The Executive Committee of the Committee of Interns & Residents (CIR) is appalled and shocked by the recent violence in Israel and Palestine. We mourn the lives of over 1400 Israelis (and visitors to Israel) and over 9000 Palestinians lost between October 7th and the time of writing on October 30th. CIR members have lost family and friends in both Gaza and Israel. Many more of our members have felt powerfully, personally affected by these events, including renewed fears for their own safety amidst escalating islamophobia and antisemitism. We condemn all antisemitic and islamophobic acts and speech—including that which we witness infiltrating the medical workplace.
Our role as healers and the privilege of our profession compel us to speak out against any further harm to civilians—Palestinian, Israeli, or otherwise. We call on President Biden and Congress to fight to preserve lives not yet lost. We specifically urge them to help:
Guarantee Basic Human Rights
Restore access to water, food, electricity, housing, and healthcare for the 2.2 million people in Gaza, half of whom are children. Guarantee immediate, unrestricted humanitarian aid. To deny the above constitutes collective punishment, a war crime under the Geneva convention.
Ensure the immediate, safe release of Israeli hostages. Listen to the families of hostages, who warn that further attacks on Gaza endanger the lives of their loved ones. Ensure the release of Palestinians detained in Israel without due process.
Call for Immediate Ceasefire
Stop any military action that will result in further loss of life, including the ground invasion, bombing, and the use of white phosphorus on civilians. Protect all healthcare workers and infrastructure from harm.
The past month’s developments have only exacerbated the baseline stress of being housestaff in our healthcare system. As a union our collective aim includes fighting for safe, inclusive work environments. If you are experiencing harassment or threat of retaliation for the peaceful expression of your convictions at work, please inform your staff organizer or let us know confidentially. Now or ever, if you or a colleague are in crisis, know you can call the Physician Support Line (free, confidential & anonymous support from volunteer psychiatrists, 8:00am-12:00am ET M-F) and 988 (24/7 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline).
Human life is precious.
The CIR Executive Committee