Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rubble is Rubble

My mother-in-law (may she live and be well until 120) is a very smart woman. She tells it like she sees it.
My mother-in-law came to Israel after the Holocaust ravished Europe. Before she found shelter here, she and my father-in-law, o'h, were thrown in jail in Switzerland and forced into slave labor for trying to escape there from Nazi Germany. Israel was the hope, where Jewish people could pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and together build a future.
This week she watched the news from Haiti. She watched the field hospital, . She watched the care and kindness of the IDF to the victims. She watched ZAKA volunteers helping save Haitians from the rubble.
The Israeli Army has brought the most modern equipment to one of the most backward places in the world. The IDF has sent in the most elite of its medical and rescue teams. ZAKA (I believe it's the American ZAKA) is everywhere helping the Haitians and even singing "Haivainu Shalom Aleichem" with them. What chesed, what kindness, what beautiful sites!
And my mother-in-law has seen the rubble. Mounds and mounds of rubble.
She only has one question:
Is one RUBBLE different from another RUBBLE?
Can rubble, devastation and mass destruction vary in the way Israel regards them?
Israel spends millions upon millions of dollars to save people from the rubble everywhere in the world, to care for them, give them medical care, and even cheer them up.
So, nu...Is rubble at one spot the same as rubble at another spot?
Haitian rubble. Kenyan rubble. Greek rubble. Israel is there. Israel is compassionate. Israel is full of chesed. Israel is ready to rebuild lives.
So, my mother-in-law wants to know, is rubble RUBBLE?
Last week, my mother-in-law watched the news and saw homes and towns turned into rubble, and compassionate Israeli soldiers helping the survivors, while ZAKA volunteers were there to support the survivors, as well.
Four and a half years ago, my mother-in-law watched the news and saw homes and towns turned into rubble. But these homes and towns were Jewish ones from Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron. She said the rubble four years ago looked exactly like the rubble last week. And because of the rubble four years ago, 10,000 Jews lost their homes and were forced to sleep in tents, caravans and cramped hotel rooms.
Where were the compassionate soldiers? Why didn't ZAKA spring into action? Where was the medical treatment for those GK Jews who suddenly had heart problems and post-traumatic stress syndrome? Where was ZAKA when a GK Jew died right after the expulsion AND NO ONE WOULD BURY HIM!!!!
If Israel's most elite soldiers would have acted to the Gush Katif survivors as they did to the Haitian survivors, there'd be less illness in GK refugee towns today, why! there'd be less refugee towns, there'd be more people on their feet.
My mother-in-law wants to know if we have to ship off the survivors of Gush Katif and Northern Shomron to some remote island or a country on the other side of the world in order for Israel and the Israel Defense Forces to reach out to them, show them compassion and heal their wounds. That would certainly be a sad commentary on Israeli society.
But I would like to know too.

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