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.
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Sep 30, 2019 0Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign secretary, has recently commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians, most acutely occurring in the Muslim World, and especially in the Arab/Muslim...
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“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.