columnIsrael at War

Hippocrates and hypocrisy

That treating terrorists has been going on for decades is bad enough. Allowing it after Oct. 7 makes a mockery of medical ethics.

Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, March 18, 2012. Photo by Uri Lenz/Flash90.
Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, March 18, 2012. Photo by Uri Lenz/Flash90.
Ruthie Blum. Credit: Courtesy.
Ruthie Blum
Ruthie Blum, an author and award-winning columnist, is a former adviser at the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel ought to have its head examined. Its bleeding heart could use a check-up, too.

Both became painfully clear this week and by no means for the first time. Whatever the prognosis, one thing is certain: Only a serious disorder could explain the Jewish state’s provision of top-notch medical care for a member of Hamas’s Nukhba force, which led to the Oct. 7 massacre.

A healthy response to the perversion ensued, however. When word got out on Wednesday that the wounded terrorist was being treated at Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center in Jerusalem, Herzl Hajaj—whose 22-year-old daughter, Shir, was killed in a 2017 ISIS-inspired truck-ramming attack—went on the offensive.

“Shame on Hadassah Mount Scopus for treating terrorists who murdered, raped, butchered and humiliated our daughters, our loved ones and the entire people of Israel,” he posted on X. “The time has come for Health Minister Uriel Buso … to issue an order to hospitals not to treat terrorists.”

He then called on his social-media followers to protest the “depraved action” of Hadassah, which “has forgotten the terrible massacre and what these despicable terrorists did to our daughters and the people of Israel. We do not forget and will not be silent.”

Shortly thereafter, dozens of angry demonstrators stormed the halls of the hospital. Hajaj, a member of the Choose Life Forum and an activist against the cushy conditions of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, showed up to express his outrage.

“Is this where the terrorist son of a bitch is hospitalized?” he shouted at the Hadassah staffers and armed guards protecting the door of the intensive-care unit room where the Nukhba commando lay hooked up to an IV. “Is the terrorist hospitalized here? Take him out of here, not us.”

The commotion struck a nerve. By the end of the day, Hadassah announced that the Nukhba commando was being transferred to the Sde Teiman military base in southern Israel, where terrorists are detained and/or given medical treatment in accordance with the Geneva Convention guidelines for prisoners of war.

It transpired, however, that he was actually sent to the Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod. Asked by journalists for a comment, Assuta denied knowledge of the prisoner’s crimes and refused to take responsibility for the move.

“Contact the Health Ministry” for answers, the medical center replied in a statement.

Hajaj wasn’t satisfied. “Dear residents of Ashdod and the south,” he wrote on X. “Be advised that … Buso transferred the terrorist who was hospitalized in Hadassah Mount Scopus yesterday to Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod. Unfortunately, I can’t make it there today, but you are welcome to visit the terrorist.”

And that’s what they did, by flooding the corridors of the hospital, placards in hand. Hajaj saluted them from afar. As much as they earned the gesture, they shouldn’t have had to fend off such societal sickness in the first place.

That the practice of treating Palestinian terrorists and their families with kid (and surgical) gloves has been going on for decades is bad enough. But allowing it to continue after Oct. 7 is not only taking the Hippocratic Oath too far; it makes a mockery of morality in general and medical ethics in particular.

Even if Israel decides to uphold the clauses of the Geneva Convention where they don’t apply, it has no obligation to coddle murderers whose open aim is to annihilate the Jewish state—you know, to conquer all land “from the river to the sea.”

But the Jewish gene that causes national amnesia and a penchant for prioritizing the well-being of others over that of oneself is dominant. It is thus that Israeli doctors cured Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar of brain cancer before Israeli politicians released him from prison as part of the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011.

So here we are, with 133 of our hostages held in brutal, sexually abusive captivity at the hands of Sinwar’s evil army. Those men, women and children who haven’t been shot or starved to death aren’t receiving the crucial medication many require for chronic conditions. Nor are the injured among them being given even the most basic medical attention.

Hamas has no problem torturing and slaughtering innocent Israelis while taking advantage of their medical know-how and technology. When Qatar-based “political leader” Ismail Haniyeh was still in Gaza and serving as the terrorist organization’s prime minister, for example, his mother-in-law and daughter were treated at Israeli hospitals.

Ditto for his infant granddaughter and the sister of Hamas spokesman Moussa Abu Marzouk. They expressed his gratitude by calling for a third intifada and raining rockets down on Israeli civilians, thus sparking “Operation Protective Edge.” That was in 2014.

A mere four years later, Sinwar declared, “We will take down the border [with Israel], and we will tear their hearts from their bodies.” Well, he certainly came to keep that promise.

Meanwhile, he has appropriated all of his Gaza’s hospitals—above and below ground—for use as terror bases in which to amass weapons, hide hostages and plot Israel’s demise.

If Israel is so insane as to treat Sinwar’s goons in beds next to the targets of their jihad, the country really is in critical condition. Hajaj and his ilk deserve accolades for not letting common sense die along with Hamas’s victims.  

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