I am part Jewish. My family was also persecuted in WW2. Few people living their lives escape human cruelty. That persecution does not give Bibi Netanyahu and Slaughterhouse Zionists the right to commit war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank against the very people that gave Jews a home after the war. Nothing does, not even Hamas.
Bibi publicly claims Hamas is an asset of Israel’s and he finances them. Given how easily it seems he conned you, his ploys using Hamas are working well. Or, perhaps you know Bibi uses Hamas and are ok with such horrid tactics?
I await your public retraction and apology for your dishonesty in your recent op ed in the Globe and Mail, and in your ruling in Ernst vs AER at the supreme court of Canada. You were the swing judge; you denigrated me and my case. You, a judge, made up shit to suit your ego and piss on my charter right to freedom of expression (which Bibi hates globally for obvious reasons) and it seems to protect frac’ers because the billions of dollars in oil and gas Bibi is stealing from Palestinians must be frac’d.
Did you piss on the law to punish me because for decades I publicly stated I support Palestinians’ right to be free in their homes and land and that I oppose Israel’s crimes?
Isaac Chotiner@IChotiner Jan 30, 2024:
New Interview: I talked to Seema Jilani, a pediatrician who spent two weeks working at a hospital in Gaza, about her experiences, and what Israel’s refusal to allow sufficient medicine into the territory has meant for Gaza’s children.
A Pediatrician’s Two Weeks Inside a Hospital in Gaza, No space, no supplies, and harrowing life-and-death decisions by Isaac Chotiner, Jan 30, 2024, The New Yorker
Dr. Seema Jilani is currently a senior technical adviser at the International Rescue Committee, where she leads their emergency health responses globally. In December, she went to Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza to aid the humanitarian effort there. More than twenty-six thousand Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, which began after Hamas’s terrorist attack on October 7th. Since that time, Gaza’s health-care system has been on the brink of collapse, and Israel has refused to allow sufficient food and medicine into the territory. I recently spoke by phone with Jilani, who has practiced medicine across the world, including in numerous conflict zones, about her experiences in Gaza. Our conversation, edited for length and clarity, is below.
Where have you worked before you ended up in Gaza?
I have been in and out of Gaza and the West Bank for the past nineteen years. I was previously in Gaza in 2005, prior to Israeli disengagement, and then again in 2015, right after the 2014 war. And also again several times in and out of the West Bank. I have worked in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan. And I have worked on refugee rescue boats off the coast of Libya.
When you’re working in Iraq, or Pakistan, or Afghanistan, who are you working with, and in what capacity are you working there?
A variety of N.G.O.s, some that are tiny and made up predominantly of volunteers. I was working with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Lebanon when I lived there. I usually am working in a pediatric capacity as a clinician. In Turkey, I was teaching refugee and migrant medical students how to advocate for their patients.
So when did your most recent stint in Gaza begin, and how did you get into the territory?
We departed from Cairo on Christmas Day. The International Rescue Committee, in partnership with Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), deployed an emergency medical team to provide emergency and lifesaving medical care. That was facilitated in part by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. We were a team of surgeons, a high-risk obstetrician, an emergency-care doctor, an anesthetist, and myself, as well as other I.R.C. folks.
So you arrive at the hospital after Christmas. What did you see, and how did you begin your work?
We worked alongside the Palestinian physicians and nurses there, and we really think it’s important to work alongside them and learn from them. We were in one of the last enduring emergency rooms in central Gaza. Within the two weeks that I was there, I saw it go from a semi-functional hospital to a barely or nonfunctional hospital as a result of increasing violence in surrounding areas and, eventually, evacuation notices started coming through.
Who’s making decisions at the hospital? Are you being told you should do “X,” and someone else should do “Y”? Or it’s just people rushing into rooms, and you are improvising?
So I worked predominantly in the emergency room. I also did work in the pediatric wards. We worked with our MAP colleagues that would help with translation, and then also helped navigate the group work that we would engage in the emergency room. In all honesty, because of the mass casualties, no system is built to withstand that, and so it was truly chaos. So if it’s coming across as chaos, it’s because it was. Because people would come in by any means they could, whether carried on makeshift stretchers, if you’re lucky, or by an ambulance that was overflowing with people, via donkeys. There were bombings happening close by, so you would see the effects of that. So we would work, like I said, alongside the doctors that were able to make it. Many doctors were not able to make it to work because they themselves had been forcibly displaced several times as well.
How many hours per day are you working during these two weeks?
Only during daylight hours, due to security. So 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.
Why only that?
We didn’t feel comfortable. We were staying at a guest house, and we did not feel comfortable with the safety and security measures after dark.
At the hospital, you’re saying?
Both at the hospital and in transit while driving to and from.
Did you feel in some ways that your presence was making a difference in the over-all way in which the hospital functioned? Or was there a sort of sense that you were always so far behind that it was futile?
You said that things became worse during the two weeks that you were there. Can you describe what changed between the time that you arrived and the time that you left?
Each day became more and more tense, with more and more people piling into surrounding areas looking for safe shelter. I remember I was counselling new mothers on breastfeeding, and I looked out of the ward, and there were plumes of smoke rising in the air and bombs narrowing in on the hospital, and it felt very surreal. One day, a bullet went through the I.C.U. The next day, the road to the hospital had been deemed unsafe for us to use. And then the Israeli military dropped leaflets, designating areas surrounding the hospital as a red zone. Given the history of recent attacks on medical staff and facilities in Gaza, our team was unable to return, and people began evacuating the area in panic.
What do you know about the status of the hospital right now?
I’ve been in touch with the physicians that I worked with. As I mentioned, many are displaced, but they still are turning up to the hospital to try and see patients. There was a period of time when I believe they ran out of fuel. I don’t know if that has been refreshed or not, but all I know is I can’t stop thinking of whether my patients got out, my babies in the neonatal I.C.U. incubators. Who would take care of them? The kids with facial burns: How are they going to be able to see enough, and be well enough to leave? So I don’t know, and I wish I did have more information on that.
Can you talk a little bit about what your life was like in the hours that you were not at the hospital?
The drive from the Rafah border to the guest house is sort of a sea of human tragedy. I have not seen anything as extreme as that, where all people’s worldly items had been packed into cars, or if they were lucky they had cars, or it was a donkey cart, or they were walking barefoot looking for garbage bags to make makeshift tents, looking for wood so that they could find shelter. And there was anything from pets, cats, babies nodding off, and people hanging on the outside of trucks. It was just this less than ten-kilometre drive, if I’m not mistaken, and it took approximately over two hours to get through because everyone was leaving. People had looks of total resignation and abject despair.
Did you have any experience with either Hamas fighters or Israeli forces, in these two weeks?
I could see the Israeli Navy because we would take a coastal road. So I did see them with my own eyes, but I did not otherwise, no.
I am curious if you could talk a little bit about some of the other places that you’ve provided medical care, and compare and contrast them with what you experienced in Gaza.
I was in Afghanistan in 2010, and then 2011, and I had previously been in Gaza, so I feel I can say this about Gaza: Compared to Afghanistan, it was very high capacity, highly educated, with a strong, functioning health-care system that has now been dismantled, whereas in Afghanistan that didn’t exist. It had borne the brunt of war for generations upon generations. If there were no supplies, or if there were no vaccinations, that would not be something new necessarily in many parts of Afghanistan, especially rural Afghanistan, where health care is quite a luxury, as opposed to Gaza. The other notable difference between the two is that I did feel in Afghanistan that hospitals were a safe space in general. I do not feel that with this conflict in particular. I felt in danger at the hospital here.
And what about in comparison to some of the other places you have been?
I think the fear among health-care workers was striking. The nature of the burns in the pediatric patients I saw and the severity of the burns I had not witnessed before. Unfortunately, I had seen some burns, but not to that degree, in the U.S. with child-abuse cases. But in Gaza we had charred and blackened burns. And the severity of the traumatic amputations and the frequency with which we saw them.
But the fear among health-care workers themselves of being targeted, of being detained, and the strain upon them as they are trying to do their jobs and take care of their families was never present in other places I have worked in.
I would imagine that, emotionally, there’s a pull to focus all one’s resources on children at a hospital, but I also know that doctors need to do their best to save everyone. I’m just curious how that comes into effect in a situation like what you were a part of.
So the calculus for triage sort of changes, right? I was in Houston during Katrina, and we also saw evacuees. I’ve never equated the two, but I’m just saying that the triage mechanism itself changes to who was most likely to make it, changes to walking wounded, and how we would manage patients. I think that the tendency certainly is to focus on children, but in this context we basically are triaging in an organized chaos in trying to calculate who has the best chance of making it. Because considering supplies are so limited, we want to make sure that our intervention will be what we would call high yield.
What do you mean by high yield?
Maybe concrete examples would work. There’s no portable oxygen, so we need to make sure that whatever oxygen we are giving will be given to people who are most likely to stay alive, and the rest would be palliative comfort care, which is not what you would typically see, perhaps, in American health care. You try and save every single one. But here, if you don’t have the resources, the medicines, the staffing, then you have to triage in a way that prioritizes people who are most likely to live and make a good, solid recovery.
How much did the lack of medicine or the lack of food come up in your daily interactions or your daily life in both cases?
Yeah, the lack of medicines, especially toward the end of my time there, revealed how profoundly ravaged the medical stock and supply system was, and the supply chain. As I mentioned, at the end of our stay, we had no morphine.
Can you talk more about your interactions with Gaza health-care workers?
I think because there were developed relationships thanks to MAP, we were able to work alongside them and had an engendered trust between us. We were leaning on one another, taking and giving orders. We were all on a first-name basis by the end, and leaning on one another’s expertise. They didn’t have tourniquets, and so they were using Foley catheters instead. That was an innovation I learned from. I was the only American physician there, and the remaining ones were British, but we were very much welcome. In Afghanistan, I had the additional layers of being a woman, American, and being of Pakistani origin, and it was much more difficult for me to integrate myself into the health-care system there.
Was this in part because of the historical relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan?
Absolutely. And also as a woman. In fact, I felt that they were really smart to leverage women in Palestine—in Gaza—when it came to providing privacy and dignity to pregnant women and new moms.
You have given a couple interviews since you have got back. What strategies do you use to talk about what’s happening, while also dealing with emotional stress?
Could you just hold while I compose myself? I tell these stories to elevate the voices of Palestinians that are not getting out. Foreign journalists are not allowed in. Certainly it does affect me. I have seen horrific things throughout my career, and doctors are not great at taking care of themselves. Nor are we encouraged to by our licensing boards. There is a stigma and an entire black market for physicians seeking mental-health care. But I do take that seriously.
One of the ways I am able to compartmentalize or find my way through this complete mess is that I have a daughter of my own, and when I came home I kissed every one of her knuckles and limbs, and listened to her breathe for thirty minutes every night. When I worked in palliative care with kids with cancer I would smell her hair. It is a form of gratitude. She was injured in the Beirut blast as well, so there is a history of trauma and a lot of gratitude around that. But I don’t have an answer. I am still making my way through on how to manage all of this.
What I will say is that I felt much more rewarded and productive in Gaza than I do navigating an American political landscape that may not want to listen to the stories. That is more disheartening and distressing in some ways.
This has been one of the most covered international conflicts, but what is actually different about it than what we’re seeing on the news? How did your perspective change?
Refer also to:
Davide Mastracci @DavideMastracci:
How it feels to work at a Canadian news outlet that doesn’t publish stuff supporting Israel’s genocide in Gaza
I wonder what it’s like to be part of a chain of people working together to get genocide denial and incitement published throughout the country. Is this what you went to journalism school for? Are you proud you copy edited a columnist’s latest bloodthirsty screed?
2024: The Yeti of Kananaskis @LordOfTheYeti1:
From the river to the sea forever
1979: International terrorism, challenge and response: proceedings of the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism by Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism (1979) Edited by Benjamin Netanyahu
“Terrorism – the deliberate and systematic killing of civilians so as to inspire fear – was shown persuasively to be, beyond all nuance and quibble, a moral evil, infecting not only who commit such crimes, but those who, out of malice, ignorance or simple refusal to think, countenance them.”
Source of above quote: Professor Benzion Netanyahu (Bibi’s dad!), from his opening remarks at the 1979 conference proceedings, Edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Hey AER! You bullies judged me a terrorist in your official 2012 court filing by Calgary’s lying lawyer Glenn Solomon, without any evidence, trying to scare me silent about Encana’s and your crimes. You couldn’t even get the definition of terrorism right. I’ve never killed anyone. AER, you owe me an apology, in writing, and you need to quash your false judgement, and write the courts, including the supreme court of Canada, admitting you and your lawyer lied about me.
Hey you zionists! You lawbreakers!
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness. AKA you shall not lie. Got that Abella?
- You shall not covet.