I first learnt of a threat to Israel’s WMA membership when I read this press release from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
“It is ironic that the WMA ethical programme was born in the wake of World War II, when Nazi doctors committed inhuman experiments on children, exterminated the handicapped and murdered six million Jews and others.”
“The prejudices of seventy one British doctors bent on Israel’s expulsion have turned them into ethics abortionists.”
I’ve found it hard to pin down the precise grounds on which these 71 British doctors are calling for Israel’s expulsion. Reports on this story seem elliptical. Here’s the Jerusalem Post.
The Knesset panel also heard from Dr. Zeev Feldman, chairman of the Israeli Medical Association World Fellowship and president of the Israeli Neurosurgical Society, who revealed that the latest boycott call comes from a group of 71 British doctors.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post following the Knesset discussion, Feldman said the doctors penned a letter last week to the World Medical Association seeking to expel the Israeli Medical Association, claiming that Israeli doctors carried out “medical torture” on Palestinian patients.
I’m not sure that it’s enough to counter these allegations to point out that 35% of Israeli doctors are Palestinian (though that’s a good riposte to ‘Israeli apartheid’ accusations) or to invoke Israel’s many medical innovations (though these are impressive). However Israeli doctors do seem to have a strong track record when it comes to standing up against practices which go against medical ethics.