An Arab-Israeli woman going through labor was told to switch rooms in Afula’s Emek Medical Center on Tuesday after a Jewish woman objected to being hospitalized in the same room.
The Arab woman, who arrived at the hospital with her husband late on Tuesday night, was told that the room assignment at the hospital was not “as per her request,” as she was asked to leave her room.
The Arab-Israeli couple, residents of Nazareth, made an attempt to convince the Jewish woman to let them stay in the room before finally giving up and leaving the room. The Arab couple was then transferred to a private room.
Dr. Wassim Rok, the Arab woman’s husband, recounted the racist incident in an interview given to Walla.
“At around midnight, we were told that my wife would be moved to another room. The mother said, ‘I don’t want these people because they are Arabs.’
“The staff tried to convince her but she continued arguing and objecting. I later told her, ‘you know what, maybe we don’t want to be in the same room with you. We no longer feel safe being around you.'”
Arab woman’s husband: We bear no ill will
Rok, a 44-year-old family physician who was previously employed at the Afula hospital, told Walla that the couple “would’ve been with anyone in the same room, it doesn’t matter to us.” He stressed that the medical center staff “acted in an exemplary manner during this short-lived incident. We had other options, but we decided to come to Emek Medical Center because the medical staff is professional, humane.
“We bear no ill will toward the mother,” Rok added. “We wish her and everyone peace and health only. It’s a small incident, a little bit heartbreaking,” he said.