‘Bolshevik tactics’ – Doctors slam medical strike, seek to form new union

Doctor originally from the Former Soviet Union says anti-judicial reform medical strike reminds her of strategies used by Communist revolutionaries.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A last-minute strike declared by Israel’s largest medical union in response to the passage of a judicial reform law sparked backlash among some doctors, who said the move harmed patients and signaled dangerous politicization of the space.

Dr. Bella Smolin, a senior internist and director of palliative care at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, ignored the Israel Medical Association’s order and saw patients as usual on Tuesday.

“I am at peace with my decision because it’s forbidden to mix politics and medicine,” Smolin told Ynet. “It is impossible to turn medicine into a political weapon.”

Smolin told the outlet that she is originally from the Former Soviet Union and that her parents had taught her about the importance of “thinking independently” and “ignoring propaganda.” She said that the strategies used by the anti-reform movement reminded her of “Bolshevik tactics.”

The medical strike was reflective of the revolutionary Communist idea that no matter the cost, the “end justifies the means.” She said that the strike was indicative of a mindset that “all sacred cows can be slaughtered” in pursuit of a political goal.

After witnessing the mass protests and strikes, Smolin – who has a neutral stance on the reform – said she is now afraid “of a [left-wing] dictatorship” coming to power.

Despite medical union leaders’ insistence that the majority of doctors are opposed to the reforms and support strikes in order to force a legislative freeze, Smolin is far from alone in her views.

According to an 0404 report, senior doctors sat down with MK Uriel Bosso, head of the Knesset’s Health Committee, for an emergency meeting on Tuesday.

The doctors said they are planning to form a new union, and that at least 1,000 physicians are interested in leaving the Israeli Medical Association following the strike.