Richard Horton is the editor of The Lancet, which is often referred to as one of the most prestigious British medical journals. For many years, he has used (or abused) that position to publish political tracts and pseudo-scientific articles, particularly but not limited to one-sided attacks against Israel.
Although Horton has withstood past criticism of his role, he is now faced with his most serious crisis, following publication of NGO Monitor’s report showing that Dr. Paola Manduca and Dr. Swee Ang – two of the main authors of an “Open Letter for the People of Gaza” published in the Lancet – are promoting David Duke, the notorious American racist. Among their other radical activities, Manduca and Swee Ang sent out emails endorsing one of Duke’s pathologically anti-Semitic videos entitled, “CNN Goldman Sachs & the Zio-Matrix.”
…there are no words that Horton could possibly invoke to explain away, whitewash, or excuse his many and systematic contributions to the abuse of a scientific journal for spreading hate, lies and demonization.
The incitement to hate in the Gaza letter, including false allegations of “war crimes,” “the use of gas,” references to “the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists,” and the absence of any reference to the 4,560 rockets from Gaza – each one a war crime – is blatantly immoral and indefensible.
Some mistakes can be corrected, some crimes can be forgiven, and some apologies can be accepted. But not in this case; damage from chronic and hate-filled political warfare is irreversible. Horton has been irrevocably named and shamed; if he does not resign, it is up to the publisher, the global Reed Elsevier Group, to do the right thing.