Friday, July 26, 2013

This Wednesday: Soldier Stories with Orit Kapel - Treating a Terrorist

IDF Medic Orit Kapel
Israel Defense Forces combat field medic , Orit Kapel will speak at Congregation B’nai Tikvah, 2510 Gateway Road, Carlsbad, 6:30-7:30 Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Orit will hold a Q and A at a local restaurant afterward. This a free lecture as part of the B’nai Tikvah Lecture Series.

She will share her amazing combat stories, and reflect on her life as a combat medic - see this interesting snippet below:

"In October of 2003, when I had only been in the army for a few months. I was walking at night, and a paramedic told me to go to the security prison inside the military base immediately. She didn’t say who the prisoner was, just that I was the only medic available. Usually they wouldn’t send such a young medic to treat someone, but they had no other option, so I went.

When I got to the prison, I saw the prisoner and I knew exactly who he was. He was responsible for a huge terrorist attack: He sent his own sister to commit a suicide bombing in a restaurant in Haifa. Her attack killed 21 people. A lot of innocent babies and children were killed. So when he said that was his name I was really conflicted. The media was constantly covering the story of the victims but there he was in front of me and I was ordered to treat him. So I had to think, what if he was released at the end of his trial, what if he was freed in a hostage deal someday? What if he murdered again?

After a few seconds I just treated him. I examined his condition and gave him IV fluids and medication, everything he needed since I was trained to treat those in need regardless of their moral standards, regardless of nationality. I treated him as I would any other patient.

He actually thanked me and when I finished. I almost felt like I had betrayed his victims. He is a person who deliberately sent his own sister to sacrifice her life for the purpose of killing innocent people. It was really, really hard for me to accept his thanks.

But I did it. I did it as a member of the medical team. I did it because I’m part of a moral army. I did it because the IDF is committed to high moral standards and a really clear ethical code. And it was really clear to me what I have to do and I certainly would have done the same thing today. I’m proud to be part of an army that is clear about moral standards and a code of ethics.”

Orit Kopel is here from Israel taking time off before leaving to London School of Economics to pursue a Masters Degree in International Human Rights Law. Orit is here as part of StandWithUs as the San Diego Israel Education Ambassador.

Orit is a graduate of the prestigious Hebrew University Law School and holds a B.A. in Communication and Journalism. She served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a Field Medic as one of the few females assigned to this role in the West Bank.

In 2009, Orit was selected to be a part of the StandWithUs Fellowship program, in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to empower young Israeli adults to be informed, active, articulate, and globally-minded future leaders. Since then, she has been a part of StandWithUs as a speaker both in the United States and in Israel. Orit is well educated on the Middle East conflict and has many personal stories to share about her time in the Israeli Defense Forces. She is knowledgeable, charismatic, and is a dynamic speaker who is excited to represent Israel and serve the San Diego community.

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