The article about “Lebanese wounded turn cold shoulder on Jordan aid” by Laila Bassem, has been quite popular on the Internet and when I first read it I found it troubling and worrisome. Although I found it strange that the article was published on July 28th, describing empty Jordanian field hospital tents, when the field hospital began operating on the very same day.
Meanwhile Jon Lyne of the BBC tells another story on July 29th…
…The Jordanians are focussing on setting up a field hospital. It’s a makeshift affair, housed in a school in downtown Beirut. But it has operating theatres, x-rays, even the capacity to carry out plastic surgery.
It was not due to open until the day after we visited. But already there was a steady stream of patients, most of them evacuees from southern Lebanon.
Mohammed Baidoun brought his young son in for treatment for apparent food poisoning. His family fled from the town of Shahabiyeh in southern Lebanon. His bitterness towards the Israelis was balanced by his effusive gratitude for the medical care.
“We thank every nation, whether Jordanian or Saudi or Egyptian, for their help in treating these children,” he said. “Thank you.” [BBC]
Jordan’s Petra News Agency also had this to report…
Beirut, July 31 (Petra) About 1200 Lebanese patients and others injured in Israeli massive war on the country received medical treatment at Jordan mobile hospital set up in Beirut upon directives from His Majesty King Abdullah to ease humanitarian suffering of the Lebanese people, who have been under Israeli brutal attack for more than 18 days.
The injured people expressed deep thanks and gratitude for Jordan’s efforts to ease their suffering.
Jordan was on the lead to heal their wounds and support them in this humanitarian situation which they described as disastrous,” some patients said. Some others said the hospital is the only one they can go to because of the high cost of medical treatment in Lebanon and the food and medical shortage they suffer from.
About 100-150 children come to the hospital each suffering from various types of diseases such as diarrhea and stomachache often caused by overcrowded gathering of evacuated people , said Dr Fareed Haddad from the hospital. [Petra]
I don’t know if Laila Bassem’s article was a bit of a hasty generalization, but either way I just thought in the name of a little objectivity I’d present the other side of the story, even if it’s not the one that people prefer to hear.
Meanwhile aid planes from all over including the UAE and UNICEF are flying out of Jordan mainly because there seems to be no other (safe) way into Lebanon.
That being said, fellow Jordanian blogger Batir Wardam has written a letter to the Prime Minister to ask that the Jordanian ambassador in Israel be recalled and the Israeli ambassador in Jordan be sent home in protest of Israel’s aggression and until this crisis is over. I still believe we need to alter our foreign policy in light of recent events but I think Batir makes a valid point. Under these circumstances this is perhaps the strongest political move of protest Jordan can hope to make. Whatever relationship we’re hoping to protect with Israel in the long term interest of Jordan is currently stuck in the mud. Add to that the fact that people in Jordan are getting angrier by the day and this conflict is not a one night stand operation, there seems to be no end in sight.