Israel’s doctors will cross the planet to save a life

Armstrong Williams | 12/12/2019, 4:18 p.m.
When the world’s poorest or most isolated nations need emergency medical assistance, there is always one nation that will heed ...
Armstrong Williams

When the world’s poorest or most isolated nations need emergency medical assistance, there is always one nation that will heed the call—Israel.

Indeed, the Jewish state is at it again this week, after the World Health Organization (WHO) called on the nation’s leading hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, to assist in addressing a pandemic outbreak of measles on the distant South Pacific island of Samoa.

Over 4,000 Samoans have been diagnosed with the measles and the disease continues to spread. At least 62 people have died, most of them infants and young children. The sheer number of patients requiring treatment has overwhelmed local medical facilities, leaving many without access to proper care.

As it has in the past, Israel sprang into action. On Monday, a team of experts from Sheba Medical Center’s dedicated humanitarian unit, the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response, will arrive to provide much-needed relief. The team, which plans to stay for approximately two weeks, will be composed of six nurses and two pediatric specialists.

Israel is not new to this. As a shining light upon the nations, Israel has frequently sent its best and brightest doctors and aid workers into the most severe disasters and crises to lend a helping hand.

To save lives, its national hospital Sheba has sent exceptional medical teams to Nigeria, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Haiti, and beyond. When a cyclone left a trail of destruction in Mozambique, Sheba was there. When a deadly cholera epidemic hit Zambia, Sheba’s was the only international medical team on the ground, succeeding in shutting down the potential catastrophe.

According to Sheba’s CEO Yitshak Kreiss, it does this out of an obligation to preserve life, no matter whose life it is.

Sometimes those lives are on the other side of the planet, and sometimes they are right in Israel’s backyard. What many so-called “experts” on the Middle East often gloss over is the fact that Israeli doctors, like those at Sheba Medical Center as well as other Israeli hospitals, treat the sick and injured of Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories with the same level of expert care they give to Israelis.

In a turbulent region, Sheba is an oasis of coexistence whose mission is to save lives through the best of humanitarianism combined with top medical innovation. It is a place where boundaries and frontiers are meaningless, especially when a life is in jeopardy.

Some Israel-bashers with no sense of moral decency or actual knowledge have cynically dismissed the nation’s humanitarian outreach as little more than a PR stunt. I say tell that to the Samoan children who will live to see adulthood because of the work being done by Sheba Medical Center. When it comes to saving lives, there is no room for political arguments and out-of-hand assertions. Israel does not have time for that nonsense. It is too busy saving lives.

Armstrong Williams is manager/sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year.| Follow me on Twitter @arightside.