A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, where most of the victims of the Boston Marathon Terror attack received medical treatment, claimed that an Israeli team helped train them to respond to these kinds of terror attacks. During the Boston Marathon this year, two explosions took place which resulted in the murder of three people and the injury of at least 183 others. One of the victims was a Chinese national who studied at Boston University, while other victims included a 29-year-old restaurant manager and an eight-year-old child. An additional 13 people suffered from severe limb loss.

Were it not for Israeli training, the medical team at Massachusetts General Hospital might have been less prepared to deal with this situation. According to Alasdair Conn, Chief of Emergency Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, “About two years ago in actual fact we asked the Israelis to come across and they helped us set up our disaster team so that we could respond in this kind of manner. A few years ago we wanted to upgrade our emergency response to things like explosions, and unfortunately Israel was dealing with several types of [these incidents] a year… and we had to upgrade our response.”

Dr. Conn compared the scene of the Boston Marathon Terror attack to what one would witness in Israel during the Second Intifada period or in Baghdad. The situation in Boston was that atrocious. Rabbi Mayer Sarchi from Boston Chabad, who was at the scene of the crime, proclaimed, “People just started running away from the centre, from the finish line. I’ve never seen any thing like this before—-the nature of the carnage you can’t really articulate it in words. It was unreal.”

The American Jewish leadership, like the rest of the American population, was in a state of disbelief. As Avraham Foxman of the Anti-Defemation League proclaimed, “Like all Americans, we were deeply shocked by the apparent bombing of the Boston Marathon. It is sad that any time a bomb explodes in public places, we are conditioned as a first to reflex to think of it as a terrorist attack, but unfortunately, in this instance it appears that our fears have been realized.”

The State of Israel, in addition to training the emergency teams within Boston that deal with this terror attack, also condemned it with the harshest words imaginable. For Israelis, what happened in Boston is reminiscent of the suffering that Israelis endured during the Second Intifada. As Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu declared, “A day of enjoyment in Boston turned into a day of terror. We send our condolences to President [Barack] Obama, the American people and the bereaved families. On this day and on any day, Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with the American people. We are partners in freedom and in seeking a better future for all humanity.”

By Rachel Avraham