Israeli doctors transport a Syrian patient from the IDF ambulance to the emergency room. (Photo courtesy of Ziv Medical Center)
The oddest-case-scenario came true in the wee hours this morning at Ziv Medical Center, located in northern Israel near the Syrian border: A 20-year-old Syrian woman gave birth to a healthy, 3.2-kilogram baby boy.
The woman is one of over 450 Syrians who have been treated in Israel so far this year. But unlike the others, said Ziv Medical Center spokesman Gil Maor, this young patient hadn’t been injured by a bomb or sniper fire.
“She’s a nurse in Syria,” said Maor. “She lives near Quinetra, and since the area is being sieged, she couldn’t reach a hospital — that’s what she told us. And there were no midwives who could help her. Because she’s a nurse, she knew that [injured] Syrians were coming to Israel. So she said she’d try her luck to reach the border and try to get picked up by the IDF.”
The woman succeeded, and — after being picked up at the border and rushed to Ziv in an IDF ambulance — she gave birth to her firstborn at 3:11 a.m. today.
According to a hospital press release, the woman said the following of her experience (roughly translated from Hebrew):
“There were no village midwives who could help me deliver. I am a nurse by profession, and I knew that Syrians were treated in Israel. … So when I felt that labor had begun, I quickly brought myself near the border, in hopes that the Israeli army would allow me to get medical assistance. Fortunately, the Israeli army saw that I was suffering from severe pain, picked me up and took me to a hospital in Israel. I was afraid to come to Israel, but I was more worried to lose my baby during a home birth. The obstetric team and Israeli doctors treated me with respect and sensitivity and the birth was uneventful. I really do not feel like I’m in an enemy country; everyone is helping me and cares about me.
… For a long time we have been fed mainly rice in the village, due to the closures. This is the first time in a long time that I have eaten meat and vegetables. I feel good and I am relieved that I can eat and feed my cute little baby. My treatment is great. I thank everyone for the devoted care, concern and understanding.”
The question at the back of everybody’s mind: Will the child be considered an Israeli citizen? The issue did come up in an interview for my L.A. Jewish Journal cover story this week, “Wounded Syrians find care in Israel that is no longer available at home.” Sara Paperin, international liaison at the Western Galilee Medical Center (a hospital in nearby Nahariya that is also treating Syrians), said one pregnant woman who was about to pop decided to leave the hospital before her older daughter had been discharged, specifically to avoid finding out what would happen if her baby was born in Israel.
However, Israeli immigration attorney Tamar Klarfeld said in a phone interview that the baby is “definitely not an Israeli citizen. Nobody gets Israeli citizenship unless they’re born to Israeli parents.” Concerning any problems the baby might have once he’s back in Syria, Klarfeld said she couldn’t give legal advice over the phone, but pondered: “I suppose [the mother] could say the baby was born in Syria.”
Ziv spokesman Maor said the young Syrian woman who gave birth this morning was more caught up with “the normal concerns of every mother. She also came without the baby’s father, so she didn’t have anyone to comfort her. And she told us that they don’t have enough food over there.”
If the mother and child continue in good health, they will be discharged within the next two to three days, said Maor — at which point the IDF will come pick them up and take them back to Syria.
In a sidebar for this week’s cover story, we described the spectacular medical exchange that the IDF is running between Syria and Israel, right near Quinetra:
When the IDF detects one or more war casualties approaching the new high-tech fence Israel built this year to keep out the flying parts of Syria’s civil war, “We open little passageways so they can come through,” the soldier said.
“We’re not allowed to cross the fence into Syria,” he said. “It’s a very gray area. And we can’t do it at night, because it’s too dangerous.”
Once the wounded are inside Israel, a temporary medical station is set up at the site of entry, and a handful of IDF doctors rush out to operate. From there, depending on the severity of the patients’ wounds, they are either released back to Syria, transferred to the IDF field hospital or transported via IDF ambulance to one of three medical centers in Israel providing more long-term care.
Update: Here’s a photo of Israel’s newest Syrian patient, taken by Hannah Bikel.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.