(Photo: IDF Spokesperson via Twitter)

(Photo: IDF Spokesperson via Twitter)

By Gabriel Nadaf - May 17, 2015

Originally appeared here in The Algemeiner 

Significant public discussion began recently regarding Israel’s and the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) mobilization to assist the wounded and missing from the earthquake in Nepal.

A large IDF delegation left for the disaster area in Kathmandu, and within a few days established a field hospital as well as a system for locating missing Israelis in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of course, the results were not long in coming. Nearly all the Israelis were located, many of them were evacuated to Israel, and the IDF’s Medical Corps field hospitals have provided medical services to thousands of Nepalese victims who were wounded during the initial earthquake and its aftershocks.

The State of Israel has shown its solidarity with the world community – sending more equipment and manpower than almost any other country in the world – and its efforts have been favorably received and supported. Israel’s action is based on the classic idea of mutual responsibility among the Jewish people – and any people who are in distress, be they Jewish or not. This help and assistance is almost unquestioningly given and received, even here in Israel – a country where normal discourse consists of constant argument between various opinions (like the famous saying goes: ask two Israelis and get three opinions).

This clearly Zionist value is expressed today in Nepal, but not only there. For example, the non-governmental organization Rescuers Without Borders, headed by Rabbi Aryeh Levi from Beitar Illit (an ultra-Orthodox rabbi living in a settlement), is operating in Kathmandu right now. At the same time, he is working with me (an Aramaic Greek-Orthodox priest and the head of the Christian Empowerment Council) to collect basic supplies for Christian refugees who escaped the clutches of the murderous terrorist organization ISIS. Surprisingly (or not), the main source of our manpower for this blessed activity is volunteers from the Zionist non-governmental organization Im Tirtzu, whose main volunteers are Israeli students. Read More