Why Is Israel Criticized for Helping Nepal Earthquake Victims?

(Newsweek) Steven A. Cook - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sent 260 doctors, nurses and personnel trained in finding disaster victims to Kathmandu after the major quake. Criticism of the IDF's Nepal mission from some well-known anti-Israel activists is to be expected, even if it is bizarre. But for those genuinely interested in human rights it seemed rather odd to call out the Israelis for sending relief. Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth tweeted: "Easier to address a far-away humanitarian disaster than the nearby one of Israel's making in Gaza." Let's review why it is easier for the Israelis to provide relief in Nepal than in Gaza: 1) Since 2005, about 15,000 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza. 2) The Nepalese have not fired a single rocket at Israel. The way Israelis see it, Gaza is rockets and tunnels and terrorists, whereas Nepal is temples, mountains and nice people. Roth does a disservice to both himself and his organization with his ill-considered tweet. When the executive director of Human Rights Watch criticizes the Israelis for providing humanitarian relief, it actually makes it easier to dismiss his criticism of Israel's human rights record. The writer is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

2015-05-06 00:00:00

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