December 23, 2006

Bethlehem birth and Bethlehem death

The front page of today's Independent carries Johann Hari relating the story of how one twin lived and another twin died when their mother was forced to give birth to them at an Israeli roadblock outside Bethlehem:
"It was 5pm when I started to feel the contractions coming on," she says. She was already nervous about the birth - her first, and twins - so she told her husband to grab her hospital bag and get her straight into the car.

They stopped to collect her sister and mother and set out for the Hussein Hospital, 20 minutes away. But the road had been blocked by Israeli soldiers, who said nobody was allowed to pass until morning. "Obviously, we told them we couldn't wait until the morning. I was bleeding very heavily on the back seat. One of the soldiers looked down at the blood and laughed. I still wake up in the night hearing that laugh. It was such a shock to me. I couldn't understand."

Her family begged the soldiers to let them through, but they would not relent. So at 1am, on the back seat next to a chilly checkpoint with no doctors and no nurses, Fadia delivered a tiny boy called Mahmoud and a tiny girl called Mariam. "I don't remember anything else until I woke up in the hospital," she says now. For two days, her family hid it from her that Mahmoud had died, and doctors said they could "certainly" have saved his life by getting him to an incubator.
More blood libel I suppose.

A word of warning about Johann Hari, he has described support for the one state solution as antisemitic*. Some blogger hates Hari so much he has a blog called "Shoot Johann Hari." I'm not suggesting that you go out and do that but have a look at the guy's blog.

*Thanks to a commentor, Niko. Hari does not actually say that the one state solution is antisemitic, he says it is a "loathsome aspiration." The context was an attack of George Galloway.

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