As government hasbara efforts (information campaigns) to justify the IDF’s all-out war against Hamas have been poor or nonexistent, frustrated private citizens and voluntary organizations have been stepping in to fight international criticism of Israel.
Dr. Roni Eichel, who in his “day job” is the head of the neurology department at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center (SZMC) and is a leading expert in treating strokes, realized that he needed to do something to counter misconceptions and untruths surrounding Israel’s legitimacy in the ongoing war. Eichel, who was born in Rumania, was taken by his parents at age two to Germany and came on aliya in 1997, recently decided to create a forum of top German doctors who are actively working to promote pro-Israel support.
The forum has released several official letters sent to the World Health Organization as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross calling for increased intervention on Israel’s behalf and in particular on behalf of the hostages.
Joining the initiative
So far, more than 500 German physicians are networking to obtain ongoing information from senior Israeli doctors who have been on the frontlines in treating victims of the attack on October 7th and the ensuing war. As a result of the forum’s efforts, he said, Israel is succeeding in reaching new communities that might never have before understood the truth behind Israel’s fight – both on the battlefield and in the court of international opinion.
Eichel, who speaks German and Hungarian as well as Hebrew and English, also conducted research on strokes in Frankfurt. He worked in neurological intensive care at Hadassah-University Medical Center and then transferred to SZMC in 2016 to head its stroke and neurological intensive care unit.
“When I saw the extent of false information, I knew that a forum of this type was critical to help us reach our medical colleagues around the world. We can’t have a situation where the world is allowed to deny what is really happening here and Israel’s legitimate rights,” he explained. “We’re so encouraged to see the number of doctors in our forum grow by the day, and we can already see it’s having an impact in Germany and parts of Europe, but know we need to continue to amplify our efforts to defend Israel wherever and however possible.”