Last week, the Israel Defense Forces sent 260 doctors, nurses and search-and-rescue personnel to Nepal to aid that nation's earthquake relief efforts.
Most people, regardless of their position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, would probably regard that as a positive development.
But Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch
, views the Israeli humanitarian help in a darker light.
Steven A. Cook, a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes in Newsweek that Roth used a report about Israeli aid to Nepal
to attack the Jewish state's treatment of the Palestinians.
"Easier to address a far-away humanitarian disaster than the nearby one of Israel's making in Gaza!" Roth tweeted.
Cook wrote that he was surprised that Roth "seems so blithely unaware of just how difficult it actually is to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza."
Cook said that if he had spotted the tweet in real time, "I would have responded with all seriousness: 'Yes, it is much easier.'"
He cites four key reasons why Israel might find it much less difficult to provide humanitarian aid to Nepal than to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
One is the fact that since 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza, about 15,000 rockets have been fired at Israel from that territory.
A second is that by contrast, the Nepalese "have not fired a single rocket at Israel."
The third is that "there is no solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians."
The fourth is that there "is no conflict between Israelis and Nepalese."
To Israelis, Gaza is synonymous with "rockets and tunnels and terrorists, whereas Nepal is temples, mountains and nice people," Cook adds. "So, of course it is easier to address the humanitarian crisis in Nepal."
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