Israel's per capita GDP is nearly $30,000. Israel is a rich country. The fact that it doesn't possess adequate firefighting equipment is its own fault. The fact that the leadership of its fire service is incompetent is its own fault. At some point, the good-hearted Diaspora Jews who still think of Israel as a charity case are going to have to tell their cousins to learn to fully-fund basic services like firefighting if they want to be thought of as citizens of an advanced country.
There are a great many good causes in Israel that deserve help, and a great many causes here in America that deserve our help. It seems to me, however, that Israel's national fire service should be funded by Israel's government, not by the people of Boca Raton, Potomac and the Upper West Side.
I've e-mailed Mr. Goldberg to thank him for his insight.
Dear Mr. Goldberg,
Thank you for your item, “Don’t Give to the Jewish National Fund. ” Your argument is so persuasive that I only wish you’d made it six years ago.
You see, if Israel is a rich country, the USA is still much, much richer. Since it was the Government that failed to maintain the levees in New Orleans and the Government that failed to evacuate the people of New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina, it’s the Government’s fault and sole responsibility for the havoc, loss of life and material destruction that occurred there. Now that I understand this, I feel like such a putz for sending donations for Hurricane Katrina relief. Is there some way, do you suppose, that I can get my money back?
Incidentally, it’s pretty outrageous that those schnorrers in Israel are asking for donations for disaster relief from their Jewish cousins overseas. The Israeli government wasted so much money sending medical teams and a field hospital to Haiti after the earthquake – clearly they should have used that money for firefighting equipment and personnel, and let the Haitians fend for themselves.