The Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which owns the bankrupt Hadassah Medical Organization and its two Jerusalem hospitals, will hold an unprecedented demonstration outside the Knesset next week calling for state financial support for HMO.
“Now is the time for you to take action. Negotiations with the government of Israel continue, but to date [they] have not resulted in the changes we need to keep Hadassah’s hospitals thriving and serving the people of Israel, HWZOA national president Marcie Natan wrote in an email to supporters in the US and around the world about the demonstration next Tuesday.
A large tent will be erected outside the Knesset, where “hundreds of supporters – including physicians, nurses, former patients and concerned citizens – will make their voices heard. I will be leading a contingent of HMO board members, HWZOA past presidents, Hadassah Office in Israel and representatives from Hadassah International, Youth Aliyah and Young Judaea,” Natan wrote. “We will present a petition in support of HMO with more than 20,000 signatures to the government of Israel, and invite Knesset members to visit the tent and meet with us. On the same day, we are calling for a show of solidarity at the Israel Consulate in New York City.”
The HWZOA president called on those who cannot get to Jerusalem to sign the petition, join a virtual rally by taking a selfie photo of themselves and posting it on her organization’s Facebook page and preparing signs declaring: I stand with Hadassah’s hospitals, Support Hadassah’s hospitals; I want fair treatment for Hadassah’s hospitals and I’m with Hadassah’s hospitals.
Natan asked for financial gifts to HMO, which has NIS 1.3 billion in debt that grows by NIS 325 million a year. Negotiations between HMO management and the workers over a painful recovery program resumed after a 10-day strike by employees and the organization’s near shutdown last month. At the same time, HMO has continued to petition the Treasury for financial aid to help cover its deficits.