Arab and Jewish medical staff in Israel unite to remind the world they are not enemies
Rambam Health Care/Facebook

As the world watches longstanding tensions between Israel and Palestine escalate into violence once again, it's good to be reminded that political conflicts are not a reflection of how average human beings feel about one another. Even when violent attacks take place among civilians, even when hate crimes happen, even when some people express their prejudices loudly and passionately, there are plenty of examples of people on opposite sides of those conflicts—people that the world views as enemies—who join hands to say, "This is not who or what we are to one another."

Case in point: This inspiring show of solidarity between Arab and Jewish medical staff at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

The city of Haifa itself has been viewed as a model of peaceful coexistence between people of various faiths and backgrounds, its religiously and ethnically diverse population avoiding most of the violence seen in other large Israeli cities over the years. Living up to that reputation, in recent weeks, Jewish medical staff at Rambam Medical Center have taken extra shifts to give their Muslim coworkers time off for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, and Arab staff have done the same for their Jewish coworkers to give them time off during Shavuot.

On May 12, as violence escalated, Rambam's medical teams shared photos of Arab and Jewish medical personnel standing arm in arm with signs of peace and coexistence written in Arabic and Hebrew on Facebook.


"Three turbulent days and the escalation in Israel's security situation has led Rambam Health Care Campus employees to send an important message to the general public – we are together," the post states. "The medical staff, nursing staff and employees from other sectors across the hospital are united in these difficult days under the umbrella of peace, coexistence, unity, and solidarity, and many of them chose to take part in a campaign showing colleagues and friends from different religions working side by side to provide the best possible healthcare. These individuals were photographed together, carrying signs of peace and seeking to convey this important message."

The post also included the text of a letter sent to employees from the hospital's director, Michael Halberthal:

"Dear Rambam Employees,

We are all witnessing the recent events in the country, which are characterized by great tension and violence.

Rambam is a hospital where members of all denominations and religions from all walks of life, work side by side. We are all united around only one goal - to help our patients recover and make their hospitalizations easier.

Each of us holds diverse personal opinions and worldviews, but all of these are irrelevant to our shared mission in the hospital.

I hope and believe that Rambam, as a family with differences, will remain an island of sanity within the uneasy reality around us, standing together as we have done during all of the difficult trials we have experienced in recent years.

Therefore, when we, the employees from all the different sectors, enter the hospital and put on our work clothes, we leave the turbulent world behind us and concentrate on our shared goals.

We have built a special "home" here, one that we nurture as a place of harmony and inclusivity. One of which I am personally proud to be a part. Let us keep it going together."

The staff took that message to heart and organized a "solidarity rally" with dozens of Arab and Jewish doctors, nurses, and para-medical staff gathering together under the slogan, "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies."

"We work side by side in the departments and the operating rooms," the doctors who organized the rally said. "We are one big family, and this is our message."

There's no doubt that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over land rights and political recognition is complicated. When you have a centuries-long quagmire of power, oppression, religious prejudices, historical injustices, and more, violence is a natural—though not inevitable—result. While people around the world may feel compelled to protest or support one side or the other for reasons they feel are totally justified, it's heartening to see people on the ground, who live and work with one another, rejecting the idea that they are enemies and embracing one another as fellow human beings sharing a common goal.

The vast majority of people simply want to live in peace. Thank you, staff of Rambam Health Care, for reminding the world of that truth so beautifully.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

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Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

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In the Pacific Northwest, orca sightings are a fairly common occurrence. Still, tourists and locals alike marvel when a pod of "sea pandas" swim by, whipping out their phones to capture some of nature's most beautiful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.

While orcas aren't a threat to humans, there's a reason they're called "killer whales." To their prey, which includes just about everything that swims except humans, they are terrifying apex predators who hunt in packs and will even coordinate to attack whales several times their own size.

So if you're a human alone on a little platform boat, and a sea lion that a group of orcas was eyeing for lunch jumps onto your boat, you might feel a little wary. Especially when those orcas don't just swim on by, but surround you head-on.

Watch exactly that scenario play out (language warning, if you've got wee ones you don't want f-bombed):

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