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We're the Good Guys
By Jeff Katz (Israeli tour guide)
I am writing this note on Monday afternoon. Yesterday was
the unfortunate incident in Kfar Kana.
I am feeling a little calmer now. You should have seen me
last night and this morning. It has to do with the bombing
in Kfar Kara and the 48 hour "no air strike" truce we agreed
to and Condoleeza's last press conference.
It's like we Israelis are stuck in some Greek tragedy or
some movie that has a sad ending with the hero dying. And no
matter how many times you see it, the ending is always the
same. It seems no matter who Israel is acting/fighting with
on the stage, we always end up being the bad guy and the
crowd hating our guts. The true villain walks off with the
girl and the money. The play is cut short before we get to
finish the job we set out to do. I mean haven't we been in
this situation before, in 1996 in Lebanon. In 2002 in Jenin
Have you seen the air force clips that were aired last
night? I will ask Benay, my wife, to attach them to the
bottom of this mail.
They show how the Hizbolla shoot rockets from behind
civilian apartment buildings and then, my friends, you watch
as the truck carrying the rocket launcher drives into a car
park under a house! How the heck does anyone expect us to
clear out these rockets without bombing the house??? The
local Lebanese population was warned by Israel to leave the
area three days in advance. Some locals stayed because the
couldn't afford to leave. I read that Lebanese taxis charge
$1000 to go to Beirut. So someone please explain to me why
these locals didn't hide in a building where there were no
rockets or any ammo dumps?
This morning the reporter on Sky News asked our former
foreign minister why the Israeli army didn't go house to
house in Kfar Kana and confirm, room by room, just who is in
that room and then determine if that person is a civilian or
a combatant. For god's sake! Give me a break! Kiryat Shemona
was shot with 100 (one hundred) rockets in less than 1 hour
yesterday. Did the Hizbollah go room by room looking for
civilians? If they had the chance, yes they would. They
would find the kids and make sure they shot each one. I know
it. You know it . We just lived through it. It was called
Afula Hospital (Emek Medical Center) prepares for War.
Anyone who has toured with me knows I love maps. But I
probably have never pointed out or mentioned Afula. It is a
small town dead in the center of the Jezreel Valley. It's
famous for "Golani Falafel" and until "Golani Falafel" is
publicly traded on NASDAQ, most of you will never hear of
Last week Afula hospital was targeted by Hizbollah long
range missiles. How do I know it was "targeted"? 5 rockets
of the 5 shot landed near Afula hospital. Take a look at one
of the attached photos. There are no army bases or sensitive
facilities in Afula. Hizbollah targeted the Afula hospital.
Should you be surprised that Hizbolla targeted a hospital?
Well, they've already targeted Rambam hospital in Haifa and
hit the hospitals in Nahariya and Tsfat. So they
intentionally target our hospitals and the world expects us
to go room by room looking for civilians in Lebanon. But we
covered this topic in the first part of this mail.
Benay [Jeff's wife] volunteers in the ER of Afula hospital.
She has prepared 300 files for a mass-wounded situation. The
ER is in the basement of the hospital and it is built as one
huge bomb and chemical warfare shelter. Funny how there
isn't a single hospital in the Arab world that would even
consider the necessity to build a hospital in a bomb
shelter. Why? Because they know we would never target a
Yesterday the hospital decided to empty out its top floors
and bring all the patients down to the lower levels. Lets
think what this entails. Cancel all unnecessary operations.
Kick out any patient you can. Double up on bed space in the
lower floors and have the staff and patients live and work
in 1/3 of the space they are used to. Wards are now
intermingled. Patient beds are doubled up. Have I mentioned
about privacy, sanitation, confusion...
Here's a quote from the instruction sheet given by the
hospital's director to the various wards:
- Dept. heads will do their utmost to lower the number of
patients in their departments.
- Social Services will encourage patients to go home.
- The operating rooms will perform only cancer and emergency
But how does the head of the hospital end her directive?
And here's the part that keeps me going:
"In this war we will be tested as a society, as an
organization (hospital) and as individuals.
Working together, in full cooperation, we will complete the
very complicated task before us:
- to clear the wards
- work in very tight surroundings
- give the best service that we can
- be prepared for a mass-wounded situation."
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