Profs' attempt to shut down anti-BDS journal issue, make editors resign, FLOPS

Editors of the “Israel Studies” journal are rejecting demands by a confederacy of leftist professors for an apology and for the removal of a special summer issue.

The controversy surrounds a special journal issue, “Word Crimes: Reclaiming the Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” which prompted two petitions, each signed by more than a hundred professors and students condemning the issue. The petitions also call on the Association for Israel Studies (AIS), some of whose members have contributed to the issue, to disassociate itself from the journal if the journal does not “undergo a serious overhaul.”

Nine current or recent members of the 25 members of the journal’s own editorial board have sided with the protesters and issued their own letter, demanding that the journal go past its April 7 admission that the issue “may have been flawed” and “requires correction” by issuing a “clear, public statement of error and apology.” 

The NYU Taub Center for Israel Studies sent this letter in a missive to the entire AIS email list. These editorial board members claim that the special issue was published without their “consent” and also suggest the journal editors resign.

[RELATED: Pro-Palestinian activists try to shut down UChicago speaker event]

 In a rebuttal statement issued in early May, the journal editors noted they had offered the objectors an opportunity to write their responses and objections to the issue in a separate issue of the journal – all before the objectors launched what Syracuse University Professor Miriam Elman, who is a contributor to and co-editor of the issue under scrutiny called a “smear campaign,” emailing associations and individuals with no connection to the journal or AIS. 

“The inauguration of this campaign is telling,” stated the editors in their rebuttal.

“The journal editors bent over backwards to accommodate the detractors, even agreeing to publish a Letter of Dissent in the next issue-an unprecedented move and in my view unwarranted,” Elman told Campus Reform. “But this doesn’t satisfy this minority group who wants to dictate the way we study and discuss Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians and are so willing to disrespect the deliberative process and dismiss civil academic debate.”

“Word Crimes: R

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