The horrific sights left by the earthquakes in India and Haiti and the tsunami in Japan quickly passed before my eyes when I received the phone call about the journey to Nepal: "Be at the airport in two hours. We're flying to a disaster area again."
The Israeli rescue force, dispatched by the IDF's Home Front Command and Medical Corps, has a difficult mission: To rescue Israelis who are out of contact and to help helpless Nepalese people whose entire world has been shattered.
It's a significant challenge: It's impossible to land a large force in Katmandu's mountainous airport, there are no means to unload 80 tons of equipment from the planes, and there is basically no way to dispatch a rescue mission within such a short period of time to such a faraway destination. But it seems the State of Israel is unfamiliar with the world "impossible."
There is a strange potion called Israeliness: It melts the "impossible" and creates resourcefulness and determination even when the odds seem slim. If there are no Nepalese drivers at night, they are woken up; if the trucks don't fit, their side panels are removed; when the locals say "we can only do it tomorrow," they are woken up shortly after midnight.
The Israeli rescue force includes the best people in the country. We arrived in Nepal and we have been to Haiti and Turkey. If needed, we'll go all the way to Antarctica.
I have been traveling around disaster areas around the world for 15 years in order to help people. I have met delegations from dozens of countries – but I have yet to meet delegations with such professional, devoted, brave and seasoned doctors and officers.
It takes 12 hours to set up a hospital. A total of 120 medical professionals will work in it. They will treat, with total devotion, every child in danger, every pregnant woman who will lose her fetus without medical care and every person who may lose his limbs without a proper treatment.
The flag of Israel will rise above the tents serving the hospital. And we should all raise our heads and watch it proudly. For just a moment, it might conceal any hint of cynicism.
Colonel (res.) Dr. Ariel Bar is a member of the IDF rescue mission to Nepal