MASHAV – The long arm of Israel in the world
MASHAV is a vital element in Israel's foreign policy. Through MASHAV, Israel extends international aid to various countries in the field of development, while integrating into the international agenda and highlighting its image as a country that contributes to the world.
Under the leadership of Foreign Minister Liberman, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – through MASHAV – increased its international aid activities. With regard to the importance of this aid, Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon said: "It is important that the world know who Israel is, not as we are defined by Iran and other places, but as we define ourselves. This is the true face of Israel."
MASHAV was established in 1958 for the purpose of sharing Israel’s knowledge and technological capabilities with developing countries. Since then, MASHAV has trained more than 260,000 course participants, among whom were many leaders, who became heads of state, including countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, Israel was among the first countries to extend humanitarian aid to the disaster-stricken island, despite the geographical distance. Israel also built a field hospital, which earned worldwide esteem, including the heartfelt words of UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who said in his meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon: "Israel is a country that loves humanity".
Israel's helping hand
Following the aftermath of the disastrous tsunami in Japan, Israel was one of the first countries to send a medical team to Japan. The Foreign Ministry, together with the Ministry of Defense and the Home Front Command, sent two airplanes to Japan on March 26 2011.
The assistance included a delegation of 50 experts from the Home Front Command and the Medical Corps, and 18 tons of equipment which included blankets, coats, gloves and portable toilets.
The delegation travelled to the town of Kurihara, where the tsunami hit the worst, and set up a field clinic to take care of the injured and the refugees gathered there.
Photo by IDF Spokesperson
Ambasador of Japan to Israel H.E. Haruhisa TAKEUCHI, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Japanese government and the Japanese people for Israel's assistance and said that the Israeli government responded quickly to the requests for help from the Japanese government.
In August 2010, for the first time in history, Israel sent a police force to serve in the UN framework in Haiti. Among the force's objectives were keeping public order and preventing anarchy. Members of the delegation left behind families, including pregnant wives, and embarked on a complicated long-range mission.
The deputy minister addressed the force before departure, saying: "You represent the beautiful face of Israel. The value of human life is important to us and that is why Israel was among the first countries to extend aid to Haiti. You are continuing this effort. Beyond saving human lives, you represent Israel and are helping to improve its image. It is important to explain to the world that Israel is not just about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and you are the proof of this."
In addition to the aid provided to Haiti, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through MASHAV, is active in many fields, including medicine, agriculture, community development, empowerment of women and providing tools that enable social and economic development.
For more information, please visit MASHAV's website: mashav.mfa.gov.il/mfm/web/main/missionhome.asp
The Investment is Rewarded: Thank You Israel!
There is not enough space to express the gratitude of the MASHAV course participants to Israel. One example can be seen in this humble, yet moving letter, which was sent by the wife of the Mayor of Chahal in Guatemala, Mrs. Thelma Fernandez, whose most important paper carried an article titled: "Thank you Israel!
Below is an excerpt from the text:
"While the world closes its doors to you and condemns you, you open your gates to 20 women from all the countries of Latin America, in order to teach them and share with them your experience and various achievements, which were gained through pain and suffering.
Those who hate you make you stronger, contrary to their wish to see you destroyed.
"Although your territory is smaller than even Guatemala, you are strong in knowledge and achievements. We thank you for sharing them with us and the whole world, so willingly and generously."