British doctors have called for the removal of Israel from the World Medical Association (WMA) over claims of “medical torture” on Palestinians seeking treatment, Israeli media reported.
Dr. Zeev Feldman, chairman of the Israeli Medical Association World Fellowship and president of the Israeli Neurosurgical Society, revealed at a Knesset Science and Technology Committee discussion on boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and researchers that the latest boycott call came from this group of 71 British doctors.
Dr. Feldman stated that the British doctors issued a letter to pressure the WMA to revoke the membership of the Israel Medical Association, over claims that Israeli doctors perform medical torture on Palestinian patients.
Also, according to Dr. Feldman, this letter was just one effort in a consistent and organized campaign against Israeli institutions and scientists.
“We are in a struggle, everyone must understand that there is an organized struggle – a fight against academia, doctors, and other Israeli bodies. Our stance is that these accusations are lies, and we are engaged in a dialogue with the World Medical Association and we will bring forth the facts, and I hope that it will be enough to [persuade the association to] reject this request,” Dr. Feldman said.
If the British doctors succeed, the Israeli medics will be banned from taking part in international medical conferences and publishing in journals.
The move follows similar measures launched by scholars around the world over the past few months to boycott Israeli institutions.
This week, 200 Brazilian academics endorsed the academic boycott of Israeli institutions, including former U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar diplomat Paulo Sergio Pinheiro.
Worried with the fast growing of the BDS movement and its impact on the Israeli economy, Israeli MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) called on the Israeli government to establish a central body responsible for coordinating the efforts to counter boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and researchers.
“The boycott [campaign] harms the strength of the State of Israel. The government must allocate appropriate funds for the good of the struggle in this hour of national emergency,” he said.