Documentary Review: “The Ringworm Children” (2004)

David Shasha

Posted Apr 28, 2005      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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The Real Sephardic Holocaust: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victims

Documentary Review: ?The Ringworm Children? (2004)

What if I were to tell you that the Arab government of Morocco in the 1950s forced 100,000 Jewish children to be rounded up and taken to a medical facility where they were given radiation treatments of 350 RAD for the ostensible treatment of ringworm?

What would you do?

What would the outcry be in the Jewish community?

Would there be a feeding frenzy in the Jewish media and in the general media such as the New York Times which continues to feed the Jewish beast of the Holocaust on a regular basis?

What would be said about Arabs and their incipient Anti-Semitism?

To put this in some current perspective, we have recently learned that a new committee has been formed to link the 1941 riots in Baghdad known in Arabic as the FARHUD to the Nazi Holocaust.  Steps are now underway to take an isolated if tragic event in Arab Jewish history where the total number of Jewish deaths was no more than 300 if that much and turn that event into a HOLOCAUST.  This committee is bent on taking the FARHUD and making it a mandatory part of the Holocaust curriculum in the US.  It is clear that the concern with demonizing the Arabs has become a malignant obsession for Arab Jews who wish to curry favor with the Ashkenazi establishment and serve the Israeli HASBARAH campaign that is such a crucial part of Jewish self-knowledge at present.

How quickly do you think would word spread in the media of the near-homicidal treatment of 100,000 Jewish children by their Arab hosts?

Would such a revelation make the FRONT PAGE of every newspaper in the US and Europe ? and ISRAEL?

You bet.

So why have we not heard about these 100,000 Jewish victims of radiation treatment?

The problem is that the radiation treatments were not administered by the Moroccans or any other ARAB government ? these lethal treatments were administered by the ISRAELI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH!

?The Ringworm Children? is a brutal testament to the continued ASHKENAZI RACISM that has made the sojourn of the Sephardim in Israel one of the most shameful episodes in the history of our people.

The story is simple if brutal: Many of the Ashkenazi Zionist officials were conflicted about immigration of Jews from the Arab world ? particularly those from North Africa.  Upon arrival to the newly created State in the 1950s, Sephardic Jews were subjected to various forms of official and social discrimination.  They were sent to ma?abarot, transit camps for immigrants that became part of the ongoing debilitation of what were then called Benei Edot ha-Mizrah ? the Oriental communities.  To my knowledge the largest public scandal ? outside of the institutionalized racism of the Zionist founders ? involving the Sephardic immigrants was the famous case of the YEMENITE BABIES ? a scandal that involved the kidnapping of Yemenite children by the medical authorities that provided the children for sale to Ashkenazi parents in Israel and Europe while their parents would be given death certificates and no corpses to bury.  The scandal of the YEMENITE BABIES has been subject to years of hearings and committees but the real truth remains to be publicly uncovered.

The recent revelations of the GAZEZET scandal make the YEMENITE BABIES issue pale in comparison.  GAZEZET is the Hebrew term for ringworm.

Dr. Chaim Sheba, the first Surgeon General of Israel and an avowed racist who believed in the principles of using Eugenics as a social tool, was loath to accept the immigration from North Africa.  Sheba demanded as a health official that any immigrants with family members who had health problems be barred from moving to Israel.  And when the first immigrants came from Morocco, he demanded that they be treated for ringworm.

As this scandal revolves around ringworm, a now easily treatable skin disease that is not very well known today, I quote from the American Cancer Society?s assessment of the disease?s threat in the period under question:

The only established environmental risk factor for brain tumors is radiation. Before the risks of radiation were recognized, children with ringworm of the scalp (a fungal infection) often received low-dose radiation therapy, which substantially increased their risk of brain tumors in later life.

As the experts make clear in the film, ringworm was a common childhood ailment along the lines of lice.  The ringworm was caused by a communicable fungus that created irritations of the scalp.  Old world treatments included unguents and vinegar.  The disease though communicable was not fatal and would eventually go away of its own accord. 

Radiation treatments were sadly more dangerous than the disease itself.

Dr. Sheba, according to his writings, became obsessed with this ringworm issue in regard to the North African immigrants.  In his role as a public health minister he demanded that all North African children be sent to health centers to receive RADIATION THERAPY.

As the film points out, the regimen of forced radiation based on eugenics was on the wane in the US after the revelations of Nazi experiments in the Concentration Camps and the vast scientific evidence from Japan after the nuclear devastation in 1945.  The scientific community by 1952 was well aware of the dangers of radiation and the short and long-term impact of this type of treatments on individuals ? especially children.  Dozens of lawsuits were being settled in the US courts with compensatory damages being awarded to the victims of these cruel experiments.

This did not deter Dr. Chaim Sheba ? the Josef Mengele of Israel. 

He went to the US on a fundraising mission to get radiation machines ? X-Ray machines from a company named Picker that continues to do business in Israel ? and the funds to administer a mass program of radiation of these Sephardic children. 

According to the relevant documentation the 1948-1955 budget of the radiation program was 300,000,000 Israeli Pounds.  The entire budget of the Israeli Health Ministry for the same period was 60,000,000 Pounds ? the 300,000,000 figure was more than the ENTIRE BUDGET for the same period. 

Where did all the money come from to administer this evil project?

The film sets out the tantalizing but unsubstantiated idea that the Israeli government took money from the US government which was interested in continuing its medical research through experimentation, but could not legally do so.  Israel, a poor and fragile young country, would be a perfect place to conduct these experiments.  This sense of experimentation fit in well with the Ashkenazi Zionist establishment?s racist policies and attitudes towards Sephardim.  Sheba merely acted on the racist value system of the Ashkenazi establishment in setting out his eugenics program to deal with the GAZEZET.

In ?The Ringworm Children? we see how Sheba was able to conduct his evil machinations.  With the obvious complicity of the medical community, health professionals and political figures, Sheba forced over 100,000 Sephardic children into various medical centers throughout the country to be forced to undergo radiation treatments that were in the range of 350 RAD per application ? and many of the victims were given repeated applications.  According to the eyewitness testimony presented by victims in the film, no precautionary measures were undertaken ? no screens or special clothing to protect the children.  This policy included having no health professional in the room while the radiation was being administered ? as those workers knew the dangers of such massive doses of radiation ? in the realm of HIROSHIMA-like numbers.  Parents of the children were told that there children were being taken on a day trip ? and were charged for the trip!

Hundreds of doctors and nurses conducted these treatments under the auspices of the Israel National Socialized Health system and yet the records of these treatments have disappeared and according to the film remain unavailable to the victims ? many of whom continue to suffer with brain tumors, cancers, epilepsy, sterility, cerebral palsy and other nefarious and debilitating diseases.

In 1994, a committee was formed to bring this issue to the attention of the Israeli government and legal apparatus.  A swirl of lawsuits and actions were undertaken with a stonewalling on the part of the Israeli establishment.  Experts presented by the government were connected to the Health Establishment including Professor Baruch Modan who seemed to have held the files of many of the victims.  Modan died of a heart attack while the campaign was going on ? he appears in the film before his death and provides the producers and the victims with no substantial information on his knowledge and the mass of materials that he had in his possession from the early 1960s.  An implication is asserted that Modan may well have had knowledge of secret dealings between the US and Israeli governments.

There is little question that the dangers of radiation therapy were known at the time of the Sheba applications.  In 1952 the International Atomic Commission had presented guidelines for the application of radiation treatment which recommended a one-time dosage of no more than .3 RAD while Sheba had ordered dosages ? sometimes multiple ? of 350 RAD!

Sheba is a criminal of Mengele-like proportions ? of this there is no doubt.  All those who participated in the execution of the program were also guilty of serious malfeasance.  Those who have continued to cover this up for the government and legal institutions of Israel ? many of them are actually interviewed in the film ? are also indirectly responsible for crimes against the Sephardic victims of this barbarity on the part of the Ashkenazi Zionists.

There are a number of issues that emerge from the film:

There is the foundational and perpetual anti-Sephardi racism that permeates the Ashkenazi community ? in the West and in Israel.  Such racism has allowed the plight of the GAZEZET victims to fester with no public outcry or even a mention in the American media.
The criminal sense of racial superiority that enabled this to happen is a basic part of the Zionist phenomenon.  If this is what Ashkenazim do to their fellow JEWS, what won?t they scruple to do to NON-JEWS?
What of justice for the victims?  There is the issue of full disclosure of the medical files that might save the lives of those who have been lucky enough to survive this cruelty.  And then there is the issue of full adjudication of claims and compensation for the victims and their families.
How is it possible that a prestigious hospital complex is named after Chaim Sheba?  Should not a public campaign to remove his name from the hospital be created?
And finally, what of the children and grandchildren of the victims who are now dealing with a truly genetic catastrophe of the highest proportion.  Ironically, by asserting that Sephardim were a (eu)gene(t)ic danger to the Ashkenazim of Israel when they were nothing of the sort, the racist Sheba did in fact create genetic health issues for many generations of Sephardic Jews in Israel.

As any politically-aware Sephardi knows, the criterion for assessing Ashkenazi culpability in all matters of malfeasance is extremely high ? so high that many of the victims are shown in the film as being completely amazed by the standards that were demanded of the victims to prove their claims.  Such a standard is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of the standards that have been set for claimants of Nazi abuse.  We can recall no setting of any STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS for Holocaust claims while such limitations are placed on the GAZEZET victims.

Ashkenazim do not hold themselves to the same standards when they are accused of being the perpetrators of criminal activity as they do for those who they claim have committed crimes against them!

So while we sit here watching the FARHUD committee of foolhardy and naive Sephardic Jews who are more Ashkenazi than Sephardi, the matter of the GAZEZET remains a closed book to the American Jews and a nightmare for those Sephardim in Israel who must feel that no one cares about them at all   As they watch the repeated claims of the Holocaust survivors fill the pages of the US and European media and the ongoing schnorring and infighting between Jewish groups to get the HOLO-CASH from Germany, Switzerland and the rest, these poor and sick Sephardim have no one of influence to help them make their case.

Since ?The Ringworm Children? was aired by Israel?s Channel 10 in August 2004 not one single article has come out in the US media ? the articles by Aryeh Dayan in Haaretz and the controversial Barry Chamish review, both of which were included in our Sephardic Heritage Update, were printed in Israeli publications ? the SHU being the only Sephardic journal in the WORLD that continues to advocate on behalf of Sephardic rights and justice for the Sephardim.  The film is now being screened in the US by LINK TV, a small and relatively obscure non-profit San Francisco-based group of radical hippie-types who are concerned with social justice for Third World peoples.  The station is not carried by any US cable systems and no announcement of the screenings has been made in any US media outlet.

The question you the reader must ask yourself is,


How long must we accept the depredations and the brutal racism of the ASHKENAZIM that is reflected by the official organs of the Jewish world ? and reinforced by the common accusation from Ashkenazim that such RACISM DOES NOT EVEN EXIST.

How long must I be told by Ashkenazim and Uncle Tom Sephardim that I am myself a racist and that I am creating unneeded divisiveness in a Jewish community looking for POSITIVE ways to create a healthy and vibrant society?

How many cancellations have I received on my newsletter e-mail list from ASHKENAZI RACISTS who have blithely and with great pretense and arrogance served to demonize me for my writings and my social activism?

How much have I personally and professionally been threatened ? by friends and enemies alike ? and called upon to ? as they tell me ? LAY OFF THE ZIONISM?

I am here to say that after we all take the time to understand and internalize the full scope of what happened to the GAZEZET victims ? all 100,000 of them ? we will all be able to more clearly see ASHKENAZI RACISM for what it is and be free to do something about it.

Ashkenazim have wisely formed a unified front to protect their communal interests.  We see advocacy groups popping up each and every day to deal with issues that trouble that community.  But when dealing with JUSTICE FOR SEPHARDIM we have ZERO ? NOTHING to help our own people.

?The Ringworm Children? is a film that is brilliantly executed and fully realized.  It is a masterpiece of social activism that tells a story that is at the very existential and political core of the Zionist project and the massive wrongs and injustices that it has wrought against people of Middle Eastern extraction. 

As Sephardim we must get our heads out of the proverbial sand and DO SOMETHING to protect our brothers and our communal interests.

We must stop demonizing our real leaders and activists and finally accept that we need to respond in a forceful way to the Ashkenazim who have done all this to us.

David Shasha

  In my normal newspaper reading that I do each day, I came across a startling item that I wanted to share with all of you.

  For those who have been able to see “The Ringworm Children” documentary on Link TV, you are familiar with the man behind the entire tragedy, Dr. Chaim Sheba - the equivalent for the Sephardim of the Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele - both men who used Eugenics and theories of Racial supremacy to do their “medical” work.

  As I was reading an article on a victim of the Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing of this past Friday night, I saw that one of the wounded was being treated in the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer.

  I have to say I was in a momentary state of complete and utter SHOCK.

  I did a regular Google search to see whether or not this hospital could possibly be named after this monster.

  I do not have to tell you that it certainly was.

  This is the blurb found at their website:

Dear Visitor,
Welcome to Sheba Medical Center, the largest and most comprehensive medical center in Israel. We encourage you to visit us on-line or in person so that we may share with you our Medical Center?s unique expertise and compassionate care. Sheba is built on these core principles:

Patient-Centered Care
Our approach to healthcare is to treat the ?whole person”, by attending to all of our patients? needs from the moment they arrive at Sheba and come in contact with our staff. At Sheba, we draw upon our wide range of resources to serve each of our patients with compassion and sensitivity to their personal needs and circumstances.

Our care includes a comprehensive approach, as we are deeply involved in primary and secondary disease prevention.  We provide acute curative care in time of need, and we continue to provide care by providing full rehabilitation care.  In addition, we provide palliative care for terminally ill patients.

The devotion of the Sheba staff to its patients is unique. Although we are a large medical center, the “Sheba spirit” provides each of our patients a humane touch.

Outstanding Medical Services
Our medical team practices the highest standard of care, using the most technologically advanced medical innovations. We provide a wide range of rehabilitation services that are unique in an acute care hospital.  Our system of care combines treatment and rehabilitation, enabling our patients to return to their daily routine as easily and fully as possible.

Access to Healthcare for All
In a turbulent region where diversity often divides people, Sheba is a haven for all those in need of quality healthcare, without regard for religion, ethnicity, economic status or national identity. Our unwavering commitment to this code of universal access is one of our proudest traditions. 

Drive for Innovation
In our ongoing search for high value, cost-effective health care Sheba invests its financial and human resources to stay on the cutting edge of medical and technological innovations. We have become known for the medical innovations and pioneering technologies that have saved lives and improved the quality of life for our countless patients. Each of Sheba?s departments serves as a beacon of excellence. However, our state-of-the-art Pediatric Hematology, Cardiology and Gynecology departments have become internationally recognized for their innovations. In addition, we are proud of our many firsts within Israel:

First in open-heart surgery
First test tube baby
First artificial heart
First Alzheimer’s Center
First to correct a child’s congenital heart defect without surgery
First Pediatric Hospice
Our continuing drive for innovation is recognized by our selection as one of the 15 medical centers around the world to participate in a Magnetic Resonance Technology project that is revolutionizing surgery procedures, paving the way towards “surgery without a knife.? This is described more fully in the Innovation and Technology section.

A National Education Center at Sheba for the education of healthcare workers houses the Education Center of the Ministry of Health, the National Center for Training Geriatric Professionals, and the National Center for Medical Simulation - a revolutionary new approach to simulation-based training for medical professionals.  The Simulation Center trains doctors, nurses, and paramedics from hospitals throughout Israel, as well as the Israel Defense Force?s medical corps, through the sophisticated simulation of trauma and diagnostic protocols not found anywhere else in the world.

In 1997, the Advanced Technology Center was established to ensure that Sheba keeps abreast of the rapidly moving field on medical technology. The center puts clinicians, scientists, academics and industry together under one roof to foster a unified working environment for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.  The collaborative and creative environment speeds up the development process and ensures better delivery of patient care, more secure sources of services, and continued emphasis on innovation. 

Involvement in Health Policy Reform
Because of Sheba?s commitment to progressive healthcare, the hospital has taken a leadership role in the formulation of national health policy, serving as a continuing advocate on behalf of patients. Sheba is home to the Gertner Institute of Health Policy and Epidemiology, advising the government on health care policy and acting as the Israel Ministry of Health?s ?think tank.?  We have recently launched a ?Health Care Parliament,? engaging a wide cross section of Israelis in discussing health care priorities.

Contribution to International Medical Relief
Sheba?s commitment to compassionate care extends beyond Israel?s borders. We have provided support and supplies in distant areas of need throughout the world, including Kosovo, Armenia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Chernobyl and Rwanda. This commitment stems from our hospital?s concern for the needy - wherever they may be - and from the State of Israel?s long time tradition of contributing to humanitarian relief efforts abroad.

Sheba?s National Role
Sheba Medical Center is founded on the vision of Dr. Chaim Sheba, Israel?s first Surgeon General, after whom the hospital is named. Sheba envisioned a unique national role for the hospital. Today this central role in health care and health policy includes housing the largest Trauma Center in Israel, housing facilities for major chemical and biological terror victims, providing genetic counseling during pregnancy, and offering a pre-pregnancy examination for Tay Sachs. 

The ?About Chaim Sheba Medical Center? section of the website [LINK] describes other special roles we play in ensuring the quality and accessibility of healthcare in Israel, and also describes the National Centers housed at Sheba.

A Proud History
Sheba Medical Center was born one month after the Independence of the State of Israel in 1948, growing from a deserted British Army hospital into a 1,900-bed facility housed on our current 150- acre campus.  Sheba has stayed true to its earliest ideals and today, serves more than 800,000 patients from Israel and around the globe and has become a world-renowned leader in medical treatment, research, and training.  Our hospital has grown into the finest medical facility in Israel with quality care available to all. 

Throughout our entire history, our goal has been to heal those in need, in the broadest sense of the word.  I invite you to join us as we continue our vital mission.

Professor Mordechai Shani

The Hebrew word for all this is CHUTZPAH - the idea that a hospital would be proud to name itself after a MURDERER and SCUMBAG like Dr. Chaim Sheba - the man who was responsible for the death and illness of thousands upon thousands of Sephardic Jews - who he viewed as less HUMAN than Ashkenazis - is beyond imagination.

I present this to you as I continue to mull over how I will write about one of the most painful and frightening episodes in the history of my community in the 20th century.

And please be aware that - to this point - the only English language mention of the Ringworm issue has been the article by the Israeli writer Barry Chamish - do a Google search on the film or the phenomenon and you will find NOTHING.  Not in Haaretz, not in the New York Times, or the rest of the so-called LIBERAL media.

This is a sickening manifestation of the racism that Sephardim have to deal with.

Imagine if a MENGELE hospital were built in Tel Aviv?!?

Something must be done about this - it is time.