Juli 10: The Court ruling in the petition we submitted with Physicians for Human Rights regarding the billboard that was taken down by the Kfar Saba Municipality is the best we could have hoped for. The decision is for us to have a meeting with the management at Meir Hospital to discuss possible steps to prevent segregation in the hospital. The censored billboard has already done its job – through widespread media coverage that raised awareness of the issue much more than the billboards that remained intact near the hospitals in Jerusalem. And now we have the rare opportunity to have an impact on what actually goes on in the hospital. We will update you with the developments.
May 2: The Kfar Saba Municipality took down our billboard near Meir Hospital, claiming it is “offensive”. This gravely infringes the freedom of speech of the members who paid for the billboard and silences all those who oppose segregation. On May 10, additional billboards went up near two Jerusalem hospitals and we are preparing to push ahead with our struggle. In the meantime, it is critical to make clear to hospital directors that the attempt to silence criticism instead of dealing with the problem is futile. Sign the petition – We will deliver it to the hospital directors again once we reach 3,000 signatures.
Last week we heard Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich (from the Habayit Hayehudi Party) say that his wife should not be made to lay in a bed beside a woman who just gave birth to a baby that may want to murder her baby in 20 years. He thinks it’s fine that his wife says she prefers “Jewish hands touching my baby.” Shudder. But the practices that MK Smotrich describes seep into the even the most mundane, non-political spaces. We should be even more disturbed by the trivialness with which hospital maternity wards segregate patients.
Since hospitals compete for deliveries and every woman who gives birth is income for the hospital, the way to stop the racist practice is to make sure the hospitals know the majority of the public opposes segregation. It doesn’t matter if we are parents or not – we are all potential clients of the hospital and have the power to make a difference. Sign the petition to the hospital directors.
Don’t let the momentous experience of giving birth become tainted by discrimination and racism. Your children deserve a better future.
To: Prof. Roni Gamzu, Ichilov hospital; Prof. Yonatan Halevy, Shaare Zedek hospital; Dr. Eytan Wirtheim, Meir hospital; Prof. Ze’ev Rotsein, the Hadassah hospital.
We call on you to end segregation in maternity wards at the hospitals you run. As long as this shameful practice goes on, we will take our business to other medical centers and advise our families and friends to do the same, not just regarding births but other matters.
Segregation between Jewish and Arab women is not only against the law, it crushes any hope for a shared future. We expect you to offer our children a better future.