The reaction of the world to massacres in Syria, Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq and Sudan indicates how little value some nations put on human life. In contrast, and contrary to anti-Israel propaganda, the Jewish State leads the way in its treatment of the more unfortunate in today’s society.
We begin in Tel Aviv, where a delegation of Nigerian doctors from the University Teaching Hospitals of Abuja, Jos, and Maiduguri arrived for a 2-week emergency medical training course. The course focuses on preparedness and response; mass casualty incident management; trauma care and disaster management. Over in the East of the African continent, doctors from Israel’s “Eye from Zion” organisation, while on a mission to Ethiopia, came across 10-year-old Kavda Imsak who had a large life-threatening tumour in her eye. After some initial surgery in Ethiopia, Israel’s MASHAV and the Jewish Joint organisations paid for Kavda to be brought to Israel. Surgeons at Sheba medical centre removed the tumour and then Kavda was taken to Haifa to have a prosthetic eye fitted. All the doctors worked without payment.
You probably heard about the tragedy of the Arab bus that collided with an Arab truck driver who lost control in icy conditions South of Ramallah. 26 Palestinian Arabs were evacuated to Israeli hospitals following the accident. Raida Elian is typical – she suffered severe burns and is being treated in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital. Raida thanked the Israelis for their treatment and for saving her life.
Benefiting humanity is at the forefront of the reasons for Israeli research. Israel’s Technion has just listed its contributions to world science. Among many life-saving medical inventions, graduates have been responsible for the “NaNose” cancer detector, ultrasound cardiac imaging, and ultrasound tumour destruction. We can only wait with excitement to see the innovations that will emerge from the new partnership between the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the USA’s National Academy of Sciences' Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium. Ten NAS Symposia members have already received a Nobel Prize.
Israelis will go to the bottom of the oceans for medical science. Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University and Haifa University are to establish a centre for researching the sea anemone Nematostella, which has the ability to restore damaged body parts. And at the other geographic extreme, Israel is working at the frontiers of space, where water purification experiments are proving successful at the outer limits of cleantech developments.
Israel’s achievements are being noticed around the world. Entrepreneur Erel Margalit, founder of the JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem, received a personal invitation from the Catalan Government. The Spaniards were extremely impressed by Margalit’s part in revolutionizing Jerusalem’s hi-tech industry and hope similar initiatives can help start-up Barcelona and improve Spain’s economic situation. A further nine million young people are also finding out about Israel’s caring society. Kinetis - a young Tel Aviv-based advocacy organization – has brought five leading popular US and British music bloggers to Israel to see and hear about the side of the Jewish State that the international media isn’t showing. Kinetis’ aim is to promote Israel as a vibrant and inspirational source of creativity and innovation.
A record 183 leukaemia patients received bone marrow transplants in the Jewish State in 2011. Unlike other countries, individuals donated their bone marrow through an Israeli support organisation, Ezer Mizion that maintains a database for matching patients and donors. Sometimes, as in this short video, the results of a successful match can be announced when least expected.
Finally, most of us would be quite impressed by the ability of Shifra Buchris just to take care of her family of seven children. However Shifra has another aspect to her life. She also serves in Israel’s Border Police force. Shifra says, “It is not uncommon that when I go out for nocturnal patrols, I get a phone call from my husband to come breast-feed the baby.”
So please let it be known that Israelis do have a care in the world.
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.