The head of the Israeli hospital that has treated more than 570 wounded and sick Syrians the past three years will speak at Young Israel of Toco Hills on Thursday, March 31.
Salman Zarka, the director general of Ziv Medical Center in Safed, will talk about how Israel treats those Syrians as a humanitarian response without knowing whether they are civilians or combatants.
More than 2,000 Syrians have been admitted to Israeli hospitals the past three years. As the hospital closest to the Syrian border, Ziv has treated more than a quarter of those Syrian patients. Ziv is the first stop for most patients who come through the border fence between Israel and the Syrian city of Quneitra.
One Ziv doctor estimated that 70 percent to 80 percent of the Syrian patients were fighting in the civil war, but Israel doesn’t ask questions about what happened or about what they will do once they are well.
Zarka, who got his medical degree from the Technion in Haifa, is the first Druze to lead an Israeli hospital. He served 25 years in the Israel Defense Forces, eventually commanding the military health service. Before that, he was in charge of a military field hospital handling Syrian casualties in the Golan Heights.
The Israeli Consulate, American Jewish Committee, ACCESS, American Healthcare Professionals and Friends for Medicine in Israel, and Young Israel of Toco Hills are sponsoring his visit to Atlanta. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., and admission is $5.
Registration is required by Tuesday, March 29 at www.ajcatlanta.org/salmanzarka.