update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

UK journal slammed for ‘unsubstantiated, outrageous’ anti-Israel letter

“The Lancet” must be unequivocal that the letter doesn’t represent it, “was not peer-reviewed and is purely speculative,” said Ted Deutch, CEO of the AJC.

Guests attend ‘The Lancet's 200th Anniversary Reception at The British Library in London, Oct. 19, 2023. Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Elsevier Limited.
Guests attend ‘The Lancet's 200th Anniversary Reception at The British Library in London, Oct. 19, 2023. Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Elsevier Limited.

“The Lancet” must be unequivocal that the letter doesn’t represent it, “was not peer-reviewed and is purely speculative,” said Ted Deutch, CEO of the AJC.

At least 186,000 deaths may plausibly be attributed to the war in Gaza, according to a letter published in the 201-year-old British medical journal The Lancet in early July. That claim drew harsh rebukes from Jewish organizations on both sides of the pond. 

The American Jewish Committee said that it was “deeply concerned” by the letter’s “unsubstantiated and outrageous claim” about 186,000 deaths, which “have led to widespread misleading headlines from outlets including The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, The National and The New Arab, which also falsely imply that The Lancet endorsed the content of the letter.” 

Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, called on the journal to “make it unequivocally clear that the letter does not represent the views of the journal, was not peer-reviewed and is purely speculative,” and to retract it.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which has represented British Jews since 1760, said that it was “outraged” by the letter.

“In a matter of days, we have seen the claims of the death toll in Gaza quadruple, based entirely on a letter you saw fit to publish,” wrote Andrew Gilbert, vice president of the Board of Deputies.

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