A public health perspective on ethics, social justice and organizing in response to the occupation of Palestinian lands
Social justice goals are regularly in conflict with one’s government’s or employer’s authority, rules, culture and tradition. Serious public health practitioners often find themselves responding to injustice, stimulated by their belief that social justice and human rights are foundational to a healthy society. Effective responses can require courage, strategy, one’s unique skills and a willingness to use one’s employment situation (universities, health departments, prisons, clinics, etc.) in the pursuit of justice.
We apply these concepts to explain a range of non-violent strategies employed by health advocates over the last decade to call attention to and undermine Israel’s military occupation of land assigned to Palestinians by the UN. We will explore both ethical and professional arguments for and against health workers activist involvement in activities such as lobbying, demonstrations, boycotts, economic divestment campaigns, teaching, specialized research, mobilization of public and professional opinion, clinical assistance, and study tours of the Occupation.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Differentiate the goals of social justice from the goals of American foreign policy in Israel and Palestine. Describe the role and characteristics of public health practitioners in advancing social justice.
Keyword(s): War, Activism
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Is leader of the International Health section's Palestine Justice committee, is an emerita academic from University of California, Santa Cruz, and has worked in this area for many years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.