2014 -- Not a Great Year
The past six months of 2014 have been very difficult for anyone living in Israel or Palestine, no matter what their political inclinations are. We continually suffer from the pointless loss of life and the steadily increasing rise of unremitting fundamentalism and brutality.
In Humans without Borders we have a very special niche in which we function – beyond this overwhelming lunacy. Despite the closure of checkpoints by the army, and very violent demonstrations on the part of Palestinians and the Israeli right, we have managed to maneuver and successfully bring “our” children to and from the hospitals. Several fathers have had to carry their children – early in the mornings – several kilometers to meeting points because access to the checkpoints was closed. Never mind. The children all arrived at the hospitals for treatment on time and in good spirits. They, at least, in their wonderful childhood naivety, seem to be happy.
When Palestinians have to cope, on their own, the situation is simply dreadful. Several families have been cursed and physically accosted on the Jerusalem light rail and one of the fathers – during the war in Gaza – travelling by bus to Tel Hashomer was beaten by a bunch of hooligans. After that he told me he would prefer foregoing treatment for his child rather than having to go through such an onslaught again. These are dark days.
We have doubled our efforts to ensure that a volunteer is available for every necessary trip. This is especially difficult for inter-city trips and, all the more so, when we have very short notice for such trips. I am happy to say that we have a number of wonderful souls who have gone out of their way to drive families to Schneider and Tel Hashomer hospitals.
Each of you deserves a certificate of distinction for your readiness to help out – during your regular weekly slots and for special, on-the-fly, trips. If there is a heaven, there is certainly a particularly select location for volunteers like you.
A very earnest supporter of Humans without Borders, fully realizing the implications of the present political situation and the very widespread violence on the streets, provided us with an anonymous donation specifically for this purpose. We have been able to safely send families from the checkpoints to the various hospitals outside of the Jerusalem area – even to Haifa – by taxi. About 20 trips have been arranged based upon this funding and we sleep a bit better knowing that this is possible and practical.