BBC Radio 4 documentary on Syrian patients in Israel

Over two years have passed since the BBC last reported on the topic of sick and wounded Syrians receiving medical treatment in Israel.

On March 19th BBC Radio 4 aired a half-hour long documentary titled “Tim Samuels’ Sleepover: Inside the Israeli Hospital“.

“Tim Samuels spends twenty-four hours immersed in an extraordinary medical scene – Israeli doctors tending to Syrians who have been smuggled over the border for life-saving treatment into a country Syria is technically still at war with.

In the Ziv hospital in the northern Israeli town of Safed, Tim follows two doctors on their rounds as they treat Syrians – both civilians and fighters – who have been seriously wounded in their country’s civil war. Unable to get proper medical attention at home, they are amongst several thousand Syrians who have headed to the border and into Israel for treatment. Tim meets a Syrian man shot during conflict; once his leg has been repaired he intends to head back to rejoin the fight.

On the children’s ward, a mother who has brought her son for treatment describes how her trip to Israel must remain a secret – or she fears she could be killed when they return. On the Syrian border, Tim sees two badly wounded fighters smuggled into Israel by the IDF as they are rushed to Ziv for emergency attention.

In the hospital – staffed by Jewish, Muslim and Druze medics – the doctors talk about the psychological toll of treating the war wounded. A hospital social worker describes waking up repeatedly through the night at home to check that his young son wasn’t injured. The doctors at Ziv say they hope their work is at least a sliver of humanity in a dark region.

Tim explores what motivations might underpin Israel’s assistance to those coming from enemy territory – and how such an unusual situation, even by Middle Eastern standards, has come about.”

Although at times his search for alleged ulterior motives is over dominant and listeners were not informed that the Ziv hospital is just one of several institutions in Israel treating Syrian patients , Tim Samuels has managed to produce an interesting and objective report on a topic the BBC has not covered for quite some time.


4 comments on “BBC Radio 4 documentary on Syrian patients in Israel

  1. Well, I suppose we have to be grateful for a few small crumbs thrown by the BBC. During the tributes to Martin McGuiness, someone was allowed to say unchallenged on BBC TV words to the effect that “lots of countries have used terrorism, such as the founding of the State of Israel”.

  2. The question Duvidl would like to know the answer to, perhaps politically incorrectly, is whether Tim Samuels is halachically Jewish. Wikipedia.with its extensive biography of Tim, cannot help answer this question, making no mention of Tim’s religious affiliation past or present. Duvidl therefore has to deduce that, like Sherlock Holmes’s “dog that didn’t bark in the night”, Tim is not Jewish, although his father may have been.

  3. Any praise on Israel from the BBC is carefully measured to deflect criticism on its bias at a later date.

Comments are closed.