Baby Israel Baby Israel At the Israeli field hospital in 2010, doctors helped a Haitian woman deliver a baby boy, whom she named "Israel." (Photo: IDF)

Israel shines in response to Haiti quake

Fully functional makeshift hospital an example of Israel's excellence in disaster relief.

In the wake of the massive earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the fastest, and some say most critical, medical response came from Israel – a nation 5,000 miles away. 

1 Within 3 days, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had a fully functional field hospital up and running in the devastated city, a full week before the American contingent.

“I’m just amazed,” CNN reporter Elizabeth Cohen said when she first saw the field hospital built by IDF. “This is like another world compared to the other [makeshift] hospital.” She also asked how it could be that the United States had not yet set up a hospital in Haiti while “the Israelis came from the other side of the world.”

Michael Freund, a columnist in The Jerusalem Post, wrote, “Though a vast gulf separates Israel from Haiti, the people demonstrated that their extended hand can bridge any gap and traverse any chasm when it comes to saving lives.” 

Said Ethan Bronner of the New York Times: "…ahead of most countries, Israel sent scores of doctors and other professionals to Haiti. Years of dealing with terrorist attacks, combined with an advanced medical technology sector, have made Israel one of the most nimble countries in disaster relief…" 

2

The Israeli doctors treated thousands of Haitians for everything from trauma to dehydration and dysentery. One patient’s problem was a little more hopeful – she was about to have a baby. The mother, a woman named Soraya, was taken to the Israeli hospital, where physicians helped her to successfully deliver a healthy baby boy.

The boy’s name? Israel.

3

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Israel shines in response to Haiti quake
Fully functional makeshift hospital an example of Israel's excellence in disaster relief.