September 24, 2017

An Israel Defense Forces search-and-rescue team was greeted with cheers, applause and shouts of “gracias” from citizens lining the streets in Mexico City. The Israelis arrived in Mexico on the September 21 – on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year — after an 18-hour flight from Israel in response to a series of deadly earthquakes.

Since landing early Thursday morning, the IDF aid delegation to Mexico has been helping survey buildings and rescue trapped civilians from the rubble. The people of Mexico think they deserve a round of applause. So do we ????

Posted by Israel Defense Forces on Saturday, September 23, 2017

The IDF delegation of approximately 70 men and women includes 25 engineers who are evaluating the damage and providing assessments and assistance in the disaster zone.

The delegation, also including search-and-rescue and other military personnel, is led by Col. (res.) Dudi Mizrahi of the Home Front Command’s Search and Rescue unit.

“The IDF and the State of Israel will continue to assist in the aftermath of any disaster around the world that requires our experience and abilities,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesperson.

This video of the scene was posted by Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, retired head of the Foreign Press Branch of IDF.

DIsaster diplomacy. Israel is swift to respond to a call for assistance. With years of experience, deployments, and a soul Israeli rescuers will be there. My dilemma as a spokesperson was always how much to push the activity into the media and on social media. The cynics will always call this kind of activity whitewashing, but I always felt that the importance of pushing the story of little Israel flying thousands of miles away to help people is a huge story. We've been doing it since 1953, with tens of missions across the globe. So yes, what is needed is a combined effort with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the IDF, real-time footage capabilities, a flow of information to keep up with the news cycle and people that can speak with the journalists covering the disaster. In the end, it is videos like this that makes it worth it. Israelis walking in Mexico City being applauded. If Israel is needed, we will be there. Shana Tova

Posted by Peter Lerner on Thursday, September 21, 2017

In addition to the IDF, volunteers from nongovernmental Israeli humanitarian-aid agencies IsraAID, ZAKA and iAID are in Mexico providing rescue services and material and psychosocial assistance following a series of earthquakes and aftershocks during the month of September.

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