Benjamin Netanyahu - Prime Minister
Yossi Levy - Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Daniel Saban - Head of Ministry's Latin America Department
Yitzhak Aharonovitch - Public Security Minister
Dr. Eitan Hai-Am - Health Ministry Director-General
Dr. Danny Laor - Director of the Ministry's Emergency Division
Amos Radian (Radyan) - Israel's ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada
Maj. Gen Yair Golan - OC Home Front Command
Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben Aryeh - IDF Commander of the Home Front Command's Search and Rescue teams
Brig. Gen. Nachman Esh (Ash) - IDF Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Ariel Bar - Officer of the IDF Home Front Command
Rabbi Shimon Pelman, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the Dominican Republic
Magen David Adam (Israel’s Red Cross) teams
IsraAID search and rescue teams and medical staff
Gal Lusky - Israeli Flying Aid
Gal Lusky with Ehud Olmert
date unknown, perhaps 2007
Due to IFA`s extensive activities during the war in the north, Prime Minister Ehud Ulmart invited Gal Lusky to a private meeting. In the meeting, Lusky presented IFA`s International disaster response activities and specified IFA`s activities during the war in the north. Lusky reviewed in details the two aspects the organization was focusing on – civilian and military. In addition, Lusky pointed the Prime Minister to five significant issues regarding necessary follow ups and lessons for the future.
Following the experience in the north, IFA sensed the need for a better preparation of the civilian rear area to the next war. IFA called for establishment of a civil humanitarian coordination center that will allow maximum utilization of donations such as: food, equipment, human resources etc. The coordination center will prevent duplicity, improve the supervision on the equipment installations and minimize corruptions. The Prime Minister praised the activity and its extent and encouraged the organization volunteers.^^^^^^^
Lusky started the Flying Aid organization after her brother was seriously wounded fighting Lebanon in 1992. http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3554523,00.html
“We mainly supply aid to places which Israel is unable to send assistance to due to a lack of diplomatic ties,” she explained. “As a civilian, independent group we are bound only by our conscience, we don’t ask for governmental permission in order to act and it is technically difficult to prevent us from entering.”
...The organization’s volunteers come from all walks of Israeli life including trauma therapists, logisticians, doctors, Jews, Christians, Druze and Bedouins. The hardcore participants entail about 100 people who are alerted and act immediately in the case of an emergency. They leave their homes, families and work, at their own expense and completely voluntarily go out to the field.
The IFA is subsidized by contributions from an array of organizations including the American-Jewish Committee (AJC) the Israeli companies Suny and Lotus, the Joint and worldwide Jewish federations.
In order to prevent delay of assistance during real time, Lusky works to secure funds for the organization before a disaster occurs. “There is no time during an emergency, people die. In the business world time is money, but in our world time is life and you can’t gain or fix life when it’s gone,” she said.In this interview with Diva International, Gal explains how Israeli Flying Aid works.
Lusky and the IFA are in need of additional volunteers, especially in Israel. “Secretarial abilities can greatly ease our work here,” she explained. “In addition, I need writers with outstanding English, almost diplomatic, who can connect the organization with donors worldwide, and who know what titles to give to each leader.”
Some of the points made:
- After a year, my brother came out of hospital. It was August 1993. When the next war began I went on my first mission as a private person, not as an organization. I then continued going on these missions.
- I understood that if I wanted to work according to my conscience and for the victims, I needed to set up my own organization.
- As an Israeli, I was unable to go to half of the countries in the world, because we do not have diplomatic relations with them.
- We work mostly below the radar. This is not only because we are Israelis. We do not want to embarrass those who accept our help. They might risk their own lives if it became known that we had come from Israel to help them. We also need to protect our own lives, because after all we are all Israeli citizens carrying that passport.
- Do you work with other NGOs? No, we work alone. Most of the time, we are the first ones to arrive. We get in first because we try to be there early. Our mission is to save lives.
- We do not fly in, since we work undercover! We mostly fly in on regular civil flights. We do not take supplies with us –– for two reasons. The first reason is so as not to be conspicuous, and second reason is so as not to be controlled by the local government and the regimes. When you know that all ports, airports, etc., are controlled by the government, the authorities may then do whatever they want with the supplies. Everybody knows it, although it’s not politically correct to say so. We do not go along with that approach.
- Nothing is missing in the local economy. Nothing! There is not one country where I could not buy what I needed to help the victims. The only thing that is missing is the capability of the victims to pay for aid and to transport it to the location where it is needed. We come with donation money and our intention is to empower the local society to buy everything it needs. Although I can buy, for instance, 100 tons of materials in one place, I will always divide the purchase among several sources in order to help the locals.
- We do not need anything. We can survive in a foreign area for about a month without the help of anybody. We have our own electricity; we have our own network; we have our own intelligence and maps before we arrive.
- The problem is donations for the missions. Most donors want credit for their donation. But because our working method is so special and since we are working under the radar, I cannot give them credit. It’s a real difficulty. We tend to keep a low profile, and this makes it really difficult to find funding for the work we do.
- The American-Jewish committees support us, and some other donors. To raise money, I have to travel abroad. Some donors tell me that I might get killed, and I ask them why is this bothering you? I’m an adult and I know what the risks are. Every single person that is working for us knows what he/she needs to do. It is our choice
- My dream is that Muslim money will arrive on the table to support this organization. Although I have difficulties because most Muslims will not talk to me, we do not mind working under any flag or any logo in order to save other people’s lives.
- We do everything in one location. We are able to provide 10,000 hot meals every day (the photos are on the Internet). If I say it, there really are hot meals every day cooked by widows or single women. We have field clinics where we can treat 500 people every day. We have all kinds of doctors, surgeons and specialists –– burns, gynecologists, post-trauma experts, orthopedics, etc.
Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav also invited Gal Lusky to a closed-door meeting at his residence in Jerusalem in December 2005, to thank her for her work in the Republic of Georgia, in Southeast Asia after the tsunami, in northern Pakistan and India after an earthquake, and in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. http://www.israel21c.org/opinion/israel-s-superwoman-takes-flight-to-help-others
Moshe Katsav came under a cloud of scandal in the summer of 2006 for rape and sexual harassment charges. Eventually ten women had made charges against him. He did not go gracefully.
A senior police official told Haaretz that "the material that has been compiled thus far in the affair is more significant and dramatic than that which has been made public in the media."
http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/753547.htmlJust last month (1/10/10), he began testifying in the case. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1141541.html
Former President Moshe Katsav began testifying Sunday in a Tel Aviv court on accusations of rape and sexual harassment that were brought against him. The charges in this closed door trial were brought by three former employees of Katsav.
Katsav faces two counts of rape against A., who worked at the Tourism Ministry from March 1998 to January 1999, when Katsav served as tourism minister. One rape allegedly took place in the minister's office in Tel Aviv and the other at a hotel in Jerusalem. Katsav will also be charged with forcible indecent assault against A. and abusing the employer-employee relationship. In addition, Katsav will be charged with lesser offenses against two employees of the President's Residence - H., whom he allegedly hugged repeatedly against her will, and L., whom he allegedly hugged and kissed on the neck against her will.
Katsav and Lusky have also been linked in another scandal that has been, so far, impossible to verify. Some information appears to have been scrubbed from the web. Make of that what you will. The allegation goes like this, which you can google yourself: that certain parties, including Moshe Katsav, used Lusky's organization to promote a penny stock fraud called UCSY or Universal Communications Systems. There's a lot of information on this floating around, mostly indymedia, but the links either don't work or are circular. That doesn't mean it isn't true, at least in part, just that I haven't had any luck verifying it. But it's really interesting stuff.
I can only verify that Lusky met Katsav, and Olmert, and Katsav is on trial for corruption and rape, and Lusky is sort of famous among Israelis for her work with IFA.
So, for all the talk about working alone and underneath the radar, Lusky has many connections.
And she is on the front lines in Haiti.
That's the point.