Many of you will have read my mini series “Look what Israel is doing to the Palestinian Arabs” published earlier in the year. To mark the end of 2011, I have prepared this three-part follow-up by including some of the more recent stories that you may have missed if you were tuned too closely to sensationalist media outlets.
Does Israel warrant its accusers’ charges that it has a policy of ethnic-cleansing the Palestinian Arabs? Hardly! Israel’s humanitarian work, like that of the organisation “Save A Child’s Heart”, has surgically eradicated that lie. First, SACH saved Ahmed Hneidik, a 9-year-old boy from Khan Younis in Gaza. Born with a congenital heart disease that had already claimed the life of his brother. Another Gaza baby, Odai Al-Kafarna from Beit Hanoun was similarly operated on in July. At any one time, there are dozens of Palestinian Arab childrenat SACH’s Wolfson Medical Centre. SACH recently opened a new home in Holon to house up to 250 children that undergo surgery. Then in November, SACH ran its first regional conference on paediatrics, bringing together 15 Israeli and 22 Palestinian Arab physicians.
Almost half of SACH’s operations are performed on Palestinian Arab children.
Last year Israeli hospitals treated 83,000 Palestinian Arabs. In one example, Abir Abu-Nakira from Rafa in Gaza had a ride on a wheel of fortune. Doctors at Kaplan Medical Center doctors saved the 17 year-old girl’s life after she fell from a malfunctioning Ferris wheel near her home and was critically injured. “I wish for peace between us and Israel,” Abir said. “Kaplan physicians saved me.” Then in July, 29-year old Palestinian Arab mother of five Baraa Inhabi was rushed to an Israeli hospital for emergency treatment for an intestinal infection. But the story didn’t end there. Hadassah hospital and the IDF arranged for special TPN equipment to be set-up in Baraa’s home in Qalqilya. They even trained PA doctors on how to continue Baraa’s treatment.
When a kidney became available following the death of a 38 year-old Israeli, Hadassah and Shaare Zedek medical centres co-ordinated through the IDF to transplant it into 14-year old Bethlehem teenager Walid Daadua. In another case, Hadassah surgeon Dr. Carole Pidhorz re-attached the hand of a Palestinian Arab artist whose hand was severed in an accident. Occupational therapists at the hospital provided rehabilitation and now Sa''ad El-Kikh is able to paint again. Then out on the road in October, an IDF patrol provided emergency medical treatment to two Palestinian Arab workers who fell three floors in a PA administered town southwest of Hebron.
Israel doesn’t wait for emergencies in order to provide medical assistance to Palestinian Arabs. In the spirit of a “shared vision”, The Israeli Research Association for Eye Health and Blindness Prevention (Lirot) brought one hundred Israeli and Palestinian Arab doctors to the Peres Peace Centre in Jaffa for an ophthalmologic convention, the first ever joint medical conference on such a scale.
In yet another example of co-existence, Palestinian Arab and Israeli parents, who have lost children through the conflict, came together to donate blood to each other’s hospitals as part of their activities marking International Peace Day. Meanwhile,Joan and Sandy Weill made a $10 million donation to Haifa’s Rambam hospital. It will help establish a children’s haematology oncology department and support the Israeli-Palestinian Friendship Centre.
Finally, consider these two contrasting news stories. In the first, the IDF rescued an Arab mother and daughter who were returning from medical treatment in Israel. Palestinian Arab terrorists fired mortars at them at the Gaza Erez crossing. And just last week we read that Israeli doctors are treating the wife of the mastermind of the Munich massacre. Abu Daoud’s terrorist gang murdered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972. Today, his wife is being cared for at Tel Aviv’s Assuta Hospital. Her three daughters from Ramallah, Jordan and Syria have even been granted visas to visit her. Are those the actions of a racist state?
Those that accuse Israel of humanitarian crimes against the Palestinian Arabs need to have their heads examined. If they come to Israel, I’ll bet we’ll even offer to do that for them!
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.
To subscribe, email a request to [email protected]