Ancient Roots Israel is one of many initiatives all over the world creating community events that bring together herbalists from all countries, cultures, religions, political orientations and backgrounds to freely share their herbal wisdom and passion. Sadly, some of our 2020 speakers and supporters have been falsely led to believe that supporting Ancient Roots Israel would be a wrongful political statement and they have become the target of serious harassment endangering their work and livelihood by a campaign that is fostering the politics of division. For their protection, we sadly accept their withdrawal from this year’s Ancient Roots Israel event. We are so sorry for the sadness, hassle and inconvenience this group has caused them and thank them for their contributions.

Since the dawn of medicine (and the first doctors were herbalists), the very core principle of healing is that we help everyone; friend or foe, people who share our opinion and people who do not; even the worst killers are helped without discrimination. Medical professionals can never take political or moral side with anybody while performing their task, wherever they are. Thus they will attend any medical conference in any country and community, all over the world, that holds true to this ideal. Today’s herbalists shall certainly operate under the same premises. The narrow beliefs and politics of some should not upset the genuine need to bring the healing of plant medicines to everyone.

Ancient Roots believes in talking to everybody, no matter what their convictions, and we regret that said group has not contacted us directly and explained their grievances and given us a chance to accommodate their concerns and instead issued boycott, demands, and other threats to the very people who wanted to do what they believe in, which is sharing herbal medicine with all peoples, throughout the world.

We herbalists are concerned with people and plants, not with politics. #plantsoverpolitics The choice of targeting our non-commercial, non-political activity, and thus trying to stop herbalists from gathering to further their knowledge of ways to improve the lives and health of people around the world, is indeed troubling and unethical. Once again we see something started with good and noble intent derailed by the politics of division that is sweeping the world. Nevertheless, Ancient Roots Israel will move forward as planned.

We close with borrowing quotes from Doctors Without Borders and International Medical Relief, as we want to aspire to the same ethical standard:

“Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality.” https://www.msf.org

“We provide our services without… discrimination, and irrespective of race, religion, creed, or political affiliation.” https://www.internationalmedicalrelief.org/about-imr/

Thank you.

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