Australian teachers and Melbourne health worker denounce Zionist doxxing of doctors

The Health Workers Rank-and-File Committee (HWRFC) in Australia continues to receive statements from medical professionals protesting the doxxing and possible deregistration of doctors and other health workers who have been targeted by Zionist forces for opposing the war crimes being committed by Israel’s military in Gaza. The statements are a response to a resolution unanimously passed at a HWRFC meeting on January 17, which pledged to defend all the medical practitioners targeted in these anti-democratic attacks.

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

Doxxed health professionals have appealed to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Medical Board of Australia, and Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner to oppose the Zionist witch hunting. They have been ignored or brushed aside. Likewise, calls to the Australian Medical Association and the health workers and nurses unions to defend their victimised members, have been snubbed.

This deafening silence, which occurs amid the bombing of health facilities and the murder of hundreds of health workers in Gaza, is in violation of medical professionals’ commitment to the health and safety of all. It also provides political cover to the Australian Labor government and its unwavering support for the Netanyahu regime as it steps up bloody ethnic cleansing operations against the Palestinians, in a crime unparalleled since World War II.

Late last month the World Health Organisation reported that only 13 of the 77 primary healthcare facilities in Gaza are operational, following 342 attacks on healthcare infrastructure by Israeli forces. Over 400 healthcare workers have been killed.

Currently, more than 1.5 million Palestinians are being bombarded by the Israeli military in Southern Gaza, while a full-scale land invasion looms. To the north, there are still an estimated 400,000 people in Gaza City and surrounding areas, where they are literally starving to death. Reports have surfaced of families attempting to survive by eating animal feed.

The WSWS has published contributions from health workers’ rank-and-file organisations as well as statements from individual medical professionals. The powerful comments this week by Dr Zewlan Moor, one of the victimised doctors, make clear that health workers opposing the Gaza genocide will not be silenced.

Statements received from health workers’ rank-and-file organisations include, NHS Fightback in Britain, the Pathology Rank-and-File Workers group in Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Doctors for Palestine and the Sri Lankan Health Workers Action Committee.

The HWRFC calls on all medical practitioners to speak out against the victimisation of their colleagues and other workers by emailing statements and letters of support to the Health Workers Rank-and-File Committee.

We also urge medical professionals to attend and spread the word about the Socialist Equality Party’s forthcoming public meetings: “How to stop the genocide in Gaza” in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle early next month. Meeting dates and times, and registration details, are available here.

Today we publish a statement from the Committee for Public Education, a rank-and-file group of Australian educators, and a letter from a Melbourne hospital medical records worker.

The Committee for Public Education

The Committee for Public Education is an organisation of rank-and-file teachers, academics, students and parents, initiated by the Socialist Equality Party to wage an independent struggle against government attacks on jobs, wages and conditions, and against the broader onslaught on public education. We stand in solidarity with health workers and all other workers in Australia and internationally who are being persecuted for their opposition to Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Fi, a Melbourne teacher (left), and her friend Helena, protesting in Melbourne in November 2023.

Billions of people throughout the world are outraged by the daily images of the atrocities being committed by the Israeli regime with the full support of all the imperialist powers. The situation in Gaza is catastrophic.

In the past three months, Israel has killed more than 30,000 Gazans, the vast majority of them women and children. Reports are now saying that 11,500 children have been killed and another 25,000 have become parentless. The number of injured Gazans is almost 67,000.

Schools, hospitals, universities and refugee camps are being systematically targeted with missile strikes, cluster bombs, drone attacks and armed raids. As at 23 January, over 4,500 students, 230 teachers and more than 370 health professionals had been killed.

In response to the genocide, health workers in Australia have held vigils on a weekly or fortnightly basis opposing these war crimes and voicing their concerns through petitions, meetings and on social media. 

Many of these health workers have been targeted by pro-Zionist forces bogusly accusing them of being terrorist sympathisers and supporting the murder of Israelis. The same right-wing forces have been calling for volunteers to help report on health workers who are speaking out against Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Doctors and other health workers have been reported to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)—the country’s principal medical regulatory and discipline body—or to their employers. These reports could lead to disciplinary action or even the loss of AHPRA registration.

The attempted silencing of health workers must be opposed. It is a component of the pro-Zionist genocidal war and an attack on the basic rights of the entire working class.

The Australian federal and state Labor governments’ complicity in the war crimes being committed by Israel has extended to victimising and threatening teachers and school workers who have taken a public stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Educators have been slandered in the media, falsely accused of antisemitism, and threatened with misconduct charges and other disciplinary measures, including deregistration. Students, including high school students, have been subject to hostile comments. Political leaders from both Labor and Liberal-National have called for students who took part in the strike protests to be subject to disciplinary measures.

The Committee For Public Education joins with the Health Workers Rank-and-File Committee and demands that the AHPRA drop its “investigations” of the politically-motivated complaints made against health workers. We support the call for “a campaign to defend all victimised medical practitioners and to alert and mobilise health workers across Australia and their counterparts internationally who are facing the same anti-democratic attacks.”

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A medical records worker from Melbourne who wants to remain anonymous sent the following statement:

I vehemently oppose the doxxing and victimisation of Australia health workers that have been falsely accused of antisemitism and vexatiously reported to AHPRA by bad-faith pro-Zionists infiltrating private social media groups. I’m beyond angry, but actually grieving.

When I saw that my own GP had been doxxed on an ultra-right-wing pro-Zionist Instagram account, I cried. I doubt that my doctor hates anyone. She just doesn’t like war!

The genocide and the war are raging in Palestine, but it’s here in Australia already, in the hearts and minds of hospital workers all around the country. I’ve never experienced such an oppressive atmosphere ever in my whole career.

Protesting healthcare workers in Melbourne last month

As a health administrator with over 20 years’ industry experience, I’ve worked with colleagues from all around the world. At times, some of them would proudly share their culture and religion with me, usually in the form of a shared meal. Once, when a close family member of mine had died, my colleague performed at Buddhist chant when expressing her condolences.

Recently, it felt like that level of trust, respect and tolerance had almost been extinguished. Before October 7th, I had never experienced any barriers when discussing humanitarian concerns with my colleagues. Even the issue of vaccinations during COVID attracted some lively debate, but it didn’t mute us. Now I dare not openly discuss the plight of civilians and hospital workers who are caught up in military conflict, specifically in Gaza.

In 2019, Kenneth Stern, who drafted the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, warned that it had been hijacked by the far-right to silence legitimate criticism of the government of Israel. How terribly tragic his sorry warning has now played out today.

I am no different to any other medical records clerk, working hard in a basement of a hospital. But in Palestine, the ones like me have been murdered.

Our democratic rights, even patient safety, is increasingly under threat.

An adoption of a formalistic, hard interpretation of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism is being promoted by the Australian mainstream media. Perverse conflations, such as criticism of Israel and Zionism is equal to antisemitism, are regularly published.

In recent days, the Australian government announced that it wants to outlaw doxxing. On the face of it, it seems like a good idea. But unfortunately, it’s another conflation, that legitimate whistleblowing is the same as doxxing.

I dearly want to talk to my colleagues about denouncing genocide, war and the deliberate targeting of hospitals, but it’s so hard. This oppression has grown at an exponential rate with our words and sympathy twisted and labelled as hate speech.