A Tunisian-born Jewish philanthropist has made a donation to a Bethlehem hospital in order to further the prospects of peace:
JERUSALEM — A Toronto-based philanthropist is donating $300,000 worth of medicine to a West Bank hospital serving needy Palestinian mothers and their babies in a gesture he says he hopes will further goodwill in the region.
Walter Arbib, an Israeli-Canadian citizen who is chief executive officer of the SkyLink aviation company, is sending the donation to the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, which provides low-cost or free obstetrical care and runs the town's only neonatal intensive-care unit.
"I believe we have to try to bridge with the Palestinians," Mr. Arbib said in a telephone interview. (..)
It's Mr. Arbib's second donation to the occupied territories; others have gone to tsunami survivors in southeast Asia, earthquake survivors in Pakistan, Darfur's genocide refugees and AIDS sufferers in Ethiopia, as well as schoolchildren in northern Israel during the 2006 summer war between Israeli forces and Hezbollah.
Born to Jewish parents in Tunis and raised in Libya, Mr. Arbib fled as a young man during the backlash against the 1967 Mideast war, first to Italy, then Israel. He moved to Canada in 1988 to found SkyLink with his business partner, Surjit Babra, a Punjab-born Sikh. The two men specialize in the logistics of delivering humanitarian aid.
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