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by SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Mar 16, 2016

Wounded Syrians treated in Israel ‘overwhelmed with gratitude’


NEW YORK - “At first, they were afraid to be treated by Israelis, whom they were taught their whole lives are their worst enemies,” the deputy surgeon general of the IDF Medical Corps told The Algemeiner. “But once they began to accept our medical help, they became overwhelmed with gratitude and their entire attitude towards us changed.”

Colonel Dr Tarif Bader was referring to the many wounded Syrians who have crossed the border into Israel from their war-torn country to receive top-tier care, both at the IDF field hospital set up along the border and at official medical centres in the north of the country.

Since 2013, Bader said, the IDF had been administering the same advanced care to Syrians injured in the fighting between President Assad’s forces (backed by Russia and Iran) and rebel groups as it did to Israeli civilians and soldiers.

This, emphasised Bader, is “without selection or prying into their ethnic background or side in the conflict” that has led to the death of an estimated 200 000 combatants and civilians over the past five years.

“But this is in keeping with what we teach our teams in the military medical academy: that their job is to treat all injured people, regardless of who they are, and the only thing they have to do in primary triage is to treat those with the most serious injuries first, including if they are terrorists,” he said.

Where the Syrians are concerned, however, “of course, we behave with caution. We don’t enter Syria or risk minefields in order to treat them; they come to us,” he said.

Asked whether this kind of indiscriminate care means that Israel could be treating wounded IS or other terrorists, Bader, a Druze who has served for more than two decades in the Israeli military, said that it was certainly possible. “But IS tends not to be fighting in the areas closest to Israel. Most of the people we treat are not from Damascus or Aleppo, the cities where the bulk of the combat is taking place, but rather from villages near the border.” - The Algemeiner


Former Archbishop calls on government to halt anti-Semitism


LONDON - Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has called on the British government to combat the rise of anti-Semitism at British universities.

Lord Williams, who is now master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, revealed that he had been moved to write to Jo Johnson, the universities ministers, because of what he called the “muted” official response to Jew-hatred on campuses.

According to the Sunday Times, Williams has been in contact with a Jewish student at York University, who has been the victim of anti-Semitism.

The former archbishop told Zachary Confino, an undergraduate studying law, that he had been “very shocked” by a series of anti-Semitic incidents.

In a letter to Confino, he wrote: “It is truly appalling stuff but sadly seems not to be that unusual at the moment.

“It’s ironic that just as we are waking up to all sorts of ways in which ‘hate speech’ works, we should lose sight of one of the most ancient and poisonous forms of it, in the shape of anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

He added: “Anyone concerned (as I am) about Islamophobia here and elsewhere, needs to be scrupulously alert to the risk of scapegoating and demonising other religious communities, especially Jews; and anyone with even the least bit of historical sense ought to hear the echoes of past bigotry and violence towards Jewish people in Europe.” - Jewish Chronicle, London


Punishment for husbands who deny divorcing wives a ‘get’


LONDON - Husbands who deny their divorcing wives a “get”, could be stripped of their burial rights under measures approved by the United Synagogue (US) this week.

Stephen Pack, president of the United Synagogues, confirmed that its trustees had “accepted the London Beth Din’s recommendation to remove the relevant husband’s membership rights, including burial, until such time as he gives a get to his wife.”

For a number of years, the US has enabled congregations to deprive recalcitrant husbands of synagogue honours such as calling them to the Torah.

In recent months, the Beth Din has stepped up action by publishing name and shame notices against men who have refused their wife a get. In two instances, it called on synagogues under its jurisdiction to refuse entry to the men involved.

Without a get, a woman is considered an agunah, trapped in a marriage and unable to remarry according to Jewish law. If she has children from a subsequent relationship without a get, they will bear the stigma of mamzerut, (illegitimacy). - Jewish Chronicle, London


Abraham Foxman attacks Donald Trump over his ‘fascist’ salute


ORLANDO Florida - Abe Foxman, the former director of the Anti-Defamation League, has said that Donald Trump is encouraging his supporters to show their loyalty with Nazi-style salutes.

At a Republican rally in Orlando, Florida, last weekend, Trump said to his audience: “Let’s do a pledge. Who likes me in this room?

“Raise your right hand: ‘I do solemnly swear that I - no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever - will vote, on or before the 12th for Donald J Trump for president.'”

Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said: “It is a fascist gesture.

“As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, to see an audience of thousands of people raising their hands in what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute, is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America,” he told the Times of Israel.

What was worse than the gesture, said Foxman, was the fact that he believed the controversial politician was aware of the resonance. - Times of Israel


Call to strip former Nazi (92) of Canadian citizenship


TORONTO - Jewish groups are calling on Canada to strip Canadian citizenship from a 92-year-old man who was once a member of a Nazi death squad.

In a letter to Citizenship Minister John McCallum, the groups say it’s time to conclude to what has been a 20-year battle to deport Helmut Oberlander.

“As has been clearly established, Mr Oberlander was a member of one of the most savage Nazi killing units, responsible for the murder of more than 90 000 Jewish men, women, and children during the Holocaust,” states the March 9 letter.

“He is here illegally, was associated with a horrific and murderous enterprise for which he has neither demonstrated nor expressed any remorse, and he ought to have his Canadian citizenship revoked immediately,” it adds. - Jerusalem Post


IS gives women contraception to maintain supply of sex slaves


WASHINGTON - The Islamic State is using several forms of contraception to maintain its supply of sex slaves, the New York Times reported, citing interviews with more than three dozen Yazidi women who escaped from the militant group.

The newspaper reported that Islamic State used "oral and injectable contraception, and sometimes both" to ensure that the women did not become pregnant and could be passed among the fighters.

"In at least one case, a woman was forced to have an abortion in order to make her available for sex, and others were pressured to do so," the paper said.

Islamic State militants consider the Yazidis to be devil-worshippers. The Yazidi faith has elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam. Most of the Yazidi population, numbering around half a million, remains displaced in camps inside the autonomous entity in Iraq's north known as Kurdistan. - Jerusalem Post


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