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:

Response to Dr. DA Summerfield

Response to Dr. Summerfield.

I feel no moral obligation to respond to Dr. Summerfield's latest
vilification the Israel Medical Association (IMA) as it is merely voicing
another iteration of his well documented hatred for Israel.[1,2,] An
earlier version of this recurring calumny appeared in the Guardian in May
this year. In a dignified response submitted to the BMJ, signed by Dr.
Yoram Blachar, president of the IMA and 1,000 senior physicians from all
round the world, his arguments were refuted. (See web page; and also

Incidentally Dr. Blachar has recently concluded his successful term of
office as chairman of council of the World Medical Association (WMA)
whilst Leah Wapner, IMA’s Secretary-General, has just been appointed
Secretary-General of the European Forum of Medical Associations (EFMA).

If Dr. Summerfield’s version of the truth is correct then you would have
to believe in a world wide conspiracy to legitimize the IMA involving a
thousand physicians, the WMA and the EFMA.

The IMA is no more an arm of the Israeli government than the BMA is an arm
of the British government but Dr. Summerfield still doesn't seem to accept
that fact. I have therefore been in touch with the IMA directly and they
assure me that their full response is currently with the letter editor of
the BMJ.[Editorial note: please see next response in this string.]

Michael Baum

[1] Summerfield DA, What is the WMA for? The case of the Israeli
Medical Association. Lancet. 2003 Feb 1;361(9355):424; discussion 425-6.

[2]Summerfield DA Medical ethics, the Israeli Medical Association, and
the state of the World Medical Association: Open letter to the BMA.
BMJ. 2003 Sep 6;327(7414):561;

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 September 2007
Michael Baum
Emeritus Professor of Surgery UCL
Portland Hospital, London W1