LIBI USA Urgently Raising Funds for Mass Casualty Drill in Israel

The non-profit LIBI USA is making an urgent “end of year” appeal to those seeking to strengthen the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). LIBI USA board members have united in order to double the donations received through Hanukkah up to $25,000. Donations will be used to arrange an important mass casualty drill with the IDF, field hospitals and Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

“All tax-deductible donations to LIBI USA go directly to improving the welfare of Israel’s soldiers and lets them know that their dedication to protecting Israel and her citizens is appreciated,” said Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman LIBI USA. “Though we pray that the skills learned during this training should never be needed, we know that it is crucial for our troops and medical teams to be well prepared for any tragic event.”

The drill will involve coordinating the Israeli army and their medics with field hospitals and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. They plan to set up a “smart” simulation by using medical mannequins so that caregivers can get almost real-time practice.

Use of medical mannequins is crucial to the success of training medical personnel, especially for emergency situations. Physicians become accustomed to performing a range of basic and advanced medical procedures by practicing on the human-like mannequins. They can train to insert an IV or catheter, do a tracheotomy or perform knee-joint arthroscopy, as well as practice CPR or any First Aid measures, for instance.

“We want to provide everything needed in order for this drill to effectively train all participants at the highest level,” continued Grossman. “These mannequins are expensive as they are very realistic and simulate human movement and responses to injury.”

According to Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), from September 2015 through November 2016, 42 people were killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks and 602 people (including four Palestinians) were injured. There were 167 stabbing attacks, 89 attempted stabbings, 116 shootings, 48 vehicular ramming attacks; and one bus bombing.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of ensuring that the IDF, medical personnel and Israel’s hospitals are prepared for anything which may come their way,” emphasized Grossman.

LIBI USA is honored to have the opportunity to fund such an event and we are praying that our supporters feel the same way.”

Israeli Men’s Impressive Longevity Linked to Military Service

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According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) data, Israeli men rank eighth highest in life expectancy, averaging 82.5 years. The average life expectancy found in an OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) study of 34 countries was 77.7 years and the world average is 68.8 years.

Noting the significance of these findings, a new study by The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies seems to have found a correlation between longevity and military service, opening the door towards further academic research between the connection of general health and serving in the army.

The Taub Center studied 130 countries, taking into consideration various factors including wealth, education levels, health care quality and availability, and general demographic profiles. Their analysis found that military service added more than three years to men’s lives.

“In many ways, The Taub Center findings run counter-intuitive to what people might think about serving in the military,” noted Dr. John A.I. Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA. “We know that serving in the Israeli army and protecting the Land of Israel and her people is a holy act. Now we also know that it helps maintain one’s health and longevity.”

Israeli men’s longevity beat out France, whose average male lifespan is 79.4 years and the US, whose average male lifespan is 77 years. The 2015 WHO study found that the present average life expectancy worldwide is 71 years. Japan has the highest general life expectancy with 86.8 years.

Following analysis of the noted criteria, which are responsible for an estimated 80 percent of the variances in life expectancy, Professor Alex Weinreb, a principal researcher at The Taub Center, stated that mandatory military service seems to be the glaring factor which made the statistical difference. More so, once the other factors were accounted for, actual life expectancy in Israel was found to be even higher by a 6.3-7.2 years.

“Israel’s unusually high life expectancy has actually been recognized for the past 20 years and consistently is increasing,” shared Grossman. “One of the hypotheses which seems to be panning out is that military service involves high levels of physical activity, even for men in their 40’s, aiding life expectancy.”

In fact, the researchers found that the majority of the countries with the highest life expectancy have compulsory military service.

Other factors taken into account in the study were the health benefits of living near a coastline, living closer than 40 degrees to the equator and level of religiosity. Various studies have consistently found a positive relationship between religiosity and health, in both developed and developing countries. All of these factors are attributed to adding approximately 2.1 years of life in general and in relation to Israeli men.

The Taub Center actually correlates Israel’s high expenditure in the military with Israeli men’s longevity. It found that if Israel did not have compulsory military service and a large financial expenditure in the military, male life expectancy would probably be much lower.

Professor Weinreb stated, “It is possible to influence health through investment in institutions that are not directly related to health care, and, in Israel, the army is one of the agencies with a particular status that allows it to impact public health.”

Yehuda Kahane, Professor of Insurance and Finance and Head of the Akirov Institute for Business and the Environment at Tel-Aviv University, believes that the difficulties of life in Israel are actually beneficial to one’s health. In his opinion, the toughness one acquires by living in a war torn country gives a purpose and significance to life which increases longevity.

“Unfortunately, it often takes a war to bring about social cohesion and the relationships that are built through uniting to survive appears to have a positive influence on life expectancy,” continued Grossman. “Studies consistently find that Israelis feel that they have a purpose to life and this helps to prolong their lives. Though nobody wants war, these studies remind us of the importance of supporting the Israeli army.”

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