I don’t agree with everything Bradley Burston says in his recent column about Israeli aid to Haiti, but I think he gets the main point right here:
For all the time that [the Israelis in Haiti] have been working, however, people far away, snug in the comfort of their laptops, have been furiously busy as well, people who are enraged to the boiling point by news reports of the Israeli rescue mission. People who see it as their mission to tell the world exactly what’s wrong with all of this.
Over the past week, the work of the Israeli medical team has become a kind of Rorschach for how people view Israel and Israelis. Most of the comment, it must be said, is supportive. Even on the part of those who cast the humanitarian misery in Gaza in contrast.
But for a shocking number of others, the bottom line is simple: Israel, and Israelis, can do no right.
I’ll admit that the Israelis are using their field hospital in Haiti to boost their image to the rest of the world. But let’s be honest: It’s sad, but PR is almost always a consideration in humanitarian situations.
But I think the important thing is that Haiti needs all the help it can get. Your opposition to the occupation or Israel’s other policies should get in the way of that.