“I have touched the enemy’s blood, not to kill but to heal wounds”


Dr. Alejandro Roisentul builds peace serving the victims of the Syrian war, in Israel.

Some think the future is built shedding the enemy’s blood; others, like Dr. Alejandro Roisentul, are convinced that building a better world implies touching the enemy’s blood only to heal wounds.

This surgeon, born in Argentina, has been living in the Holy Land for 28 years, where he works at Safed hospital in northeastern Israel.

There, he serves the victims of the Syrian civil war. Syria is one of the countries that has historically been an enemy of the Jewish state.

In an interview with, Dr. Roisentul explains: “My hope is that one day these children and adolescents we serve become leaders in their respective countries and can tell their people they were cared for in Israel. Our patients see their country devastated by war, and many of them are often surprised to see the kind of treatment they receive from us.”

Roisentul states that since 2013, more than 4,000 Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals.

“Both the government and the army decided not to let people die at the border. They get here after incredibly long walks, or traveling on mules, and the Israeli government gives them a special authorization to cross because the border between the two countries is quite hermetic.”

Dr. Roisentul is thrilled to describe the relationship between Israeli doctors and Syrian patients: “Most people need long treatments to recover, get therapy or surgery, so they end up living for a long time in the hospital. We always end up shaking hands or hugging each other. They come in fear because they see us as their enemies at first, but then everything changes. It is not easy, because they come from a country where it is customary to burn Israeli flags.”

When asked why he does this work, the doctor replies: “I think the hand of God put me in this border hospital, where I have worked for 18 years, so that I could be able to transmit this experience.”

In the office, the doctor has hung a small sign that summarizes his mission and vision: “My hands have touched the blood of the enemy. Not by tearing his skin but by healing his wounds.”

* Image taken from the video interview of Dr. Alejandro Roisentul with

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