Comment Exchange: In support of Hamas and Gaza (The Lancet)

As with others I prefer to believe that repeated efforts at a cease-fire by Israeli leaders’ are based on judgment rather than wish. To all appearances Netanyahu has taken a page from Obama’s seven year and counting “effort” to achieve a breakthrough with Iran, an effort Bibi justifiably criticizes as “impotent,” “naïve” and “amateur.” At this point, and heading into the tenth “negotiation,” it is apparent that Hamas’ Mashaal and not Bibi determines matters war and peace. 
My regular blog focus is the evolution of Christianity’s Jewish Problem. Where I left off one month ago was a discussion of the roots of the Problem in scripture. Much as I would prefer to return to the discussion of the Jewish Problem the immediate danger Israel faces in a radicalized Middle East, expressed today in the Gaza War, the blog will continue our discussion of divergent and controversial articles outgrowth of the immediate conflict, Israeli and US/EU. 
Today’s issue involves a petition by medical practitioners appearing in The Lancet supportive of Hamas. But first its rebuttal by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)

"Recently, Lancet published a correspondence, “An Open Letter for the People of Gaza,” a highly partisan, demonstrably inaccurate and defamatory representation of the violence now taking place between the Israel Defense Forces and the terrorist group Hamas (1). The authors declared they had no competing interests but Stall et al, (2) have pointed out that that two of the co-authors have affiliations with pro-Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In fact that barely scratches the surface in terms of the potentially biasing conflicts. For one example, the letter’s first author, Paolo Manduca received funding from several anti-Israel NGOs including Interpal (3), which has been designated as a terrorist entity by the governments of the United States, Canada and Australia (4). US Federal authorities describe the organization as a global clearinghouse channeling money to Hamas and a BBC investigation came to the same conclusion (5 -7). Interpal is a founding member of the so-called “Union of Good,” an umbrella organization, which funds Islamic terrorists in Gaza (8). Its leader, Yussef al- Qaradawi, is a notorious jihadist who has publically lauded Hitler for “putting Jews in their place” and has said of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: "We must plant the love of death and the love of martyrdom in the Islamic nation." The organization actively encourages Palestinian children to become martyrs and suicide bombers (5-7). Manduca not only receives funding from Interpal but also raises money for it (9)."

"We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.
"On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.
"We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called "defensive aggression". In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.
"We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.
"This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.
"The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza''s population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege..."

By, Paola Manduca, Iain Chalmers, Derek Summerfield, Mads Gilbert, Swee Ang, on behalf of 24 signatories in: The Lancet, described on its webpage as “the world''s leading general medical journal and specialty journals in Oncology, Neurology and Infectious Diseases”