Jewish Boy Allegedly Mistreated by Nurses in ‘Free Palestine’ Pins

Jewish Boy Allegedly Mistreated by Nurses in ‘Free Palestine’ Pins
child at UK hospital

The incident prompts a swift investigation and renews concerns about prejudice in healthcare settings.

By Ben Cohen, Algemeiner

A prominent British children’s hospital is investigating allegations that a 9-year-old Jewish boy was maltreated and humiliated by nurses bedecked in “Free Palestine” paraphernalia.

The scandal at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital was brought to light in a LinkedIn post written by the boy’s uncle, Elliott Smus, on Thursday. Smus, a British citizen who lives in Tel Aviv, explained that his nephew suffers from a rare blood disorder and receives blood transfusions at the hospital every two months.

The post included a photo of the boy receiving his most recent treatment, sitting on a bed in the hospital wearing a Manchester United replica shirt and without a kippa or any of the other outwardly Jewish signs he normally displays.

“Today he is at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity,” Smus wrote. “As a religious Jewish family, my nephew wears his black kippa (yamulka, religious hat whatever you want to call it) and his tzitzit proudly. Not today.”

Smus said that the boy had been too “scared” to attend treatment wearing his kippa and his tzitzit — the fringed vest worn by observant Jewish males — because of his experience on a previous occasion.

“The nurses (National Health Service employees) are all walking around wearing ‘Free Palestine’ pins and he was scared,” Smus wrote. “Beyond that, the last few times he went in he was denied correct medical care by the same couple of nurses every time. This culminated the last time he went in, when my visibly Jewish, 9-year-old nephew, with an autoimmune blood disease was kicked out of his bay, by one of the nurses who was covered in pro-Palestine badges and stickers, and due to that, had to lie on the floor with a canula in.”

A second photo accompanying the post showed the boy lying on the hospital floor on the day that he attended wearing his religious garments.

Smus continued: “Now the damage is done and my proudly Jewish nephew (and his parents) is scared to not get treatment if he wears his kippa and tzitzit.” He then pointed out that “today when not visibly Jewish, he received quick care. Also worth noting, prior to the conflict [between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza] he received excellent care.”

Smus said that his nephew’s experience was emblematic of the insecurity facing diaspora Jewish communities amidst the conflict in Gaza sparked by the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught in Israel.

“What the actual fu*k is going on?” he wrote. “Is this the world we will live in? Is it 1940 again? It is terrifying to be a Jew in the world again.”

The case has now been taken up by the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester (JRC), which filed a complaint with the hospital.

It noted the allegation that the boy “who is a religious Jew and clearly visible as such, was maltreated by several nurses who were wearing ‘Free Palestine’ badges in the outpatients department of Ward 84. Part of this maltreatment includes a failure to administer proper treatment and being removed from his cubicle and having to sit on the floor.”

The letter emphasized that “the child now feels terrified to return to hospital unless he hides his Jewish identity.”

The JRC urged the hospital authorities to investigate the allegations “as a matter of extreme urgency.”

“This could have catastrophic repercussions for the Jewish community if they were to feel they are not safe attending your hospital,” the JRC said.

The complaint also demanded clarification on the hospital’s policy regarding staff wearing political statements on their work clothing. A spokesperson for the hospital told the Manchester Evening News that “no staff groups are permitted to wear any offensive or political statement badges whilst on duty,” and “the wearing of T-shirts or garments with political statements is not allowed, symbols and badges are not permitted, unless they are in recognition of an approved [Health Service] Trust campaign, a recognized professional body, or Trust ID badges.”

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said that he was backing an investigation into the allegations.

“I have seen the troubling reports shared on social media and have asked the Royal Children’s Hospital to launch an urgent investigation,” Burnham said. “No one should feel treated differently in our hospitals because of their race or religion.”

More than 4,000 antisemitic incidents were reported in the UK during 2023 — a new record. The vast majority occurred in the wake of the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7. Approximately 300,000 Jews are resident in the UK.

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ֿThe post Jewish Boy Allegedly Mistreated by Nurses in ‘Free Palestine’ Pins first appeared on United with Israel.
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