Israel has long been one of the first nations on the scene following major natural disasters. Most notably, Israel provided disproportionate assistance following the devastating earthquakes in Haita (2010) and Japan (2011). And Israel has not disappointed in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan that killed over 10,000 and left upwards of 800,000 wounded and homeless in the Philippines.
The Israeli army sent hundreds of doctors and medical staff and enough equipment and medicine to establish a state-of-the-art field hospital. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli humanitarian aid group IsraAid, as well several smaller Israeli and Jewish organizations all sent their own teams of rescue and medical personnel.
Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge said his nation is most grateful for the immediate and overwhelming support provided by the Jewish state. "I can’t describe the feeling right now... that my host country cares about our stricken people," Calonge told Israeli media.
It wasn’t only the people of the Philippines who were impressed.
“I’ve always been fascinated by how well the...IDF delivers emergency response medical care in extremely poor conditions,” reported Dr. Nancy Snyderman of the American TV network NBC from the Philippines.
Snyderman went on to describe how the Israelis had selected the most impoverished and needy region to establish their operations, which were being run with professionalism and dedication of the highest standard.
“Smart. Sophisticated. Secure.” That was how Snyderman labeled the Israeli army field hospital, adding, “I walked away in awe of this group of doctors: physician humanitarians, and medicine at its very best.”
A full photo spread of Israel’s work in the Philippines will be featured in the upcoming issue of Israel Today Magazine.