It should by now come as no surprise that when disaster struck the United States, Mexico and several Caribbean nations in the form of hurricanes and a massive earthquake, Israel was there to help, in disproportionate fashion. “Responding to six consecutive disasters, while continuing to run long-term programs in 16 countries, is a significant challenge,” said Navonel Glick, co-CEO of IsraAID, which sent aid teams to Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico immediately after hurricanes devastated those regions.
IsraAid and the State of Israel also dispatched teams to Mexico, which had been hit by its strongest earthquake since 1985. Just 36 hours after the earthquake hit, 70 IDF officers and soldiers touched down in Mexico City, the second largest aid mission to arrive after the 72-man team sent by Japan. Local newspapers reported that as the uniformed Israeli soldiers marched through the streets, the residents of Mexico City applauded. “The residents were surprised that help had come, especially from so far away” as Israel, said Na’ama Gorodisher, head of the IsraAID team in Mexico. The Israeli delegation was able to provide emergency medical treatment to victims in remote regions, as well as provide blankets, water and food to the many families forced by the earthquake into crowded shelters for an indefinite period of time.
The head of the mission, Col. (res.) Dudi Mizrahi, noted that, like him, most of the delegation was made up of military reservists who had left their family on the eve of Rosh Hashanah to help save lives on the other side of the world. Upon their return to Israel, the delegation was welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the long humanitarian arm of Israel…and the true face of the Jewish state.
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