Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

The Lancet: A Biased and Shameful Medical Journal

March 11, 2012 5:06 pm 11 comments

First edition of The Lancet.

“The Lancet” is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, which is described on 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 Lancet hosted a two-day conference entitled “Health of Palestinians Inside and Outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” at The American University in Beirut, Lebanon – bias against Israel at its finest.

One wonders if The Lancet invited its many Jewish readers to the conference – and if they advised American participants that if they had an Israeli stamp in their passports, the Lebanese government wouldn’t permit their entrance into the country – as part of their peer review process. 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.

Here is a list of 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”

The following suggested topics for the conference, may have brought a semblance of balance to the agenda:

  • “Psychological stress of families of suicide bombers induced to kill themselves by terrorist organizations.”
  • “Dignity and its components of Israeli victims of Arab terror”
  • “Physical and mental health of Palestinians tortured by Palestinians.”

During this conference there was not a mention of Israel’s top-notch medical and healthcare programs, nor of Israeli and Arab collaborations on medical programs in Israel. The full conference agenda may be found here.

Let’s look at some recent tweets by journal Editor Richard Horton, 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 Lancet to host a biased conference, which woefully misrepresents the truth. Horton simply uses the Journal as a platform to express his personal opinions on Israel.

Some of the “peers” participating in the conference include:

  • Rema Afifi: Signatory to the 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″³ and “ethnic supremacy and pursuit of purity” being carried out by Israel.

Owning a leading NY PR agency, with a number of healthcare clients publishing peer-related journals, I understand that a fundamental component of peer-reviewed journals is freedom from bias. Conferences and articles aren’t promoted or published without a clear declaration of conflict of interest by its authors or promoters. Why is it that Lancet publishes no such declarations, and why are they so openly biased against Israel’s existence?

One wonders why a medical publication would lower its bar to host a conference, which is so politically anti-Israel, biased against the Jewish state, and so far beyond the field of medicine. Why would they employ an Editor who tweets about political prisoners, and the “Palestinian cry for Justice?”

Anyone curious should contact the owners of Lancet and ask them and their advertisers if a medical journal should be anti-Israel:

Bill Godfrey is the Chief Information Officer:, 212-633-3100

Anne Rosenthal is the Head of Public Relations:, 212-633-3812

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency and author of “For Immediate Release”, a PR book.


  • Lancet and their writing staff (should I say stooges?) may be adept at writing falsifications like this. However, what they lack is some basic knowledge of history. Just to remind them a few facts:
    Britain will never be able to wash off the disgrace of colonialism in the infamous decades of the British Empire.
    Their country has gone down in the annals of world history as the pioneers of genocide and supreme robber. When I was visiting the British Museum in the 90’s I couldn’t help thinking how many people the British must have exterminated to get all those riches.
    The British HAVE NO RIGHT to judge other countries because they are themselves up to their necks covered with the blood of innocent souls in their former colonies.
    Where were they when 6 million Jews were being slaughtered by the Nazis?
    Where was their public opinion and the press?
    They wanted to appease Hitler and got his rockets on their heads. Where would they be now, but for the Soviet Army and Jews who fought in their brigades?
    Now they are trying to appease militant terrorist Islam. The Islamists have already occupied their country.
    Let them make no mistake. Theirs is the next turn. Those who think that appeasing Islamic bullies will help them save their skins are in for more than serious trouble.
    Thank god Israel the means to defend its people with dignity and determination.

    The letter published in “LANCET” is wholly permeated with frustration. One can’t buts suspect the authors of envy at the achievements of Israeli medical community and science. Why not seize the opportunity and lash at them on the political front?
    “LANCET” is medical journal and should stick to medical research instead of sticking its nose in politics and practicing militant anti-Semitism.

    David Golan

  • Lancet is a well known very respectable medical journal. Israel should take notice when such a institution criticize it.

    To emphasize the spirit of the people of Israel now a days here is a translation from Israelis readers reaction to the killing of Palestinian boys in Gaza beach as it appeared in Walla news magazine:

    Site ‘Walla News” published talkbacks following the killing by the IDF of four children on the Gaza coast.

    Shani Moyal: “It really interest my ass that Arab children were killed, should have killed more. Congratulations IDF”;

    Stav Sabag: “Actually, happy pictures. Most of it makes me happy so I came to watch it over and over again “;

    Sharon Avishai:” Only four? Shame. We expected more “;

    Danielle TURGEMAN” pleasure. Have to kill all the children “;

    Chaim Htnovic:” There is no more beautiful pictures than dead Arab children “; Orna Peretz:” Why only four? “; Rachel Cohen:” I’m not in favor of children in Gaza die. I’m for everybody burn “; Tammy prop” as many children die. ”

    “‹No doubt, peace loving people.

    • Israel is a freedom coutry and everyone have opinion, don’t bring to us the opinions of a couple of people. in Israel you have 8 million opinions, and not all of them want to see arab children dead!!!
      What you are failed to understand that in Gaza poor people dont have the ability to raise against the Hamas even on small talk!!!

      • In every civilized country such comments are considered incitement and are prosecuted. In Israel opinion of much lesser impact are prosecuted only when Arabs are involved.
        3)These opinion which I brought up are only few out of hundreds. Check the opinions that were published against Gideon Levi. Also these opinions fuel the violent religious right wing that is being given freedom of expressing itself in the actions known as “TAG MECHIR” (price tag) by the Israeli government that until today, out of 300 cases did not prosecute even one.

  • In the meantime Arabs are treated in Israeli Hospitals and The Arab Hospitals are free of Jews for your knowledge George T.

  • Shame on you Lancet you should be banned there is no such a thing as a PALESTINIAN objective research it is all biased

  • Can Algemeiner please explain why vocalizing the need for dignity and justice and good health of Palestinian amputees, children, and prisoners reveals an open bias against Israel’s existence? I am an American and I want dignity, justice, and good health for children of minorities, wounded vets from various wars that I consider unjust, and for prisoners who I believe are illegally held in Guantanamo Bay. My wanting these things does not, in my mind, bias me against the existence of the United States. I would like see the wrongs the United States has done redressed, just as I would like to see the wrongs done to the Palestinians redressed.

    Does seeking justice for one people necessarily mean threatening the existence of another?

    • Dr. Bella Ceruza

      Publishing the fate of Palestinians is not biased. However – by definition – if the following is not included in the same article it is biased –
      1. mentioning that Israel treats, trains and co-operates with all its neighbours, offers emergency aid in disasters, irrespective of politics is biased,
      2. failing to mention that Palestinians have received more international aid per capita than any group in history, but their leaders spend it on war and line their personal coffers with it,
      3. failing to mention the Palestinian patients treated gratis in Israeli hospitals have repaid Israel by returning as suicide bombers – eg Wafaa al Bass, a 21 yo female who return in 2005 with a bomb, intended for the outpatients dept of the hospital whose members saved her life and yet despite this,
      4. 180,000 Palestinians were treated in Israeli hospitals in one year,
      5. decrying the fate of Arab refugees without mentioning an equal number of Jews expelled from Arab lands as a result of the establishment of Israel, is biased,

  • obviously Mr. Torossian did not attend the conference,but excercising his divine right to zero tolerance to anything related to the Palestinians. The conference was a purely medical affair and of a high caliber at that.It dealt with the health status of the Palestinians. However you cannot dissociate that from the environment.It is an undisputable fact that the Palestinians are the last people on earth under occupation ,and yes ,check points, closure and siege do affect access to health care. The conference dealt with the role of NGO’S, PA, UNRWA etc in delivery of health care.
    And I was there

  • Horton hear who? Horton hears Hamas!

  • I just emailed Elsevier and emailed this to 400 people – Lancet is clearly biased and Anti-Israel and will ask Jewish doctors worldwide to act on this.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Israel Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel

    Jerry Seinfeld to Make Comedy Debut in Israel – Famed Jewish-American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld is slated to make his comedic debut in Israel later this year. Seinfeld, who was born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents from the Ukraine and Syria, will perform in Tel Aviv’s Mitvtachim Menorah Arena on Dec. 19 as part of a world tour. The comedian is most known for his enormously popular NBC sitcom Seinfeld, which ran from 1989-1998 and is widely considered one of the greatest TV series of all time. […]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel New Video Shows American Kids Reviewing Israeli Food After Tasting Dishes for First Time (VIDEO)

    New Video Shows American Kids Reviewing Israeli Food After Tasting Dishes for First Time (VIDEO)

    A new video circulating online shows eight American children reacting — mostly positively — to their first taste of the famed Israeli eggplant salad/dip, known in Hebrew as “salat hatzilim” and in other parts of the Levant as baba ganoush. The clip, created by, features the youngsters trying a variety of exotic dishes from other countries as well, such as Hawaiian poi, Colombian pork belly and Russian borscht. The Israeli delicacies served include schnitzel, slices of pita, hummus and the baba ganoush salad. “If someone […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Pioneers/Philanthropists ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit

    ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit – Forbes magazine announced Tuesday that it will host its Under 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Summit in Israel for the first time in April 2016. The conference is expected to bring together some 600 young entrepreneurs, with 200 from Europe, 200 from the U.S., and 200 from Israel. The summit has been hosted in Philadelphia for the past two years. It will include presentations, speeches, a pitch competition, and cultural immersion opportunities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →