All cures for breast cancer welcome except Israeli cures

This is the academic boycott of Israel. Delegates to a breast cancer conference in Cairo receive disinvitations from the Egyptian Health Minister. These doctors and scientists are refused access to conferences and denied entry into Egypt because they are Israeli. And we learn that aggression against Israeli doctors and scientists is frequent.

“IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman said that Israeli doctors and scientists are often confronted by hostility when attending professional conferences abroad.

Eidelman said that medicine and science are not political. Even those who oppose policies of the government of Israel should never inject politics into these fields, which aim to save lives and to which Israelis contribute a great deal, he said.

He called on the government to launch a serious campaign against such boycotts and have “zero tolerance” for them. The IMA, he said, would be happy to participate in such efforts.”

The conference organisers eventually obtained assurances from Cairo that Israelis would be able to attend. It’s not clear whether they did attend.

Boycotting Israeli academics and academia has nothing to do with Palestinian emancipation – it’s just a vindictive, opportunistic and self-harming pursuit undertaken by campaigners pursuing ulterior motives at the peripheries of that struggle.

The Israel Medical Association on Tuesday denounced all boycotts of Israelis at international medical conferences such as the one held in Cairo last week on coping with breast cancer.

IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman said that Israeli doctors and scientists are often confronted by hostility when attending professional conferences abroad.

Eidelman said that medicine and science are not political. Even those who oppose policies of the government of Israel should never inject politics into these fields, which aim to save lives and to which Israelis contribute a great deal, he said.

He called on the government to launch a serious campaign against such boycotts and have “zero tolerance” for them. The IMA, he said, would be happy to participate in such efforts.

Eidelman added that conferences that keep Israelis out would constitute a “black day for science in Israel and around the world.”

 

13 Responses to “All cures for breast cancer welcome except Israeli cures”

  1. James Mendelsohn Says:

    “Boycotting Israeli academics and academia has nothing to do with Palestinian emancipation – it’s just a vindictive, opportunistic and self-harming pursuit undertaken by campaigners pursuing ulterior motives at the peripheries of that struggle.”

    Well said Mira!

  2. Ben Cohen Says:

    Mira – the Israelis didn’t attend. From what I’ve been told, the decision to exclude them was made by the Egyptian Health Ministry. At the last minute, the Ministry decided to grant visas to 2 of the 3 Israeli applicants, who collectively – and quite rightly – told the Egyptians to stick it in response.

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      Egypt’s and the other delegates’ loss – though I think it would be good if Israelis attended, if one had the chance and if the thing was worthwhile. Somewhat ‘character-building’, though, in hostile circumstances like that.

  3. GideonSwort Says:

    There are two sides to this Mira. On the political front, we can get headlines such as this, with “symbolic” gestures and manoeuvres to make a political point. There is an Arab word to cover this – Ya’ani. Look it up, it’s a “cultural” thing.

    On the other hand, Israeli hospitals, are full of Medical Tourists from neighbouring countries. On the cancer treatment front – a large contingent come from the UAE, some even signing on for experimental protocols, having exhausted conventional treatment.

    A more popular type of medical tourists, would be in the field of fertility and reproduction, where Israeli expertise is second to none.

    The point is, while the Ya’ani culture supplies this type of headlines, Israel’s Medical Tourism from
    Arab States grows exponentially each year. Seems as though, when you need Israeli health care and medical progress, our Semite Cousins will hop on the first available transport, foregoing any political concerns.

    We can all smile at the apparent duplicity, but facts on the ground always present a different perspective.

    • Mira Vogel Says:

      I don’t think that health tourism to Israel is duplicitous – when it comes to your or your family’s health (including having babies), all bets are off. I mean, most religions make allowances for breaking other codes (kosher, halal, labour on shabbat) if it’s a life or death situation, so you’d hope that even the most fanatical boycotters would recognise a higher priority. If you were to tell me there is food, cutlure and sex tourism, though, I’d be smiling at the duplicity.

      On the subject of symbolic gestures – Hamas, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23313

      “Perhaps… it will one day admit that its armed struggle against Israel (unlike against its internal rivals) has been largely symbolic, and that its declaration of a divine right to Palestine represents more of a credo than a political program.”

      Imagine trying to do political business with an organisation like that…

    • Jonathan Romer Says:

      It’s easy to remark the hypocrisy here, refusing to let Israeli researchers participate in a scientific congress, whilst being willing to set aside scruples in order to get the best treatment for oneself or one’s family.

      For the sake of fairness it is necessary to point out once again that this is not just an Egyptian or Arab phenomenon. The stalwarts of the UCU, like all the rest of the boycott herd, will not be planning to mothball their computers, ditch their cell phones or deny themselves effective medical procedures, even while they struggle to protect you and me from having to learn from Israeli academics or eat Israeli produce.

      Ya’ani, however it translates, is plainly cross-cultural, not just “cultural”

  4. GideonSwort Says:

    @Jonathan Romer

    “Ya’ani, however it translates, is plainly cross-cultural, not just “cultural””

    I see it more as cross-cultural-insemination.

    @ Mira Vogel

    “…food, cutlure and sex tourism, though, I’d be smiling at the duplicity.”

    Yes, yes and yes. Big smile Mira. However, they visit precisely because Israel has these high quality items to offer… including Sex Tourism. So, the Egyptian act is not really worrying. I’m more annoyed at the BMC’s silent boycott of Israeli Doctors.


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