August 4, 2014

“Prominent UK Medical Journal: Letters from ‘Israeli Academics’ Not Welcome”

My.  How very intellectual!   Phyllis Chesler, Breitbart:

The once premier British medical journal The Lancet has, once again, engaged in an outrageous Blood Libel against Israel– but, unlike its previous attacks on Israel, the journal has told an Israeli doctor that letters of rejoiner from “Israeli academics” will not be published.

In an article titled “An Open Letter for the People of Gaza,” it describes the violence between the terrorist group Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces in highly biased, inaccurate, and defamatory ways. It was authored by Paola Manduca, Iain Chalmers, Derek Summerfield, Mads Gilbert, and Swee Ang “on behalf of 24 signatories.”

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. According to Dr. Feifel:

For one example, the letter’s first author, Paolo Manduca received funding from several anti-Israel NGOs including Interpal, which has been designated as a terrorist entity by the governments of the United States, Canada and Australia. US Federal authorities describe the organization as a global clearinghouse channeling money to Hamas and a BBC investigation came to the same conclusion. Interpal is a founding member of the so-called “Union of Good,” an umbrella organization, which funds Islamic terrorists in Gaza. Its leader, Yussef al- Qaradawi, is a notorious jihadist who has publically lauded Hitler for “putting Jews in their place” and has said of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “We must plant the love of death and the love of martyrdom in the Islamic nation.” The organization actively encourages Palestinian children to become martyrs and suicide bombers  Manduca not only receives funding from Interpal but also raises money for it . Is it any wonder, therefore, that Manduca is a signatory to the “Appeal for the removal of Hamas from the EU terror list” and that her co-author, Mads Gilbert, is on record for supporting terror attacks against civilians including the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center which took the lives of nearly 3000 innocent civilians? These revelations totally belie the authors’ description of themselves as merely “doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives.” At least some of them are, in fact, doctors and scientists who have intellectual and financial links to terrorist entities with genocidal agendas. In violating Lancet’s published Declaration of Interests policy, Manduca et al, deprived Lancet readers of crucial contextual information with which to judge their polemical correspondence.

This is not the first time that The Lancet has engaged in Blood Libels.

In 2010, The Lancet published a scurrilous pseudo-scientific attack upon Israel, which claimed that an increase in wife-beating “in the occupied territories” was due to the stress of “occupation.”

At the time, I helped some Israeli academics and physicians place their letters of protest in The Lancet and I also published a letter in their pages. The 2010 article was an intellectual joke—but there was nothing funny about it.

The authors did not look at the normalized wife- and daughter-beating in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or in any other Muslim Arab country which was not allegedly “occupied” by Israel. Nor did they note the normalized honor killing of girls and women in the region. They did not compare “intimate partner violence” in unoccupied Gaza with “intimate partner violence” in Sderot, Israel, where “civilians have endured 8,000 rocket attacks from Gaza.” This so-called study did not note the increase in violence against women due to Hamas’s fundamentalist misogyny.

Elsewhere, I wrote about the entire episode as an example of how “Big Lies now pass for top-of-the-line academic, scientific work.”

Still, The Lancet published my letter and those of Israeli academics. They will not do so now. This time, they are in no mood for genuinely scientific or academic rejoinders.

This is outrageous and heartbreaking.

— And entirely keeping with the left’s “manufactured consent” view of “truth.”  Leftist “intellectuals” are anything but.  They are demagogues, largely, and when the fires of debate get too hot they will often circle the wagons and retreat behind a line of phony outrage and pseudo-moralistic dismissal.

One of the reasons I left academia is that I realized that, were I truly interested in intellectualism and what it can accomplish, I was in the wrong place:  the academy was now the home to doctrinaire leftist orthodoxies and propaganda.  And besides, any place in the US that needs to deploy “free speech zones” to protect the rank and file useful idiots they hope to create by quarantining heterodoxical thought is, for lack of a better description, deliberately and cynically anti-intellectual.

You can read the text of  Dr. Boris Yoffe’s letter at the link.

And let me just add one final thought:  it would be truly terrible if advances in medicine made by Israeli doctors were, in the future, to come with the same kind of BDS attached to their dissemination — only this time, with the potential beneficiaries of these advances those same preening moral cowards who right now find it so politically invigorating to dress their Jew-hate in compassion, and those deploying the Boycott Divest Sanction the Israelis themselves, content to hold on to medicines, procedures, or technologies that might otherwise be used to save the lives of phony intellectuals and rank anti-Semites.

Of course, this would never happen — which is precisely why it is so easy to attack Jews (and Christians) while stumping for the exotic Other who, in truth, would slit your throat in a heartbeat for the crime of not converting to Islam.  The radical chic are but useful idiots.  And the crocodile won’t eat them last, no matter how desperately they try to please him.



Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:57pm

Comments (36)

  1. Witnessing a jew-hater sitting in the highest office in the United States in no way encourages or enables these sorts of prejewdices in the rest of the world. Surely not.

  2. There is a rather long history of anti-Semitism in the UK so this is hardly surprising, especially given the abundance of followers of Mohammed who are overtaking the place.

  3. Much of Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.

    And yet they’ve been able to build how many miles of concrete-lined underground tunnels and bunkers? How many homes, schools, and factories might have been rebuilt or refurbished with all the time and material that Hamas diverted to their war on the Jews?

    I thought the Lancet went down the toilet in the Bush years, but this latest development makes their old Saddamy look downright professional by comparison.

  4. The Lancet has become a joke.

    It’s scary that what is supposed to be a definitive medical journal has so utterly abandoned scientific rigor.

    But I guess that’s the most effective way to propagate your lies: find the most trusted sources, infiltrate them, and cloak your prevarications in the mantle of unearned authority.

  5. Sexists brutes build mancaves rather provide for the kids. Typical.

  6. Lancet’s reputation among thinking people has pretty much followed the trajectory of that of the Nobel Peace Prize.

  7. One might say “abscess, lance thyself”.

  8. Damn you, sdferr. You beat me to the joke, though I was going to use the word “boil” instead of “abscess.”

    As for the Israelis withholding technology, its really no-win for them. They can attempt to distribute it and become subject to the BDS movement, or they can withhold and be subject to diatribes like Keith Ellison’s below. IIRC, the Israelis already try to provide free, state-of-the art medical care to special needs Palestinian children but the demons of Hamas and Fatah threaten any family which tries to save their child’s life by going to Israel. Dead kids are a much better tool to use to get the “tools” at media outlets like The Lancet to beat the drum for genocide.

  9. Boil is true enough — I just figured abscess with two syllables better triggers a recollection of doctor with two.

  10. Jawa: Google Removed Bomb Gaza App

    But of course allows the similar Hamas supporting apps to remain.

  11. – Nor the Cobra bite them last no matter how many times they call him “Sir Cobra”.

    – OT. Would this qualify for “Messin’ wit Sasquatch“?

  12. In 2010, The Lancet published a scurrilous pseudo-scientific attack upon Israel, which claimed that an increase in wife-beating “in the occupied territories” was due to the stress of “occupation.”

    What bothers me most about this sort of thing is the simple fact that this wasn’t immediately considered laughable at every single decision point from the person opening the proposed paper in the mail to the editors to the readers.

    I know that everyone involved is thinking in terms of “Will the dummies notice and allow this?” but I find it strange that they don’t grok how each of them are the very dummies in question.

  13. you bet bh, just so little do they honor actual science. One would think scientists could take offense — mysteriously, we don’t hear any uproar.

  14. The analogy here would be Alex Jones. Chemtrails! Scary food additives!

    Where the analogy breaks down is where the vast majority of rightists see the man as a buffoon and cynical con artist. The leftists just pass it along, half-believing this nonsense and half-believing their fellow travelers are exactly this stupid because, well, it sorta sounds truthy.

  15. One would think scientists could take offense — mysteriously, we don’t hear any uproar.

    The charitable interpretation is that most scientists are getting on with the business of science and don’t spend much time with things that are only designed to excite certain lower regions of reptilian brains.

  16. They would be rising to their own life choice’s defense though, for which it must be difficult to fault them.

  17. This is always where we get into “No true Scotsman” territory because this is often my considered response to the situation even though I know it’s a bit fraught.

    Why do so few scientists become upset? Because there aren’t that many actual scientists. Likewise with economists. Artists. Public servants.

    Pick a profession. We can see when people have devoted themselves to a thing to the degree that it drags them from bed and makes them forget meals. We can see that this is rare.

    The rest is simply nominal.

  18. “Because there aren’t that many actual scientists.”


    It can thus be used as a tool to teach the non-scientists the proprieties of the distinction.

  19. >Because there aren’t that many actual scientists. <

    the clowns in "social media" like mr. hockeystick are more like stalinstic thugs. there's alot of folks looking for what is true regardless of the commy bs. they stay quiet but persevering.

  20. Where we see the great amount of labor involved here, sdferr, is in this very example. How does one simplify what is apparent upon a glance to an audience with no idea about multivariate analysis? What concrete aspect does one seize upon to show the layman the “laughability factor” of that sort of claim?

    In 2010, The Lancet published a scurrilous pseudo-scientific attack upon Israel, which claimed that an increase in wife-beating “in the occupied territories” was due to the stress of “occupation.”

    Does one talk about the statistical tests one uses to judge the likelihood of this conjecture? Does one do this with an audience who still say how they were right when they thought as a teenager that they’d never need to use algebra as an adult?

  21. Because, if we don’t do this sort of hard work, then we’re just left with what we have now, this indistinct scorn directed equally at higher education and con artists because they both talk a good game and significant portion of the audience doesn’t know how to differentiate between the two groups.

    It seems to me that no rhetoric is up to the task. Only education and possibly the observation of concrete outcomes as in “they put a man on the moon” or “no one has polio anymore”.

  22. (It occurs to me that I occasionally write these comments as though we’re in disagreement when we’re, in fact, not. I adopt a polemic style from time to time for some reason. Probably because we’re all part of an insurgent counter-revolutionary group, I suppose.)

  23. The refutation necessarily involves the work, since the work itself is the science. The non-scientists of whom we speak aren’t, presumably, the utterly disinterested rejectionists, but the young, who may have not made that choice but simply not been exposed to actual scientific enquiry. This is such an opportunity, is my sense of it.

  24. Off-topic: the O’s played a rainout makeup game in DC today. They have to fly to Toronto tonight, so they asked Washington to play a daygame so their trip to Canada could be made at some greater leisure. No, say the Nats, we’ll play at night. Fine. O’s 7, Nats 3.

    thank you very much

  25. >since the work itself is the science.<

    mikeymann does alot "work". it ain't science.

  26. Brian @drawandstrike Cates just finished an epic rant on Twitter about the left’s pathological need to minimize and excuse evil:

  27. – They don’t just excuse it, they rush to pacify whenever possible rather than find any fault.

  28. They magic wand Evil and the ensuing fairy dust covers it.

  29. From dicentra’s 9:56 link:

    What Hamas attacking Israel the past 3 weeks has done, is it has flushed the Int’l Left out of the tall grass & out into the open.

    Thus one of the reasons for the desperately desired “cease fire.”

  30. . . . has flushed the Int’l Left out of the tall grass & out into the open.

    Another “flushing” is on the way, even as the “cease fire” is presumed to lead to extended “truce”: the refunding of Hamas, no matter how obscured again behind the human shields so efficiently used by Hamas in wartime. The people of Gaza, who have put Hamas in place as their tyrants, are hostage-shields every bit as useful in “peacetime” as people pathetically needy, so as sources of ‘humanitarian’ aid which can be turned into massive fortunes in the bank-accounts serving the Hamas honchos, as well as to fund the rearmament of Hamas and its new maufacturing and engineering projects.

    Just watch who champions the money flows. Watch too, who does not.

  31. It’s going to take several flushes, plus a plunger and perhaps a septic tank pumping to get all of that sludge out of civilization’s powder room.

  32. heh. Coincidentally I had a similar thought regarding a Jonathan Alter piece associated with a Reason mag link geoffb just sent. Alter demands economic loyalty oaths from corporate leaders, saying “So it’s time for red-blooded Americans to take matters into our own hands”.

    I think that’s true, but with another end in mind altogether. Like say, taking the trouble to notice the actual oaths to protect and defend the Constitution already broken.


    Israel: “So is the West Bank.”