NEW YORK (Aug. 18)
Israeli citizens have responded vigorously to the humanitarian needs of Lebanese affected by the current hostilities, according to the American Jewish Committee’s Israel Office.
A number of voluntary organizations, the AJC stated in a report, have cooperated in providing regular shipments from Israel to Lebanon, including powdered milk, cement, foam rubber mattresses, cooking and eating utensils, building materials, kerosene, flour, Bibles, first-aid supplies, crutches, school supplies, and the like.
“Contacts have been made with Lebanese social welfare officials for a continuing relationship,” the Committee report indicates. It continues: “In Israel proper, there is by now a systematic way in which hundreds of Lebanese civilians, suffering from war wounds or ordinary illness, are admitted in Israel hospitals.”
MAJOR ROLE OF VOLUNTARY GROUPS
Dr. M. Bernard Resnikoff, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Israel Offices, added: “Voluntary organizations have played a major role in servicing the companions of hospitalized Lebanese. A child is rushed from Tyre to an Israeli hospital, together with her distracted mother. The mother frequently comes without clothing; she needs to be housed somewhere in the city where the child is hospitalized, to be with him, or her, for all the days of confinement.”
According to Resnikoff, relatives of hospitalized Lebanese are helped with laundry services, are provided with shelter in homes set aside for this purpose, especially in Haifa and in Safad. They are given meal tickets whereby hospital food, at low cost, is available for the period of time their kin are in the hospital.
The report listed a number of groups active in the effort, among them the Public Council for the People of Lebanon; the Jerusalem Inter-Faith Committee for Aid to Lebanese War Victims; the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; People-to-People; The Christian Service Training Center; and the City Council Municipality of Jerusalem.
In addition, Ophira Navon, wife of Israel’s President, has formed a public committee to help the people of Lebanon, and especially the children. On the committee are such distinguished Israelis as a former advisor to the Prime Minister, and the former director-general of the Ministry of Social Welfare.