News Release

Censorship on Palestine Reaches U.S. Medical Institutions


Some cultural institutions have unleashed a wave of retaliation against speakers and thinkers since October 7. The medical community is now seeing similar backlash at healthcare institutions. At Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, an OB-GYN Grand Rounds seminar presentation was recently canceled after the speaker, Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, voiced solidarity with Palestinian people on social media. Moayedi was scheduled to give a talk entitled “Healthcare through a Human Rights Crisis.” 

    Goldstein is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU and a primary care physician at a public hospital.

According to members of the group Healthcare Workers for Palestine and Moayedi’s own statements, Montefiore canceled OB-GYN Grand Rounds because its upcoming speaker had expressed solidarity with Palestine, called for a ceasefire, and stated that solidarity with the Palestinian people is a reproductive justice issueThe speaker’s posts did not support violence of any kind. The talk was canceled by the interim chair of the OB-GYN department at Montefiore approximately two hours before the grand rounds were scheduled to take place. The department made no mention of the process for that decision or who decided it.

Goldstein told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “People in the department and outside of it, at various levels of training, have responded [to the cancellation] in private. They were disturbed by the action. Some even contacted leadership at Montefiore. Other workers have been called in [to management] because of their social media posts on the issue.” Those workers feel that they were intimidated to discourage future posts. Though some institutions are more or less stringent in their policies, in general, any “language around Palestinian resistance––and [in particular] the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’––is fireable.”

“Coworkers are also monitoring social media. People have been warned or otherwise been intimidated when coworkers have expressed that they were uncomfortable with Palestinian solidarity posts.

“Many workers outside of Montefiore are feeling this. Institutions across the board issued statements soon after October 7 about their support with Israel and supporting staff who might be feeling emotional distress. But most institutions have done nothing about what Muslims, Palestinians, or Arabs in Palestine or in the U.S. are enduring right now.”

Healthcare Workers for Palestine have organized events across the U.S. calling for a ceasefire, including: press conferences, safe space dinners, teach-ins and education sessions, a die-in in Boston, a walkout of UCSF students, a walkout at San Francisco General Hospital, and healthcare worker vigils in New York, Chicago, New Haven, Seattle, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

The group also put out a statement calling on the international healthcare community to condemn Israeli violence and destruction against the Palestinian healthcare system and to materially support colleagues using direct aid. The statement received nearly 5,000 signatories.