We’re well being care employees (HCWs) and college from all over the world who stand with the Palestinian individuals of their wrestle for freedom and liberation. Now we have watched in horror on the renewed, but ever-present, Israeli state violence meted towards Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Financial institution and Israel. As HCWs and educators, our overriding allegiance is to the well-being and sustenance of all human life. Now we have been devastated by reports of total households in Gaza sleeping collectively to keep away from the opportunity of being killed individually, as the fear of Israeli artillery rained down on Palestinian properties; of households dropping total households (together with youngsters) when U.S.-made bombs destroyed their properties; and of HCWs and their locations of labor being focused for destruction. These violations of worldwide regulation (below the Fourth Geneva Conference) are made attainable by navy and monetary support equipped by the U.S. authorities.
In gentle of the unlawful, immoral and focused assaults on HCWs and infrastructure, we name upon U.S. well being care methods and educational establishments, in addition to our colleagues in well being care, to unequivocally condemn Israel’s long-standing oppression of the Palestinian individuals and the continued decimation of their well being care system. This violence doesn’t finish with a “ceasefire,” as long as the devastating financial blockade of Gaza continues. We affirm that well being is a common human proper, together with for the Palestinian individuals, and that the time for silence has lengthy handed. Silence, from this level ahead, is complicity.
On the time of this letter, we’re conscious of at the least 257 Palestinian deaths by the hands of the Israeli navy since Could 10, 2021—70 of whom had been youngsters, in comparison with 12 whole Israeli deaths. Whereas each one in every of these deaths is a tragedy, the stark disproportionality ought to be unacceptable to everybody. It’s unattainable to account for all of the morbidity and mortality attributable to the structural violence of the Israeli occupation. For Palestinians dwelling below the yoke of Israeli settler colonial rule, the violence, human rights violations, and poor well being outcomes they endure have been prevalent for over seven many years, since 1948, the 12 months of the Nakba, when the Palestinian individuals had been initially dispossessed.
Regardless of its duties as an occupier below the Fourth Geneva Conference, Israel continues to disclaim Palestinians important care and assets, hinder entry, and actively bombard healthcare infrastructure and roadways. Nowhere is that this abdication of accountability extra seen than within the medical and vaccine apartheid witnessed through the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas Israel is hailed by medical establishments and outstanding well being specialists as a mannequin of success for mass vaccination of the Israeli inhabitants (over 60 % of Israel is vaccinated), barely 5 % of Palestinians within the occupied Palestinian territories are vaccinated, as an alternative reliant on scarce COVAX donations. This inequity is blatantly omitted by those that tout Israel’s vaccine rollout “success.” We refuse to disregard the reality that’s in plain sight.
These of us who work in well being care perceive properly that well being care doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We more and more perceive how structural forces, systematized and institutionalized oppression, racism, violence, disinvestment and displacement, in addition to insurance policies meant to disclaim individuals their fundamental human rights, result in hostile well being outcomes and mortality. We can’t proceed to sit down idly by and witness the violent erasure of a complete individuals by what’s, as documented by worldwide human rights organizations, an apartheid state, exacting untold bodily and psychological harm to the Palestinian individuals.
For that reason, we name upon U.S. well being care methods, educational establishments and our colleagues in well being care, to undertake the next set of calls for:
In our colleges and locations of schooling and coaching:
That college, employees, trainees and college students in our establishments are free to talk up about crimes dedicated towards Palestine and the Palestinian individuals with out concern of retribution, harassment or silencing from anybody inside their respective establishments and circle of affect (together with funders). That we are going to maintain accountable any particular person or establishment who makes an attempt to penalize any college, employees, trainee or pupil for his or her advocacy for Palestine and its individuals.
That we stand in solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues each within the U.S. and overseas, and decide to amplifying their tales, voices and quest for liberation. We perceive that nobody is free till all of us are free.
That we ask our colleges and locations of schooling and coaching to offer help, within the type of psychological well being assets, secure areas for dialogue and mourning, and break day as wanted for Palestinian college, employees, trainees and college students impacted by the continued occupation and its resultant trauma.
In our hospitals, clinics, workplaces, and different well being care establishments:
That we adhere to the requirements set forth by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) motion and look at the methods wherein our establishments and amenities (itemized by the United Nations) can uphold the calls for of this nonviolent name issued by Palestinian civil society. This consists of, however will not be restricted to, ending any and all partnerships with Israeli establishments that coordinate with and profit from the Israeli state’s oppression of the Palestinian individuals. That we name on our establishments throughout the international medical and science neighborhood to stress their governments to finish support to Israel and to sentence unequivocally Israel’s crimes towards Palestine and the Palestinian individuals.
That we name on U.S. medical and science communities to stress their establishments and organizations to difficulty formal statements and actions that particularly handle the struggling, social circumstances and decreased life expectancy of Palestinians resultant from many years of harmful forces. We particularly name upon the next revered organizations to affirm and decide to the actions of this letter: AAMC, AMA, ACS, AAFP, AAP, ACP, APA, ACEP and others.
In our particular person capability, as HCWs dedicated to the liberation and sustenance of all peoples:
That we affirm that the proof is plain that Israel has been committing crimes towards the Palestinian individuals. Mainstream platforms and public well being leaders proceed to ask us to disregard the proof and laud as distinctive Israel’s public well being positive aspects. We refute the lionization of Israel as a mannequin of COVID-19 vaccine distribution whereas it actively practices vaccine apartheid and medical apartheid extra broadly.
That we additional name on the U.S. medical and science communities to leverage their positions of energy and privilege throughout native, state and federal arenas to stress elected representatives and senators to finish monetary and diplomatic help for the Israeli authorities and to sentence Israel’s disproportionate atrocities and deprivation of Palestinians’ human and authorized proper to life, freedom and justice.
That we name on our elected officers to help an unbiased investigation into conflict crimes dedicated by Israel towards the Palestinian individuals. That we name particularly for an investigation assessing the well being results of those assaults, together with (i) documentation of the breadth of the harm to well being care methods, together with on people and infrastructure; (ii) the impedance to care of medical and public well being skilled because of these assaults, together with however not restricted to mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic; and (iii) the bodily and psychological results resultant from this most up-to-date aggression.
That we name on the U.S. and Israel to take accountability for repairing and restoring the well being care infrastructure decimated by the latest bombings and to decide to a cessation of navy and structural violence directed towards the Palestinian individuals.
Lastly, we acknowledge that if we stay silent on these points, it is because of our personal positions of privilege and relative security. We should honor the basic duties conferred via our oath and our core bioethical rules by individually and collectively demanding accountability and an finish to all types of oppression from the Israeli state, in addition to from our personal international locations and establishments, upon all Palestinian individuals.
*One of many co-authors of this assertion, a Palestinian well being care employee and college member within the U.S., has elected to stay nameless.
That is an opinion and evaluation article.