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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

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Home arrow Blog arrow May 2008 arrow May 22, 2008

May 22, 2008
WAWA Blog May 22, 2008: Nurses, Doctors and 'ticking bombs'

I worked as a nurse for twenty years and am married to an Internist. He tells me that people who are psychologically tortured by being put in isolation-some within hours, some within days-will suffer a break from reality. Some never return.

What I learned from my time in Israel Palestine, is that military occupation dehumanizes the occupiers to the point where they can torture another human being and occupation robs hope from the occupied.

On January 5, 2006 I traveled to Ramallah and to the Headquarters of ADAMEER/Arabic for conscience] to meet with spokesperson, Ala Jaradat.

He informed me: "Since 1967, 650,000 to 700,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained. That totals 20% of the total population and 80% of all adult Palestinian males have been arrested.

“Most of these arrests occur after midnight when large numbers of IDF storm into neighborhoods or refugee camps, horrifying everyone and arresting anyone 14 years or older. Sometimes they storm into business offices and arrest the breadwinners of the families without any charges.

"These arrests and detentions are based on military orders; we live under a kind of Marshall Law which rules every aspect of Palestinian life: where we live, our license plates that restrict our movement and limited voting rights. Under these military orders the Israeli government is free to hold anyone eight days without accusations or charges. They can hold anyone up to 180 days for interrogation and up to 60 days without benefit of a lawyer.

”The Israeli government never agreed to the Second Geneva Convention, the Knesset never ratified it, and when it comes to the Occupied Territories they totally ignore it. Israel is the only State that approved torture of detainees. I know there are dictators who use torture, but Israel is the only State that supported torture until 1999. That is when International, Israeli and Palestinian pressure groups forced the issue and Barack was confronted about it when he visited the United States.

“The IDF will round up and arrest family members and use threats against their relatives to force confessions. The interrogations lead to Military Trials which is theoretically like court with three Judges presiding but only one is required to have an education and a law degree is not at all necessary. The Military Commander appoints the translators, issues all orders, assigns the judges, and has total control. One appeal is allowed, but if the judges are settlers the Palestinian is in deep shit!

“Administrative Detentions are issued by the Military Commander for a period of six months and the reason is always labeled ‘Security’ and the charges can be renewed indefinitely. One Palestinian spent eight years under Administrative detention and hundreds have endured four or more years. Today fifty are being held for the past four years. They may be released for a day or two and then they are rearrested because they are social or political activists but reasons are not given by the Israeli government.

“At any given moment 10% of those in prison are under Administrative Detention. There are currently 8,000 prisoners and 800 of them are under Administrative Detention. The government does not have to inform anyone about these arrests except the Red Cross and only if they are imprisoned over two weeks, but most arrests go unreported.

“Any Palestinian under the age of 16 is tried as an adult, but for an Israeli Jew it is 18 years of age. Under 12 years old the child can be arrested but not detained. Over 12 they can be arrested, detained, interrogated, prosecuted and sentenced for throwing stones.

“Most of the Israeli Jews that are imprisoned are in for violent crimes against society and they are mixed in with the Palestinian population. The guards encourage them to do what ever they want to do against the Palestinian population. This is an open invitation by the Israeli government to incite violence and terror in the prison system. We have sworn affidavits from Palestinians claiming it was the guards who encouraged the violence inflicted upon them.

“In August 2004 the Palestinians went on a hunger strike to raise awareness of this problem and the Minister of Health who is responsible for them stated publicly: ‘Our hospitals are off limits to them They can all starve themselves to death.’

“No human rights organizations are allowed access to the prisoners. Only lawyers and the Red Cross can visit them but have no access to the facilities where they are detained.

The methods and photos from Abu Grahib and Guantanamo were no shock to any Palestinian who had been in prison between 1967 and the ‘80’s. All the methods used in Abu Grahib were normal procedures against Palestinians. In 1999 Internationals, Palestinians and Israelis for human rights threatened a boycott against Israel and that is what forced the Supreme Court to address the torture issue. They did not ban torture and the General Prosecutor can choose not to prosecute those who still use it."

Thanks to Enrique for forwarding: Open letter to Dr Michael Baum, President of Israel Medical Association

21 May 2008

Dear Dr Baum


Thank you for your letter to me of 12 May 2008, which is reproduced below this one. As you know I had written to you a week or so ago, seeking to draw your attention to the report entitled "Ticking Bombs" on 9 exhaustively documented torture cases, all Palestinian men, published last year by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.  I pointed to the fact that this report is but the latest to show how Israeli doctors form an integral and everyday part of the running of the interrogation suites whose output is torture.`140.pdf

There are 22 entries involving Israeli doctors in just these 9 cases; in several the doctors were actually named, whether doctors in the prisons or senior staff - including the Chief Medical Officer of the Israeli Prison Service Dr Alex Adler, the Chief Medical Officer of the Israeli Police Service Dr Tzvi Lankovski, and no less than the chairman of the Ethics Board of the Israeli Medical Association (IMA), Professor Avinoam Reches.  You will read, indeed I hope you have already read, that doctors saw the prisoners at various points before, during and after episodes of torture , did not take a proper history (they knew perfectly well what had happened to these men), did not protest on their behalf, typically prescribed simple analgesia and returned them to their interrogators.  It is this report to which Sir Iain Chalmers also directed your attention in his reply a few days ago, noting further that your long letter to me did not contain the word "torture" once!


Several concerned doctors, including myself, published a letter in the Lancet last December, citing the "Ticking Bombs" report and pointing to the continuing silence of the IMA about the practice of torture as state policy, and about the institutionalised involvement of Israeli doctors so emphatically illustrated. The upshot is that the IMA has threatened to sue us for quoting from the report about the involvement of Professor Avinoam Reches. The IMA do not dispute that Dr Reches received a copy from the Public Committee, and presumably read it, but deny that this makes him complicit. In so saying the IMA condemns itself out of its own mouth: the Chair of Ethics cannot maintain ethical probity by doing nothing. He has a duty to actively ensure that doctors in Israel abide by medical ethical codes, and with the World Medical Association's (WMA) anti-torture Declaration of Tokyo. Dr Baum, does the "Ticking Bombs" report and the IMA admission that its Chair of Ethics read it count as evidence in your book?


Perhaps you could remind the IMA that last year the World Medical Association (WMA), the official international watchdog on medical ethics, raised the stakes. WMA President Dr Jon Snaedal reiterated that doctors should be a powerful voice in the struggle against torture, and stated that for the first time the WMA was explicitly obliging doctors to document cases of torture when they encountered these. The WMA added that the absence of documenting and denouncing such acts "might be considered as a form of tolerance and of non-assistance to the victims".


You circulated my earlier letter to you and I am doing the same, in particular to the group of largely UK doctors concerned by the appalling standards of ethical leadership provided by the IMA – its refusal to insist on that doctors  adhere to  anti-torture codes, and refusal to speak out about persistent IDF violations of those sections of the Fourth Geneva Convention enshrining a civilian population's right to unimpeded access to heath care and other services vital to life, and immunity for medical facilities and health workers on duty.  All these doctors, and many other health professionals here and abroad associated with our movement, are thoroughly familiar with the region over years, have worked or taught in Israel/Palestine, are party to ongoing humanitarian activities, and cannot but be committed to speaking out. We are not a bunch of wrong-headed amateurs, not "anti-semitic", and we are not going to go away.


In view of what is at stake, I am also copying this to others, some medical, some not, here, USA and elsewhere. I am including the editors of the BMJ, Lancet and JRSM: UK journal editors have learned the hard way over the past 20 years that publishing a paper critical of human rights under Israeli occupation, however carefully referenced, unleashes a storm of protest and pressure. Charges of "anti-semitism"- which I see from the SPME website that you think applicable to us- have undoubtedly acted as an effective form of censorship, via self-censorship, for all but the boldest. The most striking single example of the power of UK Jewish doctors in this regard was the demise of the journal World Medicine after an article in 1981 made a reference to the infamous Deir Yassin massacre of 10 April 1948. The journal was engulfed in accusation that the massacre never took place and that it was recycling vicious lies, advertisers were lobbied to withdraw business, and the journal closed. This record of aggressive intimidation of medical journals is a scandal in itself.


It saddens me that the stimulus for your replying to me was not provided by the "Ticking Bombs" report, but merely because you think that I have been conducting "personal attacks on my(your) integrity", indulging in "public vilification" of you at the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) etc. In fact I have made no ad hominem remarks about you in any forum: at the RSM I gave a brief account of the BMJ debate on a putative academic boycott of Israel in its 21 July edition last year, and of your authorship of the anti-boycott lead essay in which you emphatically endorsed as a "lie" IMA rebuttals of the overwhelming weight of evidence as to their collusion with torture. Giving this as an example of what we were up against, I told the meeting that 3 respectful detailed and referenced Rapid Responses I had posted up at (where the debate was vigorous indeed) had elicited nothing but, to use your phrase, public vilification from you. You consistently refused to justify citing me as a liar in the BMJ, or to comment on any of the incriminating documentation from authoritative human rights organisations to which I and other correspondents at drew your attention. (For example, I reviewed 300 Amnesty International publications on Israel/Palestine published 2002-7, and just for a start the titles of 11 of them contain the word "torture"!).


Lastly, I commented to the meeting about what might be considered evidence of the natural limits of evidence-based medicine (EBM).  You are one of the most outspoken proponents of EBM in this country, and  called for the closure of homeopathy services in the NHS because there seemed too little evidence of its efficacy. Yet from my experience you simply cannot not be brought to address the mass of evidence in the public realm, accumulated over many years, implicating the ethical probity of the IMA and large numbers of individual Israeli doctors. Perhaps there is a general rule here, though a depressing one: the starkest of evidence is capable of being dismissed if it comes up against personal values and identity, which are held to trump everything else. It is of central significance, clearly, that at the outset of your BMJ essay you told us that you were a Zionist. 


I was interested in your reference on page 2 of your letter to the Palestinian women and her children killed in Gaza 2 weeks ago (there's been more since). You acknowledge that the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) was firing missiles, but you say that "the proximal event was the explosion of ordinance carried by a Hamas militant", set off by IDF fire.  You appear to state this confidently, as if it was hard evidence. Where did you get this from, Dr Baum?  B'Tselem, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI) and other agencies could confirm that the IDF routinely makes claims of this kind- lies, they turn out – in self-justification and to shift the blame to the Palestinian side. The IDF is particularly likely to do this after an incident that catches the world's attention. You will recall the Palestinian family of 7 shredded as they picnicked on Gaza beach in June 2006. At the time the IDF were firing missiles from out to sea, and no serious observer can doubt that one of these murdered this family. For once, footage of the event was beamed on mainstream TV abroad (and certainly in UK) and the IDF had a certain public relations problem. They responded by immediately floating the notion that Palestinian explosives buried on the beach were probably responsible. In so doing the IDF sought to introduce doubt, to introduce what has been called the 'fog of war', and to give friends of Israel something to hold on to. Human Rights Watch, one of the world's most reputable and well established human rights organisations, then conducted an investigation and concluded that there was no basis for any explanation other than the obvious one (see attachment). By then public attention abroad to the Gaza beach atrocity had long since moved on, and the lie had served its purpose. IDF authorship is also evident in mantras like "Palestinian ambulances carry terrorists and weapons", frequently recycled at, to obscure or justify the shooting of ambulances (hundreds of incidents) or delaying their passage to hospital- however critical the case medically. (US Jewish Voice for Peace Health & Human Rights Project looked into the claim and found only 1 incident, and even this one had disputed circumstances. Would you like me to ask them to send you the details? Incidentally, the IDF have at various points commandeered Red Crescent ambulances to transport soldiers for particular missions!). Another mantra regularly produced by doctors at is that "the overwhelming majority of IDF casualties are armed militants". Fact:  it is civilians- around 5000 since 2000, including nearly 1000 children (1000!) –who comprise the vast bulk of IDF victims: killed in their homes, schools, streets, places of work. The IDF makes war on a whole people.


Perfectly decent people around the world pick up on self-serving IDF statements, believe because they want to believe, and brandish them as justifications. In so doing, wittingly or unwittingly, they play their part in sanitising war crimes and Fourth Geneva Convention violations. This is an evil. Dr Baum, what status as evidence do you attribute to IDF pronouncements?


Jeff Halper, the Israeli human rights activist and anti-house demolitions campaigner told us at a meeting we arranged for him at RSM 18 months ago that the IDF regarded the trapped, powerless population of Gaza as a 'laboratory' for testing new forms of weaponry. I attach a published paper from the UK journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival, on just one aspect of this grotesquerie.


En passant, another form of sanitising I encounter frequently from doctors is when they point to Israel's technological prowess and 'modernity'. Some make racist-sounding statements of cultural supremacy, like: "so how many Nobel prizes have Arabs ever won?" I mention this because of your reference to Pentium processors in your BMJ anti-boycott paper. What is the moral logic here? Should criticism of apartheid South Africa have been moderated because the first human heart transplant took place there? Should critics of US actions in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay be reminded that the USA produced Bill Gates or Benjamin Franklin?


Dr Baum, you write as if, perplexingly, I have something 'personal' against you. This is nonsense and a distraction. My colleagues and I have a principled concern about human rights generally and medical ethics specifically under Israeli occupation. Isn't this important enough? Torture in Israel is so routinely an everyday part of the processing of Palestinian detainees that even at this moment as I write I imagine that Palestinian men are being tortured, and with impunity, whilst a few metres away a doctor is on duty! Yet the slander and character assassination in your published responses at to my queries are sadly familiar for whomever presumes to speak out about human rights abuses and atrocities by Israel. Your contribution was: "I feel no moral obligation to respond to Dr Summerfield's latest vilification…another iteration of his well-documented hatred….this recurring calumny…one of the ugliest consequences (of the debate) is to provide Dr Summerfield with another opportunity to repeat his libel….a bigot….one is left to ponder what Summerfield hopes to gain by his high profile, one might almost say professional act, as an anti-Israeli mouthpiece."


If recounting this at the RSM meeting raised questions about integrity, then perhaps this is one for you rather than for me, and a measure of what is at stake- ethical outrages don't come much bigger for the profession than the complicity with torture by the doctors in "Ticking Bombs", and by their leaders in the IMA. Yet here you are supporting them unconditionally, and rubbishing in an international medical journal those who point to the evidence. You are a senior member of the profession in UK, well known in medical academic circles, and it seems also a Visiting Professor in Medical Humanities (whose Humanity, exactly?), and you have put all that weight at the service of the indefensible. In this way you give heart to those in Israel who commit or collude with atrocity, contribute to their sense of confidence and impunity. You help protect them. Overall, I found your behaviour so lacking in ethics and probity in a matter so grave that, as you know, I sent a 20 page affidavit with 80 references to the General Medical Council.


At RSM Ruchama Marton, Hadas Ziv and Miri Weingarten of PHR Israel gave us harrowing accounts of an intractably deteriorating situation for Palestinians seeking their fourth Geneva convention-guaranteed rights to unimpeded access to medical care. With the General Security Service as ever more omnipotent authority and arbiter of all things, and even the Israeli High Court of Justice now deaf to all petitions, however critical, the people of Gaza have nowhere to turn. A series of exhausting, bureaucratic obstacles stand in the way of a successful permit to leave Gaza for medical treatment, and fewer and fewer are getting this. Grotesquely, even these few have a further obstacle at the Erez crossing. Imagine this: these desperately ill people, some nearly dead, are taken to an interrogation room beneath Erez, and subjected to a coercive interview from GSS agents seeking information on family members, neighbours etc. They are told that they will still not be allowed across, permit notwithstanding, unless the GSS are satisfied with their responses. About all this, as ever, the IMA is silent. Ask PHR Israel.

I attach below a couple of PHR Israel's recent communiqués. Do you find anything troubling in their accounts, Dr Baum?

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel April 2008

Gaza: Access of Patients to Medical Care

Since Hamas took political control over Gaza, several decisions taken by both Israel and the international community have caused a severe deterioration of the civilian infrastructure – including medical systems – in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, Israeli government policies are making access out of the Gaza Strip increasingly difficult for those patients for whom treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip and who need to access more advanced medical centers in Israel, the West Bank & East Jerusalem, Jordan or Egypt .

Closure of the crossings

Prior to June 2007, about 400-500 patients left Gaza for Egypt via Rafah each month, and an additional monthly average of 652 patients requested permits for exit via Erez Crossing to medical centers in Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Jordan or elsewhere.

On 9.6.07 Rafah crossing into Egypt was closed and, as a consequence, the number of applications to exit Gaza via Israeli-controlled Erez Crossing doubled. Although the absolute number of people exiting Erez increased in the second half of 2007, the proportion of people granted permits in relation to the number of requests decreased drastically towards the end of the year, from 89% in January 2007 to 64% in December 2007. Requests were usually denied due to "security prohibitions" issued by the Israeli General Security Service (GSS, Shabac). Whereas in the past patients could go to Egypt if refused access via Erez, from June 2007, "prohibited" persons have no alternative at all and must remain in Gaza.


Tightening policies at Erez Crossing

Patients from Gaza apply to PHR-Israel either after they receive a "security prohibition" to a request they have already forwarded to the Israeli authorities at Erez Crossing, via the Palestinian MoH medical referrals department, or after the answer is so far delayed that they have missed appointments and are still stuck in Gaza with no reply.

An analysis of applications received by PHR-Israel from patients in Gaza each month clearly shows the steep rise in the number of people denied access to care during 2007.


 The most dramatic increases occurred in June-July and in October. The first peak corresponds to the closing of Erez and Rafah Crossings and the decision by Israel to allow exit via Erez only to lifesaving cases; the second peak corresponds to the Israeli declaration in late September of its intentions to impose collective measures against the civilian population, due to its definition of Gaza as a "hostile entity".

·         Security prohibitions increased: the monthly average of applications to PHR-Israel increased from 32 per month in Jan-May, to 72.5 per month in Jun-Sep, to 146 per month in Oct-Dec.

·         PHR-Israel success rates decreased: Jan-May 67%; Jun-Sep: 47%; Oct-Dec: 7%

·         From June 2007: "life / limb" distinction: In June, the State refused to recognize the right of patients not in life-threatening condition to exit Gaza. The result on the ground was amputation of limbs and loss of eyesight.

·         From September 2007: even life-threatening cases are denied: Increasing numbers of access-related deaths are recorded.

·         January to April 2008: More than 407 applications for assistance from patients encountering problems of access were handled by PHR-Israel.


The tightening permits regime at Erez Crossing corresponds closely to a drastic deterioration in the policy of two other Israeli organs: the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) and the General Security Services (GSS, shabac):


The High Court of Justice: from non-intervention on policy to rejection of patients

June 2007: Discussion limited to humanitarian aspects HCJ 5429/07 (PHR-Israel and Gisha on behalf of 26 patients)

•          Refusal to discuss the legal status of Gaza and Israel's responsibility or lack thereof

•          Decision to limit the court to the "operative common denominator, i.e., to humanitarian aspects" (HCJ ruling, 28.6.07)

•          Current system of coordination adequate.

•          Questioning of life/limb distinction but decision not to intervene, since intervention could "by the stroke of a pen, expose IDF soldiers and civilians at the Crossing…"

•          Refusal to intervene in the security prohibition of two patients to whom denial of care caused the loss of a limb (a leg and an eye, respectively).


à result on the ground: patients lose legs (amputations) and eyesight because refused exit from Gaza.


November 2007: "Even 'evil people' should not be denied life-saving care" HCJ 9522/07 (PHR-Israel and 11 patients).

•          Court decision on day of first hearing (12.11.07) led to delay of 16 days in the course of which one patient, Nael ElKurdi died.

•          Ruling (28.11.07) repeats decision not to relate to principle issues connected to Israeli legal status vis a vis Gaza, but states that there are grounds for addressing the reasonableness of the implementation of Israeli policy.

•          Ruling states that the life/limb distinction is not justified when dealing with severe conditions.

•          For life-threatening cases, the ruling recommends finding solutions that enable medical care while minimizing the possibility of damage to security. Comparison is made to prisoners who receive appropriate medical care. Court adds that "even if these are evil persons…access to life-saving care should not be denied them."

•          Court requests that a way be found to allow access of individual rejected patients to Jordan at their own expense and with escorts acceptable to the State.


à result on the ground: steep rise in access-related deaths as even life-threatening cases denied exit from Gaza. By April 2008 WHO had registered 32 deaths related to denial of access to care.


2008: No Hope for Patients

On January 30th 2008 the Court clearly declared that the occupation of Gaza Strip had ended and that Israel has very little responsibility toward its residents (HCJ ruling 9132/07, 30.01.08). Through this ruling the Court has, in effect, granted legitimacy to Israeli governmen tal decisions to impose collective measures on the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, leaving its residents little hope for legal redress. The ruling has moreover sown confusion among legal experts and human rights actors both locally and internationally, with regard to the current legal responsibilities of Israel toward residents of the Gaza Strip. Surprisingly enough this passed with little international attention or criticism. The affect of this policy shift on patients is clearly to be seen in HCJ rulings since January 2008:


January 2008: Patients in life-threatening condition denied redress
HCJ 11105/07 (PHR-Israel and 15 patients);

HCJ 559/08 (PHR-Israel and one patient)

•          Court refused to address any policy issue and claimed that each patient should submit a separate petition. Hearing of cases was delayed by one week.

•          Court overturned previous HCJ ruling and found "no grounds for intervention" in the decision of the State to deny access to 7 patients on security grounds (ruling 8.1.08).

•          In a second petition, Court refused to intervene on behalf of a leukemia patient denied exit from Gaza and rejected the petition.

•          In March, in a separate petition for cancer patient Mustafa Hilu, not only was the patient rejected, but the Judge, Justice Melzer, wondered why he had submitted no letter of thanks to the Israelis following care that had been given him previously…


Rajab Almughrabi, 28, was diagnosed in October 2007 as suffering from Chondrosarcoma, a rare cancer. On 25.11.07 he was referred by the Palestinian MoH for medical care at Maqassed hostpital in East Jerusalem. The GSS opposed his exit. PHR-Israel submitted a request on his behalf on 25.11.07, which was rejected. A High Court petition submitted on his behalf on 27.12.07 resulted in an undertaking (out of court) by GSS to enable his exit to Jordan. The Jordanian embassy, however, rejected his request for a visa a month later. Rajab's condition deteriorated and a second request was submitted on his behalf for passage to East Jerusalem on 14.1.08. Before an answer was received, the Rafah Crossing was breached on 25.1.08, and Rajab reached Al Arish hospi tal on 28.1.08, where, however, the necessary treatment was unavailable. His access to Egypt was blocked by the Egyptians. He returned to Gaza in late February and died at home on the 9th of March, untreated, seven months after his disease had been diagnosed


GSS policies at Erez Crossing: manipulation and coercion


According to data collected by PHR-Israel from patients, in at least 30 cases since July 2007,  the Israeli secret service has called patients – many of them with exit permits – to interrogation at Erez Crossing. In the course of the interrogation they were asked to provide information about relatives and acquaintances, and/or required to collaborate and provide information on a regular basis, as a condition for being allowed to exit Gaza. If they refused or could not provide the information, they were turned back into Gaza. These cases include several patients in life-threatening condition. A petition submitted by PHR-Israel to the Court on this issue was rejected after the judges refused to discuss the topic.


Ashraf Qdeih was diagnosed approximately one year ago as suffering from lymphoid cancer. In January 2007, after undergoing primary treatment in the Gaza Strip, his condition worsened and he was transferred to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv for advanced treatment. He then returned to the Gaza Strip with a chemotherapy program. In September he was told to come to Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer for an advanced isotope test that is unavailable in the Gaza Strip, but his application for an exit permit was rejected. Two further applications were also rejected without any reason being given. Ashraf contacted PHR-Israel and asked for assistance. After an application submitted by PHR-Israel was also rejected, a petition was filed at the Supreme Court on Ashraf's behalf. Following the petition, Ashraf received a permit for entry on December 2, 2007 at 2:00 pm.

Ashraf arrived at the Erez Crossing at 11:00 am in order to leave the area. After waiting for almost an hour, however, he was summonsed for interrogation by the GSS. He was asked to give his own telephone numbers, as well as those of his family and friends, and was told that he must collaborate with the GSS in order to enter Israel. The interrogator scolded him for filing a petition against the State of Israel and told him "You have cancer and soon it will spread to your brain if you do not help us." After Ashraf refused to collaborate with the GSS, he was forced to wait until 3:00 pm. He was then permitted to leave the checkpoint and head for Israel, but by this time he had missed his appointment at the hospital and the radioactive isotope materials had been destroyed. He returned to the Gaza Strip and was obliged to reschedule his appointment. He continued to submit repeated requests that went unanswered, until concerted media pressure initiated by PHR-Israel finally led to the issuing of a permit for exit to Israel in March 2008.


PHR-Israel demands:

    * That the Government of Israel ensure access of all patients needing medical care unavailable in Gaza to medical centers outside Gaza, as a matter of policy.
    * That the GSS (Israeli secret services, Shabac) desist immediately from conditioning the exit of patients from Gaza on acting as informers on others.
    * That Israel recognize its responsibility as Occupying Power for the welfare of the population of Gaza.
    * That international players use political means as well as leverage connected to their own provision of aid to Gaza to pressure Israel to recognize its responsibilities for the oPt as a whole, and to end its siege on Gaza.

For further details and case studies please contact Ms. Miri Weingarten at , 00 972 546 995199, or Mr. Ran Yaron at , 00 972 547 577696




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The Paradoxical Commandments
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If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa

“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946

The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright

“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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posted 3/25/2009

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