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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships World Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time

    Women are less likely than men to want to kill Nazi leader Adolph Hitler if given the ability to travel back in time, a recently published research paper revealed. The paper analyzed 40 studies involving 6,100 respondents in a time-travel thought experiment, the New York Post reported on Friday. While 60 percent of men said they would theoretically be willing to kill Hitler, only 55 percent of women said they would be comfortable doing the same. The paper was published in the Personality and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish Groups Enraged After New 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Claims That Jews Killed Jesus

    Jewish Groups Enraged After New 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Claims That Jews Killed Jesus

    Former Australian rugby player and 2014 NFL grab Jarryd Hayne grabbed headlines and angered Jewish groups over a tweet last week accusing Jews of killing Jesus Christ. “Jesus wanted to help people but was killed by his own people,” Hayne wrote through his Twitter handle, followed by over 120,000 Twitter users, on July 1. Unperturbed by the potential for backlash among some of his fans, Hayne went on to tweet the next day: “The Jews were the people who took him to the Romans n forced them to give the order because they […]

    Read more →