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KD MAGAZINE! 
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2007    ב"ה                                   

 
 
 
   
 

The Prisoner Who Wouldn't Be Freed

 

Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author

Even in the face of all evidence the truth can be denied. I find this is especially true when it comes to news that pertains to Israel. There are times that all the data points one way and still there is disbelief about the facts.

In what can only be called "unbelievable," one of the more than 200 terrorist prisoners scheduled for release as part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's "good will" gesture to the Palestinian Authority said "no" to the offer of freedom. The other prisoners on the list were releasedafter having signed a statement promising not to return to their former occupation of attacking Israeli citizens.

This prisoner chose to remain in an Israeli prison, according to Pardons Department director Emmy Palmor, because he prefers to continue receiving free medication for arthritis. Though this highlights the lack of proper medical care in the Palestinian authority it also brings another point to light: The humane treatment of Israeli prisoners and the amount of medical care that Palestinian prisoners get in Israeli jails. If the prisoner was living in inhumane or intolerable conditions he would obviously have grabbed the chance to leave the Israeli penitentiary system. I suppose prison in Israel is better than "freedom" among Palestinians.

What I find fascinating is how the whole world is oblivious to any of Israel's humanitarian deeds. Here is a prisoner that is turning down a chance for freedom because he knows that the only way he can get the medicine he needs is by staying in Israel and though he is a prisoner he is getting the help he needs. And because of the acts of terror he has committed against Israel, the only way he can stay there is to stay in jail.  Israel's value of the human being and human life has caused them to behave in ways that defy logic.

This prisoner is not the only enemy that is being helped with Israeli medicine. Israeli doctors are known to help the very enemy that is out to destroy them. They routinely treat patients that come from enemy territory without asking questions.

During the recent fighting between Hamas and Fatah, dozens of Arabs wounded in Gaza - including several terrorists - were brought to Israeli hospitals for free treatment. Incredibly, terrorists are often taken to the very same Israeli hospitals as their innocent victims, when wounded during their attacks, and are given the same care as their victims, although they are under heavy guard. 

When a Palestinian teen that attacked two police officers in Hevron last April was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment after being shot by a commander, questioning by security forces was deferred until medical clearance was given. Humanitarian gestures such as these are not practiced in any Muslim country if an unfortunate Jew should fall into Muslim hands.

In February, more than a dozen PA residents received treatment at Ashkelon's main medical facility for Israelis who are injured in Kassam rocket attacks fired from Gaza. Treatment of the patients continued even as one of the rockets narrowly missed a strategic target in the port city. 

Most of the PA men who were treated in Ashkelon were allegedly part of the Gaza police force or the Fatah militia. However, doctors refused to comment on their patients' terrorist connections, saying that medicine has always ignored political conflicts.

Dr. Ron Lobel, the medical director, said "We certainly don't check if someone belongs to Hamas, to Jihad or if he comes from Sderot - we treat everyone exactly the same way."

An Israeli doctor once told me, "I don't mind servicing wounded Palestinian patients because that's what we were taught to do, but it does bother me when the television news reports detail how many Jews were killed in an attack and the Palestinian patients break into cheers." Yet he still treats patients without asking religion and affiliation as do all the other doctors.

I applaud the Israeli medical staff their humanitarianism. It's a good thing. It's a Jewish thing. Training one's self to be giving to all creatures - maybe even vile terrorists - helps mold a kind and giving nature.

What bothers me is the attitude of those who criticize Israel. Of those who boycott Israel. Of those who say Israel is a totalitarian regime that doesn't care about anyone besides their own. When the facts tell us that it's the enemy that bars all religions besides their own, the enemy that kills anyone who doesn't believe what they do, the enemy that tortures anyone unlucky enough to fall into their hands, then I can't understand how anyone can be blind enough not to see the facts for what they are.

In fact, I can't remember the last time a Muslim country had a prisoner who wouldn't be freed.

 

Read more articles by Rabbi Hecht 

Rabbi Hecht's Website:  www.sheahecht.com  

 

 
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