Israel Lends a Hand, Again

Summary: The Israeli military and civilians come to the aid of people around the world in times of need – even to countries that do not recognize its right to exist.

On April 25, 2015, an enormous earthquake shook Nepal, killing over 5,000 people. Within 48 hours, Israel sent a delegation of medical personnel to help aid in the recovery efforts and treating survivors.

By April 28, Israel had deployed 260 people to Nepal. The entire rest of the world deployed 276 people.

ShaareZedek Nepal
Israelis embark to aid victims of Nepal earthquake,
April 2015

The Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem is playing a leading role as it has on various emergency missions such as in the Philippines (2009), Haiti (2010) and Japan (2011).  The personnel include:

  • Prof. Jonathan Halevy- Director General, Expert in Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Ofer Merin – Deputy Director General and Director of Trauma Services
  • Dr. Tamar Lachish  – Director of Infectious Diseases Unit
  • Dr. Sefi Mendelowitz – Department of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Avi Alpert – Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Prof. Amos Peyser – Director, Department of Orthopedics
  • Dr. Giora Weiser – Pediatric Emergency Department
  • Dr. Harel Arzi – Spine Unit
  • Deganit Kovliner – Nurse, Department of Emergency Medicine

These efforts are a continuation of the emergency medicine that was spear-headed by Dr. David Applebaum.  Dr. Applebaum ran the Shaare Zedek emergency room for many years introducing new methods of managing crises, an expertise developed during the Second Intifada. On the second anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks, Dr. Applebaum came to New York City to help train American doctors in large scale emergency response. He then flew home to Jerusalem for his daughter’s wedding the next day.  That night, as the two of them had dinner together at a cafe, they were both killed in a terrorist bombing.

There is a famous saying that many Christians use from the book of Mark “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  The original text is actually from the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:18):

‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

A musical tribute to the volunteers in Israel who even come to the aid of countries which do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and the memory of Dr. David Applebaum:

“In the many decades that I have been privileged to serve as a physician as well as an IDF officer, I can honestly say that I have never felt this degree of anticipation as for what awaits us in Nepal. While I know it will be a challenging professional and personal experience, we hope it will bring significant relief to those in need and offer a sense of pride for the important role that the IDF and the State of Israel can offer others in this time of need.”

-Professor Jonathan Halevy,
as he awaited the team’s departure from Ben Gurion Airport