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13 th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Conference DHS-FEMA Emergency Management Institute Emmitsburg, Maryland June 7-10, 2010 Emergency Management.

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Presentation on theme: "13 th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Conference DHS-FEMA Emergency Management Institute Emmitsburg, Maryland June 7-10, 2010 Emergency Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 13 th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Conference DHS-FEMA Emergency Management Institute Emmitsburg, Maryland June 7-10, 2010 Emergency Management in Israel: Context & Characteristics Session: Comparative Emergency Management Book Project Jack L. Rozdilsky, Ph.D. Western Illinois University 1

2 Presentation Outline A.Why study international emergency management? B.The context of Israel – The Jewish nation-state C.Emergency management in Israel D.Five conclusions for Israel in relation to comparative emergency management Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 2

3 WHY STUDY INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT? Section A 3

4 Why Study International Examples of Emergency Management? 1.Joint operations may be necessary as disasters do not recognize international borders 2.Most literature on disasters comes from the U.S., A lack of studies from outside North America 3.Lessons from industrialized and democratic nations may not always be applicable to other countries Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics Slide Source: Dr. David McEntire. Comparative Emergency Management Book Project, Chapter One “The Importance of Comparison for Emergency Management.” 4

5 Why Study International Examples of Emergency Management? 4.Learning from the successes and failures of others is an excellent way to acquire knowledge pertinent to disasters 5.A cross-national perspective may improve emergency management research 6.Comparative emergency management studies will also increase professionalism among practitioners Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics Slide Source: Dr. David McEntire. Comparative Emergency Management Book Project, Chapter One “The Importance of Comparison for Emergency Management.” 5

6 THE CONTEXT OF ISRAEL: THE JEWISH NATION-STATE Section B 6

7 The Jewish Nation  Nation – A term used in its social context implying common traits of a people as exhibited through identity, culture, religion, etc.  The roots of the Jewish nation can be traced back approximately 4,000 years to the 17th Century B.C.E.  Millennia of Jewish cultural developments, triumphs, and struggles have taken place in the geographic region situated between the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 7

8 The Jewish State  State – Refers to political traits of an entity such as sovereign borders, governance, etc.  The Jewish state of Israel came into existence in 1948 following the dissolution and partition of mandated territory  The state is based on the interconnected history of the Jewish nation  One would be naive not to acknowledge the intermingling of Jewish culture, values of Judaism, and the affairs of state in Israel Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 8

9 Map of the Modern Jewish Nation-State of Israel Slide Source: Israel Egypt Jordan Gaza Strip West Bank Golan Heights Syria Lebanon Mediterranean Sea Dead Sea Red Sea Lake Tiberius 9

10 The Modern Nation – State of Israel  The population of Israel is 7.2 million persons, with 41% of the entire world’s Jewish population  In 2008, Israel celebrated its 60 th anniversary  The state has successfully defended itself in:  At least six major wars  Two Palestinian uprisings  Numerous smaller conflicts  Absorbing thousands of terrorist attacks Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 10

11 The Modern Nation – State of Israel  Narrow-View: Israel is constantly in the news as a volatile flashpoint and world trouble spot  Wider-View: What is not reported with such frequency is the extensive list of accomplishments in nation-building  A unique combination of the ethos combining aspects of Judaism, Zionism, and the advancement of the state drives a mission oriented society where there are not necessarily clear boundaries between beliefs and non-secular aspects of public management Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 11

12 Linking Israel’s Past to the Present - Masada This image depicts the Masada fortress. The 73 C.E. events at Masada and the Jewish Zealot’s defiance of the Roman forces remains an important symbolic reminder of Jewish survival to this day. Today, one of the uses of Masada is as a site for Israeli Defense Force ceremonies where recruits make an oath that, “Masada shall not fall again.” Slide Source: Photo by Dr. Jack Rozdilsky 12

13 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN ISRAEL Section C 13

14 A Strife Induced System  Throughout Israel’s post-1948 history, the state has been involved in major wars, minor skirmishes, and the target of numerous terrorist campaigns  The concept of civil defense is not an abstract notion to the Israelis, but a practical reality as most if not all citizens have had direct experience related to defense of the homeland  After every conflict, post-event analysis has resulted in adaptation to the state’s military posture and associated civilian defense strategies Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 14

15 Defense of the Rear-Area  Geographically, there is little separation between the battle’s front and rear areas for Israel  The threat of an attack on the rear areas is more actual for Israel as compared to other countries  The blending of the front and rear battle areas was evident in 1948 in the words of David Ben-Gurion as he said on the day that Israel was established:  “The entire people are the army, and the entire land is the front” Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 15

16 Civilian Shelter, Negev Region, Israel This image depicts a civilian shelter in the Negev Region, Israel. This structure is an example of Israeli civil defense. Such shelters can be used for protection from mortar, rocket, or missile fire. Slide Source: Photo by Dr. Jack Rozdilsky 16

17 Kibbutz Defensive Perimeter, Negev Region, Israel This image depicts fences and barbed wire barriers which serve as a defensive perimeter for a Kibbutz in the Negev Region, Israel. Approximately 40 years ago, one of the many purposes of Kibbutz settlements located near hostile borders was to act as defensive settlements. Today, defensive features remain intact and serve as a reminder of a turbulent past where there was little separation between battle front and battle rear areas. Slide Source: Photo by Dr. Jack Rozdilsky 17

18 Structure of National Emergency Management in Israel  Home Front Command  Created in 1992 as a fourth command in the Israeli Defense Forces under the Ministry of Defense  National Emergency Authority  Created in 2007, also known as RACHEL  Coordinating emergency management activities of the government and military, local authorities, and the civilian sector  RACHEL is under the Ministry of Defense Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 18

19 Structure of National Emergency Management in Israel  National Emergency Economy Board  MELACH A part of RACHEL Responsibilities include evacuations, assistance, and casualty management  PESACH Responsibilities include allocation of gas, supply of electricity, the supply of food and water, the provisions of communication services, and the operation of infrastructure Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 19

20 Structure of National Emergency Management in Israel Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics  The Police  A national agency under the Ministry of Public Security  The Fire and Rescue Services  A national agency under the Ministry of the Interior  The Health Sector  Numerous hospitals and clinics under the Ministry of Health and the Magen David Adom Emergency Ambulance Service  The Civil Sector  Numerous local units of government including municipalities, regional, and local councils  The Environmental Sector  The unit for monitoring hazardous material under the Ministry of Environmental Protection 20

21 FIVE CONCLUSIONS FOR ISRAEL IN RELATION TO COMPARATIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Section D 21

22 #1 Intangible Assets Based on the Socio-Cultural Fabric  History of trials and tribulations of the Jewish nation  The stakes are high – survival  Unique social-cultural fabric of Israel translates into purpose driven direct actions  Can other places tap into their own socio-cultural fabric as a valuable intangible asset to support emergency management? Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 22

23 #2 Existential Threats  Hostile nations and non-state actors continue to call for the end of Israel’s existence  Existential threats can have benefits to those states that manage to survive  Can others learn from Israel about how existential threats can be used to overcome apathy to preparedness and create a unified national purpose? Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 23

24 #3 Single-Hazard Approach to Emergency Mgmt.  Israel has an approach to emergency management based on dealing with the social hazards of warfare and terrorism  Natural and technological hazards are dealt with by entities that were established to deal with social hazards  Given Israel’s history, this approach is understandable  Can a predominantly single-hazard approach to emergency management be applied successfully in other nations? Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 24

25 #4 Military-Centric Approach to Emergency Mgmt.  Israeli Defense Forces’ Home Front Command plays a primary role in emergency management  The National Emergency Coordination Authority RACHEL is housed in the Ministry of Defense  Israel is an example of a military-centric approach to emergency management  For comparative purposes, Israel is an example of the strengths and weaknesses of applying a military-centric model of emergency management Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 25

26 #5 Application of Defense of the Rear  Unfortunately for Israel, in many cases there has been little separation between the battle’s front and the battle’s rear  If Israeli citizens are known for such resiliency that attacks on cities would have little long-term damaging impacts, adversaries might not be so keen to launch attacks having few results and then face Israeli military reprisals  For comparative purposes, what if defending the rear areas applied to defending against needless loss of life, injuries, and economics setbacks to the nation from all hazards? Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 26

27 Closing Statements It is difficult to isolate any aspect of Israeli society from the larger meta-narrative of the Jewish nation-state There are dilemmas inherent in making comparisons with Israel, however the author suggests sophisticated comparisons can be made based on a contextual understanding of the Jewish nation-state Israel represents a single-hazard based, military-centric model of emergency management practice. For other nations considering similar management schemes, Israel may serve as a useful case to further explore Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 27

28 END OF PRESENTATION CLOSING DOCUMENTATION Section D 28

29 Closing Documentation  This presentation is based directly on the work produced for the FEMA Comparative Emergency Management Book Project available at:  Source Material: Rozdilsky, Jack L. (2009). “Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics.” in McEntire, David. (ed.) (nd) Comparative Emergency Management: Understanding Disaster Policies, Organizations, and Initiatives from Around the World.” A project of DHS-FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Program. Accessed May 13, Available:  This presentation is prepared with regard to compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for Emergency Management Institute curriculum materials Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 29

30 Contact Information Jack L. Rozdilsky, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Emergency Management Program Department of Health Sciences Western Illinois University Emergency Management Program Stipes Hall 402N 1 University Circle Macomb, IL Tel Fax Emergency Management in Israel: Context and Characteristics 30


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