Donate Shop Register Volunteer

No to Politicization of UCSF
No to Politicization of UCSF

By Arnold S. Seid, MD
January 24, 2013

As a graduate of UCSF Medical School (1971), permit me to comment on Nadia Gaber’s op-ed (January 9) calling for boycotts and divestment from the state of Israel. The article was troubling for three reasons.

First, Ms. Gaber uses counterfactual and illogical arguments.  She charges that Israel is responsible for the Palestinians’ “dismal” health care system. This accusation is fraudulent.  The Palestinian National Authority has been self-governing for almost 20 years, and Palestinian health care is managed by the PA’s Ministry of Health. Any deficiencies are the result of mismanagement, and given that Palestinians receive the highest amount of per capita foreign aid in the world, to their poor allocation of resources.  

If Hamas, the Palestinian government in Gaza, spent this largesse on medical care rather than on rockets, and if the PA did not divert 6 percent of its annual budget to pay convicted Palestinian terrorists and the families of suicide bombers, their health care system would be better.

Furthermore, Gaber perversely justifies Hamas’ thousands of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by claiming Palestinians have “no other options.”  Certainly one option is that Hamas could choose to make peace, and renounce its charter and frequently stated goal to engage in jihad to murder Jews, “obliterate” Israel and replace it with an Islamist theocracy.

 Second, Gaber’s use of data is below professional standards.  She claims that Palestinians’ health care is “dismal,” but admits that her data may be 10 years old. Given recent data, either her statistics are wrong or there have been dramatic improvements in health indices, which contradict her thesis.

She wrote that Palestinian infant mortality is 29 per 1,000 people, while 2011 data indicates it is 15.2 per 1,000 (CIA World Factbook), that maternal mortality is 70 per 1,000 when in 2011 it was 28 per 100,000 (World Health Organization), and that there are only nine physicians per 10,000 Palestinians, while 2011 data indicates that the number is 20.8 per 10,000 (World Health Organization), and that the number of PA Ministry of Health physicians almost doubled between 2005 and 2010, rising from 2,363 to 4,093. Gaber’s statistics are old and incorrect, in one case by orders of magnitude.

Moreover, Gaber complains that Israel has far better health care than Palestinians. The comparison is meaningless. Israel is an advanced industrial nation on the forefront of medical research and innovation. The PA should instead be compared with neighboring countries at similar levels of development.  In fact, the PA’s health indices resemble or surpass those of other countries in the region.

For example, Palestinians have lower infant mortality rates than Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Algeria and Egypt, and lower maternal mortality than Tunisia, Syria, Egypt and Morocco.  Additionally, when Israel administered the West Bank and Gaza between 1967 and 1994, it shared its medical expertise and dramatically improved Palestinians’ health care with inoculation programs that wiped out childhood diseases, construction of 166 health care clinics, and provision of universal health insurance.

Life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000 and rose further to 74 in Gaza and 75 in the West Bank in 2011, outpacing most surrounding countries. Furthermore, despite the ongoing enmity of Hamas and other extremist Palestinian groups, Israel continues to share its medical expertise with Palestinians. For example, in 2011, Israel gave medical care to over 100,000 Palestinians, while 2,000 Palestinian doctors attended conferences in Israel, and 100 Palestinian doctors chose to do their internships in Israel.

Third, Ms. Gaber’s effort to politicize the campus is seriously misguided.  She has every right to promote her ideology, but she should not try to manipulate UCSF with misleading or false data or by invoking ideals that she applies selectively and only to the one Jewish state in the world, particularly when nearby countries should command our active concern, like Syria, which is wracked with violence and death tolls of over 70,000.  <60,000 seems to be most quoted highest estimate>

Sadly, Ms. Gaber is attempting to win support for the extremist, self-destructive policies that have plagued the Palestinians and prevented peace.  UCSF students and faculty should not be diverted by such partisan conflicts but rather should fulfill their important mission of constructive action to advance health care and research that will benefit humanity.

Arnold S. Seid, M.D., graduated from UCSF Medical School in 1971 and currently practices surgery in Santa Monica, California.

Read Article Here
Other stories
A crowd of thousands gathered in front of Jerusalem`s International Convention Center on T...
Last April, a mezzuzah on a door was destroyed and swastikas were discovered carved into ...
Defying logic, a band of anthropologists voted to boycott archeology....
There is almost nothing like the month of November in New York, especially this November, ...
For the past six months the president of the US has taken it upon himself to defend Islam ...
A capacity crown filled the Museum of Jewish heritage on November 19, 2015, as more than 3...
StandWithUs held its annual "Israel in Focus" student leadership conference on November 6-...
The eight Ivy League universities, though unfairly, remain centers of power and privilege ...
StandWithUs urges the 10,000 members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to ...
Suffering multiple stab wounds and broken bones, Kay Wilson thought of music....
StandWithUs presents to US Firefighters who are visiting Israel to support and volunteer w...
If it were Jews who had massacred people in Paris last Friday night, I would be drowning i...
The Academic Council for Israel, The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, Scholars for...
UN: 5,000 Yazidi men executed and 7,000 Yazidi women and girls made sex slaves...
Terrorism survivor Kay Wilson spoke at the Brooklyn home of Rena Nasar, StandWithUs Tri-S...
Yoni Nirenberg recently addressed the Solidarity Forum With Israel at Temple Hillel in Nor...
Founding Editor of The Times of Israel, David Horovitz, headlined the launch of public dip...
At its biennial convention last month, the Connecticut AFL-CIO passed a resolution callin...
An Egyptian man, Hussein Aboubakr, spoke to York students last week about his persecution ...


About Us
Get Involved
Shop For Israel
Social Media
StandWithUs Websites