Monday, December 28, 2020

  • Monday, December 28, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Lajee Center, an NGO centered in the Aida UNRWA camp, wrote in their December newsletter:

On November 19, 1for3 and Lajee Center presented a webinar on Managing Chronic Disease in Conflict settings, featuring Health for Palestine Director Dr. Bram Wispelwey, Community Health Worker (CHW) Ashghan Awais, Asmaa Rimawi, an advanced medical student and Health for Palestine researcher, and 1for3 Director Nidal Al-Azraq. They presented data from a two-year study that revealed significant improvement in diabetes due to the Community Health Worker program. Palestinians in Aida and Azza Refugee Camps suffer high levels of diabetes and hypertension. Dr. Wispelwey put Palestinians’ declines in health in the context of settler colonialism, presenting on the violence of military occupation and comparing Palestinians’ health to that of Indigenous and Black people harmed by settler colonialism in the United States. Moreover, the Middle East and North Africa region currently has the highest rates of diabetes in the world. While the older generation of Palestinians has lower rates than the rest of the region, middle aged Palestinians have higher rates. Rates for diabetes in the West Bank are twice the global rate and more than twice the rate in Israel. 
The video of the seminar shows Dr. Wispelway spending some 16 of his 18 minutes talking about his theories that Israel is responsible for Palestinians having high rates of diabetes, blaming everything from the "Naqba" to "settler colonialism" to tear gas to the Oslo Accords. 

What he didn't spend much time on was the fact that the entire Arab world has high rates of diabetes.

Here's a map showing its prevalence in 2019:

The prevalence in the Palestinian territories are roughly what they are in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. It is a huge problem for the entire region. 

Are those countries suffering from "settler colonialism?" Did they have a "naqba?"

Dr. Wispelsky went to Bar Ilan University of the Negev. But whether he is Jewish or not, his section of the seminar was effectively antisemitic, blaming Israel for Palestinian obesity and lack of exercise that lead to diabetes, a problem that is endemic in the entire region and has nothing to do with Israel. 

Palestinians grow plenty of fruits and vegetables for domestic consumption; blaming Israel for them eating junk food is yet another example of how the "progressive" Left infantilizes Palestinians and gives them no agency over their own decisions. 

The irony is that the seminar showed that a relatively simple and inexpensive community based health program can significantly reduce the prevalence of, and risk of mortality from, diabetes - which destroys the thesis that Israeli actions are responsible to begin with. 

But the main takeaway from those who watched the seminar is that Israel is responsible for Palestinians' doing basic things for their own health. 

Yes, blaming Israel for Palestinians' own poor health decisions is antisemitic. 

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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