Maire Leadbetter and other protected species.

Auckland activist Maire Leadbetter wrote to the Herald on 2 November pleading for hospital patients in Gaza being put in danger by Israeli military operations in Gaza. Her opening sentence 'I struggle to imagine what it must be like to be a dialysis patient or a patient on a ventilator in Gaza and you just wait to die..'

My response letter wasn't published and you'd think by now I'd have learned about protected species of commentators. But here is my letter for those interested.

'Marie Leadbetter's letter on Gaza medical issues (2 November), seems unaware that Israel has provided dialysis care in its hospitals for years. This care is usually at 'local' rates i.e. Palestinians are not regarded as foreign patients.It is also noteworthy that the wife of PLO head Abass, has been a long term patient at an Israeli clinic.During the Syrian civil war, both sides would bring their wounded comrades to the border with Israel on the Golan Heights for treatment. If the Israeli field hospital there couldn't cope with the severity of the wounds the Syrians were taken to Israeli hospitals.'