Being a stubborn neighbour will cost:
Turkey was hit by a powerful earthquake Sunday morning, leaving hundreds dead and many more injured. The 7.2 strength quake struck the Van Province region in Eastern Turkey, which is home to a large population of Kurds and is near the Turkish border with Iran.
Many neighboring countries, including Israel, offered to send assistance to the battered region, however theTurkish authorities have so far declined all offers and have opted to deal with the crisis on their own.
In 1999, when Turkey was hit with a devastating earthquake that killed more than 17,000 people, Israel sent teams to help the Turkish authorities in search-and-rescue operations. Those were much better times in Turkish-Israeli relations; nonetheless Israel was fully prepared to send an aid mission to Turkey earlier today in order to help with the victims of the earthquake.
In recent years Turkey has also come to Israel’s aid, such as when catastrophic fires devastated northern Israel in 2010. Immediately upon seeing the urgent need, Turkey sent two firefighting aircrafts which helped stop the fires engulfing the area. Israel accepted Turkey’s help, as well as the assistance offered by many European countries.
Over the years Israel has sent aid worldwide to help with disaster relief, and has been a leader in first-response rescue missions. When Haiti was struck by an earthquake in 2010, Israel set up the first functional emergency medical center equipped with a full staff of doctors and nurses as well as sterilized operating rooms. During the Asian tsunami in 2004, Israel rescue teams operated for weeks on end to help the victims.
We Israelis fully support our government’s offer to send assistance to Turkey in their time of need, despite the Turkish government’s current animosity toward us. While the Turkish government declined the help, we would have been genuinely happy to send it because we cherish life. Israel and her people will forever protect the innocent victims of natural or terror disasters around the world, regardless of the political relationship between the two countries. I believe that is what God meant when He told us to be a light unto the nations.