Tuesday, March 4
Dr. Maria Tzeitlin of BMCA examining one of the premature Palestinian babies (Photo: David Avioz, BMCA)
The bombardee would be Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, a few miles up the coast from the Gaza Strip. The same one Gaza Palestinians are blowing holes in with Iranian-made Grad/Katyusha rockets.
The same one that Palestinian premature twins are being kept alive in and cared for, while rockets hammer into the walls above, wounding patients and civilians.
This care isn't a hospital public relations department stunt, but rather a daily, telling occurrence throughout Israel. And a potent measure of the goodwill, health, and tempered resilience of Israeli society.
And I can personally vouch for it:
Both staff and patients at the Jerusalem hospital where my three children were born was made up of Israelis, Jews and Arabs (Palestinian Jerusalem ID card-holders, to the best of my knowledge).
Another family member was also successfully treated a few years ago by a similar staff makeup at the city's Hadassah Hospital, in their state-of-the-art pediatric cancer ward and outpatient clinic. Many of the patients I and family interacted with at the clinic during her course of treatment were Palestinians from Jerusalem, Ramallah and area villages.
On one day's chemotherapy session, I had my camera with me and recorded this:
Seventeen Native North American tribes, offering prayer and healing, visit with cancer-stricken Jewish, Christian and Muslim children and youth at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital pediatric cancer outpatient clinic. Here, a Muslim Arab mother of a cancer-stricken child speaks with a Native American woman, as Winnie the Pooh looks on. (Dave Bender).
And here, swirling dancers in tribal garb and a healing drum circle offer prayers for health, and bring sound, color and excitement to parents, kids and staff. (Dave Bender).
Are there tensions? Yes. Especially after terror attacks, as you might imagine. But all were helped by the best medical care in the region - possibly the world, and at Israeli taxpayer expense.
Lives were, and continue to be saved, and people healed. But Israelis aren't asking for applause here; this is about lifesaving and elemental human decency.
BMCA's neonatal intensive care unit, transferred to a bomb shelter (Photo: David Avioz, BMCA)
Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank - just like those twins - are treated, 24/7 in Israeli hospitals like Barzalai in Ashkelon, even when their elders try again and again, to kill those keeping them alive.
One of the Palestinian twins (Photo: David Avioz, BMCA)
Remember that the next time you read those headlines.
Read the rest here.