"The Lancet" is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal which is described on their parent company, Elsevier's website as "the world's leading independent general medical journal", and as "stringently edited and peer-reviewed to ensure the scientific merit and clinical relevance of its diverse content."
Yet, on March 5 and 6, The Lanclet hosted a two-day conference entitled "Health of Palestinians Inside and Outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory" at The American University in Beirut, Lebanon - as event which media bias at its finest against Israel.
One wonders if The Lancet invited its many Jewish readers to the conference, and if it let American participants know that if they had an Israeli stamp in their passport, the Lebanese government would not permit them entry to the country - to take part in their "peer review" process.
The Lancet editor Richard Horton presented the opening remarks where he "discussed research as a tool for social justice, equity and as means of addressing power and inequity in Palestine, in the refugee camps around the region", and throughout the world.
Some of the topics presented at this "independent" conference which is "peer-reviewed":
--"Effect of training counseling program on psychological stress among amputees in Gaza governorates, Palestine during Gaza war"
--"Dignity and its components among Palestinian youth."
--"Physical and mental health of long-term Palestinian political prisoners"
Clearly, these are "independent" questions for medical professionals, while unincluded "inappropriate" topics might be:
--"Psychological stress of families of suicide bombers induced to kill themselves by terrorist organizations"
--"Dignity and its components in Israeli victims of Arab terror"
--"Physical and mental health of Palestinians tortured by Palestinians".
During this conference there was nary a mention of Israel's top-notch medical and healthcare programs, its top notch care that is open to Palestinian Authority residents and has saved many of them, including Gazans. Nor was there any mention of the many stories of Israelis and Arabs collaborating on medical programs in Israel (and, of course, how there is none of that in Arab countries).
The full conference agenda may be found at: http://icph.birzeit.edu/hidden/news/lancet-palestinian-health-alliance-conference-agenda-5-632012-beirut-lebanon-/
Lets look at some recent tweets by Richard Horton, the Editor of this acclaimed medical journal, who can be found on twitter at: @richardhorton1
--"800 000 Palestinians have been imprisoned on political grounds since 1967. Often on no charge and with no trial. And this is justice?"
--"The Palestinian cry: "We want our country." For those of us who take our nations for granted, how can we be silent when we hear this plea?"
With woefully biased tweets like these, one wonders why this man is editing a medical journal rather than a political publication - and how Elsevier can permit the editor of The Lancet to host a biased conference who woefully misrepresents the truth. Horton simply allows his personal opinions on Israel to affect this medical journal.
Lets look at some of the "peers" participating in this conference:
-- Rema Afifi: Signatory to Palestine Solidarity Campaign to Choir of Clare College, Cambridge urging it to reconsider performing in Israel
--Majdi Ashour: A supporter of the Third Annual Palestine Solidarity and Divestment Conference at Rutgers, and a signatory to a petition which spoke of the Palestinian fight "against apartheid all over historic Palestine occupied in 1948″ (!, ed.) and "ethnic supremacy and pursuit of purity" being carried out by Israel
Although owner of a leading NY PR Agency which works extensively in healthcare, and with peer related journals, I do not need to remind readers that a fundamental belief of peer-reviewed journals is freedom from bias. That is self-evident. Conferences and articles are not promoted or published without a clear declaration of conflict of interest, if there is any, by authors or promoters - so why is it that The Lancet publishes no such declarations and why did they host people so openly biased against Israel's very existence ? Why was the Israeli side not heard from?
One wonders why a medical publication would lower its bar to host conferences which are so politically Anti-Israel, biased against the Jewish state and - most significantly - so far beyond the field of medicine ? Tweets about poltical prisoners, the "Palestinian cry for Justice"?
Anyone curious should contact the owners of The Lancet and ask them if a medical journal should be anti-Israel - and ask their advertisers the same question:
Bill Godfrey – Chief Information Officer - firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-212-633-3100
Anne Rosenthal - Head of Public Relations - email@example.com, 212-633-3812