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January 19, 2012 3:51 pm

Al Jazeera Finds Faith in Jewish Paramedic Service (VIDEO)

avatar by Srolic Barber

An Ichud Hatzalah rapid response scooter parked in downtown Jerusalem. Photo: Yoninah.

Throughout this week, the Al Jazeera news network is running a short film about the Jewish Paramedic Service ‘United Hatzolah’. Entitled Jerusalem SOS, the film follows Jewish and Arab volunteer paramedics as they cross the “psychological divides” between their communities of East and West Jerusalem.

Al Jazeera, though a secular news service, has become the mouthpiece for Islamic Fundamentalism in recent years, most noticeably in airing the video messages of Osama Bin Laden, and their usual scathing denigration of Israel. The coverage of this film and the positive light it lends the Jewish state is intriguingly out of character for the Al Jazeera network.

How the film will be received in the Arab world is yet to be seen, but Head of United Hatzolah, Eli Beer, signaled this as a “learning experience for the Al Jazeera network and the Arab world,” noting that they are beginning to understand “all blood is the same.”

“There is nothing more important in the Torah than saving a life” Beer told The Algemeiner. “The lives of the Arab volunteers are changing as they too see this idea to be true.”

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The United Hatzolah organization began accepting Arab volunteers in 2010. Until then the Red Crescent, aided by the International Red Cross, held an agreement with State Emergency Services [Magen David Adom] in Jerusalem that they would tend to their own communities in East Jerusalem. Hoping, however, for a unified paramedic service, several Arabs approached the United Hatzolah to volunteer.

Beer confided that within two weeks of officially enrolling in the service, two of the Arab paramedics treated two Israeli soldiers who were attacked by rioters. “And this,” he says, “is the goal of the organization; to save lives regardless of race and religion.”

The Al Jazeera documentary video is posted below.

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