By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Israel has just decided to send 3 mobile medical units to Liberia and Sierra Leone to help the fight against Ebola.
The request was officially sent from US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prossor.
Originally Israel rejected the request.
At first look, denying the request seemed strange and out of place.
Israel is usually the first country to jump in and help out other countries in need. And it appeared as if any disciplined Western medical team could institute the proper protocol to minimize risks to their team and their
So why did Israel say no? And then say yes?
The request officially went to the Israeli Defense Ministry. The Foreign Ministry weighed in and suggested that Israel go. The Foreign Ministry thought that it would counterbalance the negative PR Israel was still getting from the summer conflict with Gaza, Operation Preventive Edge.
It seems as if the Defense Ministry determined that Israel could not take the risk. Or, maybe not.
The IDF has a good number of ready prepped MASH units. They were the proper address. They had the training.
Once again, Israel is faced with a huge double standard.
Liberia and Sierra Leone have not been shut down by the FAA. US airlines are still free to fly there and have been for months with no restrictions since the outbreak of this deadly virus now turned epidemic and potentially even pandemic. And yet, during the summer, Israel's Ben Gurion Airport was shut down to travelers to and from the United States causing over a billion dollars of lost tourist revenue.
There is no irony here - simply a double standard.
This is another example showing how wrong Washington has been when it comes to making certain foreign affairs decisions.
But in the end, Israel is sending teams to help. The teams are from the Foreign Ministry. Officially they are mobile medical clinics not MASH operations.
Why? Because Israel does the right thing. Israel helps people in need.
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