Humanitarianism and barbarism

By March 21, 2011

It’s quite revealing to compare the recent brutal murder by Palestinian terrorists of innocent members of an Israeli family with the medical care given by hospitals in Israel to Palestinians.

The Israeli parents and three children — one an infant — were knifed in their sleep, apparently without hesitation and with glee. And to top it off, the attackers were celebrated in Gaza with much joy and the distribution of sweets.

It’s perhaps not surprising for a people who have been taught to hate Jews, honor terrorists by naming public spaces after them, and wish for the destruction of Israel even more than for the creation of their own sovereign state.

By contrast, Palestinians with major medical problems are able to use Israeli hospitals and get comprehensive care. One of us (David Siegel) has worked at Hadassah Hospital, Mount Scopus. The medical students, interns and residents are Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians. The patients are the same mix of ethnicities and there is no distinction in the care given. Palestinians have expensive surgical procedures regardless of their ability to pay.

Where is the humanitarianism in this comparison, where is the barbarism? And what does it tell us of the prospects for an enduring peace between two peoples?

Al Sokolow and David Siegel


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