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:

Say no to the boycott and its supporters

Tom Hickey from Brighton wrote in the BMJ as Chair of University and
Colleges Union (UCU); he writes that he was the mover of the UCU proposal
to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

From 1981-2005 I was also a lecturer in the University of London
medical school.

Israel Universities and academic institutions are open to Israeli,
Arab and foreign students. Where is the evidence for the denial of
educational opportunities and academic freedom to Palestinian students and
scholars? Hickey quotes from The Guardian by some BMA members; these
include doctors who have expressed their personal opinion about the right
of Israel to exist.

Unfair to target: Hickey opinions that the boycott is appropriate
because of the merit of the individual case of Israel, appearing to praise
Israel. Is the converse of this correct that it is inappropriate to
boycott say Russia since polonium will then be delivered from Moscow to
London or Brighton?

Freedom: Hickey states that Israel society has a dominant self image
as a bastion of civilisation- actually yes, the mainstay for thousand of
years! There is freedom for Jerusalem since 1967. Was there freedom in
Arab Jerusalem before 1967?

Medical services: Israel provides medical services to all including
failed suicide bombers and those escaping into Israel from conflict in
Gaza. Israel technology, medical invention, emergency search and rescue
intervention has diagnosed and saved people around the world. Israel
treats and teaches Jew, Arab and Christian.

Peace, not war: Where is the motion as doctors for peace and the
right of every person to live in peace? Where is the motion to condemn the
use of Red Crescent ambulances to transfer weapons or terror attacks?

BMJ: I am amazed that BMJ editorial allowed the medical journal of
the BMA to print this personal opinion.

Online poll manipulation: BMJ has received clear evidence of online
poll manipulation by multiple voting from ISP identification when the
Palestine Solidarity Campaign manipulated the vote to boycott, changing
overnight the boycotters from 5.6% to 21.5%.


Competing interests:
None. I’m a Doctor & I’m Jewish.

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 July 2007
General Medical Practitioner & Honorary Consultant Great Ormond Stret Hospital London
Temple Fortune Health Centre, London NW11 7TE