Israel has treated a number of Palestinian children who were at a hospital to a fun day at a ski resort in Mt. Hermon. Does this mean that it is “snowashing?” As I will show later on, Israel has a history of treating Palestinian children who are hospitalized to a fun day at Mt. Hermon.
According to COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories):
3 Palestinian children went to Mount Hermon in Israel on March, the 19th, with a group of Israeli children, to enjoy the mountain and the snow.
The children, treated in Schneider Hospital and Sharei Tsedek Hospital were accompanied by soldiers from the Alpine Unit of Tsahal, who enjoyed the day with tem.
The event was organized by the Civil Administration and the Israeli NGO “Tikva uMarpeh”.
In 2011, Palestinian children with cancer were also treated to a similar event.
Last week, Palestinian children diagnosed with cancer visited Israel’s only ski resort located in Mt. Hermon, northern Israel. The children, accompanied by their families, enjoyed the snow and slopes along with IDF reservists from the Alpine Unit.
The day was part of a decade-long project in which soldiers bring up groups of mentally or physically disabled children, as well as children with terminal illnesses, to Mt. Hermon for a day of fun and relaxation. The number of visits varies according to the snowfall each year, but on average amounts to 40-45 annual visits. The project is funded by the Erez Organization, a non-profit organization which consists of reserve soldiers of the Alpine Unit.
The trip was also made possible by the Civil Administration, the Israeli body responsible for administering and coordinating civilian and humanitarian needs in the West Bank. Dalia Bassa, Health and Welfare Coordinator in the CA, coordinated last week’s trip for twenty children from the Augusta Victoria Hospital’s Oncology Ward who, along with their families and six of the hospital’s medical staff, joined the soldiers in the snow.
“It’s a day of fun which helps these children deal with their illness,” she said, adding that groups of Palestinian kids go to Mt. Hermon every year and that “the families call annually to remind me of the coming snowfall”.
The children were driven by bus to the Sea of Galilee in the morning, where they stopped at the Ein Gev Beach for a breakfast paid for the Alpine Unit’s logistics officer. From there they continued on to Mt. Hermon, where they were met with a host of IDF reservists ready to show them the slopes and join them in riding Sno-Cats and sledding.
“You see kids in green uniform playing with kids in civilian clothes,” said the commander of the Alpine Unit, who also invited a number of soldiers from the Nachal Brigade to join the fun. “I don’t presume to be a peacemaker or anything, but regardless of anyone’s personal politics it was simply a sight that did the heart good.”
What is Aidwashing?
Aidwashing is the belief that whenever Israel sends an aid delegation to help a country after a natural disaster, or an Israeli organization helps people in need, Israel does this only to cover up for their alleged “crimes.” It follows the thought that Zionists are inherently evil with no good inside of them, as well as the misguided view that Israel is an aggressive, belligerent, oppresive force that ruthlessly is engaging in ethnic cleansing (despite the Arab and Palestinian population rising in both numbers and percentages).
Thus, when the IDF sends an aid delegation to set up the first field hospital in Haiti after an earthquake, it’s an example of Aidwashing. And when they send a delegation to help Japan after a tsunami, this is also Aidwashing.
Naturally, this is as incorrect as any other form of “washing” associated with Israel, be it Pinkwashing, Equalitywashing, Technologywashing, etc.
To combat this, we highlight the many cases in which Israel or an Israeli organization assists the world by helping them after a natural disaster or helping save lives. Sometimes, Aidwashing overlaps with Technologywashing, and sometimes it overlaps with Equalitywashing, such as when the IDF treats Palestinian kids with cancer to a ski resort at Mt. Hermon.
Once again, an Israeli organization is helping the world – or more specifically, saving lives. Yup, this time it’s aidwashing, and since it’s in India, this is a case of Indiawashing.
NOTE: We would like to reiterate that aidwashing is NOT the same as AIDSwashing. The first refers to Israel’s help in saving lives and sending medical delegations after natural disasters strike countries. The latter refers to an Israeli company developing technology to combat AIDS or an Israeli organization helping victims of AIDS.
An Israeli organisation, United Hartzalah, might have just cracked the code. The idea is simple; it depends on a network of volunteers and smart use of technology. The organisation recruits volunteers, gives them 100 hours of training, equips them with a kit containing medicines and devices that fit on a two wheeler, and lets them get on with their normal lives. When an emergency strikes, it locates the volunteer closest to the scene and alerts him. The volunteer rushes to the scene and provides first aid. There are 1,700 volunteers across Israel and they arrive at the scene in a matter of minutes. Eli Beer, who founded United Hartzalah, says he is aiming to crunch this number to 90 seconds.
But even Al Jazeera, which is widely critical of Israel (and whose Arabic channels go beyond plain criticism), reported on this!
United Hatzalah has not only saved hundreds of lives, it has also had a positive impact on the social fabric. Recently, Al Jazeera aired a documentary on how the organisation brought Arabs and Jews together in a region that’s defined by extreme hatred. Mark Gerson, co-founder of Gerson Lehrman Group and chairman of United Hatzalah, says right now they have an oversupply of people wanting to volunteer in Israel. Beer and Gerson hope to replicate the model across the world, including India.
Across the world… No doubt that fraudulent manuscripts such as Protocols of the Elders of Zion will flash in some anti-Israel advocates minds. Will we be seeing op-eds how Israel’s “tentacles” are extending across the world through aidwashing, attempting to cover up for their alleged “crimes?”
However, India might turn out to be different, given its size and background. Israel is a small country, and its population—76 lakh—is smaller than that of Hyderabad. What works in Israel might not work in India. But the size of the countries shouldn’t matter, says Gerson. The ideal way to go about it would be to take one city at a time, get the fundamentals right, put the system in place, and scale up over time.
In fact, in Brazil, they have started with Sao Paulo. The experience has been good—the volunteers were easy to come by and the technology works as well as it did in Israel. “We are looking to assist the Sao Paulo group to expand in Rio de Janeiro. Operational plans are already underway. United Hatzalah is assisting in a similar programme in Panama as well,” says Beer.
The Economist has more information on United Hatzalah.
ISRAELIS know all too well the need for first aid—and the difficulties of providing it. When Eli Beer was four, in 1978, he saw the carnage after a hijacked bus exploded. In 2001 he was knocked to the ground by a secondary bomb intended to kill first-aiders rushing to the scene of a suicide blast.
Conventional ambulances called to such scenes have plenty of fancy equipment, but they start from a central location and often struggle to squeeze through traffic jams. So they often arrive too late: the most gravely injured often die in minutes.
Mr Beer has designed something better. His charity, United Hatzalah, co-ordinates a group of 1,700 volunteers scattered around Israel. All are trained in basic first aid. And each has a GPS-enabled smartphone revealing exactly where he or she is…
The model—of dispersed volunteers using ubiquitous gadgets, a simple medical kit and a motorbike—is easily exportable. A similar (but smaller) scheme has started in São Paulo. Mark Gerson, a successful New York-based businessman who chairs United Hatzalah’s board, says it is his dream to spread the ingenious and low-cost idea far, wide and fast.
Israelis doing good isn’t an unusual phenomenon. What is a phenomenon is some people’s inability to comprehend this. When you encounter someone like this, realize that we all comprehend facts at different paces and realize that Zionists and Israelis are actually human beings who are not evil. It all takes us different paces, some longer than others, and until that person can comprehend this, all you have to do is “pace them,” which generally consists of a pat on the back while saying, “Paces, paces.”
Here is the website of United Hatzalah, in case you want to make a donation.
<h/t Elder of Ziyon>