Israel paints fighter jet pink to raise breast cancer awareness while preventing cancer patients in Gaza from receiving treatment

Israel/Palestine
on 33 Comments

The U.S. and Israeli air forces are making headlines in October for painting jet fighters pink to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But not everyone is buying this most literal example of pinkwashing. Here’s Christina Cauterucci in Slate:

Imagine all the awareness that will rise in the contrails of these two pink fighter jets, brought to you in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by the U.S. Navy and the Israeli Air Force.

Like breast cancer, fighter jets kill women, making these instruments of war perfect on-message vehicles for the deadly weapons of awareness. They will fly through the skies, blasting tumors and lack-of-awareness with their missiles, bringing pink death and pink destruction and pink civilian casualties and pink refugee crises and pink destruction of cultural heritage wherever their noble cancer-aware pilots lead. The U.S. plane happens to be a Cougar—get it?! Women.

And of course there is the context of how Israel treats actual cancer patients if they happen to live in the besieged Gaza Strip. Here are a few reminders:

IRIN (March 2011), “Cancer care crisis in Gaza“:

Gaza is suffering chronic shortages of painkillers, surgical equipment and critical drugs, including for chemotherapy due to delays in the approval of drugs bound for Gaza by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and restrictions imposed by Israel’s blockade.

Radiotherapy is not available at all, according to medical sources. As a result, most cancer patients in Gaza have to be referred abroad for treatment, but this process can be costly, time-consuming and bureaucratic.

The New Arab (February 2015), “Gaza’s cancer sufferers cut off from vital care“:

Salem Abdul Aziz is another Palestinian parent witnessing the slow death of his cancer-stricken daughter. After receiving a referral from the Palestinian ministry of health to treat his daughter in Jerusalem, Salem was unable to take her due to Israeli authorities prolonging procedures, which meant he could not get through the Erez crossing to Jerusalem.

NPR (December 2015), “In Gaza, Kids With Cancer Have ‘Virtually No Care.’ One Group Hopes To Help“:

Most of the kids are referred outside, if they’re able to get outside. There is no free access in and out of the Gaza Strip. You must have a permit from the Israeli army to leave the Gaza Strip.

Now, Israel does issue permits for humanitarian cases to leave and to go to Israeli hospitals for specialized oncological care. It’s an extremely long and bureaucratic process, and it’s also a very challenging one for the patients and for their families, because now, a new order just came down that children cannot travel with anyone under the age of 55. So it’s a big burden for the families. You can imagine that means the grandmother has to go.

Electronic Intifada (February 2016), “Gaza patients battle cancer and Israeli siege“:

Umaimah Zamalat assumed her papers were in order.

The 52-year-old woman from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip had already undergone one radiation session at the Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem for her aggressive breast cancer.

But when she got to the Erez checkpoint at the boundary between Gaza and Israel, ready to go for a second treatment, she was stopped.

“My permit allows me to travel to Jerusalem until I finish four [radiation therapy] sessions. But when I tried to cross Erez for my second session they told me I am no longer allowed,” Zamalat told The Electronic Intifada.

The Israeli military authorities at Erez gave no explanation when they turned her back. Patients from Gaza are not allowed to stay in Jerusalem or Israeli hospitals for the duration of their treatment and must return between sessions. This leaves them at risk of sudden, unexplained and apparently inexplicable permit revocations.

That, in turn, has inevitable consequences on patients’ health.

“I am extremely worried. Doctors told me that my case is very sensitive to delays,” Zamalat said.

Al-Jazeera (May 2016), “Siege adds to suffering of cancer patients“:

Palestinian children with cancer are suffering from the siege of the Gaza Strip as the construction of what is meant to be the first public pediatric cancer department has ground to a halt due to import restrictions.

Israel and Egypt’s continued embargo along with the growing political infighting between Hamas and Fatah have made things so complicated for doctors and patients that even diagnosing which type of cancers the children have cannot be done in Gaza.

Al-Monitor (October 2016), “Is Israel banning entry of Gaza cancer patients?“:

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) claims Israel has “dramatically toughened” its policy on granting permits to sick Palestinians needing life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals, among them many cancer patients. This, despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays in full for every patient referred by its Health Ministry for care in Israel.

Attorney Mahmoud Abu Arisha, in charge of the organization’s occupied territories department, told Al-Monitor that over the past six months PHR has received 158 appeals from severely ill Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank whose requests for treatment in Israel were turned down by the Shin Bet security agency.

Middle East Monitor (October 2016), “Gaza cancer patients complain about Israeli restrictions on their treatment“:

While the world increases its efforts to spread awareness about cancer and celebrate new ways to treat it, cancer patients in Gaza have complained about the restrictions placed by Israel on their treatment. In a statement issued on Sunday, a group of patients said that they have been involved in a “humanitarian battle” with the occupation authorities to get the medicines that they need for their treatment to be effective. “This has been an ongoing struggle for ten years,” they pointed out.

Palestinian Information Center (October 2016), “Breast cancer patients in Gaza call for help to end their suffering“:

Breast cancer patients in the Gaza Strip have appealed to the Palestinian government and international groups to swiftly help provide them with their medical needs and facilitate their travel abroad for treatment.

Spokeswoman for the patients Nawal Salloum stated in a news conference held on Monday that the hospitals in Gaza are not prepared for the treatment of cancer conditions and lack medical appliances, including those used for radiation therapy and breast cancer detection.

Salloum also highlighted the acute shortage of cancer medicines in Gaza, warning that the health of many cancer patients in Gaza are exposed to danger as a result of that.

She also talked about the failure of cancer patients to travel abroad to receive medical treatment, saying that they face difficulties to leave Gaza as a result of the blockade, including that their travel requests are either rejected or receive delayed approvals.

 

 

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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33 Responses

  1. jd65
    October 28, 2016, 12:51 pm

    “The U.S. and Israeli air forces are making headlines in October for painting jet fighters pink to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

    I didn’t know you were also writing for The Onion now, Adam. Congrats!

  2. John O
    October 28, 2016, 12:54 pm

    Just as I started reading this article, my computer reminded me it was time for me to take a blood pressure reading. I have postponed it for an hour.

  3. Marnie
    October 28, 2016, 1:09 pm

    There isn’t a hell hot enough for these criminals. I pray for redemption for Gaza and all the occupied territories and that these criminals pay for their crimes.

  4. Kay24
    October 28, 2016, 1:33 pm

    The hypocrisy stinks. They are masters of projecting a goody-goody image, but reality is they are very mean to these helpless Palestinians.

  5. Mayhem
    October 28, 2016, 7:12 pm

    The sick mentality of those who can only concoct anti-Israel hate propaganda and never acknowledge what Israelis don’t have to do. If Hamas let their health system deteriorate so it can’t serve its people and prefer to build attack tunnels instead then their people pay the price.
    Israelis are under no particular obligation to help an enemy that is sworn to destroy them.
    In fact thought Israeli volunteers go out of their way to assist Palestinians in need of special medical attention by shuffling to hospitals to their own magnificently equipped facilities.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 30, 2016, 3:49 pm

      If Hamas let their health system deteriorate so it can’t serve its people

      there’s a blockade — i can assure you people are not attempting to get into egypt or israel for cancer treatment because hamas has let the health system deteriorate, it is because israel restricts medication and equipment so they can be treated in gaza. anyway, so much for your “if” the rest of your commentary is merely strawmanning it. as for israelis assisting Palestinians in need of special medical attention if they agree to be collaborators, or provide critical information, it’s sadistic is what it is.

      • DaBakr
        October 31, 2016, 7:50 pm

        @a

        other then a mondoweiss/electric int./etc. ‘first person or other unsubstantiated accounts’ I would like to see you produce evidence that israel doesn’t ship live saving medicines and medical equipment into gaza on a weekly if not daily basis. provided the medical equipment is not able to be re-assembled into weapon production by the hamas(such as laser tech, switiching panels, etc). there is ample evidence and proof that dozens of lories loaded with tonnes of supplies roll thru the border every day.
        Also-again-other then unsubstantiated 1st person accounts-please provide proof that medical emergencies from gaza-wether they be children, elderly, pregnant or-ironically-relatives of hamas leaders are only allowed if the patient is forced to become an informant, spy, or ‘collaborator’. If, on the other hand, “collaborator” means anyone who normalizes relations with the zionist entity which would include the people of gaza as well as members of the hamas who utilize israeli medical technology then the definition of collaborator has surely sunk to an almost meaningless level.
        I can’t swear to this but I think I even read where a relative-maybe even the daugther-of meshaal was granted treatment in israel for a serious illness. The real truth is-other then the hyperbolic articles that gush out of sites like MW and EI single out the rarer cases and ignore how intricately the palestinian population of israel, judea, samaria and gaza are woven into the fabric of israeli society. palestinians in either gaza or the territories could no more survive without extensive normalization with israel the could israel survibe without its palestinian citizenry. (despite what some on the hard extremist right might spew)

      • Annie Robbins
        October 31, 2016, 10:24 pm

        I can’t swear to this but I think I even read where a relative-maybe even the daugther-of meshaal

        oh yeah, i can swear to hearing this, it’s been humped dozens of times by hasbara central. yippee!

      • DaBakr
        November 1, 2016, 12:23 am

        @an

        even if you strike the comment on meshaal and you still have israeli -jewish, palestinian , druze and bedouin doctors treating literally dozens of serious health traumas of citizens admitted from gaza as well as the territories. this is no more hasbara then stating that netanyahu is friendly with dozens of palestinians who do not agree with his policies on jewish settlement of judea.

        MW and EI like to pick up and amplify the few examples where permission is denied and pretend it is the norm. most nations do not allow members of groups considered terrorist by many who are definitely sworn to commit acts of violent ‘resistence’ against your govt to have access to their health system as if they were just an ordinary peaceful guest citizen. anybody that naive would not be ’round for very long.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 2, 2016, 5:03 pm

        treating literally dozens of serious health traumas of citizens admitted from gaza as well as the territories.

        from a population of 5mil? i should think so. i think you’re missing the point.

      • talknic
        November 1, 2016, 1:52 am

        @ DaBakr October 31, 2016, 7:50 pm

        “other then a mondoweiss/electric int./etc. ‘first person or other unsubstantiated accounts’ I would like to see you produce evidence that israel doesn’t ship live saving medicines and medical equipment into gaza on a weekly if not daily basis.”

        I’d like to see your evidence that it does, especially as crossings into Gaza are closed the majority of the time. E.g., https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/6ED44CD9430774AF8525716C0050C3A9

        “there is ample evidence and proof that dozens of lories loaded with tonnes of supplies roll thru the border every day”

        Uh huh. You forgot to include the alleged evidence. Why?

        “… members of the hamas who utilize israeli medical technology …”

        Evidence?

      • echinococcus
        November 1, 2016, 2:14 am

        I could also have sworn I had read almost the same screed –some 40-45 years ago. I now remembered where I had read it, while doing some research: it was an interview on the occupation, the “terrorist” hunt, the need to normalize relations between the population and the occupiers and their collaborators as a condition for survival, etc, between a collabo journalist and the head of the local Kommandantur in the Liège area. Not verbatim. Close. Better written.

      • oldgeezer
        November 1, 2016, 8:29 am

        @dohbakee

        The real truth is that the occupier is required to ensure the proper health services to the occupied. Whoopdedo the occupier meets some of the geneva conventions some of the time and doesnt violate all of them all of the time. Big kudos dude. Extremely sad and pathetic.

      • Mooser
        November 1, 2016, 2:55 pm

        Oh, boy, it looks like “Dabakr” got himself another dose. Prepare for some long, hallucinatory, stream-of-unconsciousness mutters.

  6. RoHa
    October 28, 2016, 10:53 pm

    Occasionally I have tiny twinge of optimism. “Perhaps,” I say to myself (no-one else is interested) “the word is not as crazy as I believe.” But then something like this turns up.

  7. Jim Holstun
    October 29, 2016, 12:07 am

    Next-up: the LGBTQ-friendly Rainbow Merkava!

  8. joemowrey
    October 29, 2016, 12:20 pm

    Wow. NPR ran an article giving at least a small look at the reality of the situation in Gaza. Somebody must have slipped up.

  9. Ossinev
    October 29, 2016, 1:30 pm

    @Marnie
    “There isn’t a hell hot enough for these criminals. I pray for redemption for Gaza and all the occupied territories and that these criminals pay for their crimes”

    They will pay in due course

    Like most criminals especially war criminals the perpetrators simply do not see themselves as perpetrators of crime. The Nazis and their fellow German nationals who acquiesced in what was being done to the Jews in Europe simply rationalised and justified the atrocities along the lines of the Jews are internal enemies,communists,foreign agents etc etc out to destroy our beloved Fatherland. So with Zionist JSILis. These “Arab” people are not really people – they are all terrorists constantly threatening our security , constantly trying to destroy our beloved state. We JSILi Jews are truly a Light unto the Nations , a shining beacon of “democracy” and true respecters of human rights. Yes – they actually believe this self imagined or school indoctrinated Zionist crap. Nowadays anyone who challenges this is simply in their eyes a warped anti Semitic ( aka anti Judaistic ).

    There are lots and lots of fantastic cancer support and cancer research charities in the West. If the BDS movement knows of any links which these inadvertently have to this odious little cult colony they should bring it to their attention and invite them to severe links to a regime which treats cancer sufferers with such horrendous disdain and inhumanity.

  10. Abe Bird
    October 30, 2016, 11:03 am

    As far as I remember Israel left Gaza in August 2005. Gaza has some hospitals. Why Hamas doesn’t invest in developing these hospitals and prefer to invest their money on weapons and tunnels and launching rockets over Israel?

    Since Israel left Gaza and Gazans voted for their Hamas government they are responsible for their territory and the lives there. Although Hamas terrorized Israel for many years, Israel keeps deliver her enemy with food, water, electricity, medicine etc. The Israeli legal blockade on Gaza includes only weapons and materials of dual-use terror items. Nevertheless, Israel provides to Gaza metals and concrete to build their houses even though she knows that Hamas is stealing a large portion of these materials and use them to build tunnels, rockets and shelters for terrorists. Would you blame Israel for Hamas crimes?

    Each day Israel brings to Gaza border crossings generally between 800 to 1200 trucks full with merchandise bought by Gazan traders and government (for example, 27,231 tons of goods, in 833 trucks, entered Gaza through Israel in October, 26).

    https://twitter.com/cogat_israel/status/791718675317395457 So if there is a lack of equipment or medications that is a problem created by Gazans/Hamas themselves. Hamas supporters in the West are also guilty on that sense because they encourage Hamas to play the dirty game – to use Israel help to survive in power yet to blame Israel for every misery and squalor in which they live in Gaza, because of malfunction and predatory behavior of Hamas.

    After putting that basic facts that you chose to ignore, I want to praise Israel, which despite the state of war, is giving critical life-saving treatments to Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals. Even the price she charges the Palestinians, from Gaza Strip and Judea & Samaria, is a discounted price. All this at the expense of the citizens of Israel that pay state health care tax for life. Every visitor in every hospital can see Jews, Israeli Arabs and Gazans side by side at the same rooms and corridors, with Jewish and Arab doctors and nurses treat them equally. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=8287 Even far left Haaretz admits http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.657227 , although not for once some of these patients tried to commit some terror actions while the medicine cause of entry into Israel was only cover-up, Israel absorbed for example in 2010 about 180,000 Palestinian citizens who receive treatment on Israeli hospitals along that year. 3,000 emergency patients were transferred from Palestinian to Israeli ambulances using the “back to back” method without waiting and checking in 4 crossings of ambulances between Gaza and Israel. Even Palestinian Leaders Want Jewish Doctors http://observer.com/2016/05/even-palestinian-leaders-want-jewish-doctors/ . Almost 1000 Palestinian doctors and medical professionals attended courses and practice in Israeli hospitals since January 2016. Some work in Israeli Hospitals. Ask Dr. Wisam al-Jamal, from Hebron (among other Palestinian and Israeli Arab doctors that are working in that hospital) that works in Jerusalem Hadassah hospital https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAyGZ-qJKE8

    Just gave you some facts to show how far you are from truth and reality.

    • just
      October 30, 2016, 11:39 am

      Thanks, Adam. This thoroughly disgusting “literal pinkwashing” needed exposure! Shame on the US and Israel.

      “As far as I remember Israel left Gaza in August 2005. Gaza has some hospitals. Why Hamas doesn’t invest in developing these hospitals and prefer to invest their money on weapons and tunnels and launching rockets over Israel?”

      Hey~ you blew up hospitals and patients and ambulances. Your DM has threatened to destroy all of Gaza.

      “Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that Israel’s next war with Gaza militants would be their last “because we will completely destroy them.””

      http://mondoweiss.net/2016/10/israeli-minister-completely/

      Get it? Gaza and Palestine and every Palestinian is the target and the victim~ not you.

    • xanadou
      October 30, 2016, 4:31 pm

      Dr. Mads Gilbert is an authority on the healthcare disaster in Gaza. He was there in 2014 during Israel’s genocidal attack of unopposed israeli fighter planes that dropped bunker busters onto civilian homes and hospitals and white phosphorus on the civilians and patients from the clear blue skies, as the israelis watched and cheered the “show” from the not-too distant hilltops.

      Israel barred Dr. Gilbert from entering Gaza for life.

      Dr. Mads Gilbert is an authority on the healthcare situation in Gaza. A hasbara hack is not.

    • Marnie
      November 2, 2016, 12:49 am

      “After putting that basic facts that you chose to ignore, I want to praise Israel, which despite the state of war, is giving critical life-saving treatments to Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals. Even the price she charges the Palestinians, from Gaza Strip and Judea & Samaria, is a discounted price. All this at the expense of the citizens of Israel that pay state health care tax for life.”

      Let me remind you of the huge basic fact you ignore and that is none of this would be happening if ‘israel’ wasn’t in the 24/7 business of maiming and murdering Palestinians, be they in Gaza, the West Bank or Tel Aviv. The ‘citizens of israel’ don’t pay for anything – its the Palestinians who’ve paid for it all. The ‘citizens of israel’? There is no such thing as an ‘israeli citizen’ unless that person is Palestinian. All ‘israeli’ jews are either going to be in the IOF, have been in the IOF or are on active duty in the IOF, don’t you agree?

    • eljay
      November 2, 2016, 8:46 am

      || Abe Bird: As far as I remember Israel left Gaza in August 2005. Gaza has some hospitals. Why Hamas doesn’t invest in developing these hospitals and prefer to invest their money on weapons and tunnels and launching rockets over Israel? … ||

      The rapist provides toothbrushes to the victims chained in his basement. Why do they prefer to make shivs out of them instead of brushing their teeth with them?

      || … I want to praise Israel, which despite the state of war, is giving critical life-saving treatments to Palestinian patients in Israeli hospitals. … ||

      Mustn’t forget to praise the rapist who, despite the state of war with the victims chained in his basement, continues to feed them, clothe them and keep them healthy. Why can’t those ungrateful b*tches just lie back and enjoy the ride?!

  11. Joe62
    October 30, 2016, 12:29 pm

    Pink socks on NFL players sicken me. This is way worse I can envision Israeli planes bombing maternity hospitals in Gaza with pink jets.

  12. Ossinev
    October 30, 2016, 1:45 pm

    “Since Israel left Gaza and Gazans voted for their Hamas government they are responsible for their territory and the lives there”.

    What a totally ludicrous statement

    So according to your factual analysis any tourist boat , any fishing boat , any plane , any means of transport carrying medical teams and / or medical equipment can go into and out of Gaza as they please only needing the approval of Hamas who are “responsible for their territory and the lives there”.

    I suggest you re-examine the facts sunshine although I doubt you have the integrity to face up to just how far you are from “facts and reality”. Doing so would burst your Biblical Ziobubble.

    • Yamada
      October 30, 2016, 2:40 pm

      Hey, bud. Far from the truth? lel. Take my home. act hypocritical and force the media to only publicize that you’re providing help and support to your victims while having actually stolen what’s not yours and are demanding peace while having initiated the attack, justify your innocence, pay hypocrites like bud to fight for your obvious illusion. Damn smart? Nah, more nasty

  13. Yamada
    October 30, 2016, 2:45 pm

    Who started this war out of peace? Exactly. So people, please stop trying to justify your hypocrisy by acting innocent. You’re really just being nasty and you know what you’re trying to prove isn’t half right

    • John O
      October 30, 2016, 4:13 pm

      Welcome to Mondoweiss, Yamada. Now, would you care to enlighten us as to what on earth you’re talking about? Just the first sentence will do. Who started which war out of what peace?

    • xanadou
      October 30, 2016, 4:37 pm

      Ad hominem attacks do not constitute a constructive argument.

    • oldgeezer
      November 2, 2016, 9:34 pm

      @yamada

      Zionists started it by trying to dispossess civilians and steal their homes and land.

      What’s your next question.

      Have a nice day.

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