Tamar Adelstein

Alta, HY”D, bas Avraham Fixsler – Marking her Shloshim, the 14th of Kislev


Today, the 14th of Kislev, November 18th, the Jewish People join Avraham and Chaya Fixsler in marking the shloshim, the conclusion of 30 days of mourning, for their beloved daughter, Alta, HY”D.

Alta was sentenced to death by the United Kingdom’s courts and government who decreed that murdering this lovely two and a half year old toddler, who suffered brain injury from a traumatic birth, would be “in her best interests” and so, one month ago on October 18th, their evil decree was carried out.  Alta’s life support was withdrawn and a dreadful while later she died, r”l.

Perhaps the shock and enormity of this egregious violation of human rights – the right to live no matter what one’s circumstances, has yet to fully register in our minds.

Or the unfathomable infringement of the Fixslers’ parental right to protect their child’s life.

Or the blatant disregard for Alta and her family’s Israeli citizenship by British judges and Prime Minister Boris Johnson who held them hostage, as if they had committed a crime on England’s foreign soil.

Or that the Courts’ decisions that were riddled with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment, evidenced not only by the judges’ statements but also by their stubborn, inexplicable refusal to allow Alta’s parents to take her for treatment in Israel, her home country or even to the United States where a special entry visa was obtained for her to be able to get expert care at a facility in New Jersey.

Or that Justice MacDonald, in his own words, took the life of a helpless little girl based on his metaphysical (philosophical, abstract) thinking rather than looking at the verifiable facts before him – such as in Alta’s Medical Records!

The UK National Health System’s doctors who testified lied shamelessly when they claimed Alta lived in constant pain, and would never be able to recover or enjoy any quality of life.  In the short time available, I and my colleague, Rabbi Reuven Simons, spent hours meticulously going through her Medical Records and the influential Cafcass Report from the court-appointed child welfare agency assigned to the case.

Releasing these records to the Fixslers’ lawyers only two and a half weeks before Alta died, made it next to impossible for them to try and get the verdict dismissed or, at least, retried on the new evidence in which we clearly saw that the Medical Records did not substantiate the doctors’ testimony!

Oy, oy, our hearts are broken over this travesty!  Not only did Alta survive her first few harrowing hours of life, but this little girl’s strong will to live helped her fully recover later on from two serious bouts of respiratory illness.  We believe that had she been given the chance for better medical care and therapy,  her life could have been vastly improved!

How astonishing that none of the standard therapies, par for the course for babies and children with disabilities, were ever provided to Alta; particularly music therapy, a service offered to other children on the ward.  Despite staff admissions that Alta appeared to benefit from her parents’ singing to her, they went on to ignore the Fixslers’ request for music therapy, brushing them aside – indicating, in our opinion, that this beautiful child was written off from the start by the powers that be in the UK’s National Health System.

As for all the claims about Alta’s pain, not only did well-respected neurologists publicly voice their doubts but her parents observed time and again that she showed no signs of distress and was visibly at ease in their presence, especially when they held her and took part in suctioning her trach – all of which is backed up by notations made in her Medical Records. The few instances of Alta being agitated are only when she is being poked by doctors’ painful examinations.

We cannot bring Alta back, but we must never forget what happened to her.  No child should ever have to endure the marginalization and real pain Alta went through because of the United Kingdom’s perverted system of medicine and justice.  Far too many governments in the world have sanctioned the heinous crime of withdrawing life support under the disingenuous guise of “best interests” and every protest must be made to reverse this course at once.

Also in need of some serious reflection are those politicians who stood silently by doing nothing to intervene on Alta’s behalf or even worse upended plans that might have saved her life.  It is unconscionable that a mere week later Israeli leaders were seen hobnobbing with their British counterparts at the Climate Change Conference as if nothing had happened.  As for the hue and cry of indignation over the threat made by Palestinian activists to Israel’s Ambassador to the UK this month, Thank G-d an escort to safety was quickly produced – if only one would have been on hand for Alta, HY”D.

May the Fixslers and all of C’lal Yisroel be comforted among the other mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim and may we immediately merit the Geula Shleima and the revelation of Moshiach NOW!

About the Author
I am originally from Buffalo, NY and although I did not have a religious upbringing I always felt a strong connection with Yiddishkeit and Eretz Yisroel. I still get chills recalling the moment the Rabbi announced that Israel had been attacked on Yom Kippur. In the weeks that followed, even though I really didn't understand all the details, I was the one student in my 10th grade Social Studies class who challenged our German-American teacher when he said Israel would be wiped out. Interestingly, the rest of Jewish kids in the class who came from much more Jewishly -oriented homes than I were silent. Years later I met one of them and was astounded to find out how they were all silently cheering me on. On the day the Jews were "disengaged" from Gush Katif, I was stopped in the grocery store (in Buffalo) by a little Jewish lady who whispered to me that she didn't think it was right what Israel was doing. Which just goes to show that there is a vast silent majority of Jews who agree with the Rebbe's approach to peace.
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