Tag Archives: Medics in Gaza

A tribute to the medics of Gaza

Gazan medic July 23 2014

Many people have read the poignant–nay, horrifying–appeal to Obama from Dr. Mads Gilbert, the Norwegian doctor who has served in Gaza for many years. Gilbert is a long-time socialist & nobody’s fool; he doesn’t expect his description of catastrophe care in Gaza to change US support for Israeli apartheid & he knows appeal to Obama’s human sympathies is a waste of good ink. Gilbert is really reaching out to men & women of good will so we understand the carnage that is Zionism & the transformative power that is solidarity with Palestinians.

His description helps us see more clearly than in the past the role of medics–men & women with professional credentials to leave Gaza & migrate to good paying jobs elsewhere but remain there to serve. Defying international law, Israel (as the US in Iraq) is firing on hospitals & ambulances & killing medical personnel as they try to rescue the wounded & pick up the scattered remains of the dead.

There’s been discussion about how well solidarity is or is not served by circulating gruesome photos of mangled children. As we know from the hills of Sderot, Zionists & those who support Israeli apartheid can witness ethnic cleansing not just with equanimity but with glee. But most of us cannot bear to witness such unspeakable evil. It isn’t that “human kind cannot bear very much reality,” in the words of T.S. Eliot, but that we cannot bear to stare the horrors of ethnic cleansing right in the face. Human hearts & psyches aren’t made like that as we’re forced not just to witness it but collude with it more & more as capitalism spirals into its barbaric phase.

It really wasn’t until the Vietnam War that psychic damage to those conducting colonial wars was acknowledged publicly which probably came from antiwar resistance among soldiers & veterans. And now we see reports that many Israeli soldiers have committed suicide rather than continue duty in Gaza.

Imagine then, as Gilbert describes in his letter, that medics working round the clock without respite handle hundreds of children, men & women with charcoaled skin from DIME shrapnel, bodies punctured with flechette darts, bodies missing limbs, & sights so gruesome they may never again sleep well & they will never be the same. They serve while Israeli airstrikes come after hospitals & ambulances & target medics trying to pull survivors out of cement rubble & pick up bodies strewn in streets.

There are no words to express the honor these men & women deserve; there are no words to console them as they weep while they treat injured & prepare the dead for burial. But Dr. Gilbert said it best: the medical help solidarity can best render is to stay in the streets demanding “Stop the massacre in Gaza!”

This medic is helping an injured man in Gaza City in the Shejaia neighborhood which Israeli bombers went after with a vengeance, leaving the streets strewn with Palestinians (on the 20th).

Honor the medics by joining a rally, by honoring the economic boycott of Israel (barcode beginning 729), & by honoring the cultural boycott of Israel.

Long live intifada!

(Photo by Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters)

Israeli bombs attack ambulances and hospitals violating dozens of international laws: U.N. remains mute

Gaza--bombed ambulance July 22 2014

This is another photo worth a thousand lies exposing egregious war crimes by the Israeli military. These Palestinians–“civilians,” if you will–run past a bombed out ambulance during a brief ceasefire requested by rescue operations to retrieve the bodies of wounded & dead in Gaza City (July 20th). Retrieving victims means trying to dislodge many from the rubble of bombed buildings or picking up their mangled remains off the streets so a time limit constitutes a war crime.

Israel gets around indictment for war crimes by claiming Palestinians misuse medical services & ambulances for terrorist activities–which is why they are bombing ambulances & hospitals in Gaza. “He who believeth Israeli propaganda has to have their head examined,” saith the Lord.

Israel has been spewing this trash for decades & in 2004 the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs (the hasbara department of the state of Israel) issued a statement which included this apologetic for genocide: “One of the issues that most hampers the IDF in its fight against terror is the intentional blurring of distinctions between Palestinian terrorist groups & the innocent Palestinian population. Terror groups operate from within residential centers, in civilian dress, assimilating in the local population & taking refuge in public institutions. Terrorists exploit civic buildings, hospitals & ambulances, religious institutions & schools as covers for their activities.”

So there you have it! Israel can bomb everything in sight because Palestinians hide rocket launchers & smuggling tunnels in hospitals & ambulances & every Palestinian is a suspect terrorist. International law obligates the Israeli military to allow medical teams to operate during times of conflict. So why aren’t the UN & Human Rights Watch (HRW) screaming bloody murder? Because both are up to their eyeballs running interference for Israeli genocide & scurrying around like the rats they are to see or hear no evil.

The political & criminal affinity between Israel & the US is no where more evident than in military assaults on hospitals & ambulances. It became public in 2004 that the US used the same military tactic in Iraq, most notably in Fullajah, where they restricted civilian health care services, seized & bombed clinics & hospitals, & confiscated ambulances. The Pentagon claimed US soldiers fired on ambulances routinely because they were involved in carrying insurgents or arms.

The bombing of al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza yesterday took out several operating rooms, vital medical equipment including x-ray facilities, & maternity wards & has left the hospital unable to receive the hundreds of seriously injured. Ambulances trying to move patients to another hospital were hit by Israeli airstrikes.

It appears Israel is riding high because the death & destruction in Gaza is so massive. But this monstrous genocidal overkill is decisively demolishing the narrative of Israel defending itself against barrages of Hamas rockets. Israel & the US can kiss those hasbara lies good-bye cause they no longer fly. Intifada is now international.

All out in protest against Israeli genocide! No military aid to Israel! Stop the massacre in Gaza!

(Photo by Oliver Weiken/EPA)