Friday, February 29, 2008

Somebody at work has recently asked me to donate some money towards a very difficult and challenging bike ride he is doing for charity. The problem for me is that the charity is for soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq and this is to raise money for their treatment. Now my first instinct was to say sure, no problem. There is even a proviso pointing out that the group is strictly non-political and is about helping people regardless. Yet I couldn't help but wonder, how the hell can this be non-political? I've decided I won't donate. If I was Lebanese, I would not donate to a charity helping Israeli soldiers rebuild their lives after their defeat two years ago. If I was Iraqi, I certainly wouldn't do that for American soldiers. If someone sees themself as an Arab, then clearly they would identify with ALL the Arab countries and would would act in exactly the same way. So the decision has been made.

I wonder, should I have decided to make a donation and in a similar situation, whether he would donate money to a charity for Arabs maimed whilst fighting the occupation of their countries. I'm sure he'd understand that it is strictly non-political, it's all about helping people. Somehow I doubt he'd be happy to pay for the recuperation and treatment of fighters from Hezbullah, Hamas or the Iraqi resistance.

Don't anyone ever dare use my humanity against me.


Lirun said...

we pay for their treatment all the time..

a dr friend of mine who worked in rambam hospital during the war was telling me about HA fighters being treated in rambam once captured with 1st class israeli..

my cousin who is a dr in jerusalem tells me of often receiving palestinians who have blown themselves up through failed experimentation with explosives aimed at us and even suicide bombers who explode "prematurely" and we fund their life support systems at thousands of dollars a day..

i was at a charity dinner for people in gaza last month and donate to organisations.. and i have friends involved in seeking supplies for palestinian refugees..

your humanity is certainly questionable..

Maysaloon said...

Interesting. You are lecturing me on humanity yet still find it possible to justify the existence of Israel on Arab land in polite conversation.

Dubai Jazz said...

Wassim, look who's questioning whose humanity...

poshlemon said...


without a doubt, I would have refused to donate. Without any doubt and without any feelings of guilt or questions regarding my humanity. If I have only a set amount of money that I can give to charity, I would rather it goes to those impoverished people living in countries that have no minimum of social welfare or social/financial support, such as in Iraq, Palestine or Lebanon. It's all about who needs it more. And also me being Arab.

What was your colleague's reaction towards your dual response?

qunfuz said...

Lirun, the below is taken from the Guardian:

Meanwhile, Israel was accused of ratcheting up its policy of obstructing Palestinian patients requiring care outside Gaza - despite a ruling by Israel's high court 'that even total criminals have a right to medical care'.

Officially, Israel permits hundreds of Palestinians through each month for medical treatment. But beneath that fact, The Observer has established, lies a secretive and increasingly harsh system of judging who is allowed to pass through the main Erez checkpoint by the security officials of Israel's Shin Bet.

The system, Palestinian medical professionals claim, has already caused the premature deaths of a number of Palestinians. And, amid increasing criticism of Israel for its 'collective punishment' of Gazans, this issue has become emblematic of Israel's harsh attitude.

It is a time-consuming lottery where permits can take months and where a name that sounds too similar to that of a wanted militant is enough to block access to treatment - even for life-threatening conditions. Some claim that, during interviews with Shin Bet, they have been pressed to become informers. The allegations are backed by nine affidavits from patients in Gaza, collected by the joint Palestinian-Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHR), who say they were pressured into becoming collaborators in exchange for treatment.

Unknown said...

Why should Israel provide medical care for Gazans if they get nothing in return, besides rockets.

Lirun said...

im not talking about countries and national agendas.. i am talking about you as a person giving to other people.. tsdaka/sedaka is not about politics..

giving is a reflex of the heart - otherwise its mere sponsorship and then it is self serving and not a good deed but an agenda..