Members of an American volunteer organization, JCRC, visited an IAF airbase and heard of IDF aid delegations sent abroad to save lives
Visiting Israel for the first time, approximately 20 visitors from New York representing different American federations arrived at the Palmachim Airbase last week. The delegation members arrived with the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and met with commander of the IAF airborne medical unit, Lt. Col. Yuval, who shared with them his experience as one of the doctors sent to Haiti two years ago with the IDF aid delegation.
Each of the American visitors represents a different ethnic or political activist group affecting life in the United States. The JCRC organization, responsible for sending different delegations to Israel, recognizes these influential people and invites them to partake in the trip and continue their connection with Israel even after they return to New York. The representatives visited the Syrian border, S'derot- a city under rocket fire, holy sites and more.
The meeting with the airborne medical unit commander was intended to display the connection between the IDF and the Israeli population, through humanitarian aid delegations sent abroad and through contributions made to society. Head of the JCRC organization in New York, Rabbi Michael Miller explained, "We wanted to show the Israeli character. When the visitors see Lt. Col. Yuval wearing an IDF uniform and going out to save lives they can understand the purpose of the IDF in Israeli society."
As a pediatrician, Lt. Col. Yuval joined the IDF medical aid delegation to Haiti after the severe earthquake that struck the country in January 2010, in order to establish the highly advance field hospital and treat the wounded. "I received a phone call in the middle of night and was asked if I would be interested in joining the delegation. After just five seconds I knew I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity," said Lt. Col. Yuval.
When asked by one of the American visitors why Israel sent a delegation half way across the globe in order to aid disaster-struck Haiti, Lt. Col. answered that "the main reason is that we can help and they needed our help. The State of Israel is always prepared for an uncertain reality; that is why we were prepared back then and knew that if someone else needs help and we can lend a hand, we will do so." He added, "Israel and the IDF advocate for the idea that if we save one life, we saved an entire world, in faraway places and even in enemy countries."