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Casualty of War
February 23, 2009 10:31 AM   Subscribe

The Gaza Doctor. Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish is a Palestinian doctor, trained in Israel, educated at Harvard and King's College. He worked at Palestinian and Israeli hospitals, and gave commentary on Israeli TV about the medical crises facing Gazans. His life changed just days before withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza strip.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) concluded its investigations of the incident, admitted responsibility, and in part, ascribes blame to Hamas. The University of Toronto has offered Abu al-Aish a teaching position. He remains uncertain about his future .
posted by terranova (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
BBC World Service interviewed him on Outlook a couple of times, most recently on Friday where he said that he would be establishing a foundation to educate girls in honor of his daughters (link to bbc media player).
posted by idb at 10:45 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love how the response is that it's Hamas' fault. It's like a wife-beater claiming that if only the wife had had dinner ready when he got home, he wouldn't have had to throw her down the stairs.

Sure Hamas sucks but that's no excuse for killing children.
posted by mullingitover at 10:48 AM on February 23, 2009 [12 favorites]


You know, Israel doesn't get to call Hamas on engaging in war within a highly populated area when it has put sodding great walls round a tiny strip of land and stopped people going anywhere.

Well done for dropping millions of leaflets: it will have been of great comfort to Gazans to know that even if they couldn't actually flee, at least someone cared.

Kids get taught in primary school that the "he started it" line of defence cuts no ice. You' ve got to wonder how such a tactically smart country as Israel can act so dumb strategically.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:51 AM on February 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


At one point during the press conference, the doctor was interrupted by a mother of three soldiers who said: "Why is he engaging in propaganda? He's talking against Israel at the Sheba hospital. You should all be ashamed. All my children are serving in Gaza. Who knows what he had at his home?"

Classy. And to think I thought my Jewish mother was sometimes tacky and overly focused on her children.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:02 AM on February 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


The mess in the Middle East has clamoring on both sides for this one is wrong; this one is right. Let me first note that deaths of innocents is always horrible. And hamas?
http://sheikyermami.com/tag/human-shields/
using children as human shields--this not an Israel source...more?
Here it is on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=J08GqXMr3YE&eurl=http://muqata.blogspot.com/

Now if you will do a quick check on what has taken place since the so-called cease fire, you will find 1--rockets fired into iasrael for at least 6 days since cease fire.
2--Iranian ship stopped, bringing in arms, illegally.
3--tunnels again used to bring in explosives from Iran via Egypt.
4--dozens of Palestinians executed, without trials, by Hamas, who claimed they were spies for Israel.

I am not about to fully defend Israel. In fact, I note that Israel has once again begun to build some places in the West Bank, when they should not be doing this.

Hamas has said it will never recognize Israel's right to exist. period. Ok: but does that give them the right to fire rockets daily rather than come to the peace table?
posted by Postroad at 11:11 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The University of Toronto had offered him a teaching position before the personal tragedy occured.
posted by furtive at 11:12 AM on February 23, 2009


And 9forgot) here it is direct from the mouth of Hamas on its use of women and children as human shields:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTu-AUE9ycs&feature=related
posted by Postroad at 11:13 AM on February 23, 2009


"However, the army said that despite the tragic results it does not intend to take action against the troops involved in the incident in question, as such mistakes happen during operational activity. "

I don't really know what to say about this, and anything I say won't change anything.
posted by fuq at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2009


You know, Israel doesn't get to call Hamas on engaging in war within a highly populated area when it has put sodding great walls round a tiny strip of land and stopped people going anywhere.

For one I think you're mistaking Egypt for Israel.

For another, this is the direct result of Hamas using human shields as part of its strategy, which is a war crime. The deaths of civilians used as human shields is the responsibility of the ones using them as such. The doctor needs to reserve his rage for the idiots who were using an apartment building full of kids as an artillery spotting post and sniper nest.

While I emphatically don't agree with the Israeli response, those of us in the west who are treating the Palestinians as poor savages who don't know better than to act savagely are making things worse, rather than better. Hamas knows what they're doing when they stage operations from civilian areas, and they need to be brought to account just as much as Israel does.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:32 AM on February 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sure Hamas sucks but that's no excuse for killing children.

Indeed. Good thing Hamas hasn't killed any Israeli children.

Oh wait...

Won't someone think of the children? This guy did. So did this guy. They won. Hamas has been losing since day 1. Time for a new strategy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on February 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every time I get into a discussion about the middle east I feel ashamed for the breath I wasted.

The thing that really blows me away is how much oxygen the perpetual middle east conflict sucks up. As tragic as this story is, there is a conflict in Africa going on right now that has resulted in millions of deaths, the bloodiest conflict since WWII in fact. More people have died in the Congo in the last ten years than died in Israel in the last century. Yet pick a random person off the street and ask them about it, and chances are they'll have no clue what's going on there.

Cool Papa Bell writes "Indeed. Good thing Hamas hasn't killed any Israeli children."

Oh, snap! I forgot two wrongs make a right.

Anyway I'm already sorry for clicking on this thread. Have fun re-hashing the status quo.
posted by mullingitover at 11:49 AM on February 23, 2009 [13 favorites]


The thing that really blows me away is how much oxygen the perpetual middle east conflict sucks up. As tragic as this story is, there is a conflict in Africa going on right now that has resulted in millions of deaths, the bloodiest conflict since WWII in fact.

Is one side in that conflict being funded by the U.S. to the tune of billions of dollars a year?
posted by delmoi at 11:54 AM on February 23, 2009


Indeed. Good thing Hamas hasn't killed any Israeli children.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on February 23


How many Israeli children have been killed by Hamas? How many Palestinian children have been killed by the IDF? There's a reason you didn't have any supporting links in your comment.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:02 PM on February 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


<img src=awgeeznotthisshitagainguy.jpg>
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:08 PM on February 23, 2009


Good thing Hamas hasn't killed any Israeli children.

*facepalm*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:16 PM on February 23, 2009


yeah, *facepalm* indeed.
It's cool if Israeli soldiers are no better than Hamas, amirite?
posted by vivelame at 12:29 PM on February 23, 2009


Please do not upset the Metafilter establishment by trying to derail xenophobic Israel-bashing or poisoning the well with your taboo ideas that Hamas is to blame for anything. The mods might have to come and clean up your thoughtcrime.

I'm quoting this comment for posterity. Even if the mods will have to do twice as much work to clean up Krrrrrlson's latest thoughtcrime, I don't care. The truth must come out!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:38 PM on February 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think 90% of the xenophobic Israel-bashers here don't give a flying fuck who's right. They just want the killing of any civilians by any side to stop. Indiscriminantly killing civvies en masse just happens to be Israel's current modus operandi.

If Western agressors would stop the one-sided absolute fucking slaughter we wouldn't have to be "terrorist loving liberals" that the far right keeps classifying us as.
posted by Talez at 1:33 PM on February 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


You've got to wonder how such a tactically smart country as Israel can act so dumb strategically.

I think the strategy fails because the policy fails.

"Zionism" at it's most basic is removal of all the Jews from Europe to their own country in an attempt to eliminate anti-Semitism.

A quaint 19th Century concept, however historically proven unworkable, and simplistic. How's Liberia doing eliminating Racism.... Not so hot, huh?

Pinning *everything* on the failed policy produces the results we see today.
posted by mikelieman at 1:46 PM on February 23, 2009


Hamas sucks. They do horrible things. They shouldn't. This is why they are recognized the world over as a TERRORIST organization.

Israel has a recognized Government. They have a system of rules and procedures built to protect itself and its citizens.

On either side there are people who view Hamas as a legitimate government, and Israel as a terrorist organization, but those people are a very small percentage of the whole.

All governments will have horrible things done against its people...how it DEALS with the actions and the people who commit those actions is what differentiates them from terrorist organizations.

Saying "Hamas started it" to justify killing children is NOT acceptable by the GOVERNMENT OF ISRAEL. They are not considered a terrorist organization, and they should not do anything which terrorists would do.

Hamas does shitty things, and it gets a shitty title (terrorist). Israel has a great title (recognized country). It should not be doing shitty things to solve its problems.

If it continues to do shitty things because someone else does it...does that continue to make them a country, or is it getting closer and closer to becoming a terrorist organization?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:11 PM on February 23, 2009



I think Israel is pretty much of a done deal. They had to convince their neighbors that peace would benefit ALL parties and be equitable. They used their military strength as a means of 'bargaining'. Kind of like my way or the highway. It has not worked. It has resulted in two generations of revenge seeking neighbors. LOTS of revenge seeking neighbors.
Too bad. For Israel in the LONG run.
posted by notreally at 2:30 PM on February 23, 2009


Regardless of the rights and wrongs, this seems an extraordinary man to me. Three of his daughters are killed by the IDF and his response is to push for peace and education. I am reminded of Gordon Wilson after the Enniskillen bombing, whose reaction made a significant impact, although it was complicated. It is possible that these are moments when individuals may push on the levers of history.
posted by idb at 3:32 PM on February 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, seems to me that he was part of a population that was being collectively punished by Israel- so really he has nothing to complain about. He should have stopped the rocket fire and weapons smuggling.
posted by mattoxic at 3:48 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dr Abu al-Aish displays a remarkable lack of bitterness. There can't be many people who could remain so sanguine after suffering his losses. It makes me wonder about reactions to loss: you have people like Dr Abu al_Aish who can move on after suffering a horrible personal tragedy; but then you have entire political movements based around not moving on. Why aren't there political movements based on an end to recrimination? I think that would be a much more interesting discussion than Yet Another Opportunity to bash Israel.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:02 PM on February 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yet Another Opportunity to bash Israel.

That's right, must not bash Israel, poor dears.
posted by mattoxic at 4:16 PM on February 23, 2009


I suspect the great and mighty State of Israel doesn't care what you spend your time on; I certainly don't. I just thought that there might be more interesting things to talk about. For one, the nominal subject of this thread.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:27 PM on February 23, 2009


[metatalk still exists, quit being like that]
posted by jessamyn at 6:35 PM on February 23, 2009


You Have Moved on, But the Injured and Burned Children of Gaza Have Not; Call for Cyberspace Aid Convoy
posted by homunculus at 7:15 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Amnesty calls on US to suspend arms sales to Israel: Hellfire missiles and white phosphorus artillery shells among weapons used in 'indiscriminate' attacks on civilians, says human rights group
posted by homunculus at 7:17 PM on February 23, 2009


This is why I hate Israel and support the Palestinian people, despite my Jewish background.
posted by mike3k at 7:38 PM on February 23, 2009


Gaza is knocked down with U.S. arms, then we may pledge $900 million to rebuild it. "Just put it on our tab, plz."
posted by terranova at 9:17 PM on February 23, 2009


You know, Israel doesn't get to call Hamas on engaging in war within a highly populated area when it has put sodding great walls round a tiny strip of land and stopped people going anywhere.

For one I think you're mistaking Egypt for Israel.



What does Egypt have to do with it?

Oh, right, I forget: Egypt and the surrounding states are supposed to become complicit in israels elimination of Palestine and a Palestinian people by absorbing the population of Palestine.
posted by rodgerd at 10:36 PM on February 23, 2009


For one I think you're mistaking Egypt for Israel.

No, I'm pretty sure I'm not. It's not Egypt that has blocked three sides of Gaza and put pressure on Egypt, through the US to close the southern border.

It's not Egypt that has dropped leaflets, or claimed the moral high ground as it kills a hell of a lot of Gazan civilians.

Most of us aren't naive enough to think Hamas is innocent, or doesn't fight intentionally from within civilian areas. From a PR perspective, of course dead Palestinians abet its cause. From a tactical military perspective, it would be plain stupid to fight in open areas against Israel's overwhelming material superiority. That is a known from before the conflict.

None of which, not even rockets falling on Sderot, justify Israel's military actions or blockading a large population into a small area while allowing settlers to take more land that isn't theirs.

Few people outside the core longstanding Israeli supporters buy the rhetoric that everthing is being done to spare Palestinian civilians. Because Israel has a recent track record of doing the reverse, as in Lebanon, there are countless examples from other conflicts where hundreds of civilian deaths have not been caused by military reprisals/counterterrorism, and in this conflict the bald statistics don't lie: Israel's government, seemingly supported by its electorate, have ordered military actions that have killed at a ratio of 100 deaths for each Israeli life lost, and injured to a much higher proportion.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:04 AM on February 24, 2009


Postroad: On the topic of rockets fired since the ceasefire: Hamas 'not responsible' for recent rocket attacks, says Israel.
posted by knapah at 2:55 AM on February 24, 2009


The killing has intensified along the road to peace.
posted by schyler523 at 6:32 AM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Zionism" at it's most basic is removal of all the Jews from Europe to their own country in an attempt to eliminate anti-Semitism.

This is a bit of a tangent, but in my class on turning points in Jewish history our readings seemed to indicate that early Zionism wasn't an effort to eliminate anti-Semitism, but a belief (likely incorrect) that anti-Semitism would never stop and that Israel could become a place where persecuted Jews would be able to flee and protect themselves.
posted by andoatnp at 6:53 AM on February 25, 2009


Indeed. Good thing Hamas hasn't killed any Israeli children.

Oh wait...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:39 AM on February 23


Still waiting on your supporting data, sweetheart.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:33 AM on February 25, 2009


Some small though notable changes in U.S. policy towards Israel
posted by homunculus at 2:43 PM on February 25, 2009


Cairo Donor Conference Nets $5 bn for Gaza Reconstruction;
Israelis Block Gaza Reconstruction

posted by homunculus at 1:15 PM on March 3, 2009


Clinton Slams Israel on Jerusalem House Demolitions;
50-Years War Looms with Danger to US

posted by homunculus at 4:10 PM on March 5, 2009


Final Gaza toll shows 960 civilians killed
posted by homunculus at 4:45 PM on March 13, 2009


U.S. official: Obama won't cut military aid to Israel
posted by homunculus at 4:47 PM on March 13, 2009


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