Saturday, November 26, 2011

The medical war on Israel

Special: World's medical NGOs anything but neutral when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Giulio Meotti

Israel was excluded from the International Red Cross for half a century because of the Star of David. Questioned for having denied entry to the Jewish state, Cornelio Sommaruga, then-head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, declared: “If we’re going to have the Star of David, why would we not have to accept the Swastika?”

The historical injustice has been rectified only in 2006. Since then, the world medical organizations have been anything but neutral when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the past several months, three top officials from the Hamas terror group have set up shop at the International Red Cross office in east Jerusalem, in violation of the organization’s alleged mandate of “political neutrality.” Secret documents leaked by WikiLeaks also said that Iran used Red Cross ambulances to smuggle weapons into Lebanon during Hezbollah’s 2006 war with Israel.
No friend of Israel? Red Cross (Photo: EPA)
No friend of Israel? Red Cross (Photo: EPA)

Recently, a new report by the Physicians for Human Rights, a group largely funded by the European Union, accused Israeli medics of abusing prisoners, calling the Jewish doctors “torturers.” Médecins Sans Frontières, which won a Nobel Prize in 1999, just released a report charging Israeli authorities are “depriving Gazans of critical medicare.”

The UN’s World Health Organization in its latest report accused Israel of “lack of respect and protection for Palestinian ambulances” and asked to “put an end to the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory” and to the Gaza blockade. The UN agency also urged Israel “to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention” and called on "all international human rights organizations to intervene on an urgent and immediate basis vis-à-vis the occupying power: Israel.”

A case in point is how the Red Cross allocates personnel and budgets worldwide. For North Africa, the Red Cross has one office in Tunis. For “Israel/Occupied Territories/Autonomous Territories,” the Red Cross has offices in Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus, Kalkilya, Ramallah, Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron, Gaza, Khan Yunis, Majdel Shams, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.

Western newspapers, imbued with the ideological reports of medical NGOs, establish a comparison between the Palestinians and South Africa's blacks, who were critically injured and left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. Jewish altruism never finds its legitimate space in the global media because it doesn’t fit in with the stereotype propagated by the medical NGOs.

This month, no Western journal reported on the story of Adi Weissbuch, a senior physician in the high-risk pregnancy unit of Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, who assisted an Iranian doctor with a pregnant woman suffering a rare defect. Similarly, nobody knows that Israel saved the life of the three-year-old daughter of Hamas Interior Minister, Elham Fathi Hammad, after she was the victim of a unsuccessful heart operation in Amman. (See below-NG)
Hospital firebombed

It would be enough to stroll through the corridors of Israeli hospitals to understand how false the “apartheid” charge by medical NGOs is. Large Arab families stand with Israelis in the corridors of the maternity wards where one is born and in the oncology clinics where one dies. Through the private program “Save the heart of a child,” the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon cures congenital cardiologic defects in Arab children from all over the world. About half the children it treats are from the nearby Palestinian areas and there have also been some from Iraq and Iran, both technically at war with Israel.

The organization's lead surgeon, Lior Sasson, said Palestinian parents sometimes seem “terrified” when they first arrive at the hospital. “Sometimes they (the parents) were brought up (to think) that the Jews are monstrous and they want to kill kids”, said Sasson.
Hadassah medical center firebombed (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Hadassah medical center firebombed (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Israeli medical statistics are constantly neglected by medical organizations. Last June, Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service reported that it delivered at least one Palestinian baby every single month. In February, brain surgeons saved the life of a Gaza toddler. Meanwhile, the IDF announced that 180,000 Arabs from Palestinian areas have been treated in one year.

Medical organizations never blamed the Palestinians for attacks on Israeli hospitals. Hadassah University Medical Center on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus recently released a report, noting that it suffered 43 attacks by east Jerusalem Arabs in 2011. During the last “Nakba Day” events alone, 11 firebombs were thrown into the Mount Scopus campus.

The medical groups also didn’t report that 10 Gaza hospitals were used by Hamas during Operation Cast Lead to shelter weapons and terrorists.

Today Magen David Adom vehicles do not enter the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem without police authorization and military escort. It’s not because of the “apartheid,” but rather, because terrorists tried to hit the doctors. During the Intifada, MDA had to replace the windows of its ambulances in the Jerusalem region with glass that does not shatter if hit by rocks.
Global silence when Israel hit

The Red Cross, the World Health Organization and medical NGOs never raised their voice when Palestinian bombs hit Israeli hospitals where Jewish doctors were saving the lives of Palestinians, such as the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where the wounded were taken during the war in Gaza.

Israeli doctors didn’t ask for identification cards; they operated on everyone. If a Qassam were to hit the hospital, the “triumph” would be celebrated in Gaza without consideration for the Arabs being treated there. Barzilai coordinated the transfer of patients with Gaza's health services; this dialogue has never been interrupted, even when 100 rockets a day were falling on Sderot and Ashkelon


Israel saves life of top Hamas official's daughter

Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Israel Today Staff

Israel at the weekend saved the life of the three-year-old daughter of a top Gaza-based Hamas leader, though the act of kindness was completely ignored by the terrorist group and regional Arab media.

The girl, daughter of Hamas Interior Minister Elham Fathi Hammad, was the victim of a unsuccessful heart operation in Gaza. She was in critical condition when Jordan's King Abdullah II requested that Israel allow her immediate transport to Amman for emergency surgery.

Israel agreed to the transfer, but the girl was in no condition to travel such a distance, so was first rushed to Barzilai Hospital in the nearby Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, where doctors worked for hours to repair the damage of her earlier surgery and stabilize her.

A Jordanian helicopter was later escorted through Israeli airspace to pick up the girl and move her to Amman.

Jordanian media later reported on the incident, but completely cut out the portion where the girl's life was saved by Israeli doctors or that Israel has not hesitated to allow the unfettered transport through its territory of a family member of one of its most dedicated enemies.

Hammad later issued a public statement thanking Jordan and King Abdullah. He did not mention Israel at all.

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