Sheba Medical Center is a model for coexistence and peace in Israel.
In the whole of Israel, only 20% of citizens are Arab-Israeli. The Medical Center is an island of coexistence and cooperation.
Sheba treats all patients without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, etc., and medical professionals from across Israel’s beautiful tapestry work alongside one another, focused only on patient outcomes.
Whether patients are from Israel, Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority, Sheba provides medical service to all. Sheba also supports Palestinian hospitals with advice, counsel and assistance.
Abdullah Al-Manar was born in Gaza two months premature and with a heart defect.
Incorrectly diagnosed, he was given a surgery that made his situation worse, and his prognosis was very poor. He was granted permission to travel out of Gaza with his mother to Sheba, for life-saving heart surgery.
Sheba is a world leader in pediatric cardiology.
Adullah and his mother happened to leave Gaza the day before the most recent round of conflict between Israel and Gaza erupted.
Like the other babies at Sheba in intensive care, he was moved down to a protected underground parking garage converted to an ICU, as a rocket landed 500 meters from Sheba Medical Center. Abdullah was being giving loving expert care and protected from barrages of rockets that were being fired into Israel from Gaza, where his family makes its home and he will grow up.
Today Abdullah is back in Gaza and doing well.
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If you have been to Israel, or spent any time learning about it, you know the picture presented by the media is highly distorted.
Among the ways that the media presentation of Israel is unrecognizable to those who truly know the country is on the relationship between Jewish and Arab Israelis.
Allow time for an uplifting and encouraging vision into the real Israel, and the role Sheba plays in fostering coexistence.
Amid the recent backdrop of conflict between Jews and Arabs in Israel, Sheba Medical Center just east of Tel Aviv is an oasis of coexistence.
“I think that the minute that people come into the borders of the hospital all these boundaries come off,” said Lua Kormata, a resident physician at the hospital’s emergency department.
She told i24NEWS that on the job, medical workers and patients alike look beyond the religious and political differences with the focus purely on the industry, on treatment, on patients, on solutions.
“When an Arab physician, a Muslim physician comes in to check the patient, the boundary that they have is outside of the hospital. They look at you only as a physician, as the main caregiver,” Kormata said.
With Israel’s political situation, there is often a lack of awareness of the possibility of cooperation and the success that can come from that partnership.
Staffers at Sheba recognize that coexistence is about individual compromises and friendships.
While the news and press paint Israel as the ugliest of pictures, Sheba provides a window into truth and reality.