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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

People Hate Jews Even More Than They Hate Cancer

Cancer is an equal opportunity disease. Cancer can attack anyone, at any age, in any place. Cancer attacks us all, every race, religion and ethnicity.

In today’s global community, doctors and researchers are working together, sharing information, to advance treatment and, hopefully, discover a cure.

Or are they?

Apparently, there is something even more important than fighting cancer: fighting Israel.

Israeli doctors and scientists are at the forefront of cancer research and development, particularly in the field of Breast Cancer research.

Doctors and patients, all over the world, benefit from the medical contributions of Israeli physicians and scientists.

Yet, Israeli participants were unceremoniously uninvited to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Middle East Conference on Breast Cancer, held in Egypt, by order of Egyptian Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali. There were no protests, outside of the Jewish world.

Nancy Brinker, founder and head of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer advocacy organization, denied that Israelis were barred from the Cairo conference. This directly contradicts reports from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization that confirm that Israelis were, indeed, barred from the conference. Rather than criticizing the Egyptian boycott, Susan G. Komen for the Cure lied to the public.

In stark contrast, during the same week, after the Turkish government barred Israel from participating, the US cancelled a major NATO joint military exercise with Israel, the US, Turkey and Italy. Though cancelling the exercise cost the US millions of dollars, both the US and NATO refused to hold the exercises without the participation of the Israel contingent.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure chose not to cancel their conference or move it to a location where everyone would be welcome. They also did not remove their sponsorship. In so doing, they actively supported anti-Semitism, as did all the participants.

They condoned a policy in which fighting Israel takes precedence over fighting cancer, or finding a cure.

The symbolism here is too dramatic to ignore.

Anti-Semitism is like cancer. It spreads destruction, under the surface, while the host seems perfectly healthy. When the disease has spread so much that it can no longer be ignored, there is often no longer any way to stop it.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, by acquiescing to the ban against Israeli participants, has contributed to an attitude that is contrary to its stated goal – finding a cure.

Apparently, fighting Israel is more important than finding a cure to cancer.

It is too bad that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has chosen to affiliate itself with people who hate Israel more than they hate cancer.

To my utter disappointment, I can no longer support any activities sponsored by Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

For more info:
Jerusalem Post:
Stop boycotts of Israelis at international medical conferences, IMA demands, and Army drill canceled due to US outcry
Israel National News:
US Org. Hosts Cancer Meet, Israelis not Welcome
KUNA (Kuwait News Agency):
Turkey opts out of military maneuvers with Israel
Israel Hits Back at Turkey

(hat tip: Lurker, Carl)

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


goyisherebbe said...

I want you to know that you are now on the misheberach list at Yeshivat Ma'ale Efraim where yours truly, the Goyisherebbe, is a fixture in the beit midrash these last ten years.

SuperRaizy said...

That is so outrageous. Is there any way to protest this? Can we flood the Komen Foundation with e-mails and calls?

Mindy said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. However, I am not surprised. I stopped supporting Susan G. Komen when I found out that they use their money to support abortion. Those who have abortions increase their risk of breast cancer. It doesn't make sense to me. Not ALL the money that goes to their foundation goes directly to breast cancer causes, which also bothers me. They have become too political. I am sorry that there isn't an immediate cure for both the "cancers."

Risa Tzohar said...

When will they ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Horrified, but not surprised.

Anonymous said...

MommyMindy, Can you please cite your statement about those who have abortions increase their risk of BC? I believe it is unfounded, but may stand corrected if you can support it with a scientific paper.

michele said...

RivkA, this is BRILLIANT and needs to reach a wider readership. I strongly suggest that you submit it to a major newspaper as an op-ed, perhaps to the NY Times or USA Today. If you give me permission I'll try to call a couple of people to learn how to submit it. Michele

RivkA with a capital A said...

Goyisherebbe -- Thank you. I firmly believe that it is because of everyone's tefillot that God is taking such good care of me.

SuperRaizy -- That is why I posted the information. I truly hope that people will flood them with emails and phone calls.

If the organization had any integrity, they would have either:
1. cancelled the conference
2. recinded their sponsorhip
3. moved the location

It would have been a powerful satement if they had relocated to a conference center to Israel!

Mommy Mindy -- Wow, I did not know that.

I did a search. In the Wikipedia article about Susan G. Komen for the cure two controversal issues are mentioned:

1. Over $475,000 given in grants from Komen to Planned Parenthood, ostensibly for breast cancer screening, education, and treatment.

2. "pinkwashing" -- deception by corporate marketers, promoting products by promising to donate a percentage to the cause, without revealing that the actual percentage donated is miniscule. Komen receives over $30 million from these corporate partnerships.

I also found two interesting links about the connection between Komen and abortion, including a detailed report.

As with many issues - I do not believe in mixing causes. An organization devoted to curing Breast Cancer should not be chanelling funds to abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood is not a community center for Women's health.

The Planned Parenthood home page has NO INFORMATION about Breast Cancer. It is a site about birth control, abortion, STDs, etc.

Whether or not someone supports Planned Parenthood, we ALL should ask: Why are they receiving money that was donated to find a cure for BREAST CANCER???

Risa -- who?

We never learn. Where is the outcry, from the Israeli government, from Jewish doctors worldwide, calling for a boycott of Susan G. Komen for the Cure??

arnie draiman said...

i, and many of my colleagues, had written to them over the last few weeks. in the end, egypt has allowed the israelis to participate, and susan b komen "endorsed" it, etc. - i still have major issues with how it was handled (particularly zero pressure from suan b komen - who, by the way, was jewish!!!!).

Ilana said...

Very powerful!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Wow, during the time it took me to compose my comment, five more comments were made!

Ariela, see my comment for relevant links. I was also shocked by the connection.

The connection between Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood seems uncontested. The only question is how those funds are used.

One might think that if so much money is going to Planned Parenthood for Breast Cancer awareness and treatment that there would be some indication on their website that they provide this service and promote Breast Cancer awareness.

Michele -- permission granted.

Arnie -- you are mistaken. As I mentioned in my post, Komen for the Cure claimed that Israelis would be permitted to participate, but the Egyptians BANNED ISRAELIS FROM THE CONFERENCE. The conference happened already -- there were NO ISRAELI participants.

Square Peg -- thanks. I hope it has a ripple effect!

Anonymous said...

A few things -
1. I think that Arnie is right, and in the end they did let Israelis participate. I also agree with Arnie that the way they handled it was wrong.

2. I urge all Jews who want to contribute to breast cancer to do so by donating to Hadadi - The Center For The Breast Cancer Survivor (go check our site: www.hadadi.org. The Hebrew is updated, the English for current activities will be updated in the next few days).


RivkA with a capital A said...

Rochie -- you are also MISTAKEN.

I have confirmation from an Israeli doctor who I know personally, who "personally know[s] a doctor who was uninvited who told me the whole story a day after the conference began."

Komen for the Cure has not corrected their misleeding information, which is another testimony to their lack of integrity.

I encourage you to write to Komen for the Cure and ask them for the names of the Israeli doctors who attended their conference.

Rahel Jaskow said...

RivkA, will do.

This reminds me of so many midrashim about Jew-hatred that I learned about long ago, and naively hoped weren't true anymore. Unfortunately, I no longer remember the specific midrashim, but their point was that leaders of nations mistreated the Jews living there even when they were aware that doing so would weaken their own countries.

Rahel Jaskow said...

Just found this: http://ww5.komen.org/KomenNewsArticle.aspx?id=7500

Headline: "Saudi Arabia Launch of U.S.–Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research"

Quote that stood out for me (under the heading "The U.S. Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)": "MEPI has set in motion more than 350 programs in 15 countries of the Middle East and in the Palestinian territories." Maybe this is faulty logic, and if it is, I am willing to be corrected -- but why mention the Palestinian territories specifically without mentioning Israel? We know perfectly well that neither the US State Department nor Saudia Arabia are friends of Israel.

Alissa said...

RivkA, thank you for posting on this. I had seen an article on this a few days ago, and kept meaning to post something, but just couldn't figure out how to channel my outrage and disappointment. I have donated to Komen for years now, and I just cannot wrap my head around this.

A letter to Komen with be forthcoming, as will notification that I am going to find another recipient for my breast cancer research tzedekah. As soon as I can figure out how to say that without including lots of dirty words.

Cheryl Pitt said...

This saddens me, tremendously. I am sorry for it. I've also noticed and been alarmed by our (US) President's (ahem) distancing himself from Israel. I wanted to let you know that this does NOT reflect the wills of many, probably most, Americans. We are watching our country being led in a direction we don't want to go and doing our best to stop it. It's frightening really.

Batya said...

I had written about it, too.

Well, it's about time that Israel refuse people from those countries medical care. There are many here for "humanitarian reasons." Let them go to Egypt, Turkey etc.

Mindy said...

Ariela, you graciously asked for citation and I thank you for the challenge. As soon as I commented, I realized a bold statement like that should have had documentation. RivkA emailed me, I provided several sites, and she researched further. I am sad this is the truth, because the Komen foundation does other wonderful things for breast cancer, but have muddied their vision with the association with Planned Parenthood. Again, thanks for the challenge. It was kindly put and kept all us focusing on the issue and 'debating' in a way that promoted the best interests of breast cancer sufferers and not our own personal opinions. Cheryl, I agree, many Americans tremble at our president's ways.

Karen said...

I had heard that the Komen Foundation gave funds for abortion, but I had never seen the information substantiated. Thanks to those who posted the links. IMHO, it's revolting. Those who support Planned Parenthood are of course welcome to do so. But the idea that in buying a 'pink' product (from which only a few cents go to charity) I am supporting something in which I do not believe, and that is totally unrelated to the cause I THINK I am supporting, is, IMHO, fraud. Has anyone complained to the IRS? (These foundations rely on their tax-exempt status, not only to encourage donations but also as a sign of legitimacy.) Or to the attorney general of the state in which the foundation is headquartered? This might be a more effective way to go after them.

jojo said...

I am a little late to this particular discussion, but I want to say that Planned Parenthood offers women's health services, including breast exams, breast cancer education, as well as education about and referrals to mamograms. (You can see this on their web site.) I can see how it is relevant for them to receive some funds from the Komen Foundation.

Furthermore, the Planned Parenthood clinic in my city doesn't even provide abortions.

Just wanted to offer this balance to the conversation.


Anonymous said...

To follow on the comment from Jojo, I recently found myself without health insurance due to a job loss. I used my local Planned Parenthood as an affordable healthcare provider for my annual exam.

During my exam, I showed the nurse practitioner a lump I had found in my breast. She felt the lump and immediately referred me to the local breast center where I received a grant from Susan G. Komen foundation that covered the cost of the mammogram and ultrasound. Thank G-d it was a benign cyst, the removal of which was also covered under the grant.

I have tremendous gratitude to both Planned Parenthood and the Susan Komen Foundation for helping me to access healthcare at a time when I could not otherwise afford it. As an Orthodox Jew myself, I am obviously sickened by exclusion of the Israeli medical community from the Middle East conference, but I am not convinced that removing all support to the Foundation is the best approach. I certainly intend to send a letter expressing my outrage, but I still believe the Foundation deserves suuport.

Further, Planned Parenthood is not the abortion promoting evil that many make it out to be. The PP clinic in my city does NOT provide abortions either. It DOES, however, offer low-cost women's healthcare to women who would likely otherwise go without.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Jojo and Anon -- Thank you for sharing both the information and your thoughts.

I will think about this some more.

However, I am inclined to withold support as long as the Komen Foundation continues to deny that Israelis were banned from the conference.

I will elaborate more in my follow-up post, which I still intend to write....