The People’s Health Movement launches an appeal to boycott the International Conference on Mental Health in Israel

Our appeal goes to the people of the free world to ask them to join the voice of the BDS movement to support boycotting the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy – IARPP’s annual conference scheduled for June in Tel Aviv, despite the international protests and criticism of the conference’s location.


We call upon you to express our strong opposition of the recent decision of the IARPP Governing Council to convene its International Conference for 2019 in Israel. We call for a review of this resolution as a form of support for the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and solidarity for their legitimate rights to freedom from military occupation.


The struggle of the Palestinian people against the colonial Zionist settlement system has continued since the beginning of the last century until today, but Israel continues to oppress the Palestinians and colonize the land without accountability due to the failure of governments at the international level to hold Israel accountable. This includes the continued covering of US President Donald Trump on war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people in violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.


It is ironic and painful to see that the Israeli occupying state has been chosen to hold an international conference focusing on the in-depth study of human relations in regards to mental health, while placing an entire people under its military rule since 1967 after occupying the rest of the historic land of Palestine following the “Nakba” and the displacement of the Palestinian people in 1948, and since then the occupation state has adopted a brutal and systematic policy aimed at the gradual ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people through the confiscation of land and the isolation of communities in ethnic enclaves surrounded by military barriers, colonies, observation towers and the apartheid wall. Moreover, its imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip continues for more than 11 years and has transformed Gaza into the largest open prison in the world, as well as imposing racist laws on the indigenous Palestinian population, most recently known as the Israeli national law.


Conducting international conferences of professional relations in Israel, in our opinion, imply acceptance of the policies and behaviors of the Israeli occupation state, which extends the occupation and serves the political interests of Israel, distorting the world’s attention and accountability of the occupying state for its crimes and violations of human rights in Jerusalem, West Bank and the Gaza Strip.


The People’s Health Movement is committed through its charter to calling for an end to the occupation as it is one of the most destructive tools of human dignity; it considers participation in this conference directly in support of Israel’s racist policies that violate the principles of social justice and psychological and health professional practices, which are based on freedom, justice, dignity and human rights. Therefore, we appeal to our colleagues in unions and civil society organizations not to participate in IARPP’s conference, and to raise their voices with us to condemn the occupation and consider it a fundamental impediment to the health of the Palestinian people, including their mental health.