Wednesday, July 6th | 7 Tammuz 5782

April 26, 2013 12:08 am

Musings on the Boston Marathon Bombings

avatar by Ronn Torossian

  • A news flash for Israelis: Most Americans don’t know the difference between Kadima and Hamas and certainly don’t know the intricacies of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Americans simply don’t know (or care) much about foreign countries.  A case in point: the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the United States addressed last Friday night the difference between the Czech Republic and Chechnya after it was discovered that the Boston bombers were from Chechnya.  As Ambassador Petr Gandalovič said: “As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities — the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.” Now, try explaining to the American audience that Chechyans and Russians are at war.

  • In Israel, action can be taken when needed as long as it is explained in a simple manner which the public can understand. Information should be laid out and presented simply.

  • I am a big fan of Ron Dermer, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and was invited to the private briefing he gave last week in Michael Steinhardt’s’ New York office (which was scheduled before the Boston bombing.) I don’t understand why his speech was taped and placed on YouTube, enabling the media to twist his comments to imply that he said that Israel benefits from the Boston bombing. Dermer said “The bulk of the American people stand firmly with Israel and identify with Israel. If you can look, historically, there was a big change after 9/11, and I am sure that after the tragic bombing in Boston, people will identify more with Israel and its struggle against terrorism and we can maintain that support.”

  • Owning a PR firm, I know well that one must always be cognizant of what is being recorded.  Because even if CNN or Fox News isn’t present, what is said can be misinterpreted if someone is taping (As Mitt Romney would attest to from his experience with his infamous 47% comment during the 2012 election campaign.) Even if something is true, saying it in a private setting is very different to publishing it on YouTube where the world is given the access which enables the comments to be misrepresented and twisted.

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  • Amidst the terror in Boston, Israel did indeed have a positive impact on the situation.  The wounded were brought to Beth Israel hospital where the hospital’s triage system had been set up with the help of Israelis two years ago. Additionally, the wounded were treated by an Israeli doctor, Professor Kevin (Ilan) Tabb. He also said that the director of the Emergency Room is Israeli.  Unfortunately, as it is indeed known, Israel has extensive experience in dealing with terrorist attacks.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and author.

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