Daily Israel Report

'The Face' of Israel: 14 Police Officers to Haiti to Save Lives

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to Israeli police officers being sent to Haiti: "You are the answer to the attempts to delegitimize Israel."
By Eli Stutz and Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 8/25/2010, 1:58 PM / Last Update: 8/25/2010, 2:26 PM

Israel is sending 14 police officers to Haiti to serve in a United Nations force for keeping public order in the country, after the earthquake disaster which created havoc there. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the officers, "You are the answer to the attempts to delegitimize Israel." One of the officers is leaving a pregnant wife, and a second pushed off his wedding.


Ayalon addressed the police officers saying, "You are Israel's beautiful face. We value human life most highly and that is why Israel was among the first to send help to Haiti. You continue that same operation. Beyond the role of saving lives you represent Israel and help to improve its image. The main goal is to save lives and help rehabilitation, but if the result is improving Israel's image that is important as well. 

"It is important to explain to the world that Israel is not only about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and you are proof of that. It is important that the world know who is Israel not by how we are defined by Iran or other places but how we define ourselves - you are the face of Israel."

The meeting was also attended by police deputy commander, Ilan Franco, and UN representatives, who thanked and congratulated Israel for the initiative. 

Police Deputy Commander Ilan Franco said, "We see a great honor in the appeal to us to help restore public order in Haiti. This police mission was assembled in cooperation with the Homeland security agencies, the Foreign Ministry and Israel Police. On Monday, the delegation will leave for Haiti for a few months. We put together a delegation from the highest quality and skilled fighters. "

The head of the delegation, Meir Namir, added that the best police officers were mobilized to the task - some leaving behind pregnant women, children, and one even putting off his wedding. Policeman Golan de-Leon's wife, who is expecting, said that, "even though I am waiting for my firstborn child, this mission is important to me personally, and my wife supported me all along."