Two weeks ago, the British medical journal Lancet, considered to be one of the world’s leading medical publications, published “An open letter for the people in Gaza.” Signed by four European doctors on behalf of 20 others (17 from Italy and three from the UK), the letter had virtually nothing to do with medicine. Rather, it was a grotesque attack on Israel. Some excerpts:
“We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression.”
“We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre.”
“Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas.”
“We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues.”
The four signatories were Paola Manduca, professor at University of Genoa, Italy; Sir Iain Chalmers of the UK; Derek Summerfield of the London Institute of Psychiatry; and Mads Fredrik Gilbert, professor at University Hospital of North Norway.
Nowhere in Lancet is it noted that each of them has devoted much of his or her life to delegitimizing Israel.
The first signatory, Paola Manduca, has, for years, gone around the world giving “expert” testimony against Israel and on behalf of those who would destroy the Jewish state. In 2006, for example, she wrote that Israel was using and experimenting with heretofore unknown weapons against Arabs:
In the present offensive of Israeli forces against Lebanon and Gaza “new weapons” are being used. New and strange symptoms are reported amongst the wounded and the dead. . . . Many of these descriptions suggest the possibility that the new weapons used include “direct energy” weapons, and chemical and/or biological agents, in a sort of macabre experiment of future warfare, where there is no respect for anything.
And in 2013, Manduca testified in Malaysia at a tribunal charging Israel with “genocide and war rimes.”
Sir Iain Chalmers served for two years as chief U.N. medical officer in Gaza. On July 24, the British-Palestinian website, Middle East Monitor, correctly wrote that Iain Chalmers “is an old friend of Gaza.”
Chalmers smears Israel around the world. For example, in Ireland in 2007 at the Global Congress on Dental Education, Chalmers spoke at length about Israel’s villainy. He described Israel as a country based on “racist nationalism,” and he recommended that attendees read The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, a book by Ilan Pappé, a historian and former member of the Israel Communist party, who devotes his life to delegitimizing Israel’s existence. (In the New Republic, historian Benny Morris began his review of three Pappé books, including The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, this way: “At best, Ilan Pappé must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest.”)
In a 2010 interview in Croatia, Chalmers was asked about the Middle East conflict. He began by saying, “There is an oppressed people [Palestinians] and an oppressor people [Israelis].” He went on to say: “Basically you’ve got a situation of apartheid at the moment, enshrined in Israeli state law. . . . We’re talking about 6 million non-Jews — it’s an awful lot of people to get rid of in what many Israelis see as their state from the river to the sea.”
Note the number 6 million.
Derek Summerfield organized a worldwide academic medical boycott of Israel in the 1990s. An honorary fellow of the Egyptian Psychiatric Association, Summerfield has written, among many other lies against Israel, that “Israeli soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children.”
Summerfield, who grew up in South Africa, goes beyond the libel that Israel is “an apartheid state.” In his view, Israel is “far, far worse than South Africa.”
Mads Gilbert is a member of Red, the Norwegian revolutionary Socialist party. Three weeks after 9/11, he told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet that the attacks on America were justifiable: “If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, the oppressed has a moral right to attack the U.S. with the weapons they may create as well.” When asked if he supported the 9/11 attack, he answered: “Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned.”
The headline in Dagbladet read: “Norwegian doctors ADVOCATE TERROR attack,” and further reported:
“I advocate the moral right of the people you call terrorists to attack the United States, as a legitimate response to 25 years of wars of aggression, mines, starvation and embargo,” says surgeon Hans Husum, University Hospital of Tromsø. He is supported by physician Mads Gilbert.
These are the people whose Israel-hating letter was featured by the Lancet, ostensibly a medical journal. Not one is identified as the lifelong defender of Israel’s enemies and radical activist against Israel’s existence that each one is.
Lancet has a history of poisoning medical reporting with its radical left-wing politics. It made worldwide headlines in 2006 by reporting what were ultimately deemed wild exaggerations, if not outright lies, about the number of Iraqis killed during the American war in Iraq.
Lancet perfectly embodies four observations about our world.
One is from the prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.”
The second is from the legendary American screenwriter Ben Hecht (1894–1964), a two-time Academy Award winner: “How sad that in the warmest hearts I knew lurked always a little cold spot for the Jew.”
The third, if I may quote myself, is one of the earliest realizations of my life: “Those who don’t fight evil hate those who do.”
And the fourth is that, from the universities to the arts to religion, the Left damages everything it touches. Lancet was once a great medical journal.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.