Why Does It Take a Fire?

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Israel has suffered untold damage to its ecology and environment due to a raging fire accidentally started by a 14-year old boy. The fire started not far from one of the most beautiful cities in Israel and the birthplace of my friend Nir Boms: Haifa. Up to now, 42 people perished needlessly

The surprise in this story is the number of countries that have come to Israel”™s aid considering the latest campaigns at delegitimizing one of the smallest Mediterranean nations (Malta is the smallest, I think). Of course, countries like the US and Russia helped. So did Egypt and Jordan, with whom Israel has peace agreements with, thus putting aside their political differences to help for humanitarian purposes (Release that kudos for both countries for their insightful goodness).

But to the surprise of many, Turkey, with whom Israel has always enjoyed good relations with until the Gaza flotilla incident, also dispatched humanitarian relief. Even if Turkey did not assist, I am certain that if Turkey ever had a disaster of some sort (G*d forbids), Israel will fly to its aid the way it flew half way around the world to help Haiti”™s earthquake victims. Prime Minister Netanyahu was quick to call Erdogan to thank him. He said: “We very much appreciate this mobilization and I am certain that it will be an opening toward improving relations between our two countries, Turkey and Israel,”

Why does it take a horrific fire to help a nation Erdogan has worked hard at delegitimizing? Assad is not getting much help from Erdogan when it comes to Turkey”™s water resources for Syria”™s own horrific drought that has displaced up to 250,000 Syrians.

In short, Israel”™s friends in the west have much to do with Erdogan”™s indirect and masked small gesture. After the Gaza flotilla, Erdogan may have gained the Arab street but he lost the Capitol Hill Street, especially one whose new powers include a high-ranking Republican named Etic Cantor. Turkey”™s confrontational image in Washington has harmed its interests, and its small gesture of aid to Israel, Erdogan calculated, may amend it somehow with a new US Congress.

The fire, as disastrous to Israel”™s loss of life and resources, may have also sent a message to Syria and Iran that when it matters the most, Israel can depend on the world to stand by her. So my message to both countries is: Arming Hezbollah with 50,000 rockets in a very small geographic region defies the laws of diminishing returns, something your economies should consider more carefully. Have you ever entered a supermarket where all the shelves have corn flakes? That”™s the same efficiency projected by 50,000 rockets in small Lebanon.


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