Hadassah Transcends Borders, Regardless of Race, Religion or Politics


Palestinian youngster would have been treated…

My wife and I are grateful to the Press for the wonderful June 27 article “Shore native recalled as Israeli hero” about our son, Steve, who passed away June 3.

I would like to clarify some facts about medical care in Israel as they pertain to people of all religions or races. My wife and I are experts in this, as we have spent the past seven years studying the situation after Steve’s injuries in the bus bombing of May 18, 2003.

I write in regard to the May 24 Press article “Palestinian toddler saved by surgery” about a young Palestinian girl who desperately needed surgical correction of a life-threatening problem. Because the Palestinian hospitals were not equipped to handle her case, my esteemed colleague, Dr. Saad Saad, arranged for her to be brought to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he performed the needed surgery.

My wife and I spent the first month after Steve’s injury in the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem ICU while Steve fought to survive. During that time, we noted that almost a third of the patients were Israeli Arabs or Palestinians. There was even a wounded terrorist being treated next to Steve at one time. Many of the members of the nursing and medical staffs were Arabs.

As a surgeon, I was invited into the operating room to observe some new and innovative procedures. There were several Arab residents-in-training learning skills from the highly skilled Israeli surgeons working alongside the Israeli residents. There would have been more Arabs in training, except the Palestinian Authority refused to allow their young doctors to train under the Israelis.

Golda Meir once said: “There will be no peace until the Arab women love their children more than they hate the Jews.” This, sadly, has not yet been achieved.

Dr. David Averbach

Originally printed in:  http://www.app.com/article/20100714/OPINION04/7150305/Palestinian-youngster-would-have-been-treated

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