Kevin Myers: Of course we must send aid to Haiti, even though we know most of it will be wasted
Published 19/01/2010 | 05:00
ONE of the first aid-planes to arrive in Haiti was Israeli. If the people of Haiti were gazing up, looking for aid from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, or anywhere in the Arab world, they're still looking up, still gazing.
This is the same Arab world that has refused to integrate the Palestinians exiled from their homeland in 1948, so obviously it has no difficulty looking away when people in another hemisphere need help.
Meanwhile, the Israelis will naturally get no kudos for their goodness. They are perhaps the only people in the world for whom extenuating circumstances are routinely cited in explanation of their charitable deeds. Extenuating circumstances usually occur in mitigation for criminal acts: but for the Jews of Israel they are used instead to explain away corporal works of mercy. That is the underlying and unspoken anti-Semitism of the anti-Israeli lobby: it cannot accept that Jews, as a group, have unselfish, charitable motives.