In the United States, there is hardly any public preparedness for an attack by a radical element, such as Islamists or Ku Klux Klan type haters. Their targets are mostly the vulnerable public, in general and Jews in particular. The United States’ authorities have no doubt that sooner or later the country’s national security is going to be challenged by such elements.
During their 2000 years in exile, Jews never put an emphasis on preparedness. They were not ready for the Pogroms in Russia and before the Holocaust, Jews were not prepared for the looming danger and tried to brush it off until it was too late.
At Laniado Sanz Medical Center, in Netanya, Israel, they teach awareness and preparedness. And that is what West Coast friends of Laniado Hospital, headed by Urie Lieberman, did this week at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills California (http://www.nessah.org/) where they held a “Community Responsibility, Community Preparedness” panel discussion in order for experts to open the public’s eyes.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, The Museum of Tolerance Dean, moderated the event. Opening remarks were by Yaki Lopaz, Consul for Political Affairs, Israel Consulate, Los Angeles. Panel members included Israeli, multilinguistic, Belgium born, Lydia Lanxner, Laniado hospital Coordinator of Disaster Preparedness & Training Jewish European Community Leaders, Horace E. Frank, LAPD Assistant Commanding Officer Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau and Ivan Wolkind, Chief Operation and Financial Officer at the Jewish Federation.
The well-attended event, to which eight different institutions sent their representatives, brought to focus the challenges ahead. The Jewish community in particular cannot remain oblivious though, because it is a main target. People must wake up and take a proactive position and there needs to be a contingency comprehensive plan in place to form a connecting web of all institutions, organizations and bodies.
Throughout history, the Jewish people were forced to learn how to live with, try prevent and overcome danger. Now the Jewish state Israel is unfortunately, one fine example of living in and being constantly prepared for danger.
In the darkest period in the Jewish People’s history, more than 12,000 Jewish men, women and children were gassed or burned every day in the Nazi Gas Chambers and Crematoriums of Auschwitz, systematically executed with the utmost German precision and sophistication.
Amongst the victims were the wife and eleven children of Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam, scion of the famous Sanz Rabbinic Dynasty. Should he survive the horrors, Rabbi Halberstam made a promise to himself that he would build a Hospital in the Holy Land where every human being will be guaranteed to receive the same dedicated medical care irrespective of nationality or creed. The Rabbi survived. Determined to proceed with this vital project despite the difficulties he encountered after years of determined effort and overcoming insurmountable hardships, the Sanz Medical Center-Laniado Hospital was opened on June 21, 1976.
The Sanz Medical Center-Laniado Hospital is named after Alphonse and Ya’akov Avraham Laniado, two brothers from the city of Haleb (Aleppo), Syria who immigrated to Switzerland, where they managed a family bank. In their will, the brothers specified that their estate be used to found a hospital named “Laniado” in Eretz (Land) Israel. The brothers provided the preliminary funds to found the hospital, while the remaining funds were collected by the Klausenberg Rebbe of the Sanz dynasty.
Today, the Laniado Hospital is a triage hospital, the only real community hospital, in all senses of the word, in Israel, operating on the base of kindness, equality and compassion.
When Israel suffered numerous terror attacks, Netanya was not spared. One was the Park Hotel Passover massacre, on 27 March 2002, in which 30 innocent people, who were sitting at the tables celebrating their holiday, were killed and many wounded. The dead and the injured were brought to Laniado Hospital where Lydia Lanxner received them. By now an expert on terror cases, Lydia claims that terrorism’s goal is to scare the population at large so the population must change its mindset. Part of the remedy is to be prepared, to get organized and create harmony and order out of the chaos. Step one is to take off the glasses and look at life and one’s surroundings in different, cautioning light and create a preparedness harmony for the entire population.
Awareness is the key component of preparedness. Look around you and notice what is taking place, become alert. No detail is too small or too big.
Due to the country’s security circumstances, the Home Front Command in Israel regularly holds preparedness and responsibility drills. These drill are based on coordination, cooperation and efficiency of all government institutions, medical, education and military bodies and the citizenry at large and no one is spared partaking in these exercises.
In the United States, the population at large is under the impression that terrorism happens very far away and 9/11 was one isolated incident. That is not what the police force and the Jewish Federation think. The threat to the USA is very real, they tell us.
Jews are the Islamists’ and extreme far right senseless people’s main target. Time to change the way we, as a nation, think. Time to create resistance and decentralize actions.
Having no plan is irresponsible. The safety and resilience of our community is in our hands.
The Jewish Federation created a community security initiative. They hold a course in preparedness; go to www.jewishla.org and sign up, become a leader.
The Museum of Tolerance offers two emergency phone apps to download: combathateu and combathate.
Who do we call when we see something suspicious? 1-877-athreat (286-7328)
For more comprehensive security needs, including customized, you can contact ISA (International Security Academy), a licensed Private Patrol Operator (PPO), Private Investigation (PI), Alarm Company Operator (ACO) and Training Instruction Firearm (TIF) Company founded by Doron Madmony, Israeli ex-military and a YAMAM veteran, Israel’s elite national security Counter-Terrorism unit specializing in hostage-rescue and strategic assault. With over 35 years of experience in the security & law enforcement field, Mr. Madmony established ISA for the purpose of providing customers with highly trained, rigorously screened and capable personnel to ensure their and their property’s safety and security, at 9233 W. Pico Blvd., Ste 203, Los Angeles, CA 90035/ Phone: (310) 746-1800 / www.isasecured.com.
After the holocaust Israel was founded on the basic instinct of not to be scared but be prepared for danger. Jews cannot lose their instinct for danger. Since her establishment the United States has been a great supporter of Israel and the American Jewry stuck its hand seep into their pocket to help the Jewish State in any way possible. Now Israelis wants to give back to their American friends. They want to teach them responsibility and preparedness. Last week Laniado hospital in Israel started this humane process.
God will not lie about the eternity of Israel. No doubt one way or another the Jewish people will come through and will help many others to come through as well.