Monday, November 02, 2009


(Article by Dr. David Zangen, Ma'ariv, 27.10.09, p. 2)

"Dear Judge Goldstone,

My name is Dr. David Zangen. I am a consultant in Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. Over 50% of my patient population is Palestinian from Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. I speak Arabic and initiated the first training program for Palestinian physicians in the field of Pediatric Endocrinology. The trained physicians were fully respected and were included as first authors on our studies that we published in the world's leading professional journals. But, at the same time, I happened to be the Chief Medical Officer of my brigade during Operation Defensive Shield , in Jenin, 2002. I was responsible for the medical treatment of our soldiers, but also for enabling the hospital in Jenin to provide full medical services to the civilian population, and I was personally involved in numerous medical treatments that Palestinians (including fighters) received from Israeli physicians.

During and after the operation the director of Jenin Hospital was a source for what has been falsely called the "massacre in Jenin in which 5,000 people were slaughtered." This same person, Dr. Abu Rali, has also claimed that one part of the Jenin hospital was destroyed by Israeli tank missiles: "12 tank rockets were shot at the hospital."

You should know, honorable Judge, that these statements have been proven and documented as outright lies, not only by Israeli sources, but also by the Human Rights Watch and UN organizations, which counted only 52 dead on the Palestinian side and 23 on the Israeli side. These organizations, and photographs of Jenin Hospital following the operation, showed no evidence of any destruction at the hospital buildings.

This Dr. Abu Rali, a hospital director and physician, lies and incites in the service of the Shahids. It is hard to believe that a director of a hospital can give such an obviously false testimony. I cannot understand it. And you cannot understand it. But, unfortunately, this is what has happened. Even people who would normally be considered reliable sources become advocates of blatant lies. Tragically, moral misbehavior of doctors in the Palestinian Authority is not new. The pediatrician, George Habash , sent his terrorists to kill children in Israeli schools, as did Hamas' leader and pediatrician, Dr. Abd al-Aziz Rantisi , as well as pediatrician, Dr Mahmud Zaher, who continues to encourage the launching of rockets from Gaza against innocent Israeli schools.

Please Judge Goldstone, you should really be careful when such blatant liars serve as the basis for your report. I am sure that you mean well, but being an eyewitness, both to the events in Jenin and to the subsequent media, and initially false, UN reporting, I do understand what happened to you, how a person of such stature and integrity could become associated with such a faulty report.

Look, Judge Goldstone, at your report on the Al Fakhura incident on January 5-6th 2009 (paragraphs 651-688). You do report how Israel was accused for directly bombing the UNRWA school. It took two weeks for this accusation to be withdrawn. But you, honored Judge, went back to get your testimony only from the same people who spread the blood libel of the school bombing. Moreover, when analyzing the scene you claim that you could not verify the numbers of 24 dead and 40 wounded, but these numbers are not considered exaggerated. Finally, in the 'Factual Findings' section, you already determine that 24 people were killed and 40 injured!

Did you, by any chance, try to validate any of these invented and inciting details? Did you look at the Al Jazeera or BBC reports from the same very day of the event? Did you try to validate your 'Factual Findings' conclusions by at least getting emergency room charts on the people admitted to their trauma department on this very day? Did you go over the ID's of the "dead" and the place or cemetery where they were supposedly buried?

No, you didn't!

As a judge I am sure that you did not mean to hurt Israel. I try to believe that you came to Gaza without prejudice. But a judge is expected to look, at least, for some evidence and verification (media, emergency room registration, burial places, etc.) of the testimonies and not accept impossible "facts". You have allowed yourself to be misled by fabrications made either by terrorists or doctors such as Dr. Abu Rali from Jenin.

I, and my colleagues in Israel, are proud of the medical service that is given equally to every human being regardless of origin; we are also proud to belong to a nation that is identified as having higher moral standards than others.

I call on you, Judge Goldstone. Take this Al Fakhura incident, look at the media coverage from the very same day. See the events in their context. Try to live one day with the responsibility for the existence of this small nation of six million Jews threatened constantly by 300 million Muslims. I call on you to try and not draw conclusions from such lies and misleading witnesses, even if they come from so-called professionals. In the modern world, propaganda and lies are definitely a part of the war. And as a judge, you should not serve as a tool for augmenting hatred and conflicts.

We desire peace. We love peace. And we try our utmost to fight for our right to exist while maintaining the highest possible moral standards, even at the cost of our lives.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dear Dr. Zangen,

I want to thank you for trying to set Judge Goldstone straight with your excellent letter.

Unfortunately, you are right, the Judge was not only duped, he was willingly duped as evidenced by his lack of effort to fully investigate both sides of the story to get to the truth. In essence, his report is worthless, but unfortunately the damage is done.

The IDF will continue to act as the most honorable fighting force in the world, and it will continue to be accused of war crimes. That is by design of the UN, the UNHRW and the Arab states which dictate the UN's policies.

The only thing Israel can do to counteract this libel is to prove by every means at it's disposal of it's innocence during Cast Lead, (there is plenty of hard evidence) to convince the EU and the US there is no basis for the charges, and advertise every libel when proven wrong.

Keep up the good work, and again, thank you for your letter.

Larry M