Doctor who Fought Libel joins IDF Despite Cancer
The IDF has awarded Doctor Yehuda David with a Certificate of Merit. Dr. David, who is renowned for fighting Arab libel, took part in protecting Israel’s soldiers during the Pillar of Defense counter-terror operation – despite battling a serious illness.
David showed up for reserves duty during Pillar of Defense even though he is suffering from cancer.
“Physically it was very difficult,” he said, “but spiritually it was extraordinary. It’s very powerful to be part of the most important thing going on – protecting soldiers in the Israel Defense Force.”
David fought for years against an Arab story, widely published in the world media, accusing Israeli soldiers of shooting and killing a terrified Arab child, Mohammed al-Dura. He revealed in 2007 that he had treated the father, Jamal al-Dura, for wounds sustained in an Arab gang attack – injuries that al-Dura later claimed had been inflicted by the Israeli army.
David was sued for libel, but won. He then started an organization aimed at defending Israel and the IDF against libel.
In 2012 he announced that he would run in the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party primaries, but he was forced to withdraw from the race due to his illness. “I couldn’t guarantee my supporters that I would be able to faithfully represent them,” he explained last week. “The primaries take a physical strength that I did not have.”
He wished the elected Bayit Yehudi representatives good luck, saying the nation of Israel is in good hands. “We are moving toward social change, I think in both the secular and hareidi-religious communities, toward creating national unity, and that is very important,” he said.
David said he plans to continue fighting anti-Israel libel. He warned of a new form of de-legitimization targeting Israeli doctors specifically. During a recent television appearance, he said, a fellow guest accused Israeli doctors of having “dual loyalty” – a loyalty to the Jewish state that keeps them from providing quality medical care to imprisoned terrorists.
“Arab doctors in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem have dual loyalty, too,” David said sarcastically. “An Arab doctor in Hadassah cannot care for a Jew, and an IDF medical officer cannot care for a terrorist – what is this stupidity?”