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DISEASE AND HEALTH

January 27, 2016

I have been unable lately to write about what concerns me, because what has concerned me for the past twelve days is my daughter’s health. Noa, age 37, caught a particularly aggressive pneumonia, two weeks ago, and we almost lost her. Ambulanced from the Arava desert where she lives with her husband and two kids, she was nearly overcome by a ferocious germ. She’s a fighter, and has made her way back, undergoing a tough ordeal at Soroka hospital. Today she’s at home and recuperating. Noa often accuses me of being overly dramatic, but this time she provided the drama, scaring the shit out of her father. The extended family rallied beautifully, her community has not stopped bringing her and the kids casseroles and fresh baked bread, both at home and to her hospital room. She is clearly loved all around. She’s the regional truant officer, and at her bedside I encountered the mother of a troubled kid she has recently brought back into school.

I am full of admiration for Noa’s steadfastness and inner strength. She decided she was coming back to us and made her way through this morass.

This sort of thing is a wake-up call. Life is so fragile. Our precious family, weathering this through massive support and prayer and Noa asserting herself when she had to. Remembering that doctors are human, even disagreeing in the presence of the patient, sometimes groping in the dark, and that each of us is responsible for what is done to/for us.

Forgive my jumping, but the metaphor hits me between the eyes….Noa’s pneumonia was in some ways similar to the occupation of Palestine….invasive, poisonous, choking off our ability to breathe, uncaring of the wonderful human beings who are assaulted by the disease of controlling the lives of people. The disease gathers force, takes new forms, wreaking havoc with everything in its path, and spreading infection everywhere. Just this morning, our Minister of Culture clarified that she is “not an ATM,” that she will limit government support for the arts according to the artists’ demonstrated loyalty to the state, demanding the right to “determine what the State of Israel will finance, according to its laws, values and policies.” On Independence Day, no expression of the Palestinian narrative – that our independence is their Naqba, disaster – will be tolerated. Our freedom of expression, the national health that unfettered arts support, rapidly being infected with this lethal germ, whose source is in the unresolved insistence on clutching onto the territories with no antibiotic, no horizon, no plan that might offer us a future. Instead, heaping law after ruling that seeks out the freedom-lovers and strives to smother us.

Yet just as Noa fought off pneumonia, we will determinedly make our way back to national health. There are pockets of robust and feisty resistance throughout the country, alive and well. The small organizations that bring people together, like Sulha, will plod on, our white blood cells will fight, our passion for freedom and for life will resist the disease, our immune system will vanquish the dark forces of occupation. We are here, we will not submit to despair. We will bring health and beauty and ease to our land. Just marvel at the wonder of our blood! We are built to resist infection, and resist we shall!

Yoav

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One Comment
  1. Silvana Winer permalink

    Oh my God! I am shocked and sad to hear the news. I hope with all my heart that this nightmare is over and that Noa is better and better every moment!

    I am here for anything I could do. I hug you and hope for the best soon, silvana

    On Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 5:56 PM, jerusalemheart wrote:

    > yoavpeck posted: “I have been unable lately to write about what concerns > me, because what has concerned me for the past twelve days is my daughter’s > health. Noa, age 37, caught a particularly aggressive pneumonia, two weeks > ago, and we almost lost her. Ambulanced from the ” >

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