Haifa Hospital Prepares for War
The B’nai Zion Foundation welcomed Dr. Nachman Shai, MK, Kadima, and the CEO of the Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Dr. Ammon Rofe, to an intimate gathering September 15. Rarely have dinner speakers been more direct and more articulate in their areas of expertise than were these two.
Shai, an experienced journalist, has served in a range of government communications positions – as IDF spokesman, press secretary for the Israeli UN delegation and press consultant in its embassy in Washington. He discussed the complexity of current politics in the Middle East and the difficulties facing Israel as a result of “the ‘Arab Spring’ – or, is it winter?” he queried. Describing Egypt as “collapsing,” Turkey as “moving towards a new direction…Erdogan has “broken the neck of the army,” an uncertain situation in Jordan, Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium, and Syria as a place where “no one knows what is going on,” Shai warned “If, God forbid, something were to happen to Israel, it would affect every Jew.” He praised Israel’s “quiet, low profile” reaction to the Palmer Report, and paid homage, saying “I have no doubt about the power of the Israeli people.”
Dr. Ammon Rofe followed Dr. Shai to the podium. His dedication to the staff and patients of his Haifa medical center is palpable. Describing the evacuation of patients from upper floors and north facing rooms during the Second Lebanon war, he stressed the urgent need for construction of a protected emergency room and treatment center able to withstand rocket attacks. Secure surroundings, he noted, “enable the medical staff to function efficiently, eliminating fear for their own and their patients’ safety within the hospital.” For the next war, said Rolfe, “we have to get ready. We cannot depend on luck.”
Ron Eliran, together with his son, Michael, enhanced the evening with guitar and voice, including an emotional rendition of Eliran’s song of tribute to those lost during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.