Israeli hospital director speaks about aid to Syrians

dr. Salman Zarka, director of Ziv Medical Center, spoke recently to audiences in South Florida about the medical assistance given by ZMC for Syrians injured in the Syrian Civil War since 2011.
21/12/2016

21/12/2016

Dr. Salman Zarka, Director of Ziv Medical Center, spoke recently to audiences in South Florida about the medical assistance given by ZMC to Syrians injured in the Syrian Civil War raging since 2011.
 
"Despite hostilities between Israel and Syria, there is a need to provide Syrians with medical assistance," said Zarka.

Among the groups Dr. Zarka spoke to were congregants at Beth Torah Benny Rok in North Miami-Dade and B'nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton , physicians at Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach and students at Florida International University in North Miami.

He spoke about the efforts of Ziv's medical staff to treat wounded Syrians as well as the hospital's efforts to raise funds for ZMC through the Friends of Ziv Medical Center in Florida.

Zarka stressed that the medical assistance provided by ZMC is a humanitarian effort for Syrians in need, but that is also dangerous and stressful.

"The Syrian Civil War began in 2011 and we at Ziv Medical Center have given medical assistance to the Syrians wounded since February of 2013. We are proud to have helped over 2,500 Syrians in Israel," Zarka said in his address at Florida International University.

"But there is also danger and stress with what we do. Syria is only 19 miles from Israel and many have noted that we are helping those who want to destroy Israel.

"I have to emphasize that we give medical assistance to civilians and soldiers alike. We do not identify the Syrians we are helping.

"One must understand that within Syria, civilians are denied medical assistance because of the civil war there. In Israel, we believe strongly that to save a life is crucial. It is easy to close the border with your enemy, but it is part of the physician's oath to heal.

"At Ziv Medical Center, we support the Syrian patients with a lot of love. I am proud of our efforts. We are creating a new opportunity for Syrians and a better life for their children and the children in Israel by giving them medical assistance," said Zarka.

Ziv Medical Center, located in Zefat (Safed), is the closest Israeli hospital to the Syrian border. Ziv has 331 beds in a multicultural environment, in which the medical staff and patients are Christians, Druze, Jews, Muslims and Bedouin.

Zarka himself is a Druze, serving in the Israel Defense Forces for 25 years before becoming director of ZMC.

"I am very proud of all we have accomplished and appreciate the support of everyone in South Florida through the Friends of Ziv Medical Center organization," said Zarka.

Israel and Syria have battled in three wars from 1948 through 1973. Syria has also allied itself with Iran against Israel, as noted by Rabbi Moshe Pitchon, President of Friends of Ziv Medical Center.

"It is very important that the work of Ziv Medical Center be continued with your help," said Pitchon.
 
To learn more about Friends of Ziv Medical Center, please go to friendszivmedicalcenter.org