Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Syrian Refugees Quietly Treated by Israel while UN Makes Latest ‘Parody of Itself’

June 5, 2013 12:56 am 0 comments

A Syrian refugee is treated at Ziv Medical Center in Israel’s northern city of Safed. Photo: Ziv Medical Center.

JNS.org – The script reads like this: Israel treats wounded Syrian refugees in its own hospitals. Syria produces a report alleging an “acute shortage of primary and tertiary health care services” in the Golan Heights region. A United Nations agency, citing the Syrian report rather than acknowledging Israel’s actions, condemns Israel.

On the surface, this storyline contains several plot twists, but it is not surprising for Dr. Daniel Pipes, president and founder of the Middle East Forum.

“The UN is a parody of itself,” Pipes told JNS.org, noting that a Libyan was once elected the chair of the Human Rights Commission, among other elected representatives from countries with questionable human rights records over the years.

Recently, the Ziv Medical Center in Israel’s northern city of Safed treated and released 14 Syrian refugees, most of whom “arrived with gun shot wounds in the stomach and in the lower limbs,” the hospital’s communications advisor, Yael Shavit, told JNS.org.

But while Israel quietly treated Syrian refugees, the annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) on May 21 adopted a resolution—based on Syrian, Palestinian, and WHO reports—condemning the “deterioration of the health conditions of the Syrian population in the occupied Golan as a result of the suppressive practices of the Israeli occupation.”

Under the rubric of “Health Conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem, and in the Occupied Syrian Golan,” the WHO assembly was presented with four reports scrutinizing Israel, including the report from Syria. The WHO resolution, meanwhile, ignored the thousands of civilians being slaughtered in Syria’s ongoing civil war, according to UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO monitoring the UN.

A Syrian refugee is tended to by the medical professionals of Ziv Medical Center in Israel's northern city of Safed. Photo: Ziv Medical Center.

Less publicized than the WHO assembly resolution, however, were the 14 Syrian refugees who received treatment at Israel’s Ziv Medical Center.

“There were a few that needed very complicated orthopedic surgeries,” Shavit told JNS.org. “There were two that spent a long time in emergency care, a lot of surgery and orthopedics, because the shooting was probably close, I don’t know how they were injured, but there were a lot of bones [that were hit].”

Daniel Pipes said the WHO assembly resolution was “so self-evidently absurd, ritualistic, meaningless.” He said it is noteworthy, however, that only three countries besides Israel, the U.S., Australia and Canada voted against the resolution.

“This is not new, it’s just dismaying to see these sophisticated, liberal, modern, western countries like Italy, France, New Zealand, not even take the trouble to vote against it,” Pipes said. “It’s a sign of their moral weakness.”

The Syrian report that contributed to the WHO resolution accused Israel of torturing Arab detainees and burying nuclear waste in the Golan.

“It’s a futility by a [Syrian] regime that might well be gone any day… They just make things up, it has no bearing in reality,” Pipes said.

“This is a regime that’s fighting for its life,” Pipes added, calling the Syrian report an indication of “weakness on the part of Syria and strength on the part of Israel.”

The government of Israel said in a statement that the “position of the State of Israel has always been that a politically motivated debate and resolution… has no place on the agenda of the World Health Assembly…The State of Israel regards the continuous World Health Assembly’s debate on the ‘health conditions in the occupied Syrian Golan’ as an absurd example of the way the assembly’s agenda is cynically abused, World Health Organization’s limited resources squandered, and will not cooperate with it.”

Another report used in the WHO assembly resolution, authored by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East stated, “The Palestinian health situation faces many challenges under the oppressive Israeli occupation of Palestinian land,” even though all residents of Israel have the legal right to medical care. Additionally, all residents of the Golan Heights enjoy “high-quality medical services equal to all other residents of Israel,” the Israeli statement said.

In fact, 400 Gaza residents were treated at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa last year, according to a report by the Jerusalem Post. In 2012, WHO itself had reported that Israel granted immediate approval to 91.5 percent of Gaza resident applications for medical care in Israel. About 7 percent more were given approval after a security check. More than 200,0000 Arabs received medical treatment inside Israel in 2012.

“I’ve come here to learn from your excellent health system,” said WHO Director General Margaret Chan while visiting Gaza children being treated at Tel Aviv’s Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Additionally, an investigation by Palestinian Media Watch this month showed that the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, reported that 30 percent of the child patients in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital are Palestinian. The Israeli hospital is also training “60 Palestinian medical interns and specialist physicians who will be returning to the [Palestinian] Authority areas to carry out their work,” including a program training Palestinian doctors to treat children’s cancer, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida wrote.

Among the Syrian refugees recently treated at Ziv Medical Center, two patients with head wounds were sent for treatment to another Israeli hospital, but since the Ziv center is closest to the border with Syria, the Israel Defense Forces approves the transfer of many of the refugees there, Shavit told JNS.org.

“The longest time one of these patients spent at our hospital was two and a half months,” Shavit said.

Reports surfaced this March that the IDF has also set up a new field hospital on the border with Syria to treat wounded refugees.

“A doctor who receives a wounded patient, he treats him [or] her as a person and not as an identity,” Shavit said.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Actor Zachary Levi said casting directors have denied him roles for being “too Jewish,” despite the fact that he is not a Jew, the New York Daily News‘ Confidenti@l reported on Wednesday. “I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look,” he said. “My family is from f****** Indiana! Come on, I’m like dying here!” The Thor star clarified that he is Welsh, and that Levi is actually his middle name, while his real last name is Pugh. He said he […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    The secret of Chabad’s worldwide success is revealed by veteran Chabad shliach (emissary) Rabbi David Eliezrie in his new book, The Secret of Chabad. The Chabad movement was founded by Rabbi Schnur Zalman of Liadi, Belarus, in 1775. Years later it came to the US with the arrival of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn in 1940, after his escape from Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Upon his arrival in New York, a number of his co-religionists advised him that there was no place for traditional […]

    Read more →