Filming In Israel

Chernobyl Syndrome in Israel

All experts agree that the Chernobyl disaster that occurred between the 25th and 26th of April 1986 was the biggest nuclear accident in the history of humanity.

Outside of the USSR, in Israel, one can find the largest percentage of Chernobyl disaster victims – approximately two hundred thousand people. More than 900 took part in the rescue team, which was sent unprotected to clear the nuclear waste. Tens of them have already died from cancer and the rest are in immediate danger of their lives. The symptoms of radiation never disappear. Tens of thousands of Jewish families, who immigrated to Israel from Russia, arrived from areas affected by the disaster.

They are expected to suffer from various diseases as a result of their exposure to radiation. Twenty-five percent of the recent Russian immigration to Israel is part of the risk group of the Chernobyl syndrome. Most are under medical surveillance. According to scientists at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, the second wave of this disaster is expected to occur within 20 years after the first wave, i.e., within another 5 years. This wave will affect those people who were exposed to a weaker wave of radiation. The harm to those people exposed to a stronger wave of radiation affects most of the organs of the body, from the brain to the reproductive and digestive systems and the bones.

A few months ago, the third cancerous growth was found in Irena G’s body. Irena is a 49-year-old immigrant to Israel. Originally, she suffered from thyroid cancer, but consequently she began suffering from breast cancer, and today suffers from cancer of the ovaries. The “Curse of Chernobyl,” as she calls it, has been chasing her since December 1986. This is when she was involved in rescue, and restoration operations of the reactor in Chernobyl. Irena is one of the many “liquidators” who was urgently called upon from all over the Soviet empire in order to save the situation. A friend of Irena’s, another “liquidator,” is a 42-year-old woman who immigrated to Israel on her own. For three years, she has suffered from thyroid cancer, and last year died in insufferable agony from bone marrow cancer. Nearly one thousand registered “liquidators” like Irena, live in Israel. Many of them were in close contact with the reactor. In May of 1986, when there was radiation in the air; they entered the reactor, equipped with minimal safety gear only. They wore only handkerchiefs to cover their mouths. The Chernobyl S.O.S. Organization in Tel Aviv, has registered more than 60 “liquidators” who have died in Israel. Many of the “liquidators” are carrying more than one kind of cancer in their bodies.

Doctor Shapiro, who has organized a list of Chernobyl casualties at the hospital of Haifa, Israel, points out that one of the highest risk groups are the children, i.e.: from babies till ten years old or embryos yet in their mother’s womb. Thirty-five thousand youngsters up to the age of 26, who are living in Israel, are expected to suffer from genetic deformities in the second and third generation.

Until this day, there is no one in Israel to answer these people’s questions, and the cover-up that began in the USSR, continues still today. In Israel, the main concern is the fear of a stigma that would have a negative affect on the Russian immigrants. As such, there is a desire to blur the severity of the situation.

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