- The Washington Times - Monday, August 25, 2003

There is a rather new specialty in emergency hospital care, highly developed by Israeli institutions. It is called “disaster medicine” (or “mass casualty medicine”) and American medical and nursing specialists are coming to Israel to learn how Israel copes with the terrorist attacks against its people. And, of course, these specialists couldn’t come to a better place; no other of the world’s 191 countries has suffered so many successful and thwarted terrorist attacks. Iraq may in time, however, become a runner-up.

Since 1993, according to official statistics reported by the Jerusalem Post, 303 suicide bombers have launched themselves against Israeli targets. Of that total, 242, or 80 percent, have occurred since September 2000. Of the total launched, 167, or 55 percent, completed their efforts to kill themselves and others. In the first seven years of suicide bombing, 70 percent of attempts were successful. Since September 2000, despite a far higher rate of attack, only 51 percent — small solace — have succeeded. At least 2,130 Palestinians (among them the suicide bombers) and almost 900 Israelis have been killed since the uprising began following collapse of the year 2000 peace talks.

Hadassah-University Hospital at Ein Kerem, a Jerusalem suburb, recently held a five-day seminar with 13 American participants. The attendees at the Israeli trauma center were what are called emergency disaster responders — doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and a veterinarian, the majority of them, according to the Jerusalem Post report, from the West Coast.

A specialist nurse, Jim Crabtree, from Los Angeles County’s emergency medical service agency, began researching via computer for information on bomb blasts and came across www.mfa.gov.il the Israeli government’s Web site. Mr. Crabtree got in touch with the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles. An invitation to come to Israel for first-hand study was proffered and a privately funded seminar was organized that included some of Mr. Crabtree’s medical colleagues.

The seminarians participated in simulated mass casualty drills. One of them had responded to the Ground Zero disaster two years ago. She is Dr. Mona Khanna, an internist from Palm Springs, Calif., who said:

“When you go to something of that magnitude, you find out what you don’t know. If we had learned from our global neighbors how to handle mass casualties we might have done a better job on September 11. Tragically, this is all new to the U.S.”

Disaster medicine in the al Qaeda era is obviously a 2lst century “growth industry” for the medical profession and medical care-givers. I say this in the belief that Arabdom plus Iran will not now and perhaps never allow an Israeli democracy to exist in peace, no matter whether Oslo, Camp David, road maps or other agreements are cobbled together here, there or everywhere.

It’s like watching an old newsreel over and over again. Forgotten is the fact that Yasser Arafat signed the Wye River Memorandum Agreement on Oct. 23, 1998, pledging to prosecute terrorists. Israel then released Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists from prison. And now the same charade this time with a new actor in charge, Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, onetime Holocaust denier. Syrian textbooks still teach that real peace with Israel would be treason and that Arab leaders who negotiate with Israel are spies and traitors. A new generation of suicide bombers is slouching toward Bethlehem.

The longer they can keep the intifada going, the more certain the terrorists are of their ultimate victory. The efforts of the Palestinian cabinet to stop the suicide bombers, of whom there seem to be an endless supply, are simply not credible.

The Chinese “death of a thousand cuts” is defined as “a slow death by the torture of many small wounds, none lethal in itself, but fatal in their cumulative effect. This torture was a form of execution in ancient China, reserved for the most heinous crime.” Arabdom has done an update that is called “the death of a thousand suicide bombs.”

Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

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