US/World News

Anti-Israel activists accuse IDF of exploiting Surfside disaster

(JNS) Anti-Israel activists took to social media to accuse the Israel Defense Forces of exploiting the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida.

Rafael Shimunov, a political activist from Queens, N.Y., questioned the motives of involvement by the Israeli military. He tweeted: “I really don’t understand the IDF’s involvement in rescue attempts of people tragically crushed under buildings in Miami. Their expertise is crushing buildings with people in them, not rescuing them.” He added: “As if we don’t have any expertise or technology here in the U.S. Using these tragic deaths for pro-Israel propaganda is just quite something. These forces are literally stepping over buildings they crushed with children in them to go to Miami and do a PR stunt.”

Pro-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour replied to Shiminov’s tweet with fingers pointing downwards in agreement. In response, Emily Schrader tweeted: 

“Imagine being such a small person you’re mad about people you don’t like saving lives.

Linda Sarsour is mad the IDF is saving lives in Miami.”

A rescue delegation from the IDF’s Home Front Command was sent to Surfside to assist in the search and recovery mission. The delegation arrived within 72 hours of the building’s collapse, helping first responders using 3D mapping and conducting a humanitarian effort to support the families of the missing.

B’nai B’rith International was “outraged and disgusted” by the tweet and retweet from Shimunov and Sarsour. “This horrific statement comes as families are mourning the loss of loved ones and hoping for miracles in the tragic building collapse that still has 113 missing in the rubble. The IDF has worked tirelessly, as Lt. Col. Oz Gino told Hamodia, ‘on the pile as if everybody is alive,’ ” wrote B’nai B’rith International president Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin. “The tweet is not only deeply insensitive but anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic,” they continued. “A people that, sadly, has had to deal with bombs from Palestinian terrorists is now told it has the temerity to help people in Florida based on their own tragic experience.”

Main Photo: Soldiers with the IDF Home Front Command helping find survivors amid the rubble in Surfside, Fla., June 2021. Credit: IDF Home Front Command.

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