3 days ago
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wildfire in Israel: compassion trumps politics
Today’s ‘Positive and Optimistic Sunday’. As if Israel hasn’t got enough problems to contend with. Now massive wildfire’s engulfing her north . The death toll’s into the forties and rising. And many thousands of Israelis are being evacuated. It’s already a human and environmental disaster. And seemingly the worst’s yet to come. Israel well used to disaster; but reading between the lines her firefighting infrastructure and capability are stretched to the limit. Thus PM Netanyahu has appealed for international help. So far Britain, France, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Croatia, Azerbaijan and Russia are sending more than 20 firefighting aircraft. Bulgaria’s willing to send firefighting teams. Italy’s offering help too. And, of course, so are the US and Australia. Also, I’m pleased to see, Muslim nations are pitching in: Egypt’s sending a firefighting plane, and Jordan’s sending firefighters. Maybe that’s expected – because Egypt and Jordan have peace treaties with Israel. However the big surprise, for me anyway, is Turkey who’s sending two planes  despite her increasing tensions with Israel and her strengthening ties with Iran and thus Hizbollah and Hamas. Israel is politically beleaguered internationally. But it’s heartening that the current natural disaster (though I doubt terrorist arson’s been excluded) has caused humanitarian concern and compassion to transcend politics. How positive and optimistic is that.