Mr. Shenkar is missing the point - completely
Zvi   (01.27.10)
The Israeli hospital was absolutely vital during the last week, when nobody else could get there in time. But now, much larger facilities (including the much larger 1000-bed hospital ship Comfort) are operating. An Israeli field hospital is no longer needed. So it should be withdrawn and replaced by the kind of aid that is needed at this new stage of Haiti's recovery. Israel is not leaving; it is replacing one form of aid with another. The hospital team and facilities are a single unit. If Israel wants to donate machines and facilities to Hadassah, it can do so. But it can't simply donate a military unit's equipment to a charity without replacing that equipment. The unit has a job to do in the event of a disaster or war at home. Sending the Israeli hospital to Haiti was NOT an exercise in diplomacy. It was a mission to save as many lives as possible. Mr. Shenkar, who apparently feels an obsessive need to be liked by other countries or the UN, has completely missed the point.
13. The field hospital
A Jerusalemite ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (01.27.10)
I agree with the writer that closing down the hospital at this point is a serious mistake. The publicity gained from it is minor, the good it has done is major. A 'peace corps' type organization is another matter altogether - that would be prohibitively expensive for out country. We do still have many in serious need here at home.
14. “Tikkun Olam” Hati
William Krul ,   Narragansett USA   (01.27.10)
Maybe some “Tikkun Olam” to Gaza would be more appropriate. You broke it you fix it?
15. #14 Let me start with a "Tikkun" to your head.
Tahl ,   Ashdod, Israel   (01.27.10)
Here's the deal, buddy: The Haitians are wonderful warm people who love Israel, are very grateful for our efforts to help them, have never done anything to deserve their calamity, and never tried to kill us. The Gazans, in contrast, are people who shot thousands of rockets at us, in return for us pulling out and giving them freedom. They are people who never accepted our right to live here, and call for the destruction of our country. They are a people so consumed with hate, that the first thing they did when they got control of Gaza, was razing the state-of-the-art greenhouses we left for them, and torching a synagogue. So no. We did not "break" Gaza. Hamas did by declaring war on us. However we would be more than happy to "fix" it, the moment the Palestinians would accept our help, recognizing us as peaceful, helpful neighbors rather than people to be driven out. I feel like I spent too many words here for such an airhead.
16. hospital
sas ,   israel   (01.28.10)
17. # 15
Birdi ,   Israel   (01.28.10)
Words well spent Tahl !! good post.
18. I Wondered Too
Christy ,   Boston, US   (01.28.10)
Reports I've read have praised the Israeli 'Hospital' in Haiti. The Israelis were set up and operating on people before other nations' medical people. I was also wondering why the Israelis were leaving so soon. I thought it might have something to do with the increase in violence in Haiti I keep hearing about? Not that the Israelis are afraid, just perhaps short of manpower to protect the hospital?
19. #18 no; the FH was equipped for a "sprint", not a "marathon"
Zvi   (01.29.10)
The Israeli field hospital was able to deploy quickly because the Israeli mission was clearly defined: the hospital would travel relatively light, deploy rapidly and provide urgent, high-tech, life-saving treatment during the immediate aftermath of the quake. It would not try to be a long-term 1000-bed facility that would treat the Haitian people for months or years; larger, more cumbersome organizations would provide such hospitals. But it would take time for these big facilities to deploy and activate fully; somebody needed to go in early, save lives in urgent danger during the early aftermath, and buy enough time so that other organizations could activate and deploy their large, long-term facilities. Israel took on that role. So the Israelis didn't try to staff or equip their facility for the long term. They sent what they expected to need in the immediate aftermath of a horrific earthquake. Eventually, medicine and equipment would be depleted and staff would be exhausted; but by that time, other large facilities would have time to activate fully. The Israelis headed home because they were the sprinters, not the marathon runners, and the sprint is is done. The US hospital ship Comfort (1000 beds) is now in place. It has high-tech facilities, but it needed 7 days to prep for its mission, whereas the Israelis were able to deploy almost immediately. The Comfort is a marathon runner. Of course, Israel is still providing assistance to Haiti. The UN has requested that Israeli policemen come to help bolster an international police force, as the need for law and order replaces the need for field hospitals. Israel is helping out.
20. #19 - Thanks for info
Christy ,   Boston, US   (01.29.10)
A lot of other countries, like the US, should take lessons in how to set up a field hospital as fast as the Israelis did.
21. nr. 7 and nr. 12.
Eva ,   Jerusalem   (01.31.10)
Gayla and Zvi, your talkback is so right! If everybody reads your explenations, than there is no need for doubting that Israel still is helping!! Thank you.
22. our best ambassador
debbie ,   israel   (01.31.10)
WILLIAM KRUHL Are you really an ignorant idiot, or do you just seem like one? If you know anything at all about the conflict here, you will know that Israel did not "break" Gaza. The Hamas leaders who are more interest in their own fat bank accts, and not at all in whether their people have enough to eat, schools, medicines, medical care. They've received billions of dollars from the world community in the past years. They have received more than enough money, to ensure that their people don't go hungry. It is now HAMAS responsibility to act like the sovereign state they want to be, and take responsibility for taking care of their people. For a start, they should stop getting filthy rich off the profits from smuggling weaponry through the tunnels, and start "smuggling" in food and medicine for Gazans.
23. our best ambassador
debbie ,   israel   (01.31.10)
TO CHRISTY Thanks for being interested. Israel has has state of the art,highly sophisticated digging equipment and trained staff (search & rescue), and state of the art victim identification system, which they used in the tsunami among other catastrophes. The quality of medicine in Israel is second to none. If the Arabs would stop hating long enough and blowing everything up around them, they could maybe benefit from good neighborliness, and so much knowledge and advances in Israel.
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