The extents to which the Israeli efforts in Nepal have risen to in this initial week where rescue is so vital as soon it becomes simply recording the fatalities, are their usual of accomplishing the improbable in responding to a natural disaster. The hopes for finding survivors were greatly enhanced by the assistance sent by the world with the Israeli assistance efforts being amongst the most extensive. Despite restrictions on numbers and types of flights permitted to land at the damaged Kathmandu airport, the Israelis still managed to erect a completely operative field hospital complete with fifty tons of medical equipment including X-ray imaging, complete operating rooms, a maternity ward, laboratory, and virtually everything one might expect to find at a regular hospital. The field hospital is expected to provide treatment, beyond simple first aid, to two hundred patients every day. Once again the Israeli efforts on the ground and in the air are equaled solely by the United States. Israel while providing aid and comfort to the Nepalese also managed to locate and rescue over two-hundred Israelis known to be vacationing or working in Nepal and is in the process of getting these survivors back to Israel. With one individual left to locate, these efforts are laudatory and so extensive that it is reasonable to expect this sole remaining Israeli to be located and provided transportation to Kathmandu and from there back home. The leads thus far on the location of Or Assaraf have all come from locals who had seen him before the massive earthquake struck Nepal leaving massive destructions of buildings and further problems caused by landslides and massive boulders careening down the steep slopes of the Himalayan Mountains.
The outpouring of thanks and appreciation pictured in reports are reminiscent of the reactions Israeli search and rescue, medical aid and other vital emergency relief efforts Israel has provided quietly around the world wherever they were needed. These Israeli units are very professional as they are ready response units which train and are always at the ready to fulfill all necessary functions to meet any emergency. These specialized units are in constant training mode up to the instance that their professional services are required, and then they are aboard aircraft with all their necessary gear and trained units ready to respond. This includes K-9 units with dogs specifically trained to locate survivors within the rubble as well as medical units which include doctors, surgeons, nurses and technicians to run the laboratories, X-ray equipment and other such services as in a fully staffed hospital which is as good a description as any to describe an Israeli field hospital. The main difference is the walls are all green and made from a softer and more forgiving material than brick and plaster, in simple terms, tents. With the death toll at this moment approaching 7500, the good news is that two survivors were pulled from the rubble and told of their harrowing experience and how they drank what water seeped down through the collapsed structures which had enveloped them. Both teens, a young boy and even younger girl, had survived for five days buried beneath buildings which their not being crushed was but the first of the miracles which saved their lives. The fact that they survived for five days with extreme limits to their intake of water and appeared none the worse for wear was the next miracle and their seeming perfect health with no ill effects was the final miracle. These youths were perhaps saved so that we could marvel at the miracle before our eyes.
For now we can only hope and pray for more such miracles to have saved additional people yet to be plucked from the rubble safe and sound. The efforts continue in Kathmandu to clear the wreckage and debris. One of the problems and something which must be accepted as necessitated by the lack of alternative methods has been the start of burning the bodily remains of the victims as there does not exist the means by which to otherwise dispose of them before they pose a threat to the living. The future holds little promise for locating additional survivors except in the remote areas where an injured individual would be more easily able to find water and even sustenance to hold out until rescuers arrive and can transport them to safety and medical help. The future holds the most harrowing of inevitabilities, the recording of the death toll which having already cleared many thousands threatens to climb even higher as the wreckage and remains of the earthquake are cleared and more bodies located. Additionally, the reports and loss of life in the remote parts of Nepal have yet to arrive. Some of these areas will never reveal their numbers as they do not recognize the central government and thus feel no compulsion to report to anyone. It had even been commented that the IDF search units seeking the hundreds of original missing Israelis were going into areas where the Nepalese military refuse to enter due to the animosities of some local tribes. As originally penned by Alexander Pope, it is appropriate to now state, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” as this has often described the rescue forces of the IDF and they have universally been accepted by the locals who are suspect of anything bearing witness to a higher power than their tribal hierarchy. Perhaps the reason is that the IDF forces come solely to provide assistance, true assistance free from any strings or expectations of anything beyond acceptance to perform their mission, assisting survivors and finding those in need of rescue from the destructive forces of nature. This in many ways is the prefect description of Israel as a whole, the desire and intent to provide assistance, true assistance free from any strings or expectations of anything beyond acceptance, and to provide a meaningful template by which mankind can live through their examples and by such to be a light unto the nations.
Beyond the Cusp