Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Field Hospital in Haiti

Jeffrey Goldberg is kvelling about Israel's field hospital in Haiti, here and here. (He also has a fine expose of the under-reporting of Egypt's brutal siege of Gaza, here, but that's not my present topic). Indeed, if you believe CNN or CBS, it's an impressive story.

I once asked Richard Silverstein why he only ever had bad things to say about Israel, and what that told us about him, but he rejected my insinuation: there's precious little about Israel that's positive, but in the rare cases there is, he's glad to report it. OK, fair enough (just barely). A team of Israelis saving lives at the other end of the world: moderately positive, don't you think? Not if you're Richard Silverstein. He has found a grumpy Israeli who has nasty things to say, and he gleefully amplifies his kvetches. The bottom line: Israelis saving lives in Haiti is a Bad Thing. (His blog, you'll recollect, is called Tikkun Olam).

Mondoweiss would prefer not to talk about the topic, but does mention it: why are Jews so great for everyone but the Palestinians? (Why, indeed. Let's see if we can think of any reasons).

As of yesterday, a week after the catastrophe, there were two field hospitals in Haiti. One was Israeli (the better equipped one, apparently). I looked for this fact on the Guardian's website, but was unable to find it. If any of you do manage to find it, feel free to correct me. Sometimes a lack of reporting can be as damning as a false report.

The interesting question, to my mind, is how come. OK, so Israelis are cynical and will bend over backwards to garner a positive mention on CNN, even if they have to cross the world and save lives to do so. This doesn't explain how they manage to do so, ahead of everyone else (or anyway, ahead of those who try at all). The answer to that, it seems to me, is that they think about such matters, and constantly try to improve. A fundamental aspect of the IDF (and of some other sections of Israeli society) is the commitment to learn as you go. Every event is analyzed. Participants, from the junior grunts up, are encouraged to think, and then to tell what they see and what their opinion about it is and how things could be done better. There are frameworks for learning from experience and not repeating the same mistakes (hafakat lekachim) - though there will always be new mistakes to be made, life being what it is.

Israelis go through more life threatening events than most people; they've got a culture that accepts and tolerates first-time mistakes, while encouraging everyone to think about how to avoid them the second time; and given their neighborhood, the potentials for future scenarios is great so at least some of them are thought about in advance. All this makes for abilities to respond which are greater than those of some other places. Yesterday, for example, they held a big exercise enacting a mass bio-terrorism attack on Tel Aviv by terrorists from Europe. Experts from 30 other countries decided not to boycott Israel but rather to come to Tel Aviv and observe the exercise.

Don't get me wrong: there is as much stupidity in Israel as anywhere else, and it hurts just as much. But not all the time, everywhere, and sometimes, mostly where it's most important, the stupidity gets sidelined. This can be a matter of life or death for Haitians.


Anonymous said...

if you feel like having your mind twisted in knots a bit and wonder on "power" politics while people are dying read this piece about French posturing in matters Haiti - lets hope that they do not decide to bristle at the Israelis having out-performed them

Anonymous said...

Re commenters at Silverstein

What MSF was trying to land Sat. was in fact another field hospital, which was needed.

What clogged up the airport was partly US military personnel and Hilary Clinton.

The IDF arrived in the early morning Saturaday, well before Clinton who arrived in the afternoon.
I had checked this previously, because I figured it wouldn`t take long.

Bryan Z said...

I left the following comment at Mr. Silverstein's blog, but I doubt he'll let it up.

"You're seriously complaining about Israel sending a huge team to Haiti (more than thrice as large as that sent by China, whose population is orders of magnitude larger than Israel's)? What purpose does this serve, other than to demonize Israel for going out of its way to do something nice for disaster victims?

By the way, the Israelis did not only establish the best-equipped field hospital in Haiti, but they also set up the communications equipment that allowed them and other aid teams to coordinate their efforts and for journalists to get their story out.

As for the MSF airplane story, that seems to be America's fault, not Israel's. (Notable, though, is that the Americans immediately stepped in and started doing things like air-traffic control so that some sort of order could be restored as quickly as possible.)"

Anonymous said...

There is actually a nice piece in the Huffington Post. Yes, the Huffington Post! Although the comments is filled with the usual Israel-hating vituperation. Here is the link:

If you want to donate money to IsraAID for the Haiti effort - field hospital equipment must be expensive - this is the website - although I have not been able to get in.


Jack said...

If Bibi announced today that Israel was responsible for all the trouble in the world Silverstein would say it was a zionist plot.

Israel could cure every major disease and he'd kvetch.

Anonymous said...

A "Richard Pearce" shows up in the HuffPo comment thread, spreading tales about Israeli PR teams besmirch the reputation of Hamas. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

A rather funny article on this very subject by Stephanie Gutman.

Sylvia said...

A rather funny article on this very subject by Stephanie Gutman.

Bryan Z said...

Interesting, in his reply to my comment, Mr. Silverstein compared Israel's opening a field hospital in Haiti to Hitler's sending planes and pilots to help Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and implied that the whole thing was a farce to get some PR and, more importantly, to make Israeli medicine better-prepared for Israel's next war.

Because you know, when medical techniques and technology get better, everyone suffers.

Jon said...

Yay I got banned! I didn't even get to correct the various errors in the translation :-(

Lee Ratner said...

And people wonder why we think anti-Zionists are anti-Semites. Yesh. These people need to be given a good what for very hard.

Geoff said...

Of course Richard Silverstein can demand 100% pure motives from the Israeli medical team - his health and life aren't hanging in the balance. In effect, he's calling for the death of innocent Haitians because the motives of the Israeli medical team *may* not have been completely, 100% pure enough for his liking. This is Tikkun Olam?

As far as I'm concerned, the existence of Richard Silverstein is a crime against humanity.

Jon said...

He needs to like HEAR OF THE TERM consequentialism. He genuinely seems to think that unless an action is pursued with 100% pure intentions, it is valueless.

This Is Hell said...

You can't argue with insanity like Silverstein's so there's truly no point to try. He is truly clinically paranoid.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you here, Yaacov. Yes, it's kinda gross to try to make PR gains out of a humanitarian crisis - but it certainly doesn't undermine the value of the effort!

Barry Meislin said...

As it happens, the Israeli ARE the Palestinians' best friends, and this is on a number of levels.

(Of course, since Palestinians don't want Israel around at all, then one might say the favor hasn't exactly been reciprocated....or has it??....)

Considering that the Palestinians have been doing their best to destroy the Jewish state, militarily, economically, through terror and through deligimitizing Israel's every action (the latest gem being Hamas's accusation that Israel's actions caused massive flooding in the Gaza Strip following this week's massive rains in the area), they haven't quite "suffered" in the way they would had they tried those particular efforts with ANY OTHER COUNTRY.

Of course, if one generally agrees that the Palestinians have every right to destroy Israel, one does, admittedly, have trouble understanding quite why Israel is so upset about it.

And, of course, if one generally agrees that the Palestinians have every right to make war on Israel, then one might have trouble understanding why Israel might object to having its citizens consistently rocketed and its cities exposed to missiles.

And, of course, if one generally agrees that a peace agreement with the Palestinians is in Israel's interest, then one can---nay, must---certainly conclude that it is not in the general interest, and certainly not in the Palestinians' interest.

That's right. Because peace is in Israel's interest (and for quite a few other reasons), the Palestinians will not be able to conceive of it in the Palestinian interest. Not at all.

(By the way, how, remind us, does one define "peace", anyway?)

Jon said...

Wow. He actually said that it's reprehensible for Israel to save lives! Without exaggerating! This is from the comments:

"No harm in providing good care for IDF wounded. But to do so on the backs of innocent Haitians is reprehensible."

Anonymous said...

When Naomi Klein some years back claimed that Israel owed its technological/scientific/etc. savvy-ness to the fact that it had the Palestinians as guinea pigs (yes she used that word i.e. thus accusing them of looking at their fellow humans as Nazis looked at theirs) it outraged me but didn't create much of a stir.

However, when I read now your reports from that blog I conclude that Klein's human degrading (menschenverachtende) metaphor took hold in the lunatic community of the holier-than-thou-s. Yes Israel's medical personnel in Haiti will become better by what they will have learned during the terrible time they are having now but I have heard very civil German surgeons declare on the radio quite openly that their German patients profit from their experience when they do a stint for Doctors without borders where they have to perform under less than stellar conditions and do emergency operations.

One should really ask any of those slanderers (after having made them swallow a verity pill) if they had appendicitis or just a troublesome tooth and they would be given choice of ALL the hospitals on the coast of ALL the Mediterranean which one they would chose. I for one wouldn't chose Italy, Spain or France ... and I wouldn't even if I were the most rabid anti-Semite alive and still had a little bit of grey matter left ...

I think originally I read it in Haaretz but now Google offers the piece first in the Guardian

Anonymous said...

a report from anothr hospital on Haiti
how petty makes reading this look all those bickerers

Gavin said...

Wow, that Silverstein is one poisonous character! There's malice & spite dripping off every word, he's obviously swallowed large helping of sour grapes. Israel has done something decent in the world & he just can't stand the thought of Israel getting good PR.

Reading his comments & replies to other posters is enlightening. He's just plain nasty, what a thoroughly obnoxious & unpleasant piece of work he is.

Morey Altman said...

Hi Yaacov,

I actually just got back from the region where I was doing another story. There are a couple of other field hospitals, but the Israelis had the most advanced set-up. Cuba had several, I believe, but they were handling basic stuff (and amputations). Norway also had a small set-up with around 20 staff. I heard there were a few others. I was in close touch with the Jamaicans, who were flying aid into Haita, and preparing to receive refugees. But the Israeli hospital was receiving (indeed, it was seeking) the most difficult cases, and because they had electronic equipment probably better than many hospitals in the area, they got a lot of press. Anyway, I'll be writing more on this soon.

Morey Altman said...

Oh, one other thing. Criticism of the US hasn't been entirely fair; they've been prepping the USNS Comfort, a massive hospital ship capable of handling hundreds of patients, which has just arrived. The US could take the time to adequately prepare the ship (which includes helicopters for ferrying victims) because they knew the Israeli team would be there within a few days (and the recon team was there a day before everyone else arrived). It's exactly this sort of cooperation between the US and Israel that highlights the importance of the relationship, a fact often lost on those who dwell on financial support or Arab intransigence.

Sylvia said...

After Medical PR and Haiti-Gaza, here's something I gleaned on a Haitian discussion forum that tops it all: Haiti-Iran..

Posté le: Mar Jan 19, 2010 7:36 pm Sujet du message: THE RUSSIANS KNOW WHAT HIT HAITI IS NOT AN EARTHQUAKE


The Russians and the Chinese know that what hit Haiti is not an ordinary earthquake, and the way the Amercans have reacted, I tend to believe to believe them.
Rodfel2001(Haitian and Patriot)

January 14, 2010

US Quake Test Goes “Horribly Wrong”, Leaves 500,000 Dead In Haiti

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A grim report prepared by the Russian Northern Fleet for Prime Minister Putin is stating today that the catastrophic earthquake that has devastated the Island of Haiti was the ‘clear result’ of a United States Navy test of one of its ‘earthquake weapons’ planned to be used by the Americans upon the Persian Nation of Iran but had gone ‘horribly wrong’...."

Anonymous said...

I would suggest another culprit - isn't there a collider suspected of being capable of destroying the world at Geneva? maybe that machine turned into a HAL and operating on its own now? ;-)

Anonymous said...

The Guardian mentions the Israeli field hospital here (4th from the top).

"An Israel Defence Forces emergency aid team of 40 doctors and 20 nurses has established a big field hospital next to Port-au-Prince's football stadium, with capacity to treat 500 patients a day. A baby boy was delivered there and the mother said she would call him Israel. The IDF rescued a 52-year-old man from the ruins of a government office building today after he communicated his location by SMS. The Israeli team worked for six hours before freeing him."


Drew said...

As this column notes, your pals at Mondoweiss are right there with Silverstein:

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

As of yesterday, a week after the catastrophe, there were two field hospitals in Haiti.

Not true, by any means. This is the kind of statement for which your source would be greatly appreciated.

He has found a grumpy Israeli who has nasty things to say

The doctor that you dismiss as a "grumpy Israeli" is none other than Yoel Donchin, the director of the Patient Safety Unit at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem. He's as qualified an authority as you can find. His view is that Israel focused on doing spectacular surgeries for the TV cameras, while other, much simpler procedures would have saved many more lives. He has not been refuted by any medical authority AFAIK.

This doesn't explain how they manage to do so, ahead of everyone else (or anyway, ahead of those who try at all).

The Israelis were not there ahead of everyone else. The Argentinians were (yet I don't see the Argentinian press boasting about it). The field hospital that treated the first patients after the earthquake, and the only one available until January 13, was the Argentine Air Force Mobile Field Hospital, and had been there for several years before the catastrophee. An Argentinian corporal was killed in the earthquake.

True solidarity means helping other people all the time, not just when it's good PR.

Yaacov said...

Well, Fake Ibrahim, let's see.

Two field hospitals: I found this on a map of relief efforts yesterday on the Guardian's website. I can't find it today: maybe they decided that it was all wrong and took it down, I don't know. Still, I take your point: the Guardian is infamous for lying about Israel, but apparently they may simply be uninformed, period. On all matters. It's possible.

I'm touched by your attachment to Dr. Donchin, whom you'd never heard of until yesterday. Which is too bad, because most of his public utterances on non-medical matters you'd probably not agree with. Still, I stand by my statement. He was relieved from his job in the very unit he's castigating, and now he's pissing into the tent from outside. It's typical of raucous Israeli public discourse, that you can always find someone eager to piss into the tent; only uninformed spiteful outsiders don't recognize them for what they are, and swear by them.

The Israelis were among the first outsider teams to arrive after the earthquake. No-one is disputing this. The Cubans may have been there sooner, and some Americans, but if you know how to use Google Earth (or any old plastic globe), see if you can see the difference between Israel and Haiti on the one hand, and Cuba, USA and even Argentina and Haiti, on the other.

Argentina had teams there before the disaster? Bravo. Haiti has been one of the world's worst basket cases for decades, and if her neighbors were trying to help, that's admirable. Israel isn't a neighbor (see previous paragraph), nor does it have 40 million people as Argentina does.

Anonymous said...

Check this out:
The contention is that Israel sent aid to Haiti on purely cynical motives, harnessing public relations to divert attention from the Goldstone Report, to divert attention from Gaza, to divert attention from its never-ending, always expanding internal crises.

The implication is that Israel, and Israelis, are constitutionally incapable of doing good for its own sake. Or that whenever they appear to do good, people of conscience should recognize that the evil designs behind it render any good that may be done, complicit in wrongdoing.

True, it is willful blindness to contend that Israel can do no wrong. But it is nothing short of racism to maintain, in Haiti and in general, that Israelis can do no right.

Gavin said...

Ibrahim. You're well out of your depth here, you just invite ridicule on yourself with such a poor effort.

Right at the beginning of Silversteins quotes from your precious doctor is the statement "Sending portable toilets to Haiti would have been a better option" and that set the tone of the whole piece.

What kind of fool would so publicily humiliate themself with the absurd proposition that portable toilets are a higher priority than medical care. As for the 'simpler procedures' you just make a fool of yourself. Medical aid in disasters always works on the triage method, they treat the most serious injuries first & leave the simple procedures for later. The corollary to your argument is that Israel should have left the seriously injured to die while they treated the non-fatal injuries. Moron.

Btw I love your logic. Israel weren't there ahead of everyone else because the Argentinians got there several years before Israel. Fantastic use of the intellect there.

kai said...

Some years ago, there was a civil war in Ethiopia. German politicians and experts discussed, if and how to evacuate the 200 Germans living in Ethiopia. They did not come up with a solution when the Israel Radio announced that Israel just finished to evacuate 14,000 Ethiopian Jews.

Anonymous said...

I understand that getting disposal of sewage working is a prime objective in any relief operation because if you don't you may have an epidemic to contend with almost immediately. That said, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Israelis have taken perfect care of that problem in their area of "command".

and btw isn't it a pity that it would be hard to impossible to get people all around the world to donate for sewage disposal?

David Boxenhorn said...

Any of you who haven't seen the comment thread in a while should go back and look at the heroic efforts of Jania Cociella. (And maybe take her out for a drink, if you can locate her.)

Gavin said...

Silke. It's not that sanitation isn't important, it's that it isn't high on the list of priorities in a disaster like an earthquake. Latrines can easily be dug to begin with. Haiti is a third world country, it never had good sanitation to begin with.

Clean drinking water is far more important than santitaion in the early days, but Israel's medical response was absolutely the right thing to do on their part. Haiti is in the tropics, wounds get infected very quickly and prompt medical attention is vital. There were numerous reports of patients with gangrenous wounds.

A portable toilet takes up space in a cargo plane, it doesn't take much to figure out that the space used by a toilet is better utilised with food, water, medical supplies etc.

Add to that Israel is only a small country, it's ridiculous to expect Israel to supply the type of aid that is just logistically too difficult for Israel. It's absurd to expect Israel to fly in planeloads of water, toilets or any other common item that nearby neighbours can easily supply.

The writings of Silverstein there, and the doctor he refers to, are an excercise in sheer spite. He's made a total ass of himself & shown his true character. It's not a pretty sight.

Anonymous said...

just in case you need it somewhere when the claim that premature amputations have happened should come up. Here is a short summary of the terrible decisions doctors/surgeons have to make right now in Haiti and written well enough that even a total laywoman like myself understands that the time windows are extremely limited -

btw of course I didn't mean to say that portable toilets were advisable that would be plain ridiculous I just wanted to bet on that the Israelis took care that there were sufficient ditches or holes or whatever around their hospital to stay on top of the sanitation problem.

oh and another btw: the spite-mongers are everywhere trying to find reasons to spew hatred i.e. one Ben Ehrenreich claims that inefficiencies of the US military are due to pure unadulterated racism - people like that give no leeway to how difficult it is to crank big organisations into gear in an unexpected scenario i.e. a scenario for which for whatever reason no manual has as yet been written and tested. That they might try hard and from a compassionate heart isn't even guessed and thus doesn't matter one bit to those headline screamers who have no idea how intricate it all is. For real info take this:


Barry Meislin said...

More reasons for the Silversteins and Mondoweisses of this world to despise the Zionist Entity.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Having achieved its PR objective, Israel's mission will return on Thursday, barely 15 days after their departure to Haiti -- just like Dr. Donchin had predicted.

They may have not been the first ones to arrive on the island, but at least they'll hold the record as the first ones to withdraw.

Yaacov said...


The Israelis sent two teams. One knows how to extract live people from under rubble; they saved at least two lives. Sadly,the time for that is passed, the assumption being that there's no one left alive to extract.

The second team was a field hospital, which by definition deals with emergency medicine. They saved dozens of lives, at least, and treated more than 700 people. Fortunately, as large scale aid including medical supplies rolls into Haiti, much of it from the gigantic nearby USA, the need for field hospitals is receding. Once there's no need anymore, the Israelis will withdraw their team. This is simple common sense, not to mention a basic cost-effect decision.

No one expects you to see such considerations, because from your perspective, whatever Israel does is wrong, Haitian lives saved included. As long as you don't expect to be taken seriously, your positions are fine.

Anonymous said...

you are of course right:
would this particular Israeli team stay on Fake-Ibrahim would accuse them of staying only for the cameras and thus wasting precious funds.
But the question I can't find an answer to is why such facile and transparent arguments/sputterings like his find so often so many believers i.e. turn out to win so often.
The popular explanation is bias and tunnel vision on the side of the readers/listeners. But to me that doesn't seem to explain all of it. I believe there is still another mechanism that tilts the field from the beginning in favour of the non-sense-makers. Could it be that we are all prone to prefer a good and colourful yarn to sober facts?

Morey Altman said...

A couple of things. Argentina was providing immediate aid because they had a an aid station in Haiti before the earthquake. A number of Caribbean nations provide on-going support to the beleaguered nation. There were also a number of doctors already in Haiti whose three Doctors Without Borders aid stations were destroyed by the earthquake. I believe they joined up with the Israeli unit but I'm working on confirming that.

Israel's forte, earned through the blood of her injured and killed soldiers, is battlefield-trauma aid and logistics. That we're able to arrive at a moment's notice with doctors and equipment is something which we can take pride in, however, not at the expense of others who have also been doing what they can. Look, we have doctors; we have state-of-the-art medical equipment (we invented much of it) but that should in no way diminish the contributions of other countries.

As for Israel, the mission has already been extended, and I would expect we'll do at least as much for Haiti as we did for Turkey; after the 1999 earthquake, Israel built a town for the refugees.

A bigger issue is the future of Haiti as a society, as a people. The earthquake was really just rubbing salt in the wound of a place already knocked down time and again. Haiti, ultimately, isn't Israel's responsibility but everyone's, and how the world continues to support this place, after the cameras and temporary aid stations have packed up and left, will be the real test.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Argentina was providing immediate aid because they had a an aid station in Haiti before the earthquake.

How antisemitic we are. We set up a field hospital prior to the disaster so that Israel wouldn't be able to claim to be the first country to send one when an earthquake struck.

Read the illuminating Maariv article, The Painful Truth: The Haiti Disaster is Good for the Jews (Hebrew). An excerpt:

So why are blood, destruction, poverty, hunger and orphans good for the Jewish State? (...) Second, because every disaster-area needs a hero, and right now we are it. I must admit that I would not be surprised if the image aspect of setting up a hospital in Haiti, as well as the IDF rescue efforts, was given greater weight than humanitarian considerations. (...) We can only hope that none of our talented politicians is caught in front of a camera saying “We showed the world. We were really awesome in Haiti,” or something like that – a distinct possibility considering the recent mess with the Turks. Better to be modest.

I like Israeli candor.

Yaacov said...

Here, Fake-Ibrahim. You'll like this one from the New York Times

Morey Altman said...

Ibrahim, you missed the point. Argentina - and other Caribbean states - deserve praise for continual support of Haiti. They were there before the cameras showed up, and they'll be there, I expect, long after. That they can't provide the kind of high-tech care that Israel can provide is irrelevant; they do what they do and it deserves to be acknowledged. That's why I acknowledged it, not to undermine their efforts.

Many other countries were involved in relief work almost immediately; I was covering Jamaica's efforts (government and private), which began within hours of the quake. But, let's be fair: Jamaica, and other neighbouring states, are mere MINUTES away.

Frankly, much of the coverage is, in my opinion, the result of American hurt pride; they just don't like when others show them up. (and most of the over-generous reports are coming from the US, not Israel. Who watches Israeli TV? Even most Israelis don't!) The Americans shouldn't feel that way. Israel is good at field hospitals; others excel in other areas. The US, for example, has sent troops and the USNS Comfort, which can provide medical attention to hundreds of patients. Let's be honest: 'BIG' is what Americans do best, not necessarily 'fast.'

What's really missing is a coordinating agency that assigns nations according to their special abilities. That this isn't happening is yet another failure of the UN, which would rather spend its money (which is really G8 money) on canapes and Landcruisers.

One can be proud of the Israeli team, and cognizant of the tremendous efforts of others; the two aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, I was told there were representatives of 30 countries there as of a few days ago. Many flew to Haiti on their own dime and are working with little support. That also deserves some praise. If not more. But, to diminish the work of Israel, for partisan reasons (or the breathtakingly petty: "they're TOO proud!"), really points to a pathological need to sully the Jewish state, and an inability to proffer any sort of mature line of reasoning.

Gavin said...

Morey. There's no point in being reasonable with Ibrahim there, you're not dealing with a balanced or reasonable person. He goes under diffferent guises on various sites, another pseudonym he gives himself is hasbara buster. His sole purpose in life appears to be trying to throw cold water on anything that shows Israel in a positive light.

Why someone residing in Argentina would take it on themself to spend their days of an anti-Israel crusade is one of life's mysteries, but anti-semticism isn't rational behaviour so he's got plenty of company.

The psychology of people like him is what interests me. Human behaviour is fascinating and it intrigues me how people become so blighted by their prejudices that they so willingly prostrate themsleves on the altar of stupidity when issues like this arise. He's pissed because Israel did exactly the right thing, he knows it, and he's yapping like a dog barking at passing cars. He can't help himself.


David Kessler said...

Richard Silverstein's attack on Israeli aid to Haiti, in addition to be being clumsy in its form, also showed just how desperate he is to find fault with Israel at every turn.

On the one hand, he claimed (citing a single source - viz a disgruntled Israeli former aid worker) that medicine an doctors were not the highest priority and that portable toilets were more vitally needed. But then, at the end, he indulged in malicious innuendo in a nefarious effort to try to imply that Israel was in some way responsible for the US not allowing “desperately needed medical supplies” to land at the airport - an innuendo that he never bothered to check out and that has now been completely discredited.

But what is interesting is that in Mr Silverstein's eyes, medical supplies are "desperately needed" when it can be hinted (without a shred of evidence) that Israel is in some way blocking them - but are unnecessary or at least not especially urgent when Israel is delivering them.

I think we can draw the appropriate conclusions about Mr Silverstein's ethics from this.