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Arab-Israeli plays critical role in Israel’s medical system

Dr. Marian Khatib

By MYRON LOVE Dr. Marian Khatib is a testament to the inclusive nature of Israeli society – and outs the lie to accusations of no-nothing Israel-haters.
As reported in the October 31 edition of The Jerusalem Post, the 40-year-old mother of two, raised in a small Arab village outside Acre, has just been appointed the director of the Breast Surgery Center at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

Jerusalem Post writer Maayan Joffe-Hoffman reports that Khatib is Israel’s first Arab breast surgeon – and the only oncoplastic breast surgeon in Israel’s public health system who performs both the resection and the reconstruction for breast cancer patients.
“I am proud that the public medical system in general and this hospital, in particular, do not have a glass ceiling,” Joffe-Hoffman quotes the doctor as saying. “I ask every girl, no matter where she grew up and what her background is, to see me and to believe that anything is possible and that the sky’s the limit.”
According to Joffe-Hoffman, Khatib was born in the United States to Arab-Israeli parents, who returned to Israel when she was just a baby. At a young age, her parents had her assessed, she was diagnosed as gifted and they decided to invest in her education. They moved to Acre and sent her to school in Haifa, where she could receive enrichment classes.

After she graduated, she began studying medicine at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
“I was fascinated by general surgery and decided that a surgeon is what I wanted to be,” she said. “When I started in surgery, there were a few women who worked as surgeons and even fewer who specialized in a disease that is so feminine and intimate. Over the years I realized that I wanted to be there – a woman for the women,” she continued.
Joffe-Hoffman quotes Khatib as saying that “being Arab has never been a barrier to building these connections”. In fact, before her appointment became public, she said that she “rarely considered her religion as part of her profession. Before then, she said she is not even sure that her patients knew her personal history”.
“Happily, I was educated so that if you work hard – you will go far,” said Khatib, who lives with her family in northern Tel Aviv. She noted that her eight-year-old son is studying at the Tabeetha School Jaffa, where he studies in English and learns Arabic and Hebrew, too. Her daughter attends a Jewish preschool.
She added that she chose to send her children to Tel Aviv area schools because she wants them “to be part of our general community, not marginalized into a certain stream. I want them to live without having to define themselves.”

About 10 months ago, reports Joffe-Hoffman, Khatib started working part time at Holy Family Hospital in Nazareth, reconnecting with an Arab community. It was then that she realized how much pride they felt in her accomplishments.
“I got very positive feedback” from the Arab community “after the appointment,” Khatib said.

And Khatib is not an outlier in her chosen field of work. As reported in the October 3rd edition of Haaretz by writer Ronny Linder, “according to the Health Ministry’s chief economist’s office, 67 percent of license recipients in all the health care professions in 2017-2018 were from the Arab population. In addition, 63 percent of all the medical students, 84 percent of the nursing students and 82 percent of the pharmacology students were Arabs”.
And the numbers are growing. The 2020 data show that the Arabs and Druze in Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the country’s population, constitute almost half (46 percent) of recipients of medical licenses; half of the new nurses, male and female (50 percent, as compared with just 9 percent in 2000); and more than half the dentists (53 percent) and pharmacists (57 percent).

In addition to the fact that Arabs comprise a vastly larger proportion of the medical field than their share in the population, Linder reports, “this meteoric surge within just two decades has transformed the face of medicine in Israel. Besides the leap of more than fivefold in the number of Arab nurses since the start of the century, there has been a fourfold increase in the number of Arab physicians, the number of Arab dentists has more than doubled and the overall proportion of Arab pharmacists has almost tripled, from 21 percent in 2000 to 57 percent in 2020.”
So why do so many Arab-Israelis gravitate to the healthcare field? A separate article, quotes one doctor’s explanation. Marian Tehawkho is director of the Center for Economic Policy of the Israeli Arab Society, which is part of the Aaron Institute at Reichman University (formerly the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya).

She notes that in high-tech, for example, it’s not enough to have an engineering degree, you need connections such as having served in the army’s Intelligence Unit 8200. While most Jewish Israelis (excluding the Haredi community) are obligated to serve in the IDF, Arab Israelis are not – although they can voluntarily enlist as many Druze and Bedouin and a growing number of Christian Arabs do.
She adds that “in many instances, Arab candidates have no chance of succeeding in an interview because of their low self-confidence, inferior articulation skills or imperfect Hebrew. These are matters that go beyond a formal degree. But in medicine, the degree and the certificate are sufficient. And there is a chronic shortage of personnel in these professions”.
And, in the view of Dr. Guy Shalev, “the outstanding Israeli-Arab students are set on a track into the health care industry because they say that there, they will be appreciated as they are, and they will be able to advance if they do good work.”
He adds that that attitude is characteristic among minorities. “Jews, too,” he points out, “flocked to medical schools in the United States and Europe”.
Add to that the high status of medicine in Arab society, where every parent’s dream is for their child to become a physician.

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Hamas murdered their friend. Now, they help Israeli soldiers to keep his memory alive

David Newman (right): David died helping to save the lives of others who were at the music festival on October 7 when Hamas massacred hundreds of attendees

By VIRGINIA ALLEN (The Daily Signal) David Newman sent a text to a friend the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7. Something terrible had happened. Word quickly spread among Newman’s group of friends, who had known each other since high school.
Newman, 25, had traveled the night before to the music festival in southern Israel, close to the border with the Gaza Strip. It was supposed to be a fun weekend with his girlfriend “celebrating life,” something Newman, who served with the Israel Defense Forces, was good at and loved to do, friend Gidon Hazony recalls.
When Hazony learned that Newman, his longtime friend, was in danger, he and another friend decided they were “going to go down and try and save him.” Trained as a medic and armed with a handgun and bulletproof vest, Hazony started driving south from Jerusalem.
Hazony and his friend ended up joining with other medical personnel and “treated probably around 50 soldiers and civilians in total that day,” Hazony recalls, but they kept trying to make it south to rescue Newman.

But the two “never made it down to the party, and that’s probably for the best,” Hazony says, “because that area was completely taken over by terrorists. And if we had gone down there, I think we would’ve been killed.”
Hazony later learned that Hamas terrorists had murdered Newman on Oct. 7, but not before Newman had saved nearly 300 lives, including the life of his girlfriend.
When the terrorists began their attack on the music festival, many attendees began running to their cars. But Newman and his girlfriend encountered a police officer who warned them to run the opposite direction because the terrorists were near the vehicles, says David Gani, another friend of Newman’s.
Newman “ran in the opposite direction with his girlfriend and whoever else he could kind of corral with him,” Gani explains during an interview on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
“They saw two industrial garbage cans, big containers, and so David told everyone, ‘Hide, hide in those containers,’” Gani says. “And so what he did over the course of the next few hours is, he would take people and … he was this big guy, and he would just chuck them in that container. And then he would go in, wait, wait till the coast is clear, and then he’d go back out, find more people, put them in there.”
Newman’s actions that day, and the atrocities Hazony and so many others in Israel witnessed Oct. 7, led Hazony, Gani, and several friends to quit their jobs and set up a nonprofit called Soldiers Save Lives. The organization is working to collect tactical and humanitarian aid for the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF.
According to the group’s website, Soldiers Save Lives has supplied over 20 IDF units and civilian response teams “with protective and self-defense gear.”
Gani, board chairman, chief financial officer, and chief technology officer of Soldiers Save Lives, and Hazony, president of the organization, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to raise support and awareness for their mission to provide IDF troops with needed supplies.
If you would like to find out more about Soldiers Save Lives or donate to them, go to
Reprinted with permission.

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Our New Jewish Reality

Indigo bookstore in Toronto defaced

By HENRY SREBRNIK Since Oct. 7, we Jews have been witnessing an ongoing political and psychological pogrom. True, there have been no deaths (so far), but we’ve seen the very real threat of mobs advocating violence and extensive property damage of Jewish-owned businesses, and all this with little forceful reaction from the authorities.
The very day after the carnage, Canadians awoke to the news that the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust had inspired sustained celebrations in its major cities. And they have continued ever since. I’d go so far as to say the Trudeau government has, objectively, been more interested in preventing harm to Gazans than caring about the atrocities against Israelis and their state.
For diaspora Jews, the attacks of Oct. 7 were not distant overseas events and in this country since then they have inspired anti-Semitism, pure and simple, which any Jew can recognize. Even though it happened in Israel, it brought back the centuries-old memories of defenseless Jews being slaughtered in a vicious pogrom by wild anti-Semites.
I think this has shocked, deeply, most Jews, even those completely “secular” and not all that interested in Judaism, Israel or “Zionism.” Jewish parents, especially, now fear for their children in schools and universities. The statements universities are making to Jewish students across the country could not be clearer: We will not protect you, they all but scream. You’re on your own.
But all this has happened before, as we know from Jewish history. Long before Alfred Dreyfus and Theodor Herzl, the 1881 pogroms in tsarist Russia led to an awakening of proto-Zionist activity there, with an emphasis on the land of Israel. There were soon new Jewish settlements in Palestine.
The average Jew in Canada now knows that his or her friend at a university, his co-worker in an office, and the people he or she socializes with, may in fact approve, or at least not disapprove, of what happened that day in Israel. Acquaintances or even close friends may care far more about Israel killing Palestinians in Gaza. Such people may even believe what we may call “Hamas pogrom denial,” already being spread. Many people have now gone so far in accepting the demonization of Israel and Jews that they see no penalty attached to public expressions of Jew-hatred. Indeed, many academics scream their hatred of Israel and Jews as loud as possible.
One example: On Nov. 10, Toronto officers responded to a call at an Indigo bookstore located in the downtown. It had been defaced with red paint splashed on its windows and the sidewalk, and posters plastered to its windows.
The eleven suspects later arrested claimed that Indigo founder Heather Reisman (who is Jewish) was “funding genocide” because of her financial support of the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers, which provides scholarships to foreign nationals who study in Israel after serving in the Israeli armed forces. By this logic, then, most Jewish properties and organizations could be targeted, since the vast majority of Jews are solidly on Israel’s side.
Were these vandals right-wing thugs or people recently arrived from the Middle East? No, those charged were mostly white middle-class professionals. Among them are figures from academia, the legal community, and the public education sector. Four are academics connected to York University (one of them a former chair of the Sociology Department) and a fifth at the University of Toronto; two are elementary school teachers; another a paralegal at a law firm.
Were their students and colleagues dismayed by this behaviour? On the contrary. Some faculty members, staff and students at the university staged a rally in their support. These revelations have triggered discussions about the role and responsibilities of educators, given their influential positions in society.
You’ve heard the term “quiet quitting.” I think many Jews will withdraw from various clubs and organizations and we will begin to see, in a sense like in the 1930s, a reversal of assimilation, at least in the social sphere. (Of course none of this applies to Orthodox Jews, who already live this way.)
Women in various feminist organizations may form their own groups or join already existing Jewish women’s groups. There may be an increase in attendance in K-12 Jewish schools. In universities, “progressive” Jewish students will have to opt out of organizations whose members, including people they considered friends, have been marching to the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and similar eliminationist rhetoric, while waving Palestinian flags.
This will mostly affect Jews on the left, who may be supporters of organizations which have become carriers of anti-Semitism, though ostensibly dealing with “human rights,” “social justice,” and even “climate change.”
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm on Oct. 22 in which she chanted “crush Zionism” along with hundreds of other anti-Israel protesters. Israel is now unthinkingly condemned as a genocidal apartheid settler-colonialist state, indeed, the single most malevolent country in the world and the root of all evil.
New York Times Columnist Bret Stephens expressed it well in his Nov. 7 article. “Knowing who our friends aren’t isn’t pleasant, particularly after so many Jews have sought to be personal friends and political allies to people and movements that, as we grieved, turned their backs on us. But it’s also clarifying.”
Henry Srebrnik is a professor of political science at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

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Former Winnipegger Vivian Silver, at first thought to have been taken hostage, has now been confirmed dead

Jewish Post & News file photo

Former Winnipegger and well-known Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver has now been confirmed as having been killed during the massacre of Israelis and foreign nationals perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Vivian, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri was originally thought to be among the more than 1200 individuals who were taken hostage by Hamas.

To read the full story on the CBC website, go to

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