Thursday, May 3, 2007

And the madness continues:

Another small group in the United Kingdom has called for a boycott of Israel. As predictd, the group garnered headlines and publicity, which are among the true aims of such actions.
Calls for boycotting Israel seem to be epidemic in Britain right now. Perhaps a side effect of mad cow disease? Seriously, it is disturbing that a small number of people can push one-sided, ill-informed and hateful resolutions through organizations. Israeli medical institutions are particularly well-regarded and operate in a faith- and race-blind manner. Nor do resolutions like this help the Palestinians at all, except if Palestinians can eat the press releases.
--Wendy Leibowitz

British doctors call for new Israel boycott

Original article:

By Jeremy Last
Updated: 02/May/2007 17:00

LONDON (EJP)---A group of 130 British doctors have called for a boycott of the Israel Medical Association and its expulsion from the World Medical Association.

In a letter to The Guardian newspaper in England last week the physicians, headed by the notoriously anti-Israel Dr Derek Summerfield and Professor Colin Green claimed "Persistent violations of medical ethics have accompanied Israel's occupation."

Outlining how they believe the Israeli Defence Force has "systematically flouted the fourth Geneva convention guaranteeing a civilian population unfettered access to medical services and immunity for medical staff", the letter blamed Israel for destroying "any coherence in the (Palestinian) primary health system".

The doctors then claimed the IMA has "refused" to protest about "war crimes" something, the doctors said they believe it "has a duty" to do.

The letter compared Israel to apartheid South Africa. "We are calling for a boycott of the Israeli Medical Association and its expulsion from the WMA. There is a precedent for this: the expulsion of the Medical Association of South Africa during the apartheid era," it read.

"A boycott is an ethical and moral imperative when conventional channels do not function, for otherwise we are merely turning away," the doctors added.

The letter came after 18 Palestinian health organizations appealed to fellow professionals abroad to "recognize how the IMA has forfeited its right to membership of the international medical community."

Claims rejected

IMA chairman Dr. Yoram Blachar, who also acts as the council chair of the WMA, rejected all the claims, noting that the Palestinian Authority refused to accept from Israel drugs and dialysis solutions that it was ready to transfer.

Martin Sugarman, the head of a twinning group between Homerton Hospital in London and Haifa's Rambam Hospital in Israel, said he was shocked by the call.

"If suicide bombers from Gaza and the West Bank never dressed as pregnant or sick patients trying to reach and blow up Israeli hospitals, if PLO ambulances did not transport terrorists and arms, then maybe there would be no need for the security fence, check points and free access to medical care by peaceful citizens," he told London's Jewish News. "Despite all this, Israeli hospitals still treat free, Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and Gaza, with severe illnesses and conditions."

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