Dr. Leonid Eidelman speaks at the Knesset .(Flash90) (Flash90)
Leonid Eidelman

Despite repeated calls to expel Israeli medical organizations from international bodies, the World Medical Association has elected an Israeli as president.

Israeli Medical Association (IMA) Chairman Prof. Leonid Eidelman has been chosen to serve as the next president of the World Medical Association.

Medical association leaders from across the globe—representing more than nine million doctors worldwide—elected Eidelman at the organization’s annual convention in Chicago last weekend.

Eidelman, who ran against Dr. Heikki Palve from Finland, won two-thirds of the final vote, with 98 backing his candidacy and 43 supporting Palve.

Eidelman, 65, will succeed India’s Dr. Ketan Desai to lead the organization beginning in October 2018.

As Israel faces repeated calls to expel Israeli medical organizations from international bodies, the appointment of a doctor from the Jewish state to one of the top positions in the medical world—with a major influence on the most important decisions regarding the behavior of doctors—is seen as carrying considerable significance.

In January 2016, for example, Dr. Ze’ev Feldman, a representative of the Israel Medical Association, said 71 British doctors had reached out to the WMA asking for Israel’s membership to be revoked. He said British medical journals were publishing letters to the editor carrying accusations against Israeli doctors, including malpractice against Palestinian patients.

Eidelman is a prominent authority in the area of medical ethics in Israel. He has served as president of the IMA since 2009, in addition to his role as professor of anesthesiology and intensive care medicine at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine. He immigrated to Israel from Riga, Latvia, in 1987.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff