By Mark S. Anshan.
August 1, 2014.
These are difficult days for Israel and all Israelis, many of whom are close friends. We follow the news closely and hope that with each report we read, there will be news of the conflict ending and innocent people on both sides will be spared the horror of war. The loss of life – civilians and soldiers – Israeli and Gazans – is a tragedy beyond comprehension. Commentaries and analysis of the causes, the consequences and implications fill our inboxes daily as we try to learn and comprehend all that is happening and changing so quickly.
There are glimmers of hope that give us reason to be optimistic for peaceful times when the conflict ends.
A close friend, Iri Kassel, member of Kibbutz Hatzerim (located between Beersheba and Gaza), former director of the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism volunteers with Road to Recovery, a wonderful organization founded by Yuval Roth (originally from Hatzerim). Road to Recovery transports Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to and from hospitals in Israel for medical treatment. I had the privilege of meeting Yuval in June and talked about related projects that will assist with medical care for Palestinians. Two weeks ago Yuval and Iri took Afnan back to the Erez border crossing for her to return home to her family after spending nine months at the Rambam Hospital (Haifa) for treatment. Here is the news report of the journey shown recently on Israeli TV: http://youtu.be/g_1Mv7F9pyc
Save a Child’s Heart is another wonderful organization that provides life saving heart surgery to children from countries lacking the capacity to provide paediatric heart surgery. Many of the children come from the West Bank and Gaza to be operated on at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, even during the current conflict. SACH Ungala event in Toronto is September 16th: www.saveachildsheart.ca.