Anger flares at doctors’ meeting

Dr Yoram Blachar has criticised the British Medical Association for allowing Israeli doctors to be compared to those of Sri Lanka and Darfur.

Dr Blachar, as president of the World Medical Association, was a guest at the BMA’s conference in Liverpool last week.

He sat in silence as Israel was criticised by two speakers during a debate about the main resolution put to the conference.

He said: “What really angered me was the discussion before the adoption of this resolution by two Muslim physicians, a woman and a man, who dared to speak of Israel and the IMA in the same breath as Sri Lanka and Darfur. I was really offended. I thought that they should give me a right to respond as I was there. I was sitting in the front row.”
However, he praised the BMA for keeping the main resolution general, with no mention of Israel, and keeping off the conference agenda a number of motions critical of Israel and its action in Gaza.

Prof David Katz, chair of the Jewish Medical Association, said: “It was made perfectly clear before the meeting in a briefing paper that it would be unacceptable to the BMA to take any sanctions against either the IMA or its president.”

At least two resolutions called on the BMA to confine itself to domestic issues and ignore foreign politics completely.
The BMA said it was a matter of course to invite the sitting president of the WMA, but unless the president was British, they would not be asked to address the conference.

    Last updated: 2:35pm, July 9 2009