July 20, 2006
Dr. Sahika Yuksel
Psychiatric Association of Turkey
Dear Dr. Yuksel,
The Israeli Psychiatric Association and all Israeli psychiatrists share the concern about violence and its consequences. We are witnesses to the human suffering and the increase in mental health problems that are a direct result of war and military operations. The Israeli Psychiatric Association recognizes and is part of the WPA Cairo Declaration on "Mass Violence and Mental Health" (September 2005).
However, it needs to be said that the political dynamics in the Middle East, that you mention in your letter are not as simple as they seem.
As you know, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and from Lebanon in order to "live and let live" in peace. Since the withdrawal, the terrorist attacks and the missiles and bombs on Israeli civilian population have not ceased but rather increased and made everyday life impossible.
It is the basic right of each government to defend its citizens from terror.
The current attacks are aimed at defending and hopefully solving the problem of the terrorists organizations for a better life on both sides.
We thank you for your concern and join your wish to collaborate on promoting the mental health of all human beings, independent of their citizenship or ethnic origin.
Prof. Zvi Zemishlany Prof. Avi Bleich
Former President and Foreign Affairs of the IPA President of the IPA