Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I saw what Israel Apartheid looks like

The last time I published an essay on this site was December 21, 2016, some two weeks ago. If you look at that post, you'll see it's missing a couple of paragraphs.

Those paragraphs are missing because at that time, I was sick. I didn't know how sick I was. Soon after that post, I landed in the hospital.

I had had a cold. It had become a heavy cough. I went to the doctor. He suggested a chest X-ray.

Before I got to the X-ray, however, I became truly ill:  I began to shake uncontrollably, I couldn't keep my balance and, worst of all, I became confused and disoriented.

My family reacted immediately. They put me to bed. They called Emergency Medical Services. An ambulance came to the house. Soon, several men came into my bedroom. They were from MADA (Mogen David Adom)--Israel's EMS service.

Their leader asked me perhaps three questions. He spoke to my wife. He turned to me and said, we're taking you to the hospital.

I was in no condition to argue.

They put me into what looked like a shrunken no-arm wheelchair, with straps. They strapped me in.

You may never have seen such a conveyance. But in Israel, the way you get into some apartments is--often--up several sets of stairs, including many up a winding and twisting staircase. That's how one gets into my apartment. There is no way to get a full gurney up such steps. To carry someone out, you need to use a narrow, wheeled chair.

I remember being carried down the steps. I remember seeing the ambulance waiting in the street. I don't remember getting into the ambulance. I don't remember how I got transferred from the chair to a gurney inside the ambulance. I don't remember much of the trip to the hospital. I don't remember leaving the ambulance.

But I do remember the Emergency Room we entered.

Before I tell you what I learned about 'Apartheid Israel' from this ER, let me show you what someone else has said about 'Apartheid Israel'. It's a video from 'Prager U'. It's 5:25 long. But if you wish, just watch from 1:59-2:55. 

Afterwards, I'll tell you my own 'Apartheid Israel' story:

Here's my own 'Israel-Apartheid' story:

Once I was wheeled into the Emergency Room at the hospital, I saw immediately what 'Apartheid' in Israel looked like: it's a 100% equal-treatment-for-all ideology. That is, there is no Apartheid here. 

From my vantage point in one of the curtained-off 'rooms' in the ER, I had a panoramic view of the room before me. There were close to 20 patients on gurneys being wheeled into  curtained-off 'rooms'--or entering from the ER front door--or being wheeled to a different part of the hospital. With each gurney, there came family members, usually 2 or three people. 

Arabs and Jews were mixed together. The only organizing principle I could see operating here was not who was Arab-who was Jew, but who was first in line. There was no discrimination. 

There was no separate entrance for Arabs. There was no lesser ER for Arabs. We were all together. We were all treated by the same teams of doctors and technicians, etc.

Some of the doctors who treated us--Arab and Jew--were Arabs. Some of the technicians who helped to treat us--Arab and Jew--were Arab. 

Get the picture? There was no Apartheid here. There was only a complete team of medical people, Arab and Jew, helping to treat us--Arab and Jew.

That was my first 'Apartheid' lesson. The second lesson came several hours later, when I was released from the ER. I was to be wheeled upstairs to a hospital room. Once we got to my floor, we stopped by the nursing station to find out what room I was to be wheeled into. The nurse at that station was Arab. She was dressed in a modern-Arab garb: pants, short skirt over pants and full scarf hair-covering.

She was in charge of my care. 

She was pleasant. She seemed competent. She met my needs as I requested. 

At one point I asked her about my care. What was scheduled? My diagnosis appeared to be pneumonia with complications. What would that mean to me?

She replied that the attending MD would come over to me within a couple of hours. He did. 

My reaction to this nurse was simple. She did a good job. 

For the next four days--my stay in the hospital--the major daytime nurse for my room was a different nurse. I had changed rooms. 

That second nurse was also Arab. Her care was better than the first nurse. She was excellent.I saw nothing to complain about.

On my floor, I saw several Arab families sitting with their patient-loved ones. Jews did the same thing. In Israel, going into hospital means you don't go alone: family comes with you. 

That was okay with everyone. No problem.

Perhaps 25% of the patients here were Arab. 25% of nurses were Arab. 20-25% of the MDs I saw were Arab.

These are interesting numbers. Arabs in Israel make up between 18-22% of total Israel population. My hospital floor was a direct representation of that demographic. No 'Apartheid' here--just people (Arab and Jew) needing medical attention--the kind of attention one can always expect from from competent medical staff (who were, not surprisingly, both Arab and Jew).

On one of my walks outside my room, I saw an Arab family member speaking to an Arab Doctor--in Arabic. They were not hiding. They were not whispering. They were interacting in the same way I saw Jewish family members interact with Jewish doctors. These people were not Arabs or Jews. They were simply family members who truly cared about their loved ones who were now patients in hospital. They sought information. They got it. No problem.

As I passed this particular Arab-Arab discussion, I heard the Arab woman say, 'inshallah', as the doctor spoke. In Arabic, 'inshallah' is the equivalent of the Jewish, 'G-d willing': a most appropriate response of a family member concerned about a loved one in-hospital.

I'm telling you. I didn't see discrimination. I didn't see Arab and Jew. I saw people seeking medical attention. I saw other people helping them.

I saw a 100% equality in that hospital. The speaker in the video you saw above is correct. There is no Apartheid in Israel. 

There's still a lot of Jew-hate here. But the Israel that's run by Jews is an amazing place. Despite that hate, Israel is not Apartheid.

I am now out of the hospital. I recuperate slowly. You know how these things go: three steps forward, one step back. Repeat.

G-d willing, I'll be back 'in harness' soon.

Thanks for waiting for me. 

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