The Palestinian Media Watch organization has spent years monitoring Arab media, to listen and learn…in Arabic, the truth that many of us who do not speak Arabic never know. This article caught my attention for a variety of reasons. First, because it reminded me of an article I had written years ago called, What the Arabs Have Done to Themselves. Although his name does not appear in the article (written in 2004), it is about a time that Elie was on call with the local ambulance squad. They got a call that there had been an accident inside an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem. They ran to the ambulance, raced to the front of our city, raced towards the edge of the Arab neighborhood … and then waited. When Elie told me this story, I was horrified. Inside the car that had been hit was a pregnant woman. Why had the Israeli ambulance stopped?
The answer, explained as clearly as I could, was that this is what happens when you abuse the sanctity of that which is holy to us. When you stone an ambulance and set it afire, do not expect us to send more ambulances in to help you. When you store missiles in mosques and schools and hospitals, do not then cry out for the innocents who may get hurt when Israel bombs these arsenals and rocket launching pads. And finally, when you use ambulances for military purposes, don’t be surprised when we do not honor your ambulances, when we stop and search them, when the innocents suffer delays at checkpoints.
Four years ago, and today again, I tell you that this is what the Arabs have done to themselves. Mosques are not arsenals; arsenals cannot be called mosques. Ambulances are not military vehicles, and military vehicles cannot be called ambulances. The sanctity of the innocent should not be blurred and tainted to serve the needs of terrorists.
Hamas converts 46 ambulances to military vehicles, misusing humanitarian aid
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
“The [Palestinian] Health Ministry stated yesterday that Hamas militias had raided 46 ambulances, donated by Arab states during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip, of the medical equipment that they contained… and used them as military vehicles to arrest civilians, after painting [the ambulances] black.
The Ministry’s director of public relations and information, Dr. Omar Nasr… said that the medical equipment removed from the ambulances was expensive. He demanded that the Hamas militias declare, courageously and openly, what had become of the thousands of tons of medical equipment which had been brought into the Gaza Strip as assistance for the Palestinian people, and which had passed at its [Hamas’s] orders to private warehouses and its own medical centers, and was later sold to the helpless citizen…”[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2009]