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December 10, 2010

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PAGE 22A Untold From page IA of medicine and cardiol- ogy and director of medical education. Sheba CEO Prof. Zeev Rotstein, who presented his hospital's award to Wail, told the Heritage, ',Norman Wall brought American technol- ogy of the 1940s to Palestine ...Everything was dependent on the British Mandate at the time, and the British looked at the local popula- tion as second class. Dr. Wall actually pushed forward the ability of the Jewish doctors there to treat military and civilian patients." There are two versions of the little-known story of how, during World War II, the U.S. Army helped plant the seeds of what was to be- come Sheba Medical Center. The official version is that in October 1943, the Army's 24 th Field Station Hospital at Tel Litwinsky (now Tel Hashomer)--a camp estab- lished to treat Allied casual- ties from the North African campaign--turned over its surplus medical supplies and equipment to Haganah doctors treating patients in a crumbling Ottoman-era facility in nearby Tel Aviv. British forces took over the U.S. Army's abandoned Camp Tel Litwinsky medical station and operated it until Israel declared independence in 1948. The hilltop site was then captured and occupied by Israeli forces, where it became Tel Hashomer Hos- pital, an army treatment center, ultimately growing into the sprawling civilian' complex it is today, a hos- pital and research institute and the primary treatment center for soldiers and terror victims. The unofficial version is that a Jewish U.S. Army doc- tor serving with the evacuat- ing unit, Captain Norman Wall, was concerned that if the supplies were turned over to the British they would in turn be handed over to their Arab allies. So--on his own and without authorization-- Wall collected the materiel and personally loaded his jeep at least a dozen times with hard-to-find medicines, operating room instru- ments, supplies and X-ray film, and delivered it all to skeptical Haganah soldiers, who concealed it in the hol- low base of a kibbutz water tower (right next to arms and ammunition smuggled from other sources, Wall said). The Israelis were skeptical for good reason: Wall was wearing an Allied uniform, didn't look Jewish, and he had an English-sounding name. But the young physi- cian from Pennsylvania's coal country, a graduate of the University of Penn- sylvania's medical school, persisted in donating the supplies. In the process he formed a lifelong relation- ship with the legendar Dr. Chaim Sheba, founder of Israel's Medical Corps who became the army's first chief medical officer, and for whom the hospital was later named. "Life is a matter of luck and destiny," Wall said Dec. 3, repeating a quote he at- tributes to Albert Einstein. "The Army in those days, they sent you anywhere. They could have sent me to Japan m; the Philippines. But they sent me to Pales- tine." He started out in the medical corps with two close buddies, one of whom was killed at Anzio, the other in the Solomon Islands. The 27-year-old Wall and his friends joined the medi- cal corps before Pearl Harbor "because it gave us 50 bucks a month." He then shipped out from Newport News, Va. to various posts in Africa and in Palestine, where the Brit- ish waited for Field Marshal Erwin Rommei and his Ger- man Afrika Korps to sweep east. Rommel was on the verge of entering Cairo, Wall remembered, where the no- toriously anti-Semitic Grand Mufti of Jerusalem awaited him amid a sea of swastikas. "The British were losing very badly." And everyone knew what would happen if" the Germans were to enter Palestine. The 24th's field hospital at Tel Litwinsky was situated in" "a beautiful little village in an orange grove," said Wall. "There were only two build- ings: an operating room and the radiology department. The rest was tents, and the wards were in Quonset huts--I believe some are still there." After British Lieutenant- General Bernard Montgom- ery defeated Rommel at the Second Battle of EI-Alamein, there wasn't much to do at Tel Litwinsky. The one car was designat- ed for use of the command- ing officer. There was one ambulance. Wall had charge of the one jeep, "which I used very freely" in his travels as the sanitary officer inspect- ing restaurants in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. "In my jeep, I tried to get as muchmedical equipment as we didn't need," said Wall. The Army would not have been able to take everything when it moved on, and "we didn't want our materials to be vandalized by the Arabs." The British, he said, were "very snobby, very pro-Arab and very anti-Zionist and anti-JewishY Local Jews "were treated pretty badly" so "they hated anyone in a uniform." He tried to identify h!mself [o the Israelis as a fellow Jew. "I Said, 'I want to help you.' No dice." His friendship with Chaim Sheba, then a senior doctor with the Haganah, was one of Wall's first successes. But Sheba had to do things "very' quietly and carefully. If the British had caught him, they would have put him in jail. The most I would have re- ceived Was a reprimand from the Americans. So I said, 'The hell with it.'" His resourceful- ness is still paying off. The tools and know-how Wall and the Army left be- hind for the Israelis in 1943 have blossomed into what Zeev Rotstein calls "an island of peace, tranquility and san- ity in a very stormy region. We have had, unfortunately, all too much experience at treating victims of terror and war. Yet at Sheba we practice peaceful co-existence on a daily basis." The hospital provides equal levels of care to Pal- estinians and Israelis, Mus- lims, Christians and Jews. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 10, 2010 One million patients--in- cluding citizens of Arab countries--enter its doors each year. It serves as Israel's national blood bank center and the official hospital of the IDF. One-quarter of Israel's medical research is conducted there, and its cen- ter for medical simulation trains professionals from health facilities worldwide. Wall has revisited Israel many times. His three chil- dren all married Israelis, and he has Israeli grandchildren and great-grandchildren. During his years heading Good Samaritan Hospital in Pottsville, Pa., he brought dozens of Israeli medical students over to study--two of them now serve at Sheba. Wall was also instrumen- tal in the development of Ben-Gurion Hospital and Medical School in the Negev. In the late 1960s, at the re- quest of the National Confer- ence on Soviet Jewry, he and his older son, Jay, smuggled medical supplies, especially insulin and digitalis, to Jews in Russia and the Ukraine. During the 1973 Yom Kip- pur War, with the assistance of Mossad, he arranged for a surgical company in the Midwest to donate highly specialized equipment to Lady Sieff Hospital in Safed to treat Israeli soldiers whose bones were being shattered when their tanks imploded under attack. An active leader in the Anti-Defamation League, Wall battled anti-Semitism many times in his career. But he remembers being warmly welcomed by the Catholic sisters at Good Samaritan decades ago. "Sister, I'm a Jew," he said to the nun in charge. "'You take care of the medicine,' said Sister Mary Agnes, 'and I'll take care of the praying.'" Wall welcomes the part-' nership between Sheba and Florida Hospital, a Seventh Day Adventist organization. He reflected on the advances in his own lifetime from the "primitive medicine of Hippocrates" he saw being practiced in his medical school days to the advent of penicillin and modern surgical techniques, and said that the two hospitals will "make a future that none of us can see." The night before the ceremony, Wall told a small group of family and friends that, in deference to his Florida Hospital hosts and Gen. Gamble, he intended to finesse the ambiguity about whether the Army knew it was donating supplies to the Jewish underground. Since there is no one else alive to- day who was there, only Wall himself knows the truth. So it was left to Wall's rabbi, Steven Engel of Con- gregation of Reform Judaism in Orlando, to make light- hearted reference to Wall's donation, saying that after all these years the Army should send the nonagenar- ian an invoice for the medical supplies they contributed. Lyn Davidson is associ- ate editor of the Heritage Florida Jewish News. Mark L Pinsky was formerly religion reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, and is currently a freelance writer for Politics Daily and a variety of other online news sources. Wiki From page IA intelligence chief said Hamas was isolated and would not stand in the way of a peace agreement. Hamas' continu- ing control of Gaza, even following the war that broke out 11 months after the Egyptian assessment, still undercuts Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In 2007, U.S. diplomats called Tzipi Livni an up-and- comer. Though now the leader of the Israeli opposition as head of the Kadima Party, Livni twice failed in bids to be- come Israel's prime minister. The same State Depart- ment cable said the Israeli military and government don't get along--"never the twain shall meet!" But they do get along, mostly, and meet often; the lack of cooperation in 2007 was the result of the short-lived term of Amir Per- etz as Israeli defense minister. The disparities between predictions and reality reflect the on-the-fly, nature of the discussions detailed in the newly revealed cables. Ed Abington, a former U.S. consul in Jerusalem who has consulted for the Palestinian Authority, said the authors of such cables work under pressure to come up with "added value" in analysis and fill in the vacuumwith chatter that might not have any basis in reality. "You're looking for what you can add that makes it relevant to policymakers in Washington and else- where--analysis, insight," Abington told JTA. "A lot of the reporting, in hindsight, is irrelevant." "Sudoku solution from page 7 - 974516283 531278496 682493157 72 41 36 86315.49 9785362 5942871 843167-925 156829734 297354618 David Makovsky, a senior analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said facts on the ground als0 change rapidly--a factor that helps explain how dire Israeli predictions about Iran's im- minent weapons program have dissipated, at least for now. Part of that may be attribut- able to efforts by the West to sabotage Iran's nuclear pro- gram. Makovsky cited the recent success of the Stuxnet computerworm, which appar- ently disrupted Iranian cen- trifuges necessary to enrich uranium to bomb-making capacity. Much of the material in the leaked cables offers frankU.S. assessments of everything from the temperament of for- eign leaders to the shipment of arms between foes of the United States. In late 2009, U.S. officials told their Russian counter- parts that they believed North Korea had shipped missiles to Iran capable of hitting capi- tals in western Europe. The Russians were skeptical, but agreed that there was evidence of increased cooperation be- tween the two rogue nations and it posed new dangers. The cables also track in- creasing concern among the United States, Israel and Western nations that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leading Turkey along a path to Islamism-- and beyond the point of no return of accommodation with the West. In Cairo, U.S. diplomats t01d Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that in meet- ings with Egyptian leaders, she should defer to Egyptian self-regard as the indispens- ableArab statewhile acknowl- edging that the perception is long past its due date. Tracking the cables that straddle the Bush and Obama administrations also demon- strates that on some matters policies have changed little, if at all. Stuart Levey, the treasury undersecretary charged with enforcing Iran sanctions, reassured Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan in December 2008 that President Obama was as determined as George W. Bush to isolate Iran through sanctions. Within a few weeks, Obama would confirm the point by reappointing Levey to the job, ensuring consistency. The leaks also show Iranian and Syrian duplicity. A 2008 memo, apparently from an Iranian source, details how Iran used the cover of the Ira- nian Red Crescent to smuggle officers into Lebanon in 2006 to assist in Hezbollah's war against Israel. Syria appar- ently provided sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah within weeks of pledging to U.S. of- ficials that it would not do so. Some of those named in the leaks worried that their publication could inhibit frank dialogue. U.S. Rep. Jane Harman (D- Calif.) was outraged that her private exchange with Netan- yahu on Iran and Palestinian issues in a 2009. meeting became public knowledge. "If Congress has no ability to have candid conversations with foreign leaders, we won't have some of the critical infor- mation we need to make the judgments we need to make about countries like Iran,"she told The Daily Beast. In condemning the leaks, Clinton said Nov. 29 that they represent policymak- ing only in its most nascent stages. Once the heavy hitters become involved, the policy is changed. So the content of the leaked cables is not of vital importance, she tried to argue. "I want to make clear that our official foreign policy is not set through these mes- sages but here in Washing- ton," Clinton said. "Our policy is a matter of public record, as reflected in our statements and our actions around the world." But the cables reveal policy discussions in blunter terms, and show the inner work- ings of intergovernmental relationships that the par- ties would rather have kept private. Saudi Arabia, for example, is shown in the cables to be beating the war drum for a U.S. attack against Iran--a stance quite different from its public posture. In a 2008 meeting, the Saudi ambassador to United States reminds U.S. Gen. Da- vid Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, about the multiple times Saudi KingAbdullah called on the United States to "cut off the head of the snake" at- tack Iran to stop its nuclear program. But the message is not con- sistent. Other cables describe meetings in the Persian Gulf with Arab officials, including Saudis, who counsel against a strike, saying that the back- lash would be incalculable  The cables least prone to such disparity may be those that describe meetings with Israeli officials. Successive Israeli prime ministers and defense ministers all say the same things--and in the same ways that they do in briefings with reporters. Meeting last week with Israeli reporters after WikiLe- aks began publishing the cables, Netanyahu said the Israeli government takes pains to make sure the most sensitive discussions between the two countries are kept private. "It influences our work, what we do in meetings, who we bring into meetings, what we say in them, and when we narrow the meeting to two people," he was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post. The most important ex- changes between the U.S. and Israeli governments are not detailed in the cables because top U.S. and Israeli political leaders speak directly to each other. The cables leaked by WikiLeaks, about 1 percent of which have been published so far, have low secrecy clas- sifications and were written by relatively low-level diplo- mats. They were stored in a computer system to which more than 2 million people had clearance to access. Newspapers reported last week that a U.S. soldier, Brad- ley Manning, is allegedly be- hind the leaks to WikiLeaks. Manning, a private, is facing trial in another leaks case.