Great Britain’s largest Jewish representative body on Friday criticized a campaign in England that focuses on the negative impact of security precautions on Palestinian patients seeking to enter Israel for medical treatment.
The Zionist Federation said the campaign launched by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) last week was done so “without providing any necessary context, or mentioning that thousands [of Palestinians] are admitted (to Israel for treatment) every year.”
MAP’s “What If” campaign paints a hypothetical picture of military occupation in both Oxford and Islington, in the UK.
“What if a massive wall were built across your local high street preventing you from travelling to the other side of town? What if the only way through was via a checkpoint controlled by foreign, occupying soldiers? What if that foreign force decided whether or not you could get a permit to get to hospital?” reads the MAP campaign webpage.
In a statement, Paul Charney, Zionist Federation Chairman, said, “I’m sure many people would be surprised to learn that, despite their history of conflict, thousands of Palestinians travel into Israel every year in order to receive medical treatment.”
“Whilst fringe activists abroad like to demonize Israel for being somehow ‘racist,’ Palestinians in the region know the reality: in Israel they will be treated just like any other patient, irrespective of political differences,” he said.
“Only last year, for example, the brother-in-law of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was one of the many admitted from Gaza for emergency surgery – despite Hamas’ longstanding commitment to violence against the Jewish state. But rather than highlight the positive examples of Israeli-Palestinian interaction, MAP would rather vilify the Jewish state instead,” the Zionist Federation chairman said.