Renee Garfinkel

“War is not healthy for children and other living Things”

(Do you remember the logo? It was the slogan of an anti-Viet Nam war group called “Another Mother For Peace”. )

War is not healthy for children…. unless you’re a sick child, and your adversary is Israel.

Incredible, but true: today, while Hamas incessantly shoots rockets into Israel, and Israel responds with targeted bombing of Gaza, Palestinian children from both Gaza and the Palestinian Authority are being medically treated in Israel, by Israel.

It is well known that when family members of Hamas and PA leaders are gravely ill, they bring them to Israel, confident that they will be treated with no thought to their politics. Gaza’s own Prime Minister Haniyah brought his fatally ill granddaughter to an Israeli hospital last November. Just a few weeks ago, back in June, the wife of Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas was treated in an Israeli hospital.

Even now, while murderous rhetoric, missiles and terrorist attempts stream from the Gaza Strip, sick Gazan children are receiving care at the Rambam Health Care Campus near Haifa. Most of the hospitalized children are very young and are accompanied by adults. They are in the pediatric oncology or nephrology units, usually for long-term treatment due to medical complications. Enough patients are seen on both in-patient and outpatient bases for the hospital to employ Yazid Falah, a coordinator for Palestinian patients. “When the hostilities escalated, the Palestinian patients feared a cold reception,” Falah is quoted as saying, “we explained that would never happen in an Israeli hospital. Here you see people and not nationalities.” Or at least the Israelis do. A Google search revealed no comments, no expressions of appreciation or reflection from any Palestinian source, despite the fact that the Rambam Health Care Campus reportedly treats hundreds of patients each year from the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. 650 children and teenagers in 2013 alone.

You’d think that might help them consider living together in peace.

About the Author
Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, television commentator and podcast host of the Van Leer Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel
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