Friday, January 14, 2011

Mailbag: Let The Child Be Treated!

This just in from Gershom Gorenberg:

I am trying to help a three and a half year old Palestinian girl from the West Bank who suffers from CP get essential care at an excellent hospital in Jerusalem. The girl's name is Dalal Rusrus. According to Dr. Eliezer Be'eri of Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem, if Dalal is treated, there is even a chance that she might eventually be able to walk. If she is not treated, she will not even be able to use a wheelchair.

The Civil Administration is refusing to give her parents permission to enter Jerusalem, which makes it impossible for her to receive care. You can help by contacting the relevant spokespeople and asking why they aren't getting permits. If the authorities know the world is interested, there is a reasonable chance that they could grant the permits to avoid the embarrassment. Please note: The girl needs to get a permit by Monday. So send an email today, and take ten minutes when you get up Sunday to make a phone call or three.

The Israeli hospital wants to help her. Israelis and foreign donors have contributed for her care. Instead of letting this humanitarian cooperation take place, the military bureaucracy is standing in the way.

After Dr. Be'eri examined Dalal in the West Bank in October, Alyn hospital invited her to come for a full examination. Two appointments were canceled because her parents could not get permits. Finally, her mother was given a permit and Dalal was given a multi-disciplinary examination on Dec. 20.

Now Dalal is supposed to go to Alyn on Monday, Jan 17 for a preliminary treatment, and then be hospitalized on Jan 23 for two weeks. In order for the treatment to happen, permits are needed for her parents, especially for her father. The mother is caring for a 9-month-old infant and it would be extremely difficult for her to be the one to accompany Dalal. The family has no immediate relatives in the area who would be able to help out.

So what you do is write or call both of the spokespeople below and the Civil Administration health official, say that you are writing a story, and you want to know if the Osama, Sunya and Dalal Rusrus have received permits to enter Jerusalem and if not, why not. The name of the spokespeople link to their email addresses. You should include the ID numbers of Osama, Sunya and Dalal, which you will find below.

IDF Spokesman's Office (Foreign Press Branch):
Lt.-Col. Avital Leibovitz: 972 2-5485807/2, Fax: 972 2-5485825, Mobile: 972 57-8186248

Civil Administration, Judea and Samaria:
Capt. Amir Koren: 972 2-9977372, Fax: 972 2-9977341, Mobile: 972 50-6234081

Civil administration health coordinator:
Dalia Basa: 972-2-9977084, or 972-2-9977022, Fax: 972-2-9977041

Here are the ID numbers:
Osama Rusrus 909512386
Sunya Rusrus 903627057
Dalal Rusrus 420037004

You can find more information on her story at these links:

For all further info to build the story, you can contact the B'Tselem human-rights organization's fantastic health staffer, Suhair Abdi

Warmly, Gershom


Potter said...

We sent some money for her treatment but I guess it's not just money that is needed. I am glad that Gershom Gorenberg is blowing up a storm about this as I also suspect it's but one story of many, representing how inured those in authority on one side who have access to care have become to the suffering of others.


Anonymous said...

The story lays the blame on military "bureaucracy", making the cause of this inhumane behavior somehow the product of an obscure mindless system, one staffed with "bureaucrats". Sort-of "orwellian" - ignorant but not entirely ignoble. Alas, as we learn daily from reading material such as we see in the latest "breaking the Silence" book, and numerous testimonies collected by activists, human rights workers and palestinians (and may be a few, very few israelis), there is method behind the madness. The purpose is to break the Palestinians will and "wean" them away from their very humanity.

Little by little the noose will tighten until one day, the entire israeli public, now mostly asleep at the wheels of it's long defunct morality, will be ready to condone - then turn away - from the "final" solution advocated by some of its great rabbis, the ones keen on ascribing the title of "Amalek" to anyone they don't like. And I have heard the same from ordinary, not very religious citizens of the great hebrew state, when they think no one will care to challenge them.

What's behind the refusal to provide permits is the same mind-frame that slaughtered 31,000 chickens for no reason other than to sow terror, and shoots palestinian shepherds and assassinates 65 year olds, then saying "oops", wrong guy. It's those troopers that blinded the activist Amy and bulldozed rachel Corey. All followed by "oops".

The time for "shooting and crying" is long past. It is now the time for "shooting and laughing", for the cultured Hebrew citizens of this little garrison pretending to be a state.

I don't dare call that listed spokesman (or is it just the daily beast) number in fear that I may call him for what he is. Evil is indeed banal, but I have every confidence that with the help of enough noise, the Orwellian ubermenschs will find it convenient to relent. Just this once. So maybe it is worth calling, after all - if I could just be sure I won't call them what they actually are (which surely will not help).

Stan Racansky said...

Anonymous, make your statements more credible by indefying yourself. As a Jew it is my right and duty to criticize bad behavior of Israel but I do not hide behind anonymous monocle. I believe that this is an action of overzealous bureaucrat not a government. One thing you can say about Jews and Israel, they are first to give the helping hand, Look at Haiti, They are even in Sudan helping, they would be lynched, if Sudanese found out they are Jews. While most of the other governments and NGO's just do "excellent but empty PR" .

Bella said...

I sincerely hope this little girl gets the treatment she needs. However, for every story like this one there is another about Palestinian children being cared for in Israeli hospitals. How is it that they and their parents are allowed in? Is the "Civil Administration" simply arbitrary? Researching this story, one finds many blog posts -- "Saving Dalal", "Sustaining Dalal" -- over several Google pages with many on sites that are primarily interested in vilifying Israel. So, forgive me if I am a little cynical about the onrush of so-called support for this little girl. Surely, with so many 'notables' on her side, those brutish bureaucrats should be able to see their way to letting her family in. Apparently 180,000 Palestinians were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2010, but readers such as Anonymous will probably refuse to believe it.

Bernard Avishai said...

The links are now up. Fax may be best.

Stan Racansky said...

I have re-read many blogs covering little girl, including original by Gershom Gorenberg. I know I will sound like cold blooded monster but whole case is based on cost of the treatment, where Palestinian side is basically washing their hands and throwing it on Israel. I can understand now why "government technocrats" are balking. Israel can hold the bag for millions needed for long term treatment.

1. The cost of treatment will be continuous and will take many years, if not her whole life. The blogs cavalierly took away responsibility for cost of the treatment from the hands of Palestinian Authority and Gaza government.

2. The case is totally politicized,them against us, if anything goes wrong or there is not improvement, she will become "martyr" of Zionist tyranny.

No questions, she has to helped, but it should be inside of Palestinian health system and Israeli specialists should travel there to help.

Mr. Bernard Avashai advocates Palestinian independent state solution, one of the main requisition is an ability to help their citizens. The world in general, Israeli doctors and population in particular, are eager to help. Now it's up to Palestinian Authority to take action, instead of washing their hands, and throwing the problem on Israel.

Anonymous said...

Bella- this is not "so-called" support for the little girl. It's support. One person with the ability to do so, making a difference in one little girl's life... or trying to.

Though I don't question your statistics, I have not checked, we should also look at those who don't get the help they need and deserve. This case is probably representative too. Goodness knows cases where israel has helped a Palestinian get proper care have been publicized.

To Stan- Israel is an occupier and as such has moral obligations towards those it occupies. Talk about throwing off responsibility, the case would not be be politicized if it was not already about the situation.

I still don't know WHY, if the money has been raised, this little girl and her family cannot get through to care. Some security threat?

Potter said...

Sorry the above, Jan 15 @ 8:52 was me Potter.

Potter said...

For the fuller story:

Crossing Borders

Stan Racansky said...

Hi Potter, very good concept but very dangerous to explore. If we accept certain historical geographic rights let say Syria, Lebanon or even Iraq to the land they reside, then we have to accept historical geographical rights for Jews in West Bank and Gaza, and even part of Lebanon and Jordan. Then the Arab residents of those territories are occupiers. I have of course excluded the Palestinians of Jewish origin who were forcibly converted over the centuries. They are victims of Arab occupiers. Your concept of "occupation" basically supports violent religious fundamentalists on both sides, not a solution.

Interestingly, you did not even mention of Palestinian Authority or Gaza government responsibility. This is a human tragedy, not a political plot. If those two equities do not have any function, they should be overthrown, even violently. Can you imagine if the 8K of UN support per person, per year, went directly to people like Dalal, instead of bank accounts of corrupt politicians and so call NGO's. (Just to compare, the Israel's GDP is only 20K per person)

Zak Safra said...

I called the Foreign Press Office of the IDF and was told to call this number: 0506234053 - Guy Inbar(?) who is responsible for representing these issues to the press.

He told me that at this time the dad can't come in for "security reasons" which he cannot challenge, but that the family have been told that someone else can accompany the child.

I don't know if this is possible.


Stan Racansky said...

Excellent solution - win-win for both sides

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