Nasma Abu Lasheen died on Saturday, October 16, 2010 in Gaza. Israel failed to issue her an urgent entry permit for life-saving medical treatment at Ha-Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel. She was two years old.
Abu Lasheen, a young resident of Gaza diagnosed with Leukemia, was referred for emergency treatment in Israel on October 6, 2010. When requests to the Israeli Army for an entry permit went unanswered for several days, by way of B’Tselem, the family contacted Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-Israel) for additional help. That very same day, on October 13, 2010, PHR-Israel contacted the Gaza District Coordination Office (DCO) demanding a permit be issued immediately to the baby and her father to enable their entry into Israel. A military approval was finally granted the next afternoon, October 14, 2010.
Abu Lasheen’s medical condition had been deteriorating rapidly and by the time the permit was received, the treating doctor in Gaza, Dr. Mohammad Abu Sha’aban, said she was too sick to travel. Nasma died in the early morning hours of October 16, 2010.”
So it has come to this as generations of hate and paranoia leach the humanity of Israel, to create a heartless society composed of “them and “us.” Weep we must. Nama Abu Lasheen , age 2, was someone’s precious daughter who was helped to die by those whose hearts have turned to stone. I am not a proud Jew when I must disassociate myself from such acts, for they defy what it is to be a Jew. Not for this did millions of hearts and souls go up in smoke from the ovens of the crematoria and die in the ghettos and camps constructed by the Nazis who deemed this appropriate for Jews and dissenters. Not for this did I once hope quite naively that Israel could rise above the gruesome lessons of a hunted and oppressed people.
That I was deported and told I no longer could enter Israel and questioned as to whether I was REALLY a Jew and could I prove it-- that is minuscule in the face of the dehumanization of “Them." What laws allow the “us” the “good Jews to be morally superior to “them?” Pure racism as I see it. Israel should know better for history has taught it well. America knows the face of racism which makes me incredulous to observe the unflinching support of semites and anti semites for Israel as it exists in this state of apartheid. No, I am not afraid to use that word, for when one population is forced to live as the “other” in the same country, they are against their will living apart. Let’s be real, America knows well the face of apartheid. In the face of human rights disasters perpetuated on the “other," those who have had their voices taken away, I am appalled.
In the case of Israel, call me a traitor or anti Israel, anything you wish to justify these actions and to keep this travesty going. I am devastated that it has come to this twisted moral righteousness, this myth of superiority that provides the venue for “us” against “them.” Such division separates humanity, splits all of our brothers and sisters into good and evil, victim and victimizers. Make no mistake, Israel is divided into the prosperous Jewish state that lives along side a walled, collectively punished society of Palestine, under siege, in deplorable despair, “them”, “the other” “forgotten” “not cared about.”
No, I am not proud to be a Jew. How can life continue in this land dominated by hate and war. How can the Jews in Israel be happy while their neighbors suffer?
I wish to remind you of the death of this child, not a Palestinian child, not an Israeli child, not an American child. She was a child who died and I who also had a child who died stand hand in hand with all parents and siblings who have lost children. Let Nasma Abu Lasheen’s death bring us all to an awareness of what hate and moral superiority will do to destroy.