Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami Aid

Google has set up a very nice page with links to information about the tsunami and links to sites where you can donate to help the victims of the tsunami. See:
http://www.google.com/tsunami_relief.html

I had hoped to post an item for the blog earlier this week, but the news about the tsunami made any other subject seem frivolous. Trying to find a Jewish angle related to the tsunami also seemed rather self-involved, though certainly no more self-involved than the American media, which in its coverage of the tsunami routinely mentioned the number of American dead: about 20.

But since this is a blog covering subjects of Jewish interest, I should note that Israel, like most countries in the world, has offered aid to the countries devastated by the tsunami. Sadly according to many news reports, Sri Lanka rejected Israel's aid, claiming that they did not have the facilities to house the personnel Israel planned to provide: 150 people, including doctors and search-and-rescue teams. I would not be surprised if this small island nation, devastated by the tsunami, was unable to house 150 extra people, but I have yet to hear reports of any other country's personnel being similarly rejected. This may, of course, be due to an oversight by the media in failing to mention other countries similarly rejected. In any case, Sri Lanka did accept Israel's aid in the form of material, such as blankets, tents, nylon sheeting and water containers.

Note that some sources have erroneously reported that Israel did not offer aid to tsunami victims; however, even the Arab media outlet Al Jazeera, hardly a friend to Israel, discusses the offer to Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka's rejection. See:
Sri Lanka rejects Israel’s rescue team

Once again, that Google link to learn about the tsunami or help the victims is:
http://www.google.com/tsunami_relief.html

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