Richard Horton
Richard HortonPyotr Fliter/Rambam Hospital

Leading doctors from around the world have signed onto a petition against the British medical journal The Lancet, demanding that it address an unprofessional bias against Israel shown by the journal in numerous publications.

The petition by "Concerned Academics" was signed by 600 signatories, including world-famous doctors and medical professionals from all corners of the globe. It also includes no less than five Nobel laureates.

Medical professionals wishing to add their signature to the list can find it here.

In the petition letter, the doctors accused editor Richard Horton and publisher Reed Elsevier over their "grossly irresponsible and damaging editorial misuse of The Lancet for political purposes."

They referenced the "Open Letter for the People in Gaza" published in the paper last July. The letter accused Israel of "military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists," while failing to mention Hamas's various terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.

The letter particularly raised an outcry after two of the primary authors - Dr. Swee Ang Chai and Dr. Paola Manduca - were discovered to have promoted an anti-Semitic video by white supremacist David Duke.

The petition stated that the letter "consists of numerous vicious and deliberately inflammatory falsehoods, omissions and abusive dishonesty, which have no place in any responsible publication."

Signatories demanded that Horton and Elsevier "should comprehensively retract the article and formally apologize for their grave breach of editorial ethics."

"It is inconceivable that such stereotypical extremist hate propaganda, under the selective and hypocritical disguise of medical concern, should remain available on the pages of any reputable journal," the petition read.

The British Independent wrote of the petition: "Observers say it is the most serious threat to The Lancet and free speech in academia since the journal’s first campaigning editor, Thomas Wakley, faced a series of lawsuits after attacking the incompetence, nepotism and greed of the medical elite shortly after it was founded 192 years ago."

Honest Reporting responded to the claim that the petition is a threat to "free speech," commenting, "apparently, 'free speech' is only for those who want to criticize Israel, even with false statements. And those who challenge those falsehoods in an open and public statement are somehow threatening the free speech of others."

The Lancet's editor Horton visited Israel last October in an attempt to patch up some of the fall out caused by the letter published in his journal - however, he did not retract the publication.

Dr. Mads Gilbert, another primary author of the "Open Letter" who frequently appears in The Lancet, has made comments justifying the September 11, 2001 attacks. During the war last summer he was in the Shifa Hospital in Gaza used as a hideout by top Hamas terrorists.

In addition, The Lancet published an article by Dr. Swee Ang in February of 2009 titled "The Wounds of Gaza," replete with factual errors and defamatory accusations against Israel, such as "deliberate targeting of unarmed children." It was only taken down after 28 days.