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Jewish Nurse Breastfeeds Palestinian Baby Injured in Car Accident

Humanity wins, in Jerusalem

Sophie Aroesty
June 06, 2017
Ula Ostrowski-Zak with the injured baby.Facebook
Ula Ostrowski-Zak with the injured baby.Facebook

This past week, after a Palestinian mother from Hebron was injured in a car accident, her nine-month-old baby, who was lightly injured, was taken to an emergency room at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. When he refused to feed from a bottle, a Jewish pediatric nurse named Ula Ostrowski-Zak volunteered to breastfeed the baby.

The baby’s father was immediately killed and his mother, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was seriously injured after their car collided head-on with a bus. The baby was taken to an emergency room and for hours cried incessantly. His aunt felt helpless.

When Ostrowski-Zak arrived, they asked her if she could help them find someone to breastfeed. “As a nursing mother, I didn’t hesitate and suggested that I do it myself,” she told Ynet.

The aunts were taken aback at her kindness, particularly because of the assumption of how Israelis and Palestinians will treat one another. “His aunts embraced me and thanked me,” Ostrowski-Zak said. “They were really surprised and told me that no Jewish women would agree to nurse a Palestinian baby they did not know.”

According to JTA, the Ostrowski-Zak’s magnanimous efforts continued:

She then posted a request for help with nursing the baby on an Israeli Facebook page for nursing mothers and received many responses from women willing to come to the hospital, from as far away as Haifa, to help feed the baby until he is discharged.

She said the baby’s aunts later thanked her and told her they didn’t know other Jewish mothers who would have done what she did. “I told them that any breastfeeding mother would have done so.”

The baby’s mother remains in serious condition.

Jews and Palestinians refusing to be pitted against each other will always make for an uplifting story.

Sophie Aroesty is an editorial intern at Tablet.