By Susan Schwartz, MMNS
The suffering of children in Palestine, not only in the living conditions they must endure under occupation, but in the absence of medical care we in the West take for granted, tears at the most basic humanitarian instincts.
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) will hold its annual banquet and fundraiser on October 23rd at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, Ca. Professor Ilan Pappe will be the keynote speaker at this event which is titled: "Healing Hands". Tickets are $100 per person.
The PCRF is well known to readers of The Muslim Observer for its outstanding work in bringing medical aid to children in the Middle East.
Professor Pappe is an Israeli citizen having been born in Haifa. Currently he is a Professor of History at the University of Exeter in the UK. He was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Haifa and Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa. Professor Pappe is well known for his political activism and his intellectual honesty and courage in confronting Israel and its past.
Professor Pappe has called Zionism a greater danger than Islamic militancy and has identified Israel as the primary cause of the Middle East conflict. He has also accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in his most recent book, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine", with regard to the Palestinian expulsion that accompanied the Israeli war for independence.
Professor Pappe has published numerous books and articles in support of his convictions and has been called by John Pilger "Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian".
In addition to Professor Pappe, Dr. Mohamed Radhi, a pediatric cancer specialist, will make a presentation. Entertainment will be provided, and there will be an opportunity to buy Palestinian items. There will be a visual presentation of the work of the PCRF in the lobby before the banquet.
Readers are advised to purchase their tickets prior to the event as past events have been sold out prior to the banquet date. To purchase a ticket(s), please call: (562) 432-0005.
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund was founded by humanitarians in the US in 1991 to serve the unmet medical needs of Palestinian children. Since that time the mandate has expanded to include children in Iraq and Lebanon. PCRF sends medical teams on a regular schedule to treat children’s needs in the Middle East and to train local medical personnel there. If the children cannot be treated in their own land, arrangements are made to bring them free of charge to medical facilities in the West.
The following are but two examples of the present work of the PCRF. Recently a young boy from Gaza was brought to Georgia for neurosurgery, and a young girl from Gaza, burned by Israel’s use of White Phosphorus during Operation Cast Lead, was treated in San Diego. The PCRF also arranges for host families, familiar with the language and culture of the young patients, to provide a temporary home for the children and to transport them for medical care.
The PCRF has chapters throughout the United States and abroad.
Praise for the PCRF has come from Bishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter. Charity Navigator has given the PCRF a four star rating – the highest it can confer.
To find out more about the PCRF and its work, please access them at: www.pcrf.net.