While fighting against BDS and other Israeli bashers in northern California for the last few years, your humble servant has continually been confronted with a steady procession of BDSers and their minions attempting to foist the preposterous canard that the Israeli soldiers deliberately targeted Palestinian children during Operation Cast Lead back in 2008–and that Israelis are continuing to deliberately target children through the sea blockade of Gaza. As I have previously blogged, this canard is nothing more than a modern day version of the anti-Semitic lie from the Middle Ages that Jews deliberately kill the children of non-Jews for use in religious rituals.
Your humble servant has heard this while arguing with people in front of our local Co-op, attending virulently anti-Israel programs brought by our local so-called “Peace Coalition”, and even in churches and mosques where “Social Action” committees have brought Israel bashers to spread their venom.
What I have never heard from any of these people is the truth.
On this Tisha B’Av, here is a short unremarkable news report that you will never read about in the Western press. Let me preface it by giving you, my dear readers, some statistics that you can use (talking points are in italics).
Each year, more than 10,000 Palestinians from Gaza are given permits to enter Israel and seek medical attention at Israeli hospitals. More than 10,000 Gazans. Israeli doctors working in conjunction with Palestinian doctors determine who needs medical treatment in Israel and then arrange for that treatment to take place. Israeli doctors work in conjunction with Palestinian doctors. A high percentage of those needing medical attention are pregnant women and children. Pregnant women and children. Despite the fact that these patients from Gaza have no insurance they are brought to Israel at the Israeli people’s expense and treated here. These Gazans are treated at the expense of your average everyday Israeli. And they are transported into Israel by either Israeli paramedics or IDF paramedics. Israeli or IDF paramedics.
And what are they being treated for? Obviously the women are being treated for complications that have arisen during their pregnancy or labor. Almost all of the children who are brought here are suffering from congenital birth defects.
A large number of the children from Gaza needing medical attention are children who are brought into Israel for pediatric heart surgery by ‘Save A Child’s Heart’, an Israeli-based group of pediatric heart surgeons. These children suffer from congential heart defects.
Last Thursday, the Israel media reported the case of Odai Al-Kafarma, a seven month old baby born with a hole in his heart, from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. After being transported to a hospital by Israeli paramedics, the hole in Odai’s heart was closed with Gortex by surgeons from Save A Child’s Heart. Three weeks later, a healthy Odai–who had been near death–was welcomed back home by dozens of relatives, and neighbors with fireworks.
Odai’s grandmother Haniya, who accompanied him to Israel and stayed with him during the three weeks had nothing but compliments for the Israelis who treated her grandson: “People are good. Regular people are good everywhere. We don’t have problems with each other.” Odai’s mother Taghreed remarked that “these past three weeks were incredibly difficult, but calling the hospital to hear the baby babble a little over the phone – that helped a lot.” Odai’s 21 year old father Ali said simply: “I must be the happiest man in the world.”
That’s the whole story. It is unremarkable because it happens everyday. Yet it is a story that you never hear or read about in the West. Remember it the next time you are confronted by Israel bashers who do not know what they are talking about.
In recent years, Save A Child’s Heart surgeons have literally saved the lives of thousands of children–not only from Gaza but also from such countries as from around Iraq, Jordan, and Sudan. You might want to check out their website at: http://www.saveachildsheart.org