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Monday, May 19, 2008

IDF Doctors Heal the Enemy

While home alone in his Ramallah village, Shadi had fallen from the railing-free 3rd floor of his home directly onto his head.  [A] cousin had found him lying on the ground unconscious and brought him to the army base because he had heard there was a doctor and medical facilities on the grounds.

“I decided to radio for a military helicopter and evacuate the child to an Israeli hospital,”  [Dr.] Poran continues.  “He had clearly suffered brain damage and needed the type of acute care he couldn’t get at Ramallah Hospital.  It was a risk - having a helicopter land there outside the gate. There’s vulnerability to sniper fire and attack from surrounding hillsides.  We were all at risk working on him out there in the open surrounded by Arab villages. ”

But the Orthodox Jewish physician made a life-saving medical decision based upon professionalism. “Yes, I am religious,” he quietly offers, eyes slightly clouding. “But if I see a wounded 14-year-old boy it doesn’t matter that he’s Palestinian.  I don’t ask questions.  It was as if he was my own son. You don’t not take care of a kid.”

Read the whole thing here.

This is a must read story by Stephanie L. Freid that is up over at Pajamas Media.  Sadly, the people who desperately need to see it probably won't. 

A huge hat tip to Allison for pointing me to this.

Posted by David Bogner on May 19, 2008 | Permalink

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Nice piece, thanks.

One question...why is a 14-yr old boy labeled as part of 'the enemy'?

Posted by: G | May 19, 2008 6:14:57 PM

I think these are important pieces of journalism, though I admit some of the comments there are turn-offs galore.

Posted by: a | May 19, 2008 7:31:37 PM

No question, it's a great story. Clearly these doctors are ethical and in touch with what's important.But the bias that goes into the reporting of this story is a tad disturbing.
Why is a Palestinian child an enemy? Was he making some aggressive gesture? Are all Palestinians enemies?
If there is no independent Palesinian state, aren't noncombatant Palestinians still Israel's responsibility and therefore qualifying for Israeli medical care? This wasn't a Syrian, it was someone living in the West bank.
As doctors, these MDs did a great job and were focused on what was important. But that's what doctors are supposed to do. The Palestinian authorities might not have returned the favor, but that doesn't exempt you from your responsibility.
Finally, I'm sure it was quoted out of context, but there's this weird remark where the doctor states that he helped even though he's religious. Doesn't he mean especially because he's religious?
Just one doctor's thoughts...

Posted by: Larry | May 20, 2008 12:37:29 AM

You hear a story like that and it keeps your faith in mankind alive.

Posted by: David Bailey | May 20, 2008 12:37:53 AM

I think the "enemy" comment was aimed at the kid's 'nationality' and not him personally. There is a de facto state of war between the Palestinians and Israel.

What Dr. Poran did was normal for a medical officer in the armed forces of any responsible nation. Anyone who comes through the door of a field hospital should be provided emergency treatment and that includes enemy combatants and the civilian populace of an enemy nation. I don't understand why Dr. Poran's religion is an issue, the man just did his job.

Posted by: Karl Newman | May 20, 2008 2:51:09 AM

Imagine treating a boy like Shadi just to get him in better condition to lynch anyone identified as a Jew in his area. His choice of clothing is also pretty interesting, knowing all too well who we see that kind of fatigue with.

Posted by: Rami | May 20, 2008 10:27:05 AM

Rami, that boy's treatment is exactly what is needed get through to the Palestinians. It's a small step and by itself will do little, but that boy's family will not forget what Israel did for the boy.

Posted by: Karl Newman | May 20, 2008 3:35:23 PM

Karl, The boy's situation can also be used to position potential ‘threats’ in Israel through his relatives or close friends, visiting him as he recovers... no telling what is possible or how this act of kindness is taken by the Palestinians. And just so you know ‘resistance movements’ (just to be subtle with the name calling) supported and amongst the Palestinian population do not recognize any good act done by Israel, be it in Burma or China, they stand against anything you and I may stand for.

Posted by: Rami | May 20, 2008 6:16:27 PM

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