Israel and the Arab World - Hope through Medicine / Ray Cook

The Elder of Ziyon website is constantly providing some fantastic stories from the Arab world.

Most of them are about negative relations, but in the last few days a story that gives us a small window, a little chink, into a world that could be, has been reported.

It’s all about an Arabian princess. But it appears it’s no fairy tale:

From JPost:

A member of the royal family of a Persian Gulf state is undergoing advanced medical treatment in Israel, sources close to Deputy Minister for Negev and Galilee Development Ayoub Kara (Likud) revealed Sunday.

Kara’s office confirmed that the foreign visitor had completed a series of tests Sunday, in preparation for heart surgery on Tuesday, but would not detail the medical tourist’s country of origin, or the name of the hospital in which he is being treated.

Kara’s office became involved in the visit when Kara aided the patient in securing the necessary paperwork in order to allow him to enter Israel. Israel does not have official diplomatic relations with any of the Persian Gulf states.

Then an update from Arutz Sheva:

The woman’s husband, a prince of the unnamed Gulf kingdom himself, is considered a key figure in his country. He told MK Kara that if – and hopefully, when – his wife recovers, he plans to lobby for construction of a large medical center that will take in patients from around the Arab world – with Israeli doctors helping to set up the project. In a statement, MK Kara’s sees medicine as an important bridge to bring Israel and the Arab world closer, “especially given the fact that in recent years more and more Arabs have been exposed to Israeli medicine, and are well aware of the high quality of Israeli medicine.”

Wouldn’t that be incredible if a leading member of a Gulf state were to begin an initiative that would link the Arab world to Israel via humanitarian co-operation.

Whoever the man is, he is certainly someone who, perhaps, recalls a time when Jewish doctors were held in high esteem in the Muslim world. He is also someone who appears to be brave enough to support a medical project with Jewish doctors.

I like the bit about the Arabs having been exposed to Israeli medicine in recent years. This is something rarely, if ever, reported in the Western media. Such stories do not conform either to the narrative of complete animosity between Israeli and Arab, Jew and Muslim, nor do they conform to the image of Israel as a murderous pariah state.

How often do we hear how Israel has allegedly blocked medical assistance to Palestinians whilst the real stories about the thousands who cross from Gaza and the West Bank every year to seek out (often freely given) medical assistance are a footnote, if they are reported at all.

As this story has more than one source, let’s hope it is true.

Medicine is an area where Israel leads the world and can truly fulfil the best traditions and moral precepts of Judaism and Jewish culture.

Medicine as an instrument of peace is certainly something to be supported and lauded and whoever this Arab prince or sheik is, he must be applauded.

And by the way, if you are wondering, MK Ayoub Kara is a Likud member of the Knesset and is a Druze.

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