Apr 23 2010
Belatedly catching up on my travel writing from Israel, after first attending to my business writing that gets the bills paid. My next story at Rediscovering Israel deals with the Part of the Zionist Plot Where Israeli Doctors Save the Lives of Children From Around the World By Fixing Their Hearts:
“Politics is outside this hospital,” says a doctor on the ward. “When children come here, they all receive the same treatment. Of course, there are parents who are bringing their child from some countries and cultures where this would seem complicated, but when a child is sick, everything else is secondary. They do what they have to do.”
Almost all parents would agree, anyway. The doctor seems to lose focus and his smile drops for a moment as he recounts the tale of an Egyptian man who contacted the program’s branch office in London. “We were excited because this would be our first child from Egypt, but it turned out that the father who made the inquiries thought we were a British organization.” As soon as he found out it was an Israeli program, he reportedly told the consultant on the phone that he would rather that his child died than be treated by Israelis.
That seems to be an exception to the rule, though. While Egypt and Jordan still have yet to participate in the program, this hospital has treated children from Iraq and other parts of the Arab world.
One part of the ward is reserved for Palestinian children and their parents, which the medical staff have politically-incorrectly nicknamed the occupied territory. Two Palestinian mothers covered up except for their faces in traditional garb dote over their babies who are in recovery. The situation here contrasts sharply with the image that both Palestinians and human rights activists outside Israel keep in mind. “We hope to leave them convinced, or at least confused,” the doctor notes.