Shaare Tzedek: Where Israeli and Arab Doctors Are Working Together to Save Lives


Alan Schaller reports for The Independent that under the code of ethics practiced by Israeli hospitals, the moment a human being is brought in for care, their background does not impact the quality or immediacy of treatment they receive. Those whose lives are most at risk are given priority. There have been instances where perpetrators of attacks who are critically wounded have to be treated before victims.

Prof. Elie Picard is the director of the Paediatric Pulmonary Institute at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem. His 18-year-old son together with four classmates were killed by a Palestinian from Gaza who penetrated into their high school in 2002. He says, “We have a lot of Arab patients, and they are not guilty of crimes, and many are very nice. You can walk around our hospital and see Jews and Arabs side by side….I am all the time very surprised to hear our population being spoken of as segregated. It is not my experience….I do not see Arabs as my enemy, I feel we both have the right to live here.”

There are almost 1.7 million Arabs living in Israel, which represents 20% of the population, and this percentage is reflected in the people employed at the hospital, and the patients admitted. The director, Professor Jonathan Halevy, explained to me “positions are given to whoever is best qualified for the job, regardless of ethnicity, gender or religion.”

There are few issues that have sparked more debate and upset in the UK than the relationship between Israel and Palestine. The majority of the news we consume regarding that part of the world focuses on conflict and division. Only speaking about a part of the world in the terms of how it goes to war can build a frightening perception of the place. I wonder how the rest of the world would perceive the UK if the only press it received related to our military involvement in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

From an article in The Independent-UK




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