Israel's Nutritionists Urge Leader of Doctors' Protest to End Hunger Strike

Israeli Society for Clinical Nutrition sends letter to Leonid Eidelman urging him to 'demonstrate responsibility and stop the hunger strike'; group says hunger strike could affect negotiations to settle doctors' labor dispute.

The organization representing Israel’s nutritionists has called on Leonid Eidelman, the chairman of the Israel Medical Association, to end the hunger strike that he began Monday as part of the doctors’ labor dispute with the treasury. The group, the Israeli Society for Clinical Nutrition, which is part of the IMA, said the hunger strike could harm his health and also affect negotiations to settle the labor dispute.

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Doctors hunger strike – Nir Keidar
Nir Keidar

The nutritionists’ organization represents not only dietitians but also doctors, nurses and pharmacists. Irit Chermesh, the group’s chairman, sent a letter to Eidelman, who is drinking fluids but not eating solid food, stating in part: “The task you are facing is tough and highly demanding, and all your energies and talents must be enlisted.”

“I call upon you to demonstrate responsibility and stop the hunger strike,” Chermesh demanded. When he began the hunger strike, Eidelman said he would continue until the labor dispute was settled. He responded to the nutritionists’ call by saying he is in good shape and would ask to be replaced in the negotiations if he could no longer function.