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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Not Apartheid: A Jerusalem story

There are hundreds of stories like this, that make the "apartheid Israel" campaign a sick joke.

A Jerusalem story

Benjamin Pogrund

February 26, 2007 6:30 PM

My wife, Anne, slipped and fell on Saturday evening. The little finger of her right hand was knocked out of joint and she quickly pushed it back into place. It was painful so I drove her to the Terem emergency clinic in the centre of Jerusalem.

She was swiftly attended to - the Sabbath was only just ending and religious Jewish patients from the neighbourhood were starting to come in. The doctors, nurses and receptionists were helpful, pleasant and efficient.

She was X-rayed and bandaged and the doctor who examined her told me that if I ever needed orthopaedic treatment I should go to my wife as she had done exactly what must be done with a dislocated finger.

Why I am telling this little domestic story?

Well, the doctors, nurses and receptionists were a mixture of Jews and Arabs. They worked together, they laughed together, they were kind to all the patients. And the patients, too, were a mixture of Jews and Arabs, men, women and children.

It confirmed my own personal experience of nearly four years ago when I spent more than a month at Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital in Jerusalem. It was exactly the same there.

Anyone who talks about Israel being an apartheid state must come and look at humanity in practice in hospitals and clinics. It's inconceivable to think of anything remotely like this having been allowed in apartheid South Africa.

The point is so elementary and so obvious to anyone who lived under apartheid. Yet it has to be made time and again because some people are so blinded in their hatred of Israel that they persist in the wrong use of the apartheid accusation.

There is a tragic irony about Terem: on the wall in the reception area is a large colour photograph of Dr David Appelbaum. He was a founder of the chain of Terem clinics in the city and was a much-admired and loved doctor. He was a specialist in emergency medicine and often rushed to the scene of terror attacks to succour the victims.

On 9 September 2003 Dr Appelbaum, aged 51, was himself a victim: he was murdered in a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem coffee bar. His daughter, Nava, aged 20, died with him. She was due to get married the next day. Five others also died.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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