February 12, 2024
From World Socialist Web Site
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The Health Workers Rank-and-File Committee (HWRFC) in Australia continues to receive statements protesting the victimisation and possible deregistration of scores of medical practitioners who have spoken out against the ongoing war crimes being committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

Health workers at Sydney mass protest against Gaza genocide, February 11, 2024.

According to recent reports, at least 39 health workers are currently being investigated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) after being falsely accused of anti-semitism by Zionists forces. Those targeted medical workers include doctors, nurses, psychologists, midwives, optometrists, paramedics, pharmacists and physiotherapists, many of them women and with Middle Eastern names.

On January 17, the HWRFC passed a resolution pledging to defend all victimised medical practitioners, defending health workers’ rights to oppose the Gaza genocide and calling on workers, students and youth in Australia and internationally to send statements denouncing these bullying pro-Israeli military slanders.

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing below statements it received this week from two health workers in New South Wales. The first is from a highly-experienced mental health nurse, the other from an aged care worker.

Statements have already been published from NHS Fightback in Britain, the convenor of the Pathology Rank and File Workers group in Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Doctors for Palestine, and a Queensland public hospital doctor.

We urge health workers, students and workers to support this campaign by emailing statements of support to the Health Workers Rank-and-File Committee here that we will publish in the coming days.

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Mags, a New South Wales mental health nurse

The horrific barbarism being unleashed by the Israeli military in Gaza has absolutely nothing to do with self-defence, although the mainstream media continues to espouse this rhetoric while censoring and covering up the real facts of what is actually going on.

Health workers in Australia are rightly outraged by the violence and cold-blooded murder of innocents, the majority of whom are women, children and babies.

As a nurse with over 35 years of experience—20 of those years in mental health—I am one of those outraged health professionals. How could I not be? Over 300 health workers have been killed so far in Gaza and scores of health facilities deliberately destroyed.

Health workers speaking out against this brutality have been accused by the Zionists of being antisemitic, which implies that being opposed to genocide is a form of antisemitism. This is absurd and outrageous and a false and mendacious narrative championed by the mainstream western media.

Health workers opposing the state-sanctioned murder of innocent people in Gaza are not antisemitic but pro-humanity and pro-human rights. Just as the US—with Australian government support—has tried to silence Julian Assange, so the Zionists are trying to intimidate and censor Australian health workers.

Palestinian children are being targeted and killed. The objective of the Zionist forces is to exterminate the Palestinian people and its Palestinian culture with the total destruction of Gaza being their end goal.

Anyone that survives this onslaught—one of the most horrific war crimes witnessed this century—will be comprehensively traumatised, trauma that will resonate down through future generations.

Surviving children (and children always suffer the most in war) will suffer from all sorts of psychological problems. This can include anxiety disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, dissociative disorders (disengagement in the external world, depersonalisation, derealisation, numbing and catatonia) and behavioural disorders.

The US falsely claims that it wants to eradicate terrorist organisations, but Washington’s foreign policy since WWII and its determination to maintain its global hegemony has actively incited and used terrorist groups to further these aims. Its unwavering political support and constant supply of weaponry to Israel serves the same purpose.

The fact that the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), an organisation that I am professionally affiliated with, is “investigating” health workers who have spoken out against state-sanctioned murder is abhorrent to me.

I will contact AHPRA, urging it to reject all attempts to silence health workers over the Gaza genocide, send my support to the defence campaign being conducted by the Health Workers Rank-and-File Committee and will encourage my colleagues to do the same.

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John, an aged care worker from Newcastle, Australia:

I am an Australian aged care service employee. I support the resolution passed by the Health Workers Rand-and-File Committee (HWRFC) at a meeting on January 17th opposing the doxing and victimisation of doctors and other health workers in Australia by pro-Zionists on false allegations of anti-semitism.

What is at stake here is freedom of speech and our basic democratic rights. The doctors have been targeted for speaking out in opposition to the genocidal campaign by the fascist Netanyahu regime in Israel against the Palestinian people. All health workers have a duty to defend patients or colleagues against violence, wherever it occurs in the world, and irrespective of whether they are in Australia or internationally.

The reporting, barring and intimidation of workers for speaking out against genocide goes against the very commitment and function of healthcare workers to improve the overall lot of humanity. This attempt to silence health workers sets a new and more dangerous precedent.

Aged care workers have been on the front-line of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in the past four years and fought hard to protect those who are most vulnerable to the disease. Governments everywhere, however, decided that profits must take precedence over lives, a policy that has had a devastating impact. The “forever COVID” response of governments everywhere and their support for the Gaza genocide are not separate issues but connected to government and big business efforts internationally to normalise mass death.

The fact that none of the associations and professional bodies that are supposed to represent health workers—in my case the Health Services Union—have come out and condemned the Zionist regime’s brutal military assault on Palestinians in Gaza makes these organisations complicit in these crimes. It is a clear indicator that they do not disagree with the Zionist attempts to silence health workers’ opposing of Israeli war crimes and the deeply felt anti-war sentiment among healthcare workers.

I encourage the broadest discussion of the HWRC resolution and for a wide-ranging campaign for it among healthcare workers and family and friends and on social media. The fight against the attacks on healthcare workers depends on ordinary people speaking out. It must be brought to the attention of all workers.

If we clearly and concisely explain the basic issues at stake—freedom of speech, the right to oppose war and genocide, and the defence of jobs and conditions—we will win support and you’ll be respected for your determination and struggle!




Source: Wsws.org