Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Head to head

Should we consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions? Yes

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 19 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:124

Rapid Response:

Arab Becomes Head of Israeli State Hospital-Boycott Him Too?

Whilst some are proposing an academic boycott of Israel, and others
in the BMA are even proposing more specifically boycotting the Israeli
Medical Association (IMA) and its membership, the Israeli State has
appointed Dr. Mas'ad Barhoom, an Arab, to be director of Naharya Hospital
in the Western Galilee, one of eight state owned hospitals in Israel.

For some outsiders like Hickey, the situation in Israel may seem very
straight forward-Israel is bad. However for every allegation of Israeli
oppression against Palestinians, we Israelis see on our own doorsteps
contrary evidence of our State behaving in a truly democratic and
egalitarian way, as the above appointment of an Arab to a senior state
position clearly shows.

A majority of Israelis have repeatedly voted in favour of ending the
occupation, and negotiating a peaceful solution including a Palestinian
state. Indeed Israel with majority public backing, withdrew from Gaza.
Israelis, including I am sure Dr Barhoom, need no boycott to tell them of
the need to end the occupation. What is needed are fresh ideas about HOW
to end it whilst maintaining Israeli security and fulfilling Palestinian

Hickey's proposed boycott is an inappropriate and empty gesture and
completely misses the point.

Competing interests:
Israeli Academic

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 July 2007
Adam Finkel
Haifa, Israel