More radical politics from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)
On July 11, 2009, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) activists provided first aid training to violent protesters at the security barrier near Bil’in. According to PHR-I member Ron Yaron, the motivation was expressly political: “The aim of the training is first an act of solidarity with the people who fight against the occupation and the building of the wall.” PHR-I was criticized by Dr. Yoram Blachar, president of the World Medical Association, as “a radical political group disguised as a medical organization.”
PHR-I has engaged in many overtly political campaigns, in contrast to universal human rights activities. These campaigns include attacks against Israel’s Law of Return and the publishing of an article equating Israeli “settlers” to “self-exploding terrorists.”
Yaron also spoke at the July 2009 UN conference of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, called “to discuss questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law during the recent hostilities in the Gaza Strip.” He condemned IDF investigations as a “whitewash” and unreliable. Yaron did acknowledge that “Hamas had systematically used medical facilities and ambulances as a cover for its military operations,” but he summarily and without evidence dismissed what he termed the “justif[ications]” of the Israeli army.