Thursday, January 13, 2011

Close encounters of a nasty kind

Israel provides free medical care to Palestinians. Every year, [fill in with number] Palestinians are treated in Israeli hospitals, getting world-class attention, which proves Israel is no cruel occupier.You will have heard this Zionist claim a fairly large number of times.

For some reason, certain people seem to believe that you can't be bad unless you're absolutely bad. Unfortunately, they don't apply the same reasoning to the Palestinians, who are incurable Jew-haters even though they sent firefighters to help control a recent fire in Israel, or to the Cuban leaders, who are irrationally evil even after they offered to send some 1,600 medics, field hospitals and 83 tons of medical supplies to ease the humanitarian disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in the US.

But a recent JPost story provides a new angle to analyze Israel's kindness towards its occupied people (an obligation under international law, by the way) at its hospitals. Reports the daily:

Specialist helps Palestinian talk after 8 month silence

The ability to speak – lost eight months ago by a 21- year-old Palestinian allegedly from the emotional trauma of an encounter with security forces – has been restored by a clinical communications specialist at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center.

The humanitarian gesture was that of Pnina Erenthal, who has much experience in treating psychogenic aphonia.(...)

She finally found him and volunteered to treat his condition at Kaplan; approval for his entrance was granted by the authorities.(...)

Erenthal said she “took the weak voice and helped him build it into sentences and texts. The first thing he said was about the trauma he had suffered,” but she did not provide details.(...)

[The patient] said he was very excited by Erenthal’s initiative to restore his voice.

“I want to study industrial engineering and management in university, and now I hope I will be accepted. Thanks so much to Pnina – she is a dear woman – and to Kaplan Medical Center which arranged all the authorizations.”

So here we've got a caring Israeli doctor who helps restore a Palestinian's lost speech. OK. But notice how matter-of-factly the article mentions the reason the young man suffered from that condition in the first place. He was traumatized by an "encounter" with Israel's security forces (elsewhere we learn he was beaten by police after he was caught in Ashkelon, where he works, without a permit to be in Israel).

In the talkbacks, a reader moans:

3. This won't appear in Ha'aretz

* Author: Michael
* Country: Israel
* 01/11/2011 08:16

And you won't hear from Israel bashers like Ron in Fairfax, the Labrador Retriever, etc.

Leaving aside that it did appear in Haaretz, notice how oblivious the reader is to the fact that it was a (commendable) private citizen who took it upon herself to help out the young man, while it was the public forces of the State of Israel that traumatized him in an "encounter."

At most we can say that Israel still has individual persons who have the will and the scientific knowledge to correct the wrongs caused by the State with its security bodies.

Kudos to Dr. Pnina Erenthal for restoring a young Palestinian's speech. Shame on the Israeli police for beating him until they rendered him voiceless in the first place. Shame also on those who turn reality upside down by suggesting that it is a beautiful person's kindness what is representative of the State of Israel, and not the brutality daily exercised by its men in uniform.


Gert said...

I had a feeling that ‘psychogenic’ was a bit of a euphemism in this context…

Gert said...

Ib, you should read this post:

by Tony Greenstein. If at first it sounds perhaps too juicy, do read on.