You'll be pleased to hear that "Within minutes of a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake slamming the Caribbean nation of Haiti, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had instructed the Israel Defense, Foreign Affairs and Public Security ministries to urgently administer humanitarian aid... As Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital, the Israel Foreign Ministry prepared an IDF search and rescue team for departure... " (Israel rushes humanitarian aid, IDF rescue units to Haiti, Joel Leyden, israelnewsagency.com, 13/1/10)
Yes, "Within minutes..."!
Israel, of course, is world famous for its humanitarianism: "Israel is very well known and respected for its humanitarian efforts which stretch from Gaza to the Pacific Ocean." (ibid)
Allow me to run that past you again: "Israel is very well known and respected for its humanitarian efforts which stretch from Gaza..." Yes, you read correctly.
But of course: "Even under mortar and sniper fire by Hamas Islamic terrorists, the IDF makes every effort, at the risk to their own soldiers, to send tons of medical and food supplies into Gaza." (ibid)
Why, even as I type, "Israel's ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Amos Radyan, is... travelling by car to Port au Prince in order to make an initial assessment. Radyan will be risking his life as he travels over broken roads, fallen electric lines, floods and possible harrassment by the desperate and starving." (ibid)
Spare a thought for this brave and selfless soul!
But there's more. Did you know that "In 1947, Haiti voted for the United Nations partition of Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel." (ibid)
But not before a slight hitch, mind you:
At the 13th meeting of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on the Question of Palestine on 14/10/47, Haiti's representative at the United Nations, Antonio Vieux, "in stating the views of his Government, would argue on the basis of legal facts, rather than on sentiment. He did not believe that the Jews had any right to claim a whole or part of Palestine as their fatherland on the basis of historical connection. The suffering of the Jewish people, distressing as it had been, was not an argument for the partition of Palestine or for their claims on a land inhabited for thousands of years by another people; nor did their material contribution during the preceeding twenty five years constitute a vested interest in Palestine. If such a principle were accepted, it could create an unfortunate precedent for the determination of possession on the basis of material contributions. Moreover, it was inconsistent with Haiti's ideals and its concept of national sovereignty." (The Palestine Diary, Vol 2, Robert John & Sami Hadawi, 1970, p 212)
"After the Ad Hoc Committee had listened to all contending parties, voting was begun on the resolution submitted by Subcommittee Two, which represented the Arab point of view. The first resolution proposed to call upon the International Court for a decision as to the competency of the United Nations to deal with the Palestine question. By a vote of 25 to 18, with 11 abstentions, the full Committee rejected this proposal. A second and closer vote of 21 to 20 decided that the UN was competent to enforce, or recommend the enforcement of partition without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine. In view of later developments it is important to note that on both of these issues Argentina, Greece, Haiti, and Liberia were among the countries which supported the Arab states. A third resolution recommended the absorption within the territories of members of the UN of those Jewish displaced persons who were unable to be repatriated. The vote on this was 16 to 16 with 26 abstentions... the United States cast a negative vote." (American Zionism & US Foreign Policy 1942-1947, Richard Stevens, 1962, pp 174-175)
"The debate on the draft resolution of the Ad Hoc Committee, which recommended the partition of Palestine, began to the accompaniment of a 'great gathering' of American Jews in the public galleries on the morning of 26 November 1947." (John & Hadawi, pp 249-250) At that debate Mr Vieux firmly stated Haiti's opposition: "'[M]y Government does not consider that the concrete solutions put forward as a result of the sub-committees' work are satisfactory; and the representative of the Republic of Haiti, in accordance with his Government's views, will vote against the partition of Palestine'." (John & Hadawi, p 257)
Now, if a vote had been taken on that day, the partition proposal would have failed to secure the two-thirds majority necessary. And so, "before the vote in the [General] Assembly, 6 countries became the target for Zionist and US pressure or, as it is called in UN circles, 'arm-twisting'. These were: Haiti, Liberia, the Philippines, China, Ethiopia, and Greece. The arm-twisting worked, for only Greece remained firm in opposition, moving, in fact, from abstention in Committee to a negative vote in the Assembly. China and Ethiopia continued to abstain, while Liberia moved from abstention to an affirmative vote and the Philippines, from what would have been a negative vote, to the affirmative... The delegation of Haiti underwent the same mysterious process of transformation [as the Philippines]; a clearly negative speech followed by an affirmative vote. It was through such dubious 'manipulations' that a favourable vote for the Jewish State was obtained at the UN." (Zionism, Israel & Asian Nationalism, GH Jansen, 1971, pp 199-200)
So what kind of pressure was applied to Haiti to reverse its position on the partition of Palestine?: "The vote of Haiti was reportedly secured through Adolph Berle, who used the promise of American economic assistance. An ex-governor, well known for his Zionist and White House connections, personally telephoned the Haitian Government urging that its delegate be ordered to change his vote. Consequently, the Haitian delegate, Mr Antonio Vieux, who had voted against partition on Wednesday, explained that his Government had ordered a reversal for economic reasons." (Stevens, p 179)
As well as the Israel News Agency informing us that Haiti "voted for the UN partition of Palestine and the Creation of the State of Israel," it adds that "many Haitians share much respect and admiration for Israel and its struggles"
How very true, as the invaluable research of Israeli scholar Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi reveals: "The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere holds many distinctions in the annals of misery and inhumanity. For the past century, Haiti has been a miserable, hellish US colony. Between 1915 and 1934 it was occupied by US forces. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as assistant secretary of the navy, drafted its constitution. Later on, as president, he ordered the marines removed, but everything left behind was set up to ensure continuing American control. Haiti's government between 1957 and 1986 was a hereditary dictatorship: Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, inherited from his father, Papa Doc, the title of President-for-Life, with the right to designate his successor - though he was confirmed in what locally passes for an election... Haiti's military needs were quite limited, and Israel could supply them all. There were Israeli military advisers in Port-au-Prince, and the guards watching over the security of President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier carried the ubiquitous Uzi. When Duvalier became more concerned about attacks by rebels, he bought antiaircraft guns from Israel. Israeli advisers were reportedly helping the Haitian government in maintaining 'internal security'. Officers of the Haitian military have visited Israel for training. The elite Leopard counterinsurgency unit, created by Baby Doc, was trained in Israel. Israeli entrepreneurs have become active in Haiti; the Israeli foreign office has been giving 'high priority' to these contacts. These entrepreneurs were all doing business with the Duvalier family and its friends - as did all foreign investors in Haiti, since no one else owned anything worth owning in the country. Israelis have launched profitable agricultural ventures in Haiti and other Caribbean islands... The Duvalier regime was replaced in January 1986 by a new government, in a transfer of power successfully engineered and carried out by the CIA. The actual transfer of power was supposed to take place on the morning of January 31. Jean-Claude Duvalier was to leave Haiti on a US air force plane, and the new government was supposed to be introduced. Something went wrong: as a result the White House announced that Duvalier was gone, while he was still in Port-au-Prince. What went wrong? The US media blamed poor coordination between the State Department and the White House. But CIA sources say the reason for the delay was Israeli intervention. According to this unconfirmed story, the Mossad station in Haiti was concerned about the harm to Israeli interests in the region, and managed to convince Duvalier to stay. American pressure prevailed, of course, and Baby Doc left a few days later. What this story reflects, even if untrue, is the reality of Israeli involvement in Haiti, to the extent that it can be construed as influential in such situations." (The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms & Why, 1987, pp 96-98)
Apart from Papa and Baby Doc, another Haitian 'admirer' of Israel is one, Prosper Avril: "Among those released by the rebels [following the CIA ouster of the democratically-elected government of Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004] is the former general Prosper Avril, a leader of the notorious Presidential Guard under both Duvaliers. Avril seized power in September 1988, and was deposed in March 1990. A US district court found that his regime engaged in a 'systematic pattern of egregious human rights abuses'. It also found him personally responsible for enough 'torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment' to award 6 of his victims a total of $41 million dollars in compensation. The victims included opposition politicians, union leaders, scholars, even a doctor trying to practice community medicine. Avril's repression was not subtle: 3 torture victims were paraded on national television with their faces grotesquely swollen, their limbs bruised and their clothing covered with blood. He suspended 37 articles of the constitution, and declared a state of siege. The US started protecting Avril shortly after the 1994 restitution of Aristide. In November that year, the then secretary of state, Warren Christopher, relayed to the US ambassador intelligence reports that the Red Star Organisation, under Avril's leadership, was planning a 'harassment and assassination campaign directed at... Aristide supporters'. This information was not passed on to the Haitian authorities. In December, the Haitian police, acting on their own information, sought to arrest Avril at his home. Immediately after the police arrived, US soldiers turned up and tried to dissuade them from making the arrest. By the time they got in, Avril had fled to the neighbouring residence of the Columbian ambassador. Police searching Avril's house found military uniforms, illegal police radios and a cache of weapons. He escaped to Israel but later returned to Haiti, where his international and potential military support deterred further attempts to arrest him. He founded a political party, which has never fielded candidates in an election but was invited by the [US Republican Party-affiliated] International Republican Institute (IRI) to participate in developing an opposition to Aristide. In May 2001, after US troops had withdrawn from Haiti, the police finally seized the opportunity to execute Avril's arrest warrant. The successful arrest was greeted with applause by the vast majority of Haitians and by human rights and justice groups in Haiti, the US and Europe. Amnesty International asserted that the arrest 'could mark a step forward by the Haitian justice system in its struggle against impunity': 'the gravity of the human rights violations committed during General Avril's period in power, from his 1988 coup d'etat to his departure in March 1990, cannot', Amnesty said, 'be ignored'. France's Committee to Prosecute Duvalier concluded that 'the general must be tried'. On 9 December 2003, the magistrate investigating the Piatre Massacre in 1990, when several peasants lost their lives, formally charged Avril with responsibility. He was in prison awaiting the end of the pre-trial proceedings when he was freed on 2 March - a few days after Aristide was deposed." (Who removed Aristide? Paul Farmer, London Review of Books, 15/4/04)
So when you read about Israel contributing to humanitarian aid efforts in Haiti (and I guarantee you will) don't be surprised. Baby Doc, currently in France, and Prosper Avril, whereabouts unknown, both ardent 'admirers' of the Jewish State, won't be.