Activists ask Tampa General Hospital to divest from Israeli business accelerator

A protest is planned for Friday.

click to enlarge Local activists asked that TGH cancel its partnership with the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA), which connects Israel’s most high-potential tech startups to the partners, investors, and advisors they need to launch successfully in the U.S. - Adobe
Adobe
Local activists asked that TGH cancel its partnership with the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA), which connects Israel’s most high-potential tech startups to the partners, investors, and advisors they need to launch successfully in the U.S.


Concerned Tampa Bay activists have sent an open letter to Tampa General Hospital (TGH), asking it to divest from its business dealings with a company based in Israel, which is currently being investigated by the United Nations for war crimes against Palestinians.

Palestinian-led activist group The Resistance of Tampa Bay and The Party For Socialism and Liberation Tampa Bay have asked that TGH cancel its partnership with the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA), which connects Israel’s most high-potential tech startups to the partners, investors, and advisors they need to launch successfully in the U.S.

“We as health care workers, students, and community members condemn the renewed, but ever-present Israeli state aggression against Palestinians that span across Gaza, the West Bank, and Israeli territories,” the letter reads.

Ayman Salhab is one of the supporters of the letter. He’s in the healthcare field, and says that around 15 doctors from TGH have shown support for the open letter, but that they feel like they’d be risking their jobs if they were to share their names publicly.

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay reached out to TGH and sent a copy of the letter, to which they offered this response. 

“The Office of the President has not received any letter from this group; we typically do not publicly comment on these types of matters,” wrote Karen Barrera,  Assistant Director of Communications and Partnerships at TGH. “TGH does not stand for injustice or intolerance; our work with Sheba Medical Center and FIBA are purely focused on collaboration and innovation that will ultimately benefit our team members, physicians, and patients.”

As a next step, the groups plan to hold a protest at TGH park on Davis Islands, Friday, July 16, at 6 p.m.

“As of today, we call upon all doctors, nurses, and anyone who supports the mission of Tampa General Hospital, in which they state a shared purpose: “We heal. We teach. We innovate. Care for everyone. Every day,”  the letter reads. “We respect and admire this, and today we are asking you to take an extensive approach to your mission and care for the disenfranchised local and international communities.”

Palestinians say that over the past century, Israelis have violently displaced their people from their rightful land, which violates article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and leaves Palestinians with little land to live on and dire economic and health conditions. The Center For Constitutional Rights calls the situation a genocide.

Israelis argue that the land is rightfully theirs. In 1947, after more than two decades of British rule, the United Nations partitioned Palestine into two sections: Israel and Palestine. Since then, Israel has come to occupy a vast majority of the land. Israelis argue that they have a right to the land in the name of Jewish people having their own state in which to live.

The United States and Israel are the only nations in the world that do not consider the situation a violation of international law.

Here is a list of the organizations co-sponsoring the open letter to TGH:

  • Jewish Voice for Peace -  Health Advisory Council
  • Dream Defenders
  • University of South Florida (USF) Bulls for Refugee Medical Relief
  • USF Students for a Democratic Society
  • USF Muslim Students Association
  • Tampa Bay Community Action Committee
  • USF’s The Muslim Connection
  • USF HOSA: Future Health Professionals at USF
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • USF Students Organize for Syria
  • USF Arab Student Association
  • Young Muslim Sisters of Tampa
  • USF Sisters United Muslim Association
  • USF Pakistani Students Association
  • Students for Justice in Palestine at USF
  • USF Project Downtown
  • Palestinian Youth Movement

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About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia previously wrote for the USA Today Network, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Scalawag Magazine, and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 


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