Doctor Arieh Avni’s appeal was rejected by the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday, which means that the antivaxxer’s license to practice medicine was revoked permanently.
Back in 2021, the Health Ministry had taken the decision of stripping the doctor off his license, a decision that he had appealed.
According to Avni, he had the right to share his views because of free speech. He informed the court that he had disseminated his views because he wanted to save the people.
He said that his goal had been to protect them from vaccinations and medications that could cause them diseases, such as autism, cancer and others.
Judge Nimrod Flax rejected the doctor’s claims and said that there is a difference between incitement and an opinion.
The judge said that Avni had tried to dissuade the public from comply with the directive of the medical authorities by launching a smear campaign against them.
Flax stated that a doctor opting for such a path of delegitimization is behaving in a manner that does not befit a licensed doctor.
The doctor is part of the antivaxxer community in Israel and runs a popular website where a number of articles have been published that spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19, as well as the vaccination campaign.
In addition, the articles also slander health officials repeatedly. The doctor also runs a page on Facebook by the title of ‘Correct Medicine: Dr. Areh Avni’ where he publishes posts that discuss his theories.
Previously, the doctor claimed that anyone administering a vaccine was no better than the notorious Nazi camp doctor Mengele.
When the pandemic was at its peak, Avni had set up a clinic in Bnei Brak where he was offering forged certifications of immunization for pay, along with exemptions from wearing masks.
The clinic had also spread a great deal of misinformation about COVID-19.
The original ruling
Yuli Edelstein was the health minister back in 2021 and had appointed Judge Amnon Strashnov to oversee the case of revoking Avni’s license.
The judge has now retired, but his ruling had stated that the doctor was a danger to the public. Strashnov had said that the blatant and harsh statements from Avni were a danger to public health and safety.
The ruling said that the doctor also made baseless and blatant remarks against the Health Ministry officials and the medical community.
The judge had stated that these did not fall under freedom of expression and was not permissible in any democratic society.
The ruling stated that Avni was enjoying his title of ‘doctor’, while he was a prescription for total anarchy.
In February 2021, Facebook had also announced that it had taken down a prominent Israeli group that had been spreading conspiracy theories about COVID vaccines.
The social media platform had said that the group was encouraging its members to make appointments for getting vaccinated and then cancel them at the last minute, so the vaccines are wasted.
It was reported that the Health Ministry had reached out to Facebook for removing posts of antivaxxers that talked about their actions.