Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Japan: How Long Will Israel and Iran be Together?

An unusual cooperation amidst Japanese catastrophe: An Israeli team of 12 ZAKA (Disaster Victim Identification) volunteers sent to Japan to help out with rescue efforts worked alongside an unlikely team on Sunday – the official Iranian delegation.

In Kamaishi, ZAKA volunteers were able to rescue seven bodies belonging to one family that was buried under the rubble. They also assisted in the identification of the dead. The Israeli team taught the locals to spot crows and explained that, from their experience, dead bodies can be found where crows hover.

The Teheran rescue team also arrived in the city. "We shook hands and became friends. At one point they set up a stand and wanted to hand out food and medicine to the locals. We joined in and there we stood, side by side, handing out food and medicine. They removed the Iranian flag and removed our Israeli flag and we just stood there together. It was very odd," he added.

However, when the Iranians offered the Israeli crew some hot tea, the ZAKA team declined politely due to kashrut reasons. Meshi-Zahav joked and said, "It could have been beautiful if the Iranians tried to poison us in Japan."

In order to avoid a scene the Israelis agreed to drink orange juice from a closed can and later the two delegations took their picture together.

The Iranians told the ZAKA volunteers: "You know we are cousins. The wars and conflicts are between the leaders, but between the people there should be peace. We can't forget we were close once."

Odds are very good that within 48 hours, probably sooner, an Iranian official will denounce this photo.

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