Friday, January 23, 2009

Thanking Hamas?

During the recent brief tour of the south during the JNF Rabbinic Solidarity Mission to Israel, we took a tour of Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva, and got the lowdown from the medical people on how they prepare for the war, the changes that they had to make - and even a short tour of the emergency trauma unit where they bring the injured straight from the battlefield. What shocked me most was the fact that the emergency room was totally and completely empty. Sure, it was ready for anything, but there was no one in the room.
So I asked: where are all the regular people. Certainly there had to be accidents, normal injuries - the stuff of daily life that bring people into emergency rooms. Back in Detroit, I had been to numerous emergency rooms, my favorite being the one in the Henry Ford Hospital where my good friend Dr. Howard Klausner works, and it was anything but empty - always a beehive of activity.
Then it dawned on me: the numbers of injured must be way, way down. So I asked a nurse giving the tour and she admitted that during the war, people just didn't go out the way they normally did. They weren't driving as much, and so they got injured far less. And on the radio this week, following a rather heinous car crash (of which there have been a couple this week), the host observed that during the war, people drove differently. They were kinder, less hurried, less agressive on the roads. The whole country really did come together. We really didn't see articles like this one in the papers during the war.
Which makes me wonder: did the war in Gaza, somehow perversely, save Jewish lives?