Arabs Haiti Israel

Arab relief efforts in Haiti

The remarkable Israeli relief efforts in Haiti have attracted predictable, offensive comments that treat the whole initiative as a p.r. stunt. Equally offensive are the triumphant voices that catalogue Israeli deeds and then say, ‘Where are the Arabs in Haiti? You don’t see the Arabs helping.” Well, James Zogby begs to differ and has a good, long answer on his blog, which is excerpted below. The Middle East has too many problems as it is. Why compound them with ridiculous generalizations that imply that Arabs are somehow devoid of generosity?

I realize that, in posting this, I’ll be accused of being a shill for “Arab propaganda.” Who cares?

Based on information available to date, Algeria granted $1 million in emergency humanitarian aid. Bahrain sent a disaster relief team to provide aid, pledged $1 million in relief, and the Bahrain Red Crescent Society appealed for donations for Haiti. Egypt allocated medical supplies and personnel. Jordan established a 12-bed military hospital in Port-au-Prince, and personnel are also feeding children who enter; dispatched two planes carrying a mobile field hospital, rescue team, doctors and six tons of aid supplies that include food, medicine and clothing. Kuwait sent 100 tons of food, medical supplies, tents and blankets and donated $1 million, delivered through the country’s Red Crescent Society.

Lebanon airlifted 25 tons of tents, 3 tons of medicine, vaccines and other supplies, and sent aid workers to help in relief efforts. Libya sent a shipment of relief supplies including medicine. Morocco sent $1 million worth of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. In Palestine, the Council of Ministers convened in the West Bank and donated humanitarian aid, and in Gaza, one of the most impoverished populations on the planet, individuals donated money, food and clothing to the Red Cross. Qatar mobilized a 26-person rescue team of soldiers, police and medical professionals, and sent 50 tons of aid. Saudi Arabia donated $50 million, which will be directed through the United Nations. Syria airlifted 30 tons of humanitarian aid. Tunisia allocated $1 million to the United Nations Emergency Fund that was created for Haiti relief. The United Arab Emirates contributed over $2.6 million; three UAE charities donated more than 200 tons of medical equipment, tents and blankets, food and drinking water.

13 thoughts on “Arab relief efforts in Haiti

  1. You might have mentioned the Israeli effort. Which proportionetely dwarfs anything the Arabs came up with. Lets fact it, the average Kuwaiti sheik drops more than that on casinos and hookers. But you had to throw in the Arabs. You couldn’t say anything good about Israel without making a qualifying statement. It’s pathetic

  2. You couldn’t let it stand alone. Always with the moral equivilence. Don’t you get tired at some point?

  3. BTW, you still haven’t shared your thoughts about Scott Brown. VEry pro-israel republican guy. Has to be killing you. Not to mention “Little Philly Weiss” and hos youthful ward Adam Horowitz

  4. I don’t know if you noticed this, Pearlman, but you can read about the Israelis in Haiti all over the internet. As for Scott Brown, so what? Do you really think Coakley wouldn’t have shilled for Israel as much as Kennedy did?

  5. Bill Pearlman, I don’t have any thoughts to share on Scott Brown, except to note that your definition of what it means to be pro-Israel is vastly different than mine.

  6. I have to admit Dan, I don’t understand this post. What’s the more prevalent ugliness going on between the right or wrongers on both “sides” of the even Haiti is the Middle East debate. Is there rampant and foolish mockery of Arab or Muslim contribution to the relief effort? I guess there are some morons choosing to run with this kind of garbage. Now let’s look at Israel and its contribution. From Haaretz to your buddy MJ Rosenberg, and out to the Guardian, and heaven knows what is being elsewhere, there is a viscerally mean and ugly reaction to the contribution of the Jewish State.

    Sorry Dan, I love your blog, but this is the kind of post that makes me feel creepy. Wanna be even-handed? My suggestion is that you pay more than lip service to the extraordinary contribution of the Jewish State to the relief effort, combine it with some pointed and harsh criticism of folks like your buddy MJ for using the horror that is Haiti to once again delegitimize the State of Israel among the family of nations, and save the lip service this time for the idiots who choose to remember Haiti by counting what the Arabs are doing.

    Why are we so afraid to defend Israel? Why are we always so afraid?

  7. Thanks, Bruce. You’re right. I thought my admiration for the Israeli relief efforts was clear from my first sentence, but I should have devoted more space to it. That said, some of the “morons choosing to run with this garbage” about the Arab relief efforts are widely read. Here is a blip from Marty Peretz:

    “The Arabs don’t care a fig, not for their impoverished and backward own, and certainly not for strangers. That’s why their presence in Haiti amounted to a couple of bucks from Saudi Arabia and maybe from some other sheikhs.

    “An afterthought: Who would want Arab participation in the rescue effort? This was serious work and dangerous work. Amateurs weren’t welcome.”

    I was reacting to that kind of boneheaded churlishness. But I should have done a better job of criticizing the other kind of churlishness that denigrated Israel’s relief efforts.

  8. Well you beat me to the punch Dan. I was way too harsh and was hoping to apologize and reframe the point I was trying to make, which is that I genuinely believe that what is most compelling is that there once again appears to be this concerted worldwide campaign–a campaign that infects so many in the intellectual milieu where I tend to dwell, namely the diffuse community of the so-called American “left”–to reject the State of Israel’s right to be lauded for the things she deserves to be lauded for.

    It is at best counterproductive to take the position that Israel’s extraordinary efforts are illegitimate because of an unjust occupation of Gaza. I think it is more than counterproductive; I think it is the stuff of hate. But more importantly, in the spirit of seeking to see the forest through the trees, the attacks on Israel in response to its efforts in Haiti breeds the kind of distrust within Israel and in the diaspora that will only strengthen the hands of those who oppose peace.

    And you’re absolutely correct Dan that folks like Marty Peretz and his like-minded thinkers at Commentary and other forums are wrong and perhaps even hateful to criticize the contributions of the Arab states. I guess my point is that such responses are a drop in the bucket compared to how the world, including so many of those with whom I still feel closest to politically in this country, has rejected the basic right of Israel to be recognized for doing a good deed. This is the stuff of delegitimization and it is a cancer and an ugly one and will only strengthen the pens in the hands of Marty Peretz and his like-minded thinkers.

    My bad in focusing my ire on you Dan, and I’m genuinely sorry for that.

  9. I also appreciate that Arabs have contributed and participated in the relief effort, even if for PR or genuine sympathy.

    I see two good things out of this:

    1. Goodness in the world is encouraged.
    2. People work together.

  10. Come on Dan, one column, just one that is pro-israel and that stands alone. I know, that unlike “Little Philly Weiss” and his youthful ward, “Adam ” lithe and sinewy body” Horowitz. Your not cheering for a second holocaust. You can do it.

    And Rich, get off your knee’s. Your buddy is a scumbag. And I think that deep down you know it.

  11. Today, he shows his creative skills via brightly colored and
    also knowledgeably executed paints of everyday Haitian life that provide little hint of the psychological as well as physical grief he understood so totally throughout his early childhood years.

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