Nearly three years after publishing a virulently anti-Israel letter which whitewashed Hamas and accused Israel of war crimes, The Lancet, a highly regarded medical journal published an issue highlighting health care in Israel, Ynet reported Monday.
Subsequent to The Lancet‘s publication of the letter, the publication’s editor, Richard Horton, was invited to Israel by Professor Karl Skorecki, Director of Medical and Research Development at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. Horton, while in Israel, also met with Prof. Rafael Beyar, Director of Rambam Health Care Campus and Prof. Mark Clarfield of Ben-Gurion University.
During his visit, Horton said that he “deeply, deeply regrets” the publication of the letter attacking Israel and decided to devote a future issue to exploring Israel’s health care system. The just-published issue featured ten articles written by Israel doctors and researchers focusing on three major topics, Rambam Hospital, Ben Gurion University and israel National Institute for Health Policy Research.
“We wanted to turn the unfortunate episode into a constructive and positive lever that will lead to recognition of Israel’s advantages for global health,” Horton explained in the final article in the issue.
“We hope that this special issue will not only improve health and equality in health within Israel, but between Israel and its neighbors, which will also serve as a platform for greater involvement of Israeli doctors and researchers in global health issues,” he added.
Horton not only advocated greater collaboration with Israeli medical professionals, but asserted that “boycotting academics and Israeli professionals, as led by the BDS movement, is inefficient and will never be effective in helping shape public and political opinion that will promote a solution, on the contrary, it will harm these goals.”
“The special issue on Israel will not be a one-time project,” Horton said. “It is the beginning of a close partnership.”
In A Serious Medical Journal Just Went Totally Clinical, which was published in the November 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Liam Hoare wrote about the controversy over The Lancet‘s publishing a letter condemning Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
Hoare noted that while Horton did not express regret over having published the letter, after visiting Israel he committed not to publish anything similar in the future. Moreover, after visiting Israel, and Rambam Hospital, in particular, Horton wrote, “I saw Rambam as one example of a vision for a peaceful and productive future between peoples, which I learned exists throughout Israel’s hospitals.”
[Photo: Rambam HCC / YouTube ]