Saturday, March 07, 2009

Science Pogrom Week in the UK

From The Spectator, 4th March 2009, by Melanie PHILLIPS:

It’s Science Pogrom Week.

Yesterday, the Independent cranked up a front-page splash claiming that 400 academics were calling upon the Science Museum to cancel workshops being held this week promoting Israeli scientific achievements to schoolchildren. This was a reference to the 400 or so individuals who signed a letter to the Guardian last month screeching about "the indiscriminate slaughter and attempted annihilation of all the infrastructure of organised society in Gaza" and that the museum was thus promoting scientists and universities who were "complicit in the Israeli occupation and in the policies and weaponry recently deployed to such disastrous effect in Gaza."

Such venom is particularly egregious considering Israel’s hugely disproportionate contribution to science for the benefit of all mankind – even that of the 400 signatories. And then of course there were the ritual lies. There was no ‘indiscriminate slaughter‘; most of those killed were terrorists. The weaponry used in Gaza was used to try to stop the murder of innocents; it was legal and proportionate; the Israelis went to huge lengths to avoid hitting civilians. All this is demonstrably so.

What the signatories are of course really saying is that Israel should not defend itself -- and therefore that it should be destroyed. An excellent leader in the Times this morning got the point that the real agenda here was not concern for the Palestinians but hostility to Israel's existence. These are actually scientists for extermination. They want Israel obliterated.

In any event, are they all scientists? The organisers seem to be largely retreads from the stymied attempt to impose an academic boycott of Israel. The signatories include such non-scientists as novelist Ahdaf Soueif, architect Walter Hain, Nobel ‘Peace’ Laureate Mairead Maguire, singer Reem Kelani and writer and TV producer Karl Sabbagh. To turn what they say about the Science Museum’s workshops back on them, their stunt clearly has nothing to do with science and everything to do with Israel.

Of course, it is pure coincidence that the Independent published this month-old non-story on its front page in ‘Israel apartheid week’, part of the orchestrated campaign of lies about Israel designed to soften up the high-minded for genocide.

This verbal pogrom has been making particular inroads, for some reason, into the medical profession. ...Honest Reporting has established that the [British Medical Journal] BMG’s obsession with Israel goes far beyond its coverage of any other conflict. In a search of the medical literature for citations relating to victims of international conflicts, including Palestinians, it discovered the following:

When Europeans kill Europeans (Bosnia), the BMJ allocates one citation for every 2000 deaths.
When Africans kill Africans (Rwanda), the BMJ allocates one citation for every 4000 deaths.
When Muslim Arabs kill Christian Africans (Darfur), the BMJ allocates one citation for every (minimum) 7000 Christians who are killed.
When Israelis, in the process of combating terrorists, kill Palestinians, the BMJ allocates one citation for every 13 Palestinians killed (including terrorist combatants).
When Arab Muslims kill Kurds, the BMJ fails to give this any attention whatsoever.

The evidence clearly shows that the BMJ has a disproportionate interest in Palestinian deaths over those from other conflict areas where the impact on public health is certainly as great and potentially greater than that of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Nor is it alone. The verbal pogrom has swept through the hallowed halls of the Royal College of Physicians. The February issue of its Commentary bulletin carried a ‘Special Feature’ article by Dr Chris Burns-Cox on ‘Physicians in Palestine’. This is a boiler-plate one-sided account of the (undoubted) privations of health care in Gaza with shortages of drugs and fuel for hospital generators, patients dying while waiting for permits to leave (for Israeli hospitals!!) and "severe limitations on postgraduate training" through "restrictions on movement and checkpoints". But no mention of the fact that the reason for these shortages is that the government which Gaza voted in is waging a war of extermination against Israel; nor of the fact that the checkpoints are only there because Gazans never stop trying to blow up Israeli citizens.

...Tomorrow, in another amazing coincidence with ‘Israel Apartheid Week’, the Lancet unleashes a further onslaught by publishing a special supplement on ‘health care in the occupied Palestinian territory’, prefaced by a symposium today at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. (Maybe someone can tell them Gaza is no longer occupied).

I think it’s a fair bet that this series of papers will not feature one of the most remarkable things about health care in Gaza -- unknown in any other theatre of war on the planet -- where patients from the side waging war are regularly treated in the hospitals of those against whom they continue to fire rockets and missiles aimed at killing their civilians. Israel regularly treats patients from Gaza – and yet the only reference ever made to this is the complaint that Gazan patients are often delayed in getting to those Israeli hospitals. And of course no mention that the reason for those delays is the war that Gaza is waging – or the fact that Hamas actually prevent Gazans from crossing into Israel to be treated.

The Lancet is unlikely to tell us any of that. Nor is it likely to tell us that the current undoubtedly parlous health indicators amongst Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, are solely the result of the war they continue to wage – as demonstrated by the following statistics of Palestinian health indicators reported by Professor Efraim Karsh of Kings College London:

From June 1967 until Israel passed control to the PA in the mid-1990s, life expectancy had risen from 48 to 72 years (compared to 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Mortality rates fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22).

To their eternal shame, and as proof that scientific reason confers upon those who lay claim to it no immunity against gross prejudice and the abuse of power, scientists played a key role in fascism and communism. Now some British scientists are once again colluding in just such an evil perversion of their calling.
Post a Comment