Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~pediatrician by day, air force pilot by night – the contradiction of Israeli life by mle900
April 14, 2008, 11:18 pm
Filed under: arts/culture, opinion | Tags:

A Time to Kill, And a Time to Heal

As an air force pilot, Yuval must accept missions to attack targeted terrorists in Gaza. Sometimes, unfortunately, innocent civilians are killed or injured in these attacks. Yuval also works as a pediatrician in a hospital saving the lives of many children, including Palestinians. Sometimes, Yuval ends up treating the very patients he may have injured in the first place.
When reading this article, I was reminded of a story in Daniel Gordis’ book, Home to Stay. A man muses about what it is like to do thirty days of reserve service, body-frisking Arabs for arms and explosives at checkpoints and then return to his job as a construction engineer, having coffee and drawing maps with the very same people he body-searched the day before.
This is the contradiction of living in Israel. The Middle East is not like any other war zone where citizens avoid the enemy’s territory and boycott the enemy’s economy. Arabs from hostile areas enter Israel to find work and rely on Israel for medical care because that is the only way they can survive.
However, maybe it is not such a contradiction after all. The Israeli army runs missions into Gaza (to assassinate terrorists) and checkpoints to protect its citizens. Once an individual is no longer a danger to Israelis, he is offered medical treatment and the potential for a job in Israel. Maybe this seeming contradiction is actually a unique attempt by Israel at remaining unequivocally moral in the midst of a war.


1 Comment so far
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As soon as I read this post I was reminded of an article I recently read from the Washington Post in August 2006.
The article was really well-written, and describes the frustration and the calculation involved in targeted killing that Israel uses to combat terrorists that have proven impossible to arrest:

Comment by Abby Klionsky

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