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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Dead Gaza BDS Advocate Sought Israeli Medical Care

Yet another hypocrite who directed the world to sever ties with Israel until he needed what Israel had to offer. And Israel provided even Sarraj with its best medical care. #BDSFail #ApartheidFail

Eyad El-Sarraj, Gaza psychiatrist and major BDS advocate, died. But first he sought medical treatment in Israel.

Eyad El-Sarraj, Gaza psychiatrist and major BDS advocate, died. But first he sought medical treatment in Israel.

Eyad El Sarraj, a prominent psychiatrist in the Gaza Strip, died on Wednesday, Dec. 18. El Sarraj was 70 years old. He died of complications from Leukemia.

Throughout his professional life, Sarraj was a fierce proponent of resistance to the “Israeli Occupation” and vigorously promoted boycotts of Israel. But when his health failed, Sarraj sought medical care in Israel. He died at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where he had been receiving treatment for more than a month.

In 1990, Sarraj founded the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, which is headquartered in the Rimal district of Gaza. El Sarraj was the medical director of GCMHP until his death.

“He is considered the father of mental health and the pioneer of mental health in Palestine. Our commitment to Dr. Sarraj is to continue his message and his struggle for respect of human rights,”  said Husam El-Nounou, the administrative chief at GCMHP.

Arab media and others hailed Sarraj as a human rights defender and a promoter of peace between Israel and “Palestine.”

Actually, Sarraj was a major promoter, supporter, advocate and cheerleader for the form of economic warfare against Israel known as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

He and members of his staff were promoters of vindictive bald-faced lies about Israel.

According to the highly-respected oversight group NGO Monitor, Sarraj and his GCMHP

used unsubstantiated medical claims as an avenue to criticize the Israeli government, including allegations that the Jewish state engages in “systematic state organized violence,” “collective punishment” “massacres,” “war crimes,” and a system of “apartheid” against the Palestinian people.

El Sarraj’s Mental Health Center hosted numerous anti-Israel tracts on its website. The site itself is a bizarre conglomeration that NGO Monitor calls a “politicized medical NGO.”

In one such tract, “War Crimes and Tragedy: The Occupation of Palestine,” the author claims: “We can no longer remain silent nor turn our backs and pretend ignorance to a gruesome occupation of stolen land, the cruelest collective punishment in the open-air sewer prison where Palestinians once lived in peace. The situation has deteriorated as we observe Jewish settlers who spew their hate with such revulsion and racism on Palestinian families, it makes my stomach turn.”

One of Sarraj’s GCMHP doctors provided expert testimony to the infamous Goldstone panel in 2009. Dr. Ahmed Abu-Tawahini  offered what he called “professional insight” into the reason why Israeli soldiers “shoot children in front of their parents.” The doctor claimed such an action – as if it ever happened – can only be explained by “the psychological instability” and desire of the Israeli soldier to “restore his lost image.”

El Sarraj was on the board of advisers of the “Free Gaza Movement.” Those are the people across the globe who organize flotillas to try and break the legal Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident in which a boat of internationals attempted to pierce the blockade and during which Israeli soldiers were attacked with lead pipes and other weapons, Sarraj signed a public statement which demonized the Israeli soldiers and lionized the thugs aboard the boat.

We insist on severance of diplomatic ties with Israel, trials for war crimes and the International protection of the civilians of Gaza. We call on you to join the growing international boycott, divestment and sanction campaign of a country proving again to be so violent and yet so unchallenged.

And yet, just three years later, when Sarraj was dying from leukemia, he violated the principles he had espoused so strongly when he was strong and healthy.  He went to seek the best medical care he could find.  He went to Israel.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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42 Responses to “Dead Gaza BDS Advocate Sought Israeli Medical Care”

  1. Stuart Kaufman says:

    Good riddance. Another pustule on the face of the earth is eliminated… It should have happened much sooner.

  2. It means that Israel is civilized, while its tormentors are not.

  3. that has been always the policy of Israel, strip the Palestinians of every possibility to survive in order to give them later crumbs and then pose as hero and Benefactor, is a simple strategy, anyone can do it.

  4. The Palestinians have gotten what they deserved: nothing!

  5. Jill Cunniff says:

    It's the Hypocratic Oath all Drs. take..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don't provide it. End of story. Let him go to Egypt (who won't grant Gazans entry) or Cyprus (i.e. Russian Mafia Disneyland).

  7. Lisa Kamins says:

    typical…

  8. Adam Michael Birkbeck says:

    Jill Cunniff – wrong. He could have legally been denied care by the state as a security threat. But Israel doesn't do that, we leave it to the Arabs to act that way. The Hippocratic Oath says to "Do no harm," not to tend your enemies.

  9. Cody Flecker says:

    This is why I do not support Israel. The people there are are really lunatics for helping the Gazans with aid during this flood, only to have the Gazans fire back rockets. Now this idiot Palestinian emerges to voice his opinion of the BDS movement all while receiving the best care in the world from Israeli doctors. Israel needs to learn to just let the Palestinians either dorwn in their own misery, or just let them die one by one.

  10. Henna du Plessis says:

    It is the duty of every Jew to reach out to anybody in need. No matter who that person might be. We have to be a light to the world. That does not mean that we have to give away our land or our own security. These are completely different matters. Long live the love for human life as Israelis understand it.

  11. Walter Richards says:

    Israel shpould boycott divest and sanction this enemy and all like him

  12. Sarraj was a repulsive hypocrite — and a liar like too many other Arab intellectuals. But Western antisemites [Judeophobes] like to hear and support Arabs like him who justify their own anti-Jewish prejudices.

  13. Danuta Glendenning says:

    I just hope that the hospital charged him the same as it cost foreigners who holiday in the country for the cost of the treatment.

  14. So all of that boycotting and demands for an end to the Zionist entity goes out the window when you are sick and need a doctor. Ooh – I am guilty of stereotyping with the "Jewish Doctor Cliché." Well at least he did not ask for chicken soup.

  15. Chinese says:

    The fact that he turned to Israel shows

    1 he knows he only can trust Israelis

    2 only loving and good people of Israel will help him wholeheartedly despite what he did all his life.

    3 G-D made Jews the best in almost everything

    no one nation in the world love their enermy, truely Israel, G-D ‘light to the nations. Only this G-D tells his people to do so.

    G-D bless Israel!

  16. He was a "promoter, supporter, advocate AND cheerleader?" Thesaurus much?

    Congrats on the "Intro to Propaganda" level of writing in this piece. You've actually managed to make me mourn a man I'd never heard of before now out of sheer contrarianism.

  17. Eileen Chupak Baranes says:

    IN the end they all want Israel's services. It is jealousy that makes them as they are. They see they aren't capable to do anything liks the Israelis do. They had all the opportunity to make a paradise in Gaza Strip after Israel was made to pull out. Why did the Israelis make Gush Katif a paradise. Is was successful, exporting vegetable and fruit, they had factories and everything there. But the Arabs only wanted to plow everything under and not let the Palestinians take over businesses to continue them.

  18. I am glad that Israel is the kind of place where even the worst villains can seek and receive medical attention. I would be happier still if we had a death sentence here, but it should be for actual terrorists, not for promoters of boycotts. Let the dogs bark, and let the caravan pass.

  19. Miriam Adams says:

    the only reason Dr. Sarraj was treated in Israel was because the medicines he needed were not available due to the years of blockade of Gaza by Israel. He had the respect and admiration of a number of Israeli physicians who also knew the enormous suffering of Gazans which Dr Sarraj, a clinical psychiatrist routinely treated. Since 54% of Gaza's population is 18 or younger Sarraj wanted to help them manage their trauma in order to build a future that would benefit all. That also was one of the reasons he FOUNDED "Bereaved Parents" and worked with Israeli and Palestinian families whose children died in the ongoing violence of the occupation. May Dr al-Sarraj rest in peace…a great humanitarian and compassionate physician. To say call him names and denigrate him without knowing a whit about his life or sacrifices is the lowest level one could sink to. What "Jewish values" do you who negate his life's work identify with??? Seek justice…be merciful…

  20. Jill Cunniff says:

    Many hospitals throughout the world do not have the specific leukemia fighting drugs that Hadassah has. It's not just hospitals in Gaza, but all over the western world. There is a worldwide shortage of leukemia fighting drugs

  21. Laura Egendorf says:

    Christopher Bakes And that's something the anti-semites will never admit, even though they know it's true.

  22. Laura Egendorf says:

    Christopher Bakes And that's something the anti-semites will never admit, even though they know it's true.

  23. Miriam Adams says:

    Jill Cunniff …worldwide shortages, Jill, is not comparable to this 7 yr blockade of the concentration camp called Gaza. There are few options for the overwhelming needs of 1.8 million CONFINED by the occupation authorities despite their protestations that withdrew.

  24. I suggest that if the residents of Gaza want to live like civilized humans, they should behave like civilized humans, elect civilized humans, stop lobbing bombs at civilized humans, cease teaching terror tactics in its classrooms aimed at killing civilized humans, and begin acting like civilized humans do in prosperous countries act. "Manage their trauma in order to build a future that would benefit all"? Let's see. When did Islam originate? 622 AD? In case you haven't noticed, it's been a little tense ever since.

  25. Habibul Alam says:

    Israel enforced a bockade on Gaza, which is part Palestine and blame a person who had to be treated in an Israeli Hospital? Hypocracy at it's extreme.

  26. Miriam Adams sorry – but no. Myth!
    No "Palestinian" is even a refugee according to the standards that are used on alll other nations. They get special rules, special treatment, freaking special UN treatment – UNWRA to uphold their "status" as martyrs against Israel. So much money wasted on this every year, and not to solve humanitarian problems. It is disgraceful.

  27. Tamar Alexander says:

    had to be treated in an Israeli Hospital?

    Why did Israel have to treat him he could have gone to Egypt through the Raffa crossing. if he boytoctted Israel than why not Israel hospital. Talk about hypcricy.

  28. Tamar Alexander says:

    Miriam Adams But when you boycot someone you need to be real about it. not boycot when it suit you .

  29. Mac Archbold says:

    Jill Cunniff But still they gave them to him when they could easily have turned him away ???? would an islamic hospital have done that for a Jew ????

  30. Miriam Adams , What country in their right mind would aid and abet the enemy? And let's be clear. The 'Gazans' ARE ISRAEL'S ENEMIES. They would, if given the chance, destroy Israel without a second thought and turn it into . . . well, another (or the same) Muslim hellhole that the rest of the Muslim middle east is. And why is Gaza a hellhole? Because everything the evil religion of Islam touches turns to shiite!! That's a natural result of a 'religion' (cult really) whose principal tenet is to kill or destroy all other religions.

  31. Israel should stop aiding and abetting their enemies. Let the Muslim pig get treatment anywhere in the Muslim world, or die trying.

  32. Islam is a religion premised on hypocrisy and deception. It's . . . well . . . like John Kerry, who voted for the war before he voted against it. Or does anyone really believe that Islam is 'the religion of peace?'

  33. Well, perhaps that philosophy needs to be modernized or revised. One's duty is to defeat your enemy. Not aid and abet them in any manner. This 'duty of every Jew' you speak of is pure liberal BS. Do liberals ever come to the aid of Conservatives? Do Muslims ever come to the aid of Jews? Or Christians? Buddhists, perhaps? NEVER!! And with all the oil money in the hands of the Muslims why are there no MUSLIM HOSPITALS? Does any 'Muslim Charity' ever provide aid to Christians or Jews? If so, I've never heard of one. Feel free to enlighten me. It's always a one-way street with this evil so-called religion.

  34. Rania Ejeilat says:

    Read the writings of this man before you call him a "pig" just because he is a muslim. Watch his speeches. Learn what he was truly about: respect for human life. He was about treating children with trauma so they do not grow up to be suicide bombers. He was about believing in human rights without discrimination. He suffered under occupation but refused to let it dehumanize him. He believed that the children of Gaza can be stronger than their conditions, that they are able to overcome the life-long effects of the brutality they witnessed. Please get to know "the enemy". Please try to approach "the other" without the racism and superiority that is so deep-rooted in the israeli mind. These are people under occupation, people who are not free, people who cannot enjoy basic rights. It is a natural human instinct to want freedom. Dr Sarraj recognized that peace is impossible until you recognize the other partner as an equal, as a human being worthy of the same human rights. In an interview he said, "We like to be treated as equals. We like to be free. We like to have jobs. We like our children to be educated- not necessarily only in gaza but also in the west bank. Our children are not allowed to go to west bank universities, and abroad; on many occasions Israel did not allow our children to travel abroad for education (…) I think that we should join together in trying to make peace and security for all, when all are enjoying equal rights either within one state or two states or three states… I don't care about states, but I care about people."

  35. I write from a public page and it would not let me "message" your inbox. If you wanted to speak to me…you must message me directly in my inbox and I can respond to questions or comments…but it will not let me message the public.

  36. A liar remains just that and if he uses lies as part of his armory then he can never be trusted.

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