Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami Perspective and Israel.

As of this morning, most major news outlets are reporting that the death toll from the Tsunami in Souteast Asia is somewhere between 55-70,000 people.

I tried putting this in perspective last night. NFL playoff season is only a couple of weeks away. I can only begin to image myself going to one of those games looking around at the sea of people, and then trying to imagine that every single one of them is dead - it's unbelievable. Instead of a Wave in the stands a massive wave has claimed the lives of AT LEAST a stadium full of people - and that is still climbing.

Among the missing are between 500 and 1500 Israelis (conflicting reports) who were vacationing in the area. The Israeli government as well as other Israeli charities have sent tons of supplies, equipment, and personnel to the beleaguered countries - of course not all are welcome.

While Sri Lanka was more than willing to accept Israel's humanitarian aid and civilian personnel, they refused a contingent of 150 Israeli Military Medical and Recovery Personnel (as reported by Ha'aretz and the Wall Street Journal).

You'd think that a country that has lost tens of thousands of people, millions (if not billions) of dollars, and is lacking in food, supplies, equipment and disaster recovery expertise would put aside politics for a few weeks and let some of the world's best trauma personnel into their country.

I think that this is definitely putting salt into Sri Lanka's wounds.

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