The Lancet finally caved and did the right thing. Well–almost, but not quite. They have now published some letters of rebuttal to the Big Lie anti-Israel piece they published, but they have also published letters of support for the article by Manduca et al. Just yesterday, the editorial staff of The Lancet published an editorial which, in essence, justifies its publication.
I now have confirmation that The Lancet resisted publishing rebuttal letters. Only after a tedious and protracted back-and-forth did they publish a letter online, written by two Americans, Jeremy M. Levin and Ron Cohen, which critiqued the pseudo-scientific piece which attacked Israel and amounted to a series of Blood Libels against the Jewish state.
The Lancet also published a much shortened version of another Israeli physician’s article, Dr. Tamir Wolf, here.
Some– namely, Ori Ben-Yehuda, MD, Gregg W. Stone, MD, and Martin B. Leon, MD– have launched a petition for the dismissal of the Editor, Richard Horton, at The Lancet. They note that The Lancet should never have published propaganda as science. She notes that:
“Elsevier has stated that the responsibility for the decision to accept the open letter by Manduca et al rests with the Editor-in- Chief, Mr. Richard Horton. We fully agree. Richard Horton, the Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, has a long and public history of anti-Israeli views and activism on behalf of various Palestinian causes (see http://honestreporting.com/
the-lancets-latest-abuse-of-). He is, of course, entitled to his political opinions. What is not acceptable is the hijacking of a prestigious medical journal in advancement of a personal political agenda.” medicine-for-political-ends
The group views the Manduca piece as “defamatory” and suggests that scientists and physicians might “cancel their subscriptions,” (withdraw) as reviewers and editorialists; (boycott) any future submissions to the journal; (cancel) personal subscriptions; and (engage) the media. The group’s letter ends this way:
‘There is sufficient evidence that Mr. Horton has abused his position as Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet to advance his own political agenda. These actions are not commensurate with the ethics claimed by Elsevier and The Lancet and have severely tarnished the reputation of the journal. “
I am glad to see the Levin-Cohen letter online at The Lancet. I am saddened by how many other good letters, written by Israeli doctors who are on site, were either rejected or shortened.
The Lancet would certainly not have only published a rebuttal article. Oh no. The Lancet has also published letters which support the Manduca article.
As a psychologist, I must first note that first impressions usually last, that corrections or rebuttals do not carry the same weight. Levin-Cohen are second, second to Manduca’s Big Lies. In fact, the Lancet itself lists Manduca’s article as their “most often read” piece.
Further, the fact that Levin had to fight so hard to be heard is not heartening. Dr. Boris Yoffie, whose letter I published yesterday, may have given up after his fifth or sixth attempt to have his letter published. After all, he is performing surgery almost around-the-clock in southern Israel.
Finally, the fact that the editor on the Manduca piece, Richard Horton, has ties to anti-Israel groups is completely outrageous and unacceptable. Levin wrote the following letter to his friends and associates and has said it can be shared:
“As you may know few days ago the Lancet, one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious journals of medicine and medical research published a scurrilous and completely hate filled letter directed at physicians and researchers with the intent to sway them to the side of Hamas – and more broadly, radical Palestinians…. But without a doubt a letter full of lies and innuendo. It is very much a letter which the communications teams of Goebbles and Stalin would have been proud of drafting and sending out…
In addition, the original letter was simply outrageous in that not only was it published in a supposedly unbiased and completely neutral Medical Journal, but also in that is was full of factual inaccuracies, reflects politically motivation and promoted widely by Reed Elsevier and Lancet – and further defended vigorously by the editor, Richard Horton who is a doctor with many associations with anti-Israel organisations – none of which were disclosed as he agreed to print the original letter. Clearly an unacceptable and manipulative use of a journal of science and medicine to promote a political agenda. This fact reflects the tremendous penetration that the anti-Israel forces have gained in some of the highest echelons of business, media and indeed increasingly the policy makers in Europe.
I attach for you my response that was just published in the Lancet, after a protracted dialogue with the editors who were very reluctant to publish anything initially. There are great responses also from authors in Israel.
Feel free to send to who you wish.”
I am sharing it here.
The Levin-Cohen letter is careful to note that the authors “are deeply saddened by the death, destruction, and psychological and physical harm being wrought on innocent people in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel.”
Yes–but Hamas started this war and their aim is to finish it by finishing off the Jews. And, tragically, the “innocent” people have not yet rejected or overthrown their leaders or their way of thinking. Even after it is more than clear that Hamas’s stated goal was to have as many of their own civilian casualties as possible by firing on Israeli civilians from residential buildings, mosques, schools, ambulances, and hospitals. The IDF has now captured a Hamas handbook which describes the “advantages” of using human shields. Sadly, Hamas is right–at least to the extent to which the world media and leaders blame Israel, not Hamas, for the “disproportionate” Gazan body count and to the extent to which Hamas fighters are counted as “civilian” casualties.
According to my friend and colleague, Dr. Anat Berko, had Israel really wanted to kill civilians there would be many more thousands dead.
The majority of the Gazan civilians are not women and children but men of fighting age and perhaps people who might have died normally at this time. Hamas and its Western media enablers rarely make these distinctions.
In any event, I welcome the Levin-Cohen letter which goes on to rebut each and every “falsehood” and all the “inaccuracies” that Manduca et al made. They note that Israel did not target civilians but rather “a terrorist force, Hamas, which rained rockets down indiscriminately on Israel’s civilian population, actions that the European Union Council called ‘criminal and unjustifiable acts.'”
Levin-Cohen also note Manduca’s failure to mention “Hamas’s callous strategy of using human shields;” the fact that Israel “warns civilians to evacuate but that Hamas does not allow them to do so; and the existence of the terror tunnel networks. Further, Israel does not prevent drugs and medicine from reaching Gaza–the Palestinian Authority has failed to pay what it owes to pharmaceutical companies and instead, diverted “billions of dollars (for) the building of tunnels and the purchase of rockets and other weaponry. Why did they not buy medicine for the sick?”
Levin-Cohen end by writing that “murderers cannot be deterred by appeasement. Let us focus on how to help the Gazans rid themselves of a malevolent leadership.”
The censorship of the truth and the presentation of highly biased articles are acting as a strong incitement to hate and possibly even genocide. But the Lancet is not alone in such censorship. I have been contacted by several journalists who also tried to report on the Manduca piece in The Lancet but were rejected at their usual (liberal-left) websites. I am waiting for one such journalist to allow me to break this story. I have suggested that she be the one to do so. Thus far, she has not yet made her decision.