Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Iranian Child in an Israeli Cancer Ward

Haaretz has a touching story about a 12-year-old Iranian child who's apparently dying of cancer but has been brought to an Israeli hospital, international politics aside, as a last chance.

The story is unlikely ever to appear in any of the forums that regularly tell about how nasty Israel is in general and to Palestinian children in particular. On the other hand, should any of our own homegrown haters ever stumble across the story - you know, the Gideon Levys, Amria Hasses - well, they'll use the story to tell you how one-sided our propaganda machine is. Here we routinely crush Palestinians for the fun of it, and then run to the world to tell how great we are because we helped one Iranian child, who actually isn't more than a cynical fig-leaf.

The true irony is that the entire story, from top to bottom, is all wrong. Not the specifics about this poor child. I have no doubt about them. What's all wrong is not that he's a fig leaf for our general bestiality, but rather that there are so many of his sort that there's no story. In the case of this particular hospital I know, because my daughter spent two years of her life working in the same cancer ward this child is now in, and saw large numbers, not of Iranians, but of children from many nationalities including many Palestinians. (Before Hamas took over Gaza they were mostly from families connected to the PLO. And afterwords, they were mostly from families connected to Hamas, because now it was Hamas deciding who'd get sent to Israel, not the PLO - that's what she told me at the time: now let's see the Guardian get their minds around that concept).

But truthfully, I didn't need my daughter to know this. It's enough to visit my nearby hospital here in Jerusalem, which I've done rather a lot recently because of this and that: The proportion of Palestinians in the departments is quite high. Some of the staff are Arab too, because in spite of what they tell you, capable Arabs in Israel can be physicians just like anyone else, and then get jobs in "Jewish" hospitals.

So that's the real story: that Israelis routinely treat ailing Palestinians in their hospitals, and the number of Palestinians who have been healed by Israelis is vastly larger than the number of Palestinians ever injured or killed in the wars they've foisted on us.

Ah, and there's another story: that Iran may be reaching for nuclear power, for whatever reason, but until then Iranian children ought seek top-class medical care elsewhere. As ought children from just about the entire Arab world (Iran's not Arab, I know). When you start hearing about ailing Swiss children seeking succor from Syrian hospitals, or even Saudi ones, drop me a line.


Anonymous said...


What a terrible ordeal! You think there's a happy ending, here?

I can remember an old episode on 60-Minutes; where a Kaiser patient had been diagnosed with brain cancer;

And, the way Kaiser works, NOT to spend money on hopeless cases, the man was just told "to go home." And, the cancer would take his life. Evenutally.

Instead, there was one doctor, at the Mayo Clinic, I think, working at the "edge" doing risky surgeries. And, the costs were phenomenal.

60-Minutes was lambasting Kaiser because it wouldn't open up this man's head, and remove brain; in the hopes of what? Saving his life? Extending his lif?

We don't live in an "infinitely" cheap universe, where all lunch is free. Sorry. And, sometimes, when you get a terrible diagnosis, you're actually better off when less is done. Not more.

But for headlines?

Well, 60-Minutes also ran in.

Why are people mesmerized by stories like this? Probably because it's "dog bites man."

As to what the arabs "have," all they have, actually, is HOSTILITY.

Where, here, in America, for the first time, a Black man is running for president, and McCain/Palin, without one program of their own; have gone onto attack Obama.

Know what I think?

I think a bunch of losers aim low. They can't do much but offer up hostility, in the hopes other pick up rocks to throw them.

I don't know about you. But I've seen enough cancer patients in my lifetime, so far, to know "less is better."

Heck, look at Arik Sharon! He picked "more" ... and what did it get him?

These are the real results.

You should take notice.

Yes, for most cancer victims, the outcomes are awful. But when medicine intervenes? Well, this fills hospital beds, too.

In the "old days" ... you got opium. Cancer is not new! Heck, Ulysses S. Grant got cancer. And, was told he had about 3 months to live. He was so worried he was leaving his beloved wife, broke; that he wrote his memoir. It's an unbelivably good book, too. Written under duress. With pain killers intervening when the pain was unbearable.

Heck, John Adam's beloved daughter got breast cancer. Believe it or not, her breast was removed. And, she still died the death women get when they're diagnosed with brest cancer.

There is nothing new, really, under the sun.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

You took too long to comment on this; we anti-Zionists, pardon, antisemites have already come up with a response.

Which is this: the US has money to make wars, but it doesn't have enough of it to give adequate medical care to its own citizens.

Which is why 3 ailing 9/11 rescue workers who couldn't afford medical treatment in the US had to be treated in -- Cuba.

And they're not alone. Hundreds of Westerners have had surgery, especially eye surgery, performed on them on the island, for a fraction of what they would have had to pay in their own countries.

Despotic communist dictatorships and Apartheid regimes don't cease to be evil just because they make from time to time a beautiful gesture for the cameras.

Anonymous said...


just what this thread needs; a putz with an anti-Semitic view. Comparing health care in Cuba to "something wonderful" Meanwhile, there' starvation in Cuba. And, food is rationed. Which makes "rationing" A Studied Cuban art, I suppose.

Meanwhile, there' a Yiddish word: To "Mit'cha." It means to torture.

This poor kid's cancer has spread to both lobes of the brain. And, into hs spinal column, as well.

While, here, in America, we know of two victims of this deadly brain cancer: Ted Kennedy. And,Robert Novak. I wouldn't wish what they are goin through, on a dog.

What makes matters worse? Sometimes,the medical treatments!

Posponing death, while the patient suffers is just another example of "hope over experience."

For this child? Oy vey.

You know Paul Newman just got buried. And, during his lifetime, when he grew very rich on his talents, he turned to doing mitzvahs.

One of them was to open a camp for kids stricken with cancer; where parents would bring their kids for 'ten days free of treatmens.' And, a chance to play. Out went the wigs, and the artificial limbs. And, here, for a litle bit of time, the worst could be forgotten.

In a hospital setting, however, nothing is forgotten! And, most of us pray for endings that do not involve being "Mit'cha'ed."

Yeah. Everyone knows the difference.

Anonymous said...

Comparing health care in Cuba to "something wonderful"

Uh, even this AMA article that criticizes Cuba's HIV sanatoriums concedes it has excellent healthcare.

Third, compared with other
resource-poor nations, Cuba had a well-developed health
care system that assigned a primary care physician to all citizens
and conducted routine surveillance for infectious disease,
and in which universal HIV testing and contact tracing
was theoretically feasible.5,7

Anonymous said...

So that's the real story: that Israelis routinely treat ailing Palestinians in their hospitals, and the number of Palestinians who have been healed by Israelis is vastly larger than the number of Palestinians ever injured or killed in the wars they've foisted on us.

Dr. Lozowick, you're right on. Israel is great for the Palestinians now and it can only get better. There's just one thing I don't get...what is Israel? Is it all in the green line, or does it include those settlements that are right next door to those awful Palestinians who want to wipe you out? It's kind of funny... they declare war on you, but your government bribes civilians to live amongst them. Since Israelis have the privilege of living on both sides of the green line, maybe you could extend the same to them.

After all, you guys are soft hearted enough to treat your enemies. And just crazy enough to move next door to them. Might as well go all the way and make them citizens with equal rights.