Seventy-six days from now the United Nations General Assembly’s 2011 session in New York will open, and I have been urging my readers for some weeks to write to the heads of delegations in New York urging them not to vote in favor of Palestinian statehood.
Some people are at a loss as to what to say, so here is a brief primer with some examples of what you can use to remind the delegates why they owe Israel a return favor.
Albania– After severe flooding in December of last year, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered 307 family-sized tents for families made homeless by flooding there.
Congo– Israel sent 4 tons of humanitarian aid to the country in November 2008 to relieve the suffering of the population in rural areas.
Dominican Republic– Israel sent relief teams to assist in cleanup operations in the wake of Tropical Storm Noel in November 2007.
Greece– Israel sent 52 firefighters to assist in battling major conflagrations there in August 2007.
Haiti– In January 2010 Israel was the first country to successfully setup a fully equipped field hospital just 4 days after the devastating earthquake that struck the country.
India– Israel sent 150 emergency personnel to assist in relief efforts after the January 2001 earthquake in Western India.
Indonesia– In January 2005 Israel sent 75 tons of relief material for the benefit of those made homeless by the December 2004 Tsunami.
Kenya– Israel sent search and rescue teams to Kenya after the bombing of the US Embassy there in August 1998.
Macedonia– Israel sent firefighting equipment twice in 2007 to assist in battling major blazes there in July and August 2007.
Mauritania– Two medical missions sent to the country by Israel in 1999 to treat eye problems among the populace.
Mexico– Israel sent relief teams to assist in cleanup operations in the wake of Tropical Storm Noel in November 2007.
Myanmar– Israel sent relief workers to help local officials in the wake of the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis
Nicaragua– Israel sent relief teams to assist in cleanup operations in the wake of Hurricane Felix in September 2007.
Nigeria– Israel sent medical supplies to Nigeria in March 2006 to battle bird flu.
Philippines– In response to the damage caused by typhoon Ondoy, Israel sent planeloads of medicine to the beleaguered areas in October 2009.
Sri Lanka– After the December 2004 Tsunami Israel delivered emergency food kitchens to help feed those displaced by the devastating wave.
Turkey– Israel sent 250 relief workers to assist in cleanup operations after the August 199 earthquake that hit Turkey, followed by a complete field hospital. After the area was cleared, Israel then built a village of prefabricated houses for the survivors.
The list could go on and on. But it is important that when the chips are down, nations remember who their friends have been and then respond by returning the favor, if you will. And we needn’t be ashamed to remind them of that.
I’ve done a lot of “Googling” over the last months and I cannot find any examples of comparable Palestinian Arab aid to any of these countries. So it behooves all of us who care about Israel to remind the delegates to the UN that when they need us, we were there. It’s now time for them to return the favor.
Walter Winchell, the famous US journalist of the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s once said, “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” Let’s remind nations of who was there for them when they needed us and do it now!
Sherwin Pomerantz is a 27-year resident of Israel and president of Atid EDI Ltd., an economic development consultancy in Jerusalem. He is also the current Chairman of HADAR-Council for Civic Action, former National President and Jerusalem Chairperson of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel and a member of the Central Committee of the Likud.