The Independent reported today that “a decision by Britain to refuse a group of Palestinian medical experts from Gaza permission to participate in an international conference at Kingston University on trauma in war zones has been condemned by campaigners.”
I guess that someone in the British Government is convinced that the Palestinians know little about Trauma or living in a war zone.
Three doctors and a nurse who work for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, and were due to give presentations at the conference taking place this weekend, have had their visa requests refused by British authorities. Interestingly enough, some Israeli academics are invited to attend the conference. I guess that the British government is buying into the primacy of Jewish trauma.
In addition to the four mental health specialists refused entry, Dr Nahida Al-Arja, a psychologist from Bethlehem University, has had her visa application rejected.
A letter by the UK Palestine Mental Health Network, co-organisers of the conference, published in the Independent, says: “It is beyond our comprehension how such an interference with intellectual and clinical discussion on such an important topic could be justified. This is a measure that further isolates clinicians from Gaza, already struggling under the impact of military assaults and siege,”
It adds: “We urge the UK authorities to reverse this decision immediately, and to resolve to nurture, rather than undermine, urgently needed psycho-social support services for the people of Gaza.”