A Qualified Victory over Anti-Semites at Britain’s Most Prestigious Medical Journal

Sept. 13 2017

Between 2001 and 2014, the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest scientific journals, published 264 articles on Palestinians or the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Instead of reporting on any medical research, most libelously blamed the Jewish state for medical problems among Palestinians. This stopped abruptly in 2014 when, after extended pressure, the editor, Richard Horton, visited Israel, spending time at a Haifa hospital and meeting with physicians. At the end of his visit, he gave a speech expressing “regret” over one particularly grotesque open letter during that year’s Gaza war and acknowledging that he had greatly misunderstood Israel—although he has yet to apologize explicitly or retract any of the malicious articles that previously appeared. Gerald Steinberg examines this story and what lesson can be drawn from it:

[T]he publication of the [2014] Gaza letter and the criticism of its crudely anti-Semitic dimensions made the systematic demonization of Israel and support for the Palestinian cause too costly. The effort led by major medical and scientific figures to convince Reed Elsevier, the Lancet’s publisher, to remove Horton as editor was a tangible threat that had continued for a number of years. The attempts by his old allies to counter this pressure were insufficient, and Horton apparently realized that to maintain his position, he had to reverse course. . . .

In looking beyond Horton to other cases in which scientific and medical professionals abuse their positions to promote anti-Semitism and false allegations that demonize Israel, “naming and shaming” can play a central role when there is sufficient leverage. Horton’s public reputation was important to him, and as soon as he saw that this reputation was endangered, he moved to limit the damage.

In contrast, Steven Rose—a British professor of biology and a leader of the anti-Israel academic boycott—embraced his radical reputation, including demonization of Israel. There was no source of leverage on Rose—he could not be forced out of his position over his political actions. . . .

[Thus], while naming and shaming worked in the case of the Lancet, particularly because of Horton’s lack of due diligence in vetting crudely anti-Semitic authors, . . . it is difficult to extend the same approach to other examples. The case of Horton and the Lancet are important for understanding political warfare, but at the same time, the ability to apply the relevant tactics and strategy is limited.

Read more at Tower

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Israel & Zionism, Lancet


The EU Violates International Law, Steals Palestinian Land, and Then Demands Compensation from Israel

Nov. 17 2017

Last month, the eight European countries that make up the West Bank Protection Consortium sent a formal letter demanding €30,000 in compensation for two classrooms with solar panels that Israel dismantled in August. The letter, as Ruthie Blum explains, ignores the fact that the structures, located in part of the West Bank called Area C, were built in violation of international law:

[The 1995 agreement known as] Oslo II, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), divides the West Bank into three geographical sections—Areas A, B, and C—and specifies which government controls each. Area C is under the military and civil jurisdiction of Israel alone. . . . Yet, for years, there has been non-stop building in Area C, . . . in a transparent effort to populate Area C with Palestinians. . . .

[The] Middle East analyst Bassam Tawil [has] noted massive “behind-the-scenes” Palestinian construction, the goal of which is “to create irreversible facts on the ground” and completely encircle Jerusalem. He points out that while Israel is condemned for any and every attempt to build housing in the West Bank and Jerusalem [which it never does in Area A, assigned by Oslo to the sole jurisdiction of the Ramallah], the Palestinian Authority has been undertaking, with impunity, a “colossal” construction project that is “illegal in every respect.” . . .

On a recent tour of the area, [another] Arab affairs expert, Khaled Abu Toameh, explained that this ongoing construction, funded mainly by the EU and Qatar, is made possible through the “confiscation” of privately owned tracts of Palestinian land by unlicensed contractors whose interest is solely financial. . . All they want, he said, is to line their pockets at the expense of helpless landowners, who are told that they must sacrifice their property to help the Palestinian Authority populate the area for political gain against Israel. . . .

It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express “humanitarian” outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank—while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, West Bank