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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Premier British medical journal refuses letters from Israeli academics

Two weeks ago, I was asked to help with a response written by a group of doctors to a nasty piece in the prominent British medical journal Lancet. The article to which the Israeli doctors were responding was entitled An Open Letter for the People of Gaza, and described the fighting in Operation Protective Edge in terms that were about as anti-Israel as you have ever seen.

Several groups of Israeli doctors from various disciplines wrote letters in response to the article. But none of them are going to be published. Lancet is not accepting letters from Israeli academics.
The Lancet has done this before—but this time, they will not publish any genuinely scientific and medical letters of rejoinder. They have, in fact, just rejected Dr. Boris Yoffe’s letter. Professor Yoffee is the head of the division of surgery at the “Barzilai” University Medical Center in Ashkelon, in southern Israel. The Lancet editors told him that letters by “Israeli academics” are not welcome.

A dangerous season of Orwellian censorship is upon us.  I am reminded of how swiftly German Christian physicians took over all the German Psycho-analytic Societies which were formerly headed by Jewish doctors--and of course, I remember Dr. Robert Jay Lifton’s work on the Nazi doctors. Simply because someone has an advanced degree of some kind or has won a Nobel Prize in no way inoculates them from the most vulgar common prejudices.

The 2014 Lancet authors (Manduca et al) write of Israel-perpetrated “massacres” and are “tempted to conclude” that “95%” of Israeli  academics “are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza.” Manduca et al write:

We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression.” In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity… We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists… People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.

The Lancet authors do not mention the vast network of terror tunnels, purposely dug beneath schools, mosques, hospitals, and private homes; no mention of Hamas’s cold and ruthless decision to use their own people as human shields for propaganda purposes; not a word about the thousands of rockets that have rained down mainly on southern Israel for so many years. There is no analysis of the hate propaganda indoctrination against Jews and Israel that every Palestinian child receives and the glorification and payment to the family of “martyred” human bombs, nor scarcely a thought about how much money was siphoned off by Hamas leaders for luxury lives, Swiss and Emirati bank accounts, and above all, for the purchase of weapons and the building of a veritable underground city of cement-walled tunnels in which weapons and fighters are housed.

In addition, as Dr. Richard Cravatts, President of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and  Dr. David Feifel, have noted that the Lancet authors do not come with “clean hands.” They have failed to disclose their financial and intellectual links to terrorism.

Read the whole thing. One of the doctors who wrote the original Lancet piece is Norwegian Mads Gilbert (pictured above in Shifa Hospital during Operation Cast Lead). If you search his name on this blog, it will return several hits.

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At 7:38 PM, Blogger Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Maybe Lancet wanted to publish only one Israeli letter? This one was already published.


At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely the human rights commision should be involved in such awful blatant racism

At 12:42 PM, Blogger C said...

Non-Israeli Jewish doctors could make the same points. And then send them with their Israeli-identical predecessors to any paper brave enough to publish them.


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