'A boycott of Israeli doctors is a real danger'

IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman demands Foreign Ministry take more action to protect Israeli physicians from international boycotts.

Benny Tocker ,

Doctors perform surgery (illustration)
Doctors perform surgery (illustration)
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Following reports of attempts to have Israel ousted from the World Medical Association (WMA), leading anesthesiologist Dr. Leonid Eidelman has demanded the Foreign Ministry take immediate action to protect Israeli doctors against boycotts. 

The news that 71 British physicians had begun to exert pressure on the WMA to revoke the membership of the Israel Medical Association (IMA) was revealed in a Knesset meeting last Wednesday. 

IMA representative Dr. Ze'ev Feldman announced to the meeting, "The sword of the boycott has been raised against the scientific medical community in Israel," adding that the British physicians claim "our doctors perform medical torture on Palestinian patients.”

Eidelman, IMA's chairman, told Arutz Sheva that this is not the first time international doctors have tried to have the Israeli association boycotted. 

"We are constantly faced with such efforts on the part of British and Scandinavian doctors - the attempts so far have failed," Eidelman said. "But if God forbid, [a boycott] happens, it would cause huge damage to medicine in Israel." 

"Israeli doctors cannot afford not to be part of the global medical community," he continued. "This will harm the ability of Israeli doctors to attend conferences, publish research or in medical publications and this will hurt Israeli medicine."

"We, for our part in the IMA, reject all the slander [against us]; it has no foundation," Eidelman said, before urging the Foreign Ministry to realize the danger such a boycott poses. 

"Recently I was at a conference in South Africa and there was a demonstration against me. They wanted to expel me. I called the Foreign Ministry but I didn't received any help or protection whatsoever. The Foreign Ministry ignored me and said this is just how it is."

"I speak with officials in government ministries and don't receive any assistance," Eidelman blasted. "We follow the news, and are trying to fight so physicians in Israel continue to be part of the medical community but we hope that the Foreign Ministry will also help us do that."
 



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