21 October 2023
Petition to ISMRM to Condemn Hamas and Support Human Values

Last October 7 Hamas unleashed a horrific terrorist attack on Israel, that resulted in over 1400 victims - most of them civilians, including elderly, women, children, babies. It included at least 210 kidnapped victims, as well as thousands of wounded. The brutality and viciousness of the crimes perpetrated by Hamas on that day are unparalleled since the horrors of the Holocaust, and include rape, torture, dismemberment, disembowelment, beheading, burning of living hostages, mass executions. Entire villages were erased, and the whole region was precipitated into a spiral of violence. The civilized world reacted in horror to Hamas’s terror. Prime Minister Sunak called it “pure and simple by its name: it was a pogrom”. Chancellor Scholz was equally firm, stating “"The acts of Hamas were inhumane and barbaric”, highlighting his people’s solidarity “in the country whose history is indissolubly linked to the Shoah”. President Biden highlighted the “pure, unadulterated evil unleashed” by the “brutality of Hamas, that brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS”.

Following these events, many professional societies came out spontaneously to condemn these horrific events. As the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) was not one of these, the Israeli Chapter of ISMRM approached the ISMRM Executive Committee, calling for an unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’s barbaric assault on human values. This was only natural, as ISMRM has taken in the past the right moral stance, and supported Ukraine’s rights and actively denounced the racism behind George Floyd’s murder.

Alas, on 19 October, the ISMRM Ex-Comm posted an offensive statement on their website (www.ismrm.org) whereby they “strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms, and we believe that everyone should have the right to a peaceful and safe existence”. On receiving this statement, many of us –both individually and as a Chapter– contacted the Ex-Comm, expressing our dismay at the symmetry of the statement that in essence puts Hamas and Israel on the same footing. This is completely inappropriate because Hamas perpetrated crimes against humanity, targeting civilians, while Israel never deliberately attacks civilians. While our heart goes out to every victim on both sides of the border, the moral culpability for civilian casualties at the Gaza strip are Hamas’s due to its perpetration of its barbaric attack and its cynical use of human shields. Given that there is no contradiction between condemning a Terrorist, fundamentalist organization - Hamas - and supporting a peaceful solution with the peace-seeking innocent Palestinians also taken hostage by Hamas, we ask: How can ISMRM’s statement not name Hamas and condemn its atrocities? Empathize with the victims? Why did it impose symmetry on the statement? Despite our shock we sought dialogue and unity: We asked the Ex-Comm members to email us; we texted them, gave them our cell phones and asked them to call or Zoom to discuss. NOTHING: The ISMRM Ex-Comm, which so much prides itself in dialogue and inclusion, simply hid behind a wall of silence, and ignored our requests for contact over several days.

We at the Israeli Chapter know that this is not the spirit of our Society: we know that the ISMRM, unlike its current leadership, is NOT made up by scientists and clinicians that hide behind walls of silence pretending nobody is talking to them. We are therefore contacting you to help us convince the ISMRM Executive Committee to revise their stance; to abandon the deafening silence which they decided to embrace, and put out an unambiguous statement condemning the terror events launched by Hamas last October 7. To this end we request that you join us in signing the petition and encourage you to further send the Ex-Comm members a statement to this effect via your professional email.

The current Executive Committee of the ISMRM is made up by

Derek K. Jones, Ph.D., President. Email: JonesD27@cardiff.ac.uk

Scott B. Reeder, M.D., Ph.D., Past President. Email: sreeder@wisc.edu

Margaret A. Hall-Craggs, M.D., Vice President. Email: m.hall-craggs@ucl.ac.uk

Mark A. Griswold, Ph.D., Vice President-Elect. Email: mark.griswold@case.edu

Joseph J. H. Ackerman, Ph.D., Treasurer. Email: ackerman@wustl.edu

Penny A. Gowland, Ph.D., Secretary. Email: Penny.Gowland@nottingham.ac.uk

Krishna S. Nayak, Ph.D., Equity Officer. Email: knayak@usc.edu

Brian A. Hargreaves, Ph.D., Program Chair. Email: bah@stanford.edu

442 verified
  1. Noam Shemesh, PI, Director of the Champalimaud preclinical MRI Centre, Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon
  2. Daphna Link-Sourani, MRI Center Manager, Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
  3. Michal Neeman, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot
  4. Lucio Frydman, Professor, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot
  5. Dafna Ben Bashat, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center & Tel Aviv University, תל אביב - יפו
  6. Moti Freiman, Assistant Professor, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
  7. Inbal Biton, Head of MRI unit, Weizmann Institute os Science, Rehevot
  8. Daniel Barazany, MRI center manager, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
  9. Mor Mishkovsky, Research Scientist, EPFL, Lausanne
  10. Aviad Rabinowich, Physician, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Giva'atayim
  11. Karin Shmueli, Professor of MRI Physics, UCL, London
  12. Rabeeh farrs, Radiologist, Western university, London
  13. Nogah Shabshin, MD, Springfield
  14. Noam Ben-Eliezer, Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
  15. Shirley Shechter, Radiologist, Tel Aviv Sourasky medical center, Tel Aviv
  16. Rivka Kessner, Abdominal MRI Director, Abdominal Radiologist, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv
  17. Yoram Cohen, Professor, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
  18. Or Rachel Sadan, M.Sc. student, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
  19. Tali Jonas Kimchi, Neuroradiologist, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Tel Aviv
  20. Uri Nevo, Professor, Tel Aviv University, Kadima
402 more
verified signatures
  1. Dan Sodickson, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York
  2. Jeffrey Berman, Assoc. Professor, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  3. Eyal Soreq, Data scientist, UK DRI, London
  4. Kimberly Amrami, Radiologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  5. Tim Leiner, Radiologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  6. Darryl Sneag, Radiologist, HSS, New York
  7. Hollis Potter, ISMRM, New York
  8. Franciszek Hennel, Physicist, University of Zurich, Zurich
  9. Nick Bock, Scientist, HAMILTON
  10. Kiaran McGee, Professor of Medical Physics, Rochester, MN
  11. Artem Shatillo, MD, Charles River Laboratories, Kuopio
  12. Beatrice marshansky, MBA student, Weizmann institute of science, Tel aviv
  13. Songi Han, Professor, Northwestern University, Evanston
  14. Nir Milstein, Lecturer, Bar-Ilan, Ramat-Gan
  15. Dr. Tomer-Meir Salame, Head, Mass Cytometry Unit, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
  16. Ilan Tsarfaty, PI, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
  17. Tomer Zidki, Chemist, Ariel University, Ariel
  18. Pk. Yael Pewzner-jung, Staff Scientist, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
  19. Dana Stav, Resident medical doctor, Tel Aviv
  20. Silvina G Horovitz, NINDS, Bethesda MD USA
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