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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.