Evil Turkey Offers Aid
As I write this, Israel is experiencing one of the deadliest and most destructive natural disasters in its history - massive out of control forest fires in the Carmel Mountains just to the south of Haifa. At least forty people have died in the fire so far, Kibbutz Beit Oren has been completely destroyed, 30,000 people have been evacuated from various Haifa suburbs and Druze and Arab villages on the Carmel.
Israel says it does not have enough fire fighting equipment - planes in particular - to fight the blaze. It appealed to Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Greece and Spain to send aid. It even asked the U.S. if it could help. But, it seems, it did not ask the biggest country in the region likely to have the needed equipment and personnel. It didn't ask Turkey. After all Israel is still brogez (angry) with Turkey because the Turks forced Israel to kill nine of its citizens in the Flotilla affair.
Nevertheless, Turkey offered help, and the Israeli government had the good sense to accept it. Maybe this will help break the narrow thinking that says because the Turks oppose Israel's policies in Gaza, they are out to destroy Israel.
In the meantime lets hope the Turkish (and other countries') aid is quick to arrive, and that the fires can be controlled before doing too much more damage.
* * *
Update: Since I wrote the above, I see that the Palestinian Authority has sent fire fighters to help fight the blaze. Egypt and Jordan have also offered aid.
But (and there's always a "but" in the Middle East) lest we think that a Hannukah miracle has occurred and that out of the tragedy of this fire will come peace on earth, Islamic Jihad issued a statement against Muslim leaders "... whose hearts fill with compassion for the Zionist disaster." They continued: "There is no need to tell you how delighted we are that more than 40 cadets who tortured prisoners were killed in this fire. We never met with your compassion when Israel attacked us. Let the fire consume Israel."