I am making this special, personal appeal to you to urge you to join one of our most wonderful projects here at Physicians for Human Rights Israel - medical days in the West Bank.
We treat several hundred patients in our mobile clinic, but this contact has a ripple effect that reaches many others - family members, neighbors, residents of nearby villages. On each of these days, I feel like we touch the hearts of thousands. This work shines a small light at the end of the tunnel and shows that coexistence between the two nations, that living together, is possible. For many Palestinians, this is the only positive contact with Israelis, in a reality where daily interactions are hostile - soldiers at checkpoints, settlers and security service personnel.
Our mobile clinic happens every Saturday at a local school or community center. We work with the local council and start the day with a reception during which we are given a snapshot of the hardships and challenges in the village.
Over the course of the day, the medical teams which include physicians, nurses, pharmacists and interpreters, along with physicians from a Palestinian NGO, work together as a team and provide free medical treatment and medications. When necessary, we provide diagnostic and treatment recommendations to local physicians as well as referrals for treatment or diagnosis in Israel. We finish the medical day in the afternoon with a celebratory meal where guests and hosts eat together.
I have been participating in these medical days for more than twenty years. The feeling of deep satisfaction returns every time. These are days full of comradery and cooperation, a microcosmic oasis of peace in the turbulent waters of the conflict. This is an opportunity to do more than decry the situation and hope for the best, but to take action.
Every medical professional who joins, even if only for three or four times a year, will make a great contribution to the medical effort and to the larger message of peace and hope.
We need physicians from all fields. There is a great shortage of orthopedists, pediatricians, internists and gynecologists.
Please join us in this important endeavor. Be part of PHRI’s mobile clinic! E-mail: Iman@phr.org.il
Yours truly, Prof. Rafi Walden, President, Physicians for Human Rights Israel.