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Where are the Arab Offers of Aid to Japan?

March 17, 2011 1:32 am 22 comments

Red Cross tent in Japan. Photo: Rudolf Ammann

The massive earthquake, numerous tsunamis, and subsequent nuclear troubles to hit Japan will no doubt go down in history as one of the world’s worst disasters to hit a country this century. Not since Hurricane Katrina have we seen so many casualties and such widespread damage take place in an industrialized state. Japan’s prime minister recently called the series of calamities the greatest disaster to strike his country since World War II. Clearly in need of assistance, nearly 70 countries have offered aid. As the largest and most capable of countries to do so, the United States has taken the lead in this effort. Yet other stories of assistance are truly heartwarming. Israel offered to send rescue teams just one hour after reports broke of the Japanese earthquake. It now has numerous teams from ZAKA and Isra-AID either in place or en route to assist. Jewish aid organizations such as the Jewish American Joint Distribution Committee have mobilized, as have the Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, and numerous Red Cross organizations. Even the impoverished city of Kandahar in Afghanistan offered $50,000 as a token of appreciation and friendship.

Since the end of World War II, Japan has been one of the most generous donors to the international community. Rather tellingly, when the 8.9 earthquake struck northern Japan, its own rescue units were in New Zealand helping that country recover from their earthquake. Its forces have regularly been dispatched around the world to help international aid efforts. The island nation has also offered some of the greatest amount of financial aid. After the massive tsunami struck Indonesia in 2005, Japan offered $500 million in aid – nearly as much as the United States, Great Britain, and China combined. For Afghanistan, it pledged $5 billion in aid- over one third of the total aid pledged worldwide. In the Arab world, Japan has served as a leading donor to the Palestinians via UNWRA, and has also provided assistance to the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen – to name a few.

Yet despite these realities, there is a deafening silence coming from the Arab world in response to Japan’s numerous catastrophes. Arab states sit atop the largest oil reserves in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2010, both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates sat in the top ten countries in the world with the highest per-capita GDP. Nonetheless, at the time of publication, there have been no reported offers of aid to Japan from any Arab country – either financial or otherwise. In fact, if you were to Google the words ‘Arab aid to Japan’ (without quotes), the only relevant hit would be the first – which is a blogger mocking the Arab world for its silence. Contrast this with a Google search for ‘Israel aid to Japan’ or ‘Jewish aid to Japan’, and the differences are staggering: you find pages upon pages of relevant hits. Similar hits can be found when searching for Jewish and Israeli aid activities for Thailand, India, Turkey, Pakistan, and of course, Haiti.

Few countries were more prepared for such tragedy than the Japanese: proactive building codes, a tsunami alert system, and a solid organizational structure that was trained and available in the event of an emergency. Most other countries in the world would undoubtedly have seen a significantly higher number of casualties if faced with a similar situation. Yet despite Japan’s best efforts, it was overcome by the sheer force and amount of devastation compounded by the back-to-back-to-back catastrophes.

Here in the West, while countries are engulfed in revolutions in the Middle East and tragedies in Japan, self described “peace activists” are engaged in a worldwide effort to portray Israel as the ultimate villain during “Israel Apartheid Week”. They argue that Israel more closely resembles an apartheid state than any other country in the world, and believe it is deserving of its very own set of boycotts, divestments and sanctions. When considering current events and realities on the ground, I hope that the Jews, Israelis, and Zionists around the world hold their heads up high knowing that they are doing what they can do assist their friends and act as responsible members of the international community. When one of the world’s most generous donor states in recent decades has itself needed assistance, much of the world mobilized to help. Let’s not forget who failed to act.

Dr. Joshua Gleis is an international security consultant and political risk analyst. He is the author of “Withdrawing Under Fire: Lessons Learned from Islamist Insurgencies” (Potomac Books, $29.95)

22 Comments

  • This article is pathetic. Immedietly after the Catastrophe, Kuwait donated 5 million barrels of crude oil to Japan worth $500 million. Thats five hundred million dollars. Do your research before blabbering nonsense!
    Saudi arabia also donated many millions, as did many other GCC and Arab countries.

  • Why cant you accept the fact that Israel is sending the stolen money from Arab people ? and why cant you accept the fact that Arab people would help if their leaders don’t steal their money ? and why cant you accept that the leaders of the Arab world are made by the Israeli government ?

  • There has been little to no response in the aftermath of the disaster in Japan from the Arabian nations. As in other monumental occurrences worldwide, the oil-rich countries have no desire to give humanitarian aid and comfort to anyone. In their quest for supremacy, they are more concerned with beheading people, destroying property and spreading terror around the globe. They see this as an advantage in their insatiable desire to conquer the people and lands of the infidels.
    Israel, on the other hand, stands alone in an quagmire region devoid of sanity and righteousness. They adhere to principles of sanctity of life and shun the practice of murder and rape as the norm in which Islamic Fundamentalist regimes thrive.
    The world had better wake up, before Sharia Law is supreme in every nation and death, destruction, and tyranny reign.

  • Robert Smith

    Shuky

    re: my research efforts….oops!

    re: what gets my goat. I react in the same way to Americans who blow their own trumpet about America.
    However there is thruth in what you say about Israelis having a right to feel proud so I accept that my reaction was not entirely fair and needs to be
    reconsidered.

  • Robert, I’m guessing what really” gets your goat, and the goat of many other foreigners” is that the much aligned state of Israel is ever seen in a positive light. Whether you want to admit it or not, the tiny state of Israel that is hypocritically ridiculed the world over as if it is some demonic country uses its very limited resources to help nations in need, and they do so very effectively… one major reason why the Japanese were willing to accept Israel’s relief teams. Why it is so awful and bothersome to you that a people and country under constant international scrutiny would be proud of the countless (generally under-reported) acts of kindness it conducts is beyond me. And PS- your links “proving” Qatar’s and Jordan’s offers of assistance are a joke. One is a Qatar blog that shows people how they can donate to the Red Cross. The “relief team from Jordan” is a Palo Alto, California US-based organization that happens to have the name “Jordan” in it. It’s not Jordanian.

  • Robert Smith

    Stuart

    Your links don’t include cash donations made by countries nor they take into account the important fact I mentioned earlier that offering an aid team does not mean your offer will necessarily be accepted. You cannot barge in uninvited. That is very impolite.

    If Japan had not accepted Israel’s aid team then that aid team would not be in Japan. Qatar offered to send an emergency relief team but as far as I know it was not accepted by Japan. The same is true of dozens of other countries and its likely some of them were Arabs.

    Donations so far made by arab states:
    Sudan 100,000 dollars
    Algeria 10 million dollars
    Oman 10 million dollars
    Saudi Oil Co (state owned) 20 million dollars plus oil and gas

    Relief team from Jordan:
    http://www.jordaninternationalaid.org

    http://www.iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?28,27223,27223
    HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Khalifa Al Thani and HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent cables of condolences to HM the Emperor of Japan. The Government of the State of Qatar offered to send an emergency relief team and provide relief supplies

    I found a site where some Kuwait leader instructed his minions to send whatever Japan requested by I’ve misplaced it.

    The idea of Israel sending aid doesn’t ‘stick in my craw’. What gets my goat, and the goat of many other foreigners, is the way Israelis crow about it.

  • Stuart Goss

    Robert – it seems that you are one of those individuals for whom the name of Israel sticks in your craw and for whom any humanitarian assistance Israel proffers will be minimized and dismissed in a jaundiced manner as being a mere publicity stunt. I’ll let the Japanese people decide what they think of this publicity stunt as I will let the Haitian people decide what they thought of Israel’s assistance to them after their recent 2010 earthquake.

    Rather than tussle with you over the facts here, I will invite the readers of this article and the comments that followed it to review these two pdf files posted by the Japan Foreign Ministry on its web site and updated through April 7 that detail both international relief operations and international relief contributions provided by country and let them decide if the author’s comments about the paucity of assistance from Arab nations to Japan are fair or not? If the links are inactive then cut and paste them into your web browsers?:-

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/incidents/pdfs/r_goods.pdf

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/incidents/pdfs/rescue.pdf

    What seems apparent to me from these lists is that there is assistance provided by Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey and Iran from non-Arab Islamic countries but actual aid to Japan from Arab nations is conspicuous by its absence.

    It is clear to me that Israel’s assistance was early, appropriate to the local needs, and if Israel’s past behavior in Haiti is any guide, then Israel will be assisting the local population for the long haul, if the Japanese government wishes it.

    I refer you to the long term efforts by Israel in Haiti:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CghS9SHUsI&feature=autofb

  • Have just checked the Japanese MOFA website and found no mention of actual assistance from the oil rich Arab states. The United Arab Emirates are recorded as having offered some, but there is no mention of it actually having been forthcoming, to date. Iran, not an Arab country, but certainly oil rich has donated 50,000 cans of tuna and beans….. Oman is the only Arab oil producing country (whose oil resources are apparently running out) who has sent generous funds. I sincerely doubt that Japan refused financial assistance from the UAR so, Mr Smith, why don’t you check YOUR facts.

    • Robert Smith

      As reported on Ynet, Iran has an aid team in Japan. There is a photo of them posing with ZAKA

      Who knows what aid offers Japan has turned down from arab states. Disaster-stricken countries get offered more aid teams than they can accept.

      In the case of Japan numerous aid teams were declined.

      In the case of the NZ quake, Israel was so upset about its USAR team not being invited that the Israeli PM actually phoned the NZ Prime Minister during the crisis to make a complaint about it.

      As for money donations Japan will not yet have received and acknowledged everything pledged but an offer of 20 million dollars plus oil and gas supplies has been made by a state-owned Saudi firm. Oman has donated 10 million dollars. If you use google to find aid offers you need to search by country name, not by ”arab” because news reports will be from local newspapers. You wont read about it on the BBC

      e.g. if Kuwait sends aid the local Kuwait paper will say ”Kuwait sends aid” not ”arabs send aid”.

      And if the country in question is not insecure and heavily into promoting its image then it might not even be considered newsworthy by the local press.

      That’s why the web is so full of Israel’s aid compared to others– Israelis consider it highly newsworthy when Israel sends aid so the news spreads to hundreds of different websites.

      Turkey’s USAR team to Japan, on the other hand, probably only comes up once on a couple of Turk newspaper sites because Turkey is not important enough to get on the BBC, and there aren’t hundreds of Turks spreading the news across the internet.

      The effect of this is to give Israelis the impression that Israel is some sort of aid super-power. But if you look at foreign aid budgets you’ll see that Israel not an exceptional donor compared to other OECD countries.

  • serious factual inaccuracies in this article. as of march 16, the day prior to this article being written, the following middle-eastern and/or arab countries had offered aid to japan (as taken directly from japan’s ministry of foreign affairs website):
    Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates.

    • Krista, did it ever occur to you that the article may have been written earlier than the day it was published? Also, how many of those countries have actually provided anything thus far to Japan? Answer: only one. Israel established the first field hospital. It’s a repeat of Haiti and all of the other major disasters.

  • When the tsunami struck in 2004, the Arabs sent more money to help the palestinians than the countries affected by the disaster, even though the victims were mostly muslim.

  • Now that some Arab states have officially “offered” aid to Japan, I’m wondering how many will actually provide anything to any of them: Israel sends doctors, portable restrooms to Japan http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=213078

  • Silence—Silence—Silence—
    The organizations protecting human rights don’t have the time to deal with the followings:
    ——
    *The speech of the Muslim brotherhood leader in Cairo delivered in Arabic, before 1 million people saying is:
    !!!!! Hitler didn’t finish the job against the Jews.
    !!!!!! Now the Muslims brotherhood will finish the job.
    Watch BBC program Third eye Egypt.
    * Bombs killed Christian’s prayers from Cairo to Bagdad,
    * Non Muslims have been decapitated from Algeria up the Philippines,
    * Slavery is still practice in Sudan and Golf states,
    * Arabs kill Israeli civilians,and later requiring to get immunity for their crimes when the defending Israel responses.
    * Women have been raped and the women is punished while the men are free,
    * Non Muslim praying shrines have been destroyed,
    * Amputations and stoning punishment.
    * Hate preaching and teaching worldwide funded by Arab countries ( Refer to BBC program Panorama)
    * Hate TV shows dedicated to children garden,
    * Honor killing of wife’s, doters, brothers,

    —–
    They are busy in a mission: Building the false myth of Israel

    The anti Israeli chorus will not be confused by real facts.
    They will not demonstrate, not initiate protest weeks, not vote or boycode the countries and political groups practicing the above atrocities :
    What should be the name for the so called human rights groups that are supporting Arabs,Iran and organizations that by ideology and practice are against all the values they pretended to protect?
    HYPOCRATS

  • The nuclear catastrophe is a result of Japan’s reliance on nuclear energy. A reliance that is owed in large part to Arab governments in the 70’s raising oil prices to unreasonable and malicious levels…

  • Because Jews value life….

  • Robert Smith

    Rather than writing articles based on random ‘googling’ you should go directly to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. There you will find accurate up-to-date information about which countries have offered aid to Japan and which countries Japan has accepted help from. That information contradicts most of the claims in this article.
    Many Middle Eastern states, including Israel, have offered help. Like Israel, they are still waiting for Japan to respond. In other words your article is wrong.
    ZAKA seems reluctant to enter Japan due to radiation fears in spite of the fact that a dozen countries have official USAR teams on the ground.

    For the true facts see:
    http://www.mofa.go.jp/

    • The publication says “at time of publication.” Assuming the author did not write the article this morning, older reports speak of only 71 countries that had offered aid to Japan. Initially Arab countries were not in the list of 71. Either way, aren’t you missing the point of the article and the conclusion?

    • Robert, will the hate-mongers have the patience and desire to check the fact? They are more eager to jump the gun rather than verify the facts.

    • I looked at the website, but the arab world hasn’t given a nickle…

      The religion of “peaceful submission” wants you to “submit” on their terms.

      It’s amazing as they drive Japanese cars and use Japanese electronics, they don’t even throw a bone of relief.

      Their Islamic cult is a fraud and their calling the USA “the great satan” is only a ploy for them to throw us under the bus when “they don’t get what they want”.

      Where are their aid organizaitons? outreach and open arms to helping bring peace, love and help to a world in need?

      All I’ve seen is suicide bombers, rogue dictatorships that threaten “peace”. It’s clear that the 1 finger name calling about the “imperial colonists” as Gadafi would say.

      Well, again if they don’t like it it’s bad…

      I wonder what TV is views reruns of the Dukes of Hazard on and dreams of being the Boss Hogg? Or I wonder which computers he uses? Which car does he drive….?

      Frankly besides oil, what has Libya done for the world but brought torment?

      The innovation that the world has rallied around to bring us to this historical level could be 100 fold if their weren’t sadistic, controlling, ideological meglamanics that were following some madman dictator.

      We stand for freedom… and my friends = freedom is no free.

      There is a cost to freedom. The next time you go 5 miles above the speed limit, or roll a stop sign. You are able to travel pretty much anywhere in the world, and enjoy meeting new people of all races, creeds, and colors. Say a hallelujah for the joy and peace we’ve enjoyed.

      Say a pray for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to contine with strength and heal our world and grant guidance and wisdom for us day-to-day!

      Praise Him!

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