Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Tabloid sensationalism

Ma'ariv has a scoop: One of Arafat's main doctors in Paris was a French Jew.
"[D]espite his Jewish identity, his loyalty to the State of Israel and his wish to assist Israel in any way he can, he refused to divulge any information on Arafat’s condition to Israeli officials."
Ma'ariv should be ashamed for publishing this. Jewish doctors -- in Israeli hospitals -- have treated Arab terrorists for years, and actually saved terrorists fresh from a murder operation. You would expect no less from anyone who has taken the Hippocratic Oath. They have now, as they themselves have pointed out in the disgustingly tabloidy Hebrew version of this article, contributed to the conspiracy rumors over the cause of Arafat's death.
They have also done a real disservice to the doctor, who was put in an impossible position -- and now has his ethnic identity suddenly made a public factor and the possibility of a conflict-of-interest planted in the minds of others. I can't really take issue with the Israelis trying to get information out of him -- I'm sure every agency would act the same. However, do they really need to reveal this to the world? They were asking a man to put his career on the line, break doctor-patient confidentiality. By revealing this, they are making an issue of his ethnic identity possibly for the first time in his career, and probably making him profoundly uncomfortable. Shame on them.

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