Israel: Hippocratic or hypocritical?


Adam Kredo of the Washington Jewish Week has two stories reflecting the image war being waged worldwide between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian forces.

Check out his feature on the doctors at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem treating Turks wounded aboard the flotilla:

The call came early on a recent morning: A helicopter carrying those wounded during a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla would soon arrive at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.

But as doctors began unloading the injured, they quickly realized it wasn’t Israeli soldiers who had been rushed to their facility for emergency treatment.

"In a few minutes, we understood that they are really the terrorists who were brought to our hospital," Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Hadassah’s director general, recalled in an interview last week.

The medical team was tasked with providing care to about seven severely injured Turks, who had suffered injuries to their extremities and lungs after engaging in a deadly clash with Israeli navy commandos on the morning of May 30.

Would the Israeli medical staffers be able to uphold their Hippocratic Oath, and treat patients who had violently attacked Israeli soldiers just hours earlier?

"For me it was not an issue," said Mor-Yosef, who was in the District Tuesday to attend a symposium at the National Guard Association. "I didn’t respect [the Turkish patients] and I don’t agree with what they did … but at the same time, I wanted to provide them the best treatment possible, and to cure them."

And the same goes for Mor-Yosef’s staff — some of whom performed life-preserving surgery on several of the wounded boat passengers.

"Nobody said, ‘I don’t want to treat them.’ Nobody found an excuse to go other places," he recalled. "Everybody knew the helicopters were on their way and came to the trauma unit. And the minute they knew [the patients] were from Turkey, the treatment was [delivered] as expected on a professional level."

However, not all of the hospital’s donors agree with such an impartial policy. Since the event, a few have threatened to pull their funding, Mor-Yosef said….

After you read the full story, take a look at his interview with Emily Henochowicz, the 21-year-old Washington-area resident who lost an eye lost her left eye and suffered multiple fractures to her jaw and cheekbone after being struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli border police during a demonstration in the West Bank:

"I was standing there for something that I believe in … [and] I feel good about what I was doing," Henochowicz said on Wednesday of last week during an hour-long telephone interview.

She regrets nothing, but realizes her life is forever changed.

"This is something that is going to be with me for the rest of my life," she said. "It’s not like I broke my arm. I don’t have a left eye. It’s personal now."

However, she claims to harbor no ill will toward the state of Israel or the police officer who fired the canister of tear gas. (The family, however, has retained a lawyer, and plans to file a suit over the incident.)

"This is not really an experience that makes me hate anyone — that is such a useless emotion in this kind of situation," Henochowicz said, explaining that her idealism remains intact. She still believes that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is within reach.

Across the globe, though, images of Henochowicz’s bloodied face have served only to further embitter activists on both sides of the Green Line.

Palestinian supporters quickly turned Henochowicz into an international icon, creating several Facebook groups that have portrayed her as a champion of opposition to Israeli aggression.

Meanwhile, some American Jews have depicted her as yet another liberal, self-hating Jew. She has been subjected to rants posted on both Internet forums and newspaper Web sites, she said.

"It’s a little bit weird," Hanochowicz said of her sudden notoriety. "It’s very strange for me."

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