Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Lancet editor apologises for Gaza article by scientists who promoted Ku Klux Klan
What was a medical journal doing bloviating about Gaza anyway? They have form however. They also railed against GWB and the Iraq war
The editor of The Lancet has expressed his “deep regret” to Israeli doctors after his journal published a controversial letter in the wake of the Gaza war co-authored by two scientists who had previously circulated Ku Klux Klan material.
Addressing the physicians and staff at the Rambam hospital in the northern city of Haifa, Israel on Thursday morning at the end of his three-day visit to the country, Prof Richard Horton began by saying that he intended to “set the record straight” about his views and those of his colleagues.
Last month, The Telegraph published an article about the extreme opinions expressed by some of the authors of the British medical journal's ‘Open letter for the people of Gaza’.
Two of the authors - Dr Paola Manduca and Dr Swee Ang - had previously circulated and promoted a link to a video clip featuring an anti-Semitic diatribe by David Duke, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard.
In the footage, Duke claims that “the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking” and that “some of the Jewish elite practices racism and tribalism to advance their supremacist agenda”
In another email to his contacts, Dr Manduca forwarded a message suggesting that the Jews were responsible for the Boston marathon bombings.
“Let us hope that someone in the FBI us smart enough to look more carefully at the clues in Boston and find the real culprits behind these bombings instead of buying the Zionist spin”, the email stated.
“First, I deeply deeply regret the completely unnecessary polarisation that publication of the letter by Paolo Manduca did. [ ....] this outcome was definitely not my intention”, Prof Horton said.
“I was personally horrified at the offensive video by two of the authors of that letter. The world view expressed in that video is abhorrent and must be condemned and I condemn it”, he added, to the applause of the auditorium.
Prof Horton, who is editor-in-chief of The Lancet, added that he has made his views very clear “directly to those two individuals” - and said that he will publish “what I have just said in The Lancet next week”.
But Prof Horton made no mention of the other controversial aspect of The Lancet’s open letter, which wholly ignored Hamas’s role in the recent Gaza war - a fifty day conflict which was partly triggered by rocket fire on Israel from the coastal territory controlled by the Palestinian faction.
Following the publication of the letter, the staff of Rambam hospital were outraged and sent their own letter in response, which was not published by The Lancet, Prof Rafael Beyar, the Director General of the hospital told The Telegraph in an interview on Thursday morning.
“But we believed, and said ‘let’s invite him. It seems like he doesn’t know many facts about this region. Let’s invite the editor in chief of The Lancet to Rambam to see the reality of medical life [in Israel]”, Prof Beyar said.
During his three day visit, Prof Horton has met the staff of the hospital, over a quarter of whom are Israeli Arab citizens of Israel, as well as the Israeli, Palestinian and Syrian patients being treated there. Prof Horton also attended meetings with minority communities in Haifa, Acco and Tel Aviv.
Enthusiastically logging his visit with photos on his twitter feed, Prof Horton mentioned in his speech that he was particularly moved by a meeting with the imam and the rabbi of the city of Acco, in northern Israel.
“Yesterday, I had the huge privilege of visiting Acco, and meeting the imam and the rabbi of the city and seeing how they work together”, he said.
“At end, I asked the imam, ‘so what should I do?’ And he said to me very directly [...] you must work with Israelis, you must work with Palestinians and you must work to encourage to bring those two peoples together.” [...]
“I will simply say the whole of my time, from landing here to being here today has been a turning point, for me in my relationship with this region - and I thank you for it”, said Prof Horton to the medics.
Prof Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor - a Jerusalem-based research institute - which last month published an investigative report about The Lancet’s authors, expressed surprise at Prof Horton’s speech.
“I expected when Richard Horton came on Monday to hear a whitewash - to hear from someone trying to save his position, because for many years he has been the centre of a lot of demonisation of Israel through the Lancet and through false medical claims”, he told The Telegraph immediately after the lecture.
“What I heard was a changed man, someone who expressed regret - some would say it could have been greater, but the fact that he did this was very important.”
At the conclusion of his visit, Prof Horton said he hoped to “open a new chapter” in the relationship between The Lancet and Israel, whilst emphasising the importance of closer Israeli-Palestinian ties and understandings.
“The people of Gaza[...] don’t represent a terrorist regime. [...] [T]hey are just people who are trying to live their lives as peacefully and as safely as possible. Just like you, there is a hope for a different future - a future of success, prosperity, safety and peace. They want it, they try to live it, and it’s our hope that we can work with them, and with you, to achieve it”.
PC: As Deadly as Ebola
The poisonous political correctness embraced by the American Left and the Obama administration has metastasized. It is now being elevated above containing Ebola, one of the most lethal viruses in the world.
The insanity began in 2010, when the Obama administration abandoned quarantine rules set in motion five years earlier by the Bush administration in response to the avian flu. Those rules would have given the government expanded powers to detain potentially sick patients in “preventive quarantine,” require airlines to report ill travelers to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and maintain data on passengers in case it was needed at a later date. Unsurprisingly, the ACLU applauded Obama’s move. “The fact that they’re backing away from this very coercive style of quarantine is good news,” ACLU legislative counsel Christopher Calabrese said at the time.
Last Wednesday, the White House upped the ante, insisting there would be no travel restrictions or the introduction of new airport screenings to prevent Ebola from entering the country. Press Secretary Josh Earnest added that screenings in West African airports and passenger observations in America are sufficient to prevent a “widespread” epidemic of Ebola. “The reason … is that it is not possible to transmit Ebola through the air,” he said. “The only way that an individual can contract Ebola is by coming into contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is exhibiting symptoms.”
Earnest and the White House are zero-for-two. Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan did something the politically correct among us apparently can’t fathom: He lied on his questionnaire, saying he never came into contact with an infected person when he had. As for the impossibility of non-contact transmission, try this exchange between CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden and CNN’s medical expert Sanjay Gupta:
Gupta: “I am within three feet of you. Wouldn’t I be considered a higher risk? My understanding reading your guidelines, sir, is that within three feet or direct contact – if I were to shake your hand, for example – would both qualify as being contact.”
Dr. Frieden: “We look at each situation individually and we assess it based on how sick the individual is and what the nature of the contact is. And certainly if you’re within three feet, that’s a situation we’d want to be concerned about.”
In other words, three feet becomes “touching”? Frieden wasn’t through embracing politically correct nonsense. The following day he tweeted another seeming non-sequitur: “The impulse to isolate countries may make Ebola epidemic worse. Must use tried & true public health means to stop it.”
One might be forgiven for thinking that another word for isolate is “quarantine,” as in Rule Numero Uno for containing infectious diseases. As for “tried and true public health means,” one wonders if that refers to entities like Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which initially diagnosed Duncan, but sent him home, despite knowing he had traveled to Africa in the last four weeks. In the interim, Duncan came into contact with approximately 100 people, including five schoolchildren.
Enter our Praetorian Guard media, ever eager to downplay anything negative that might stick to the Obama administration. In one of the more reprehensible developments in this saga thus far, CNN network correspondent Gary Tuchman interviewed children at a middle school attended by one of the children of Duncan’s girlfriend, who he was visiting when he became ill. Tuchman assured one of the children, “You don’t have to worry, OK?”
No, it’s not OK.
That was Thursday. On Friday, we found out Duncan’s girlfriend, Louise Troh, who was quarantined under armed guard because she refused to stay in her apartment with her three children (they have since been moved to a secluded location in Dallas), had “checked in” on Facebook from Ebola hotspot Monrovia, Liberia, on Aug. 11. Despite Ebola’s 21-day incubation period, Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas' chief executive, assured us there is “zero risk” among the family members, because they are “asymptomatic.”
What we haven’t found out? Whether Troh and her family are here legally or illegally. We contacted the Dallas Morning News, which said they were checking, but didn’t know. A spokesperson who requested anonymity told us Troh has been in America “for a long time.”
Friday was also the day the Obama administration assured us everything was under control. Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, gushed about the quality of U.S. health care, before turning to the subject of travel restrictions. “Dozens and dozens of people have been stopped from getting onto planes,” she said. “We have now seen tens of thousands of people [arrive in the U.S.] since March to the current day, and we now have this one isolated case.”
Not quite. Two more people with Ebola-like symptoms were hospitalized in Kentucky.
Not to worry though. In another mind-boggling dose of PC, the refusal to ban flights from Liberia was rationalized, once again on CNN. After insisting “isolating” nations doesn’t work, author David Quammen went right over the PC cliff. “I mean, we in America, how dare we turn our backs on Liberia given the fact that this is a country that was founded in the 1820s, 1830s because of American slavery.” he declared. “We have a responsibility to stay connected with them, and help them see this through.”
Texas authorities at a Saturday CDC briefing demonstrated an equal level of PC-induced cluelessness, pleading with the public not to “shun” people being evaluated for Ebola. “The people who are being monitored are people just like your family,” said Judge Jenkins.
Where intelligent safety measures end and “shunning” begins is anyone’s guess. Saturday we also found out that a 10-member team of CDC doctors, nurses and epidemiologists had come to Dallas this week to track down all of the people who had been in contact with Duncan, who is now in critical condition. One is left to wonder how many 10-member teams are available for such work in the event the outbreak expands – along with a possibly exponential number of contacts for each infected individual.
Still more insanity? Nursing assistant Aaron Yah who visited Duncan after he was admitted to the hospital has been told he can return to work – even as his wife, Youngor Jallah, and the couple’s four children must remain in quarantine. Jallah, who is Duncan’s “step-daughter-to-be,” touched him when she gave him tea. Apparently we are supposed to believe Yah never touched her – mostly likely because he said so. And once again in his case, the 21-day incubation period is apparently being ignored.
One can go on but the picture is clear: Political correctness trumps everything else, even when a lethal virus is involved. Moreover, it is exacerbated by what National Journal’s Ron Fournier describes as the “scariest thing” about Ebola: a nation that faces a “crises of leadership and trust.” Unfortunately, Fournier misses the forest for the trees, contending the failure of our institutions to adapt to the changing times is the culprit.
Baloney. It’s the double-shot disaster of political correctness. The first shot obliterates common sense and common decency. The second shot seeks to suppress, ridicule or destroy those who would dare to question the utter lack of common sense and common decency among its worshipful adherents. With the backing of the American Left and its cheerleaders in media, government and academia, it has become a plague every bit as deadly – if not more so – than Ebola.
Church of England vicar denies backing ‘anti-Semitic hate-fest’ in Iran
Jewish leaders have accused an Anglican Vicar from Surrey of supporting an “anti-Semitic hate-fest” by speaking at a conference in Iran at which claims of “Zionist” involvement in 9/11 were aired.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews is demanding an investigation by the Church of England into why Rev Dr Stephen Sizer, of Virginia Water, Surrey, attended the event in Tehran at which a video of the anti-Jewish French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala was also shown.
But Dr Sizer, who is a prominent campaigner against Israeli policy in Palestine, insisted that even though he strongly disagreed with many of the things others said, he was there as an “ambassador for reconciliation”.
He repudiated claims that the Second “New Horizon” festival in Tehran in September was anti-Semitic, although strong anti-Zionist views were expressed, and said he was there to present a Christian point of view.
The conference programme includes details of discussion on themes such as “Zionist Fingerprints on the 9/11 Cover-up” and other conspiracy theories about Israel.
Jonathan Arkush, Vice President of the Board of Deputies, said: “His appearance at a conference sponsored by a regime that actively persecutes Christians and other minorities is inexplicable.
“The Iranian Government denies the Holocaust and openly calls for the destruction of Israel, which is tantamount to bringing about another Holocaust.
“Rev Sizer’s participation might be seen as lending pseudo credence to an event whose premise is clear from its programme: to lay blame on Israel and Jews for the world’s ills, including, it would seem, 9/11.
“The Church of England should investigate why one of its ministers deemed it appropriate to take part in an anti-Semitic hate-fest.”
But Dr Sizer, said: “Jesus called his followers to be ambassadors of reconciliation – and ambassadors work on foreign soil.
“Iran is foreign soil and I was there as an Englishman but also as a Christian leader where Christians and Jews are a minority and ambassadors are needed.
“I was seeking to build bridges within a faith context to help to improve relationships for minorities and between our countries.
“Those who criticise this kind of conference must think very carefully of the consequences of their words for Jews and Christians in countries like Iran.”
Last year Dr Sizer and the Board of Deputies reached a mediated agreement to end a long-running dispute over postings on his blog about Israel and Palestine.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Guildford said: “We are aware of the statement by the Board of Deputies regarding the recent attendance by Revd Dr Stephen Sizer of the ‘Second New Horizon’ conference in Tehran.
“In 2012/13, the Diocese facilitated a process of conciliation between Dr Sizer and the Board of Deputies, and will seek to clarify whether the conciliation agreement has been contravened.”
Feminism as envy
(Nick Clegg is the leader of the British Liberals)
Nick Clegg’s wife Miriam has said that by choosing to be a working mother she does not “want to have it all” but instead “to have what men have”.
Miriam González Durántez, a high profile lawyer, said that choosing the right partner to have children with was the most “crucial” decision of a woman’s life.
Ms González who has three children with Mr Clegg said that having a children and a job is what men “choose” to do and is not seen as “having it all” and that women should be faced with the same choice.
“So if many men have children and a job, and that's what they choose, I do not know why I cannot have that, if that's what I choose." she told BBC News.
Speaking at the launch of "Inspiring Women in Scotland" she said: "If you want to have children... if in a family you have children there is an issue if you want to work, as to how you are going to organise childcare.
"I think it was Sheryl Sandberg (the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook) that said the most important decision in your life is who you have children with, so of course that is crucial.”
She added on Sky News: "Lots of men have a successful professional life - or what looks like success to them - and they fit it together with a family and that is what I want to have."
The Deputy Prime Minister's wife tends to keep a low profile role in her husband's political career to a minimum however earlier this year she raised some eyebrows when she stood up at his press conference to declare that people who look after their children have “more cojones”.
At the Cityfathers event Mr Clegg was leading in April Ms González added that it was only “dinosaurs” who think men shouldn’t share childcare. Mr Clegg was quick to agree with his wife.
Mr Clegg has previously talked about how he prioritises time with his three sons and does the school-run before attending Cabinet meetings.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.