Sunday, August 15, 2010

Alan and the unscrupulously bigoted MSF

Alan Dershowitz (pictured) [1, 2]. He’s number nine on a recent list of the ‘World’s 50 Most Influential Jews’ [3]. The list’s blurb says Dershowitz, 71 ‘is an internationally respected jurist who has served as an attorney in several high-profile cases, including that of O J Simpson. At 28, he became the youngest law professor in Harvard’s history…(and he’s)…become famous for his eloquent advocacy for Israel and commentary on the Middle East conflict’. By any yardstick he’s no fool. As a lawyer in high-profile cases he knows the importance of evidence. Also the stupidity of opinion unbacked by evidence, and the media and blogosphere’s ferocity if ever he resorted to such stupidity. So when Dershowitz goes public on a topic, that topic’s worthy of attention. And so it was two weeks ago when he berated Doctors Without Borders (i.e. Médecins Sans Frontières) for refusing to work with Israeli doctors treating burns victims in the Congo. He called MSF ‘bigoted’, and ‘doctors without scruples’ [4]. Nine days ago when I wrote about brands, I included a quote that ‘the best corporate brands…are those whose customers feel they can be a part of’ [5]. As a medico, I felt a part of MSF’s brand. Though I didn’t work for MSF, each year I donated money to it. Now I’m ashamed, and angry, I did so. They won’t see another cent from me. And I’m considering requesting a refund of my 2010 donation. Unscrupulous bigots.


Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Oh dear, you are making my life complex! First Santana one of my favourite groups and now MSF or Doctors without Borders my absolutely favourite way of contributing to big disasters, because they were the first group we ever encountered who said during one disaster, "We have enough money"
I think refusing to work with Israeli doctors in the Congo was totally ridiculous, If one has differences over international policy that is addressed at one level, refusing to work beside individuals is plain silly.
First thing save lives discuss politics later.

farmdoc said...

Unfortunately, Chrows25, life and the world aren't always neat and tidy. Indeed most things are bedevilled by loose ends, inconsistencies and surprises. But, I reckon, that's a big reason for the joy of it all.

Doctors Without Borders said...

Statement of Clarification Regarding MSF Collaboration with Israeli Doctors in Eastern Congo and Its Intervention in the Palestinian Territories

Published: July 29, 2010