Plastelinans Arabs and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue
Phil Weiss, Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss, Apr 15 2016
Last week a controversy broke out in Israel over the segregation of
Plastelinan Arab and Jewish mothers in Israeli hospitals.
Israel Radio … reported on Tuesday that various hospitals around the country have been separating Jewish and Arab women in the maternity ward.
Haaretz has a report that there are differences over whether the practice is taking place.
The medical establishment insisted on Wednesday that there was no segregation between Jewish and Arab women in maternity wards. However, Arab doctors complained of racist and discriminatory treatment by medical staff in the country’s hospitals. … For many years, the health establishment has been segregating Arab and Jewish mothers who come to deliver their babies, particularly in hospitals and maternity wards that serve mixed populations. While this may not be official policy, it is implemented by nurses on these wards, with doctors and hospital management turning a blind eye.
Here is the translation of an article from Israeli Maariv, published Apr 13 2016 by Orit Brown and Arik Bender. The committee for promotion of women’s standing and cross-ethnic equality of the Knesset headed by MK Aida Toma-Saliman discussed this morning (Wednesday) the issue of separation between Jewish and Arab mothers giving birth in hospitals, an issue which came into political and public debate following MK Bezalel Smotrich’s words on the matter. Smotrich supported the segregation of women giving birth on an ethnic basis. Professor Dorit Hochner, director of the maternity ward at Hadassah Har Hatzofim, was called upon for comment and said:
We respect mothers’ requests. When orthodox mothers don’t want to share a room, we will respect that request. It isn’t racism.
Dr Lena Kassem of Doctors for Human Rights said of Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jayloomia:
When a midwife delivers an Arab baby, she is asked: “Did you bring us another terrorist?” I heard it with my own ears. There is a clear separation between Jews and Arabs. When it’s an Arab, they say: “I am delivering a speaker.” (By this they mean, a speaker of arabic, it’s a code – RB). It’s true that the policy of the hospital does not support racism, but the overall atmosphere of the staff is overtly racist, especially in Shaarei Tzedek. Spend a night there and listen to the general atmosphere. They don’t call the woman by her name, but rather refer to each one successively) as the Ethiopian, the Russian or the Arab. The Arab woman receives derisive treatment. They put her at the end of the hall, and when there’s an emergency it takes time to reach her. This has medical implications upon the health of that woman. Participants in the discussion included representatives of the Health Ministry, the Chairman of the Union of Hospital Managers, the Israeli Medical Union, various NGOs and organisations including Adalah, the legal center for rights of the Arab minority in Israel, Naamat, Doctors for Human Rights and more.
Murder, error and terror – an introduction to Israeli Newspeak
Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss, Apr 14 2016
On Thursday Mar 24, IOF medic soldier Orel Azarya murdered Abd’al-Fatah al-Sharif, who was wounded and immobile on a street in al Khalil (Hebron), with a bullet to the head. Azarya could be said to have been following the ‘humane’ guidance of Maj-Gen (Ret) Amiram Levin, former head of Northern Command, who said “most of these people are born to die anyway, we just need to help them to it.” Recently Levin continued his humane and liberal stance in his defense of Breaking the Silence. The murder was a no-brain case, filmed in detail. This was to be the test of how Israel and Israelis respond when faced with extra-judicial execution/murder par excellence. No more mere allegations by “stupid” “antisemitic” world politicians such as Swedish Foreign Minister Wallström. But whilst the political and military leadership had to do a quick damage control to protect the image abroad, the Israeli public at large seemed less willing to enact such a liberal volte face. Whilst DM Yaalon and CoS Eisenkot regarded the soldier as “erring” and spoke of applying justice to those who violate the IOF moral code, most of the
Israeli Jewish public, in fact over 2/3, disagreed with the admonishing critique of the leadership, according to a survey on Channel 2. Nearly three out of five Israelis Jews responding said Azarya should never have been arrested. Only 5% actually opined it was “murder”. These views were not completely absent from the leadership and IOF, even in this embarrassing light. Education Minister Naftali Bennett regarded him as “certainly not a murderer” and the IOF managed to quickly downgrade the charge to manslaughter.
Eisenkot’s special address to soldiers a week after the murder said they must uphold moral conduct, yet stated that soldiers “erring in the heat of battle would be protected.” Ostensibly a thoughtful distinction, but one that opens the door to ‘interpretations’ of what ‘heat of battle’ means. The soldiers from Azarya’s company were alluding to the ‘hard trauma’ experienced by a soldier in such ‘heat of battle.’ The term “erred” is also somewhat confusing, when political and security leadership across the board called for a shoot-to-kill policy as far back as last October. Yet whilst the polls and the discourse circle around the murder, there is one term that seems to be unquestioned, taken for granted by most all Israelis, by Israeli media, and by mainstream international media parroting the term “terrorist”. As activist and writer Miko Peled notes, eyewitnesses say that Sharif was not the stabber, and that he was shot whilst raising his arms in the air in surrender. But even if one disputes this, and assumes that he was assisting the stabber, who lightly wounded a soldier before the stabber was shot dead, even then, Sharif would not be a terrorist. Because armed resistance to occupation falls squarely under international law and UNGARs (just anti–colonialist froth from the UNGA – RB). The victim was not a civilian, but an IOF. But who even cares to make such distinctions any more (nobody ever did, except in your imagination – RB)? Can’t we just have it easy, and assume Sharif was guilty because he was
Plastelinan an Arab? Can’t we just take it for granted that he was a terrorist? As the terms are twisted, so are our minds. Israel’s Supreme Court factually legalised torture in 1987 by calling it ‘moderate physical pressure’. The Pindosis followed their lead in the GWOT from 2001 onwards, calling it ‘enhanced interrogations.’ In this white-hot freaked-out GWOT (RB), anything can happen. Anyone can be a terrorist. And murder? Well, that just has to be open to discussion. Orwell was a prophet.