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Posted: 7/11/2002 11:51:31 AM EDT
[b][size=2]Mideast Strife Loudly Echoed in Academia[/b][/size=2] By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO For most of the decade they have known each other, Mona Baker and Miriam Shlesinger have parked their political differences at scholarship's door. Professor Baker, an Egyptian-born professor in Manchester, England, believes Israel is a scar on the map of the Arab world. Professor Shlesinger, an Israeli who teaches at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, has fought for Palestinian rights but believes in her country's right to exist. But last week Professor Baker, who publishes two academic journals, opened the door to those differences, firing Professor Shlesinger and another highly regarded scholar, Gideon Toury, from the journals' boards because they are Israeli. The resulting academic outcry has focused new attention on two petitions signed by hundreds of European scholars, one calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions and the other calling on the European Union to deny grants to Israeli universities and scientific institutions. Professor Baker, who signed both documents, did not respond to repeated attempts to reach her yesterday. But she has told the British press that she considered the dismissal of her colleagues as the logical consequence of her signing the petitions. "I deplore the Israeli state," Dr. Baker told The Sunday Telegraph in a statement widely quoted elsewhere. "Miriam knew that was how I felt and that they would have to go because of the current situation." She said many Europeans had signed their names to the boycott because Israel "has gone beyond just war crimes." "It is horrific what is going on there," she added, particularly angering former friends in Israel by asserting, "Many of us would like to talk about it as some kind of Holocaust, which the world will eventually wake up to, much too late, of course, as they did with the last one." Reactions to the dismissals have been fierce. Stephen Greenblatt, the Shakespeare scholar who is president of the Modern Language Association, wrote an open letter of outrage, saying the removal of Israelis on the basis of their nationality "violates the essential spirit of scholarly freedom and the pursuit of truth." A rival petition criticizing the boycott petition for its "unjustly righteous tone, which distorts the complexity of the situation," garnered more signatures than the two original petitions urging boycotts. And several of the better-known European scholars who signed a pro-boycott petition said they wished they never had. "This is not a question of Middle Eastern politics, but of scholarly life," Professor Greenblatt said. "It's a refusal to deal with the whole country, with anyone who carries the Israeli passport, and this is totally repellent to me." Coming after a string of attacks against European Jews and synagogues, particularly in France and Germany, the call for a boycott of Israel's cultural and scientific institutions is raising uncomfortable associations in the minds of many scholars. It has also underscored differences between the European scholars who led the boycott drive and their American counterparts who — despite a divestiture movement pushed by Arab-American student groups at some universities — drew up the petition opposing the boycott.
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 11:53:11 AM EDT
Ian Haworth, a spokesman for the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, where Professor Baker teaches, said the university planned an inquiry to determine whether she had violated any university rules, though he stressed that the journals she publishes are independent. "We're quite horrified that this has happened," Mr. Haworth said. "We're totally opposed to Israeli professors being dismissed from journals. People must make a stand and say that this is wrong. Even when it's an employee of our university, we have to make it clear that this isn't acceptable." In going further than the petition demanded, Dr. Baker has cast doubt on the value of the boycott among some of its former supporters, by illustrating the ethical quicksand such an act can lead to. "I do slightly recoil when an individual is singled out for victimization like that," said the Oxford geneticist Richard Dawkins, who withdrew his support for the petition even before the incident. Britain's national union of students branded it "racist." Patrick Bateson, provost of King's College, Cambridge, said he had signed the call for a European Union boycott because he considered it an effective way to pressure the Israeli government to improve conditions for Palestinians. He rejected criticism, voiced in an editorial in the journal Science and elsewhere, that boycotts are antithetical to science's function as a magnet drawing minds across political and national boundaries. "Always," he said, "science is set in social contexts." As an example he cited Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz doctor who tortured Jewish children in experiments. "Supposing we had the possibility of collaborating with a Mengele," Professor Bateson said. "That would be a case where everybody would say politics would definitely come into science, and say we could not let that happen." Professor Toury, dismissed from the international advisory board of Translation Studies Abstracts, was momentarily speechless upon learning of Professor Bateson's remark. "It's painful even to hear this," he said. "I think I could make a comparison of my own. What they've started doing is taking Israeli academics as hostages, and threatening to kill one every day until they pressure the government to give in. That's precisely what the Nazis did. Me and Miriam Shlesinger, we are the first two. And there will be more." Professor Shlesinger, who has lost a relative in a terrorist ambush, is a former president of the Amnesty International chapter in Israel. She said she had considered Professor Baker a close friend and colleague, someone "who has helped me a lot," but considered her calling upon the Holocaust to justify her actions "obscene."
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 11:56:49 AM EDT
I thought this story was outrageous enough to share with you in it's entirety, as the link requires registration, and many would not bother. Lawyer-types have at me. The link: [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/11/international/middleeast/11SCHO.html[/url]
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:00:37 PM EDT
Hey, [b]shooter69[/b], I'm a 'lawyer-type' and I say, Right On, Brother! Post away! Thanks for the article; it's a real eye-opener. Well, at least for those who wish to open their eyes! [b]None are so blind as those who will not see![/b] Eric The(EyesWideOpen)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:05:05 PM EDT
Thanks for posting.
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:06:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Hey, [b]shooter69[/b], I'm a 'lawyer-type' [b]None are so blind as those who will not see![/b] Eric The(EyesWideOpen)Hun[>]:)]
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hey, lawyer -dude.... that's MY saying. let's get a little attribution here, eh???? [:D] garand(WhereAreIntellectualPropertytLawyersIn­TheYellowPages?)man
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:06:48 PM EDT
What are the two journals Shlesinger was removed from? Does the article say? I'm not going to register there to find out...
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:08:28 PM EDT
It's not Dr. Laura.
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:11:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By garandman: garand(WhereAreIntellectualPropertytLawyersIn­TheYellowPages?)man
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I suspect that 'intellectual property lawyers' may be listed under 'Oxymorons'! You may wish to check there![:D] Eric The(Anti-Intellectual)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:12:29 PM EDT
Nah... You're the real thing! Others just think they are. [;)] My pleasure. Stuff like this pisses me off. It's a total abuse, reminiscent of Germany in the 30's. Where is the Left in all this? You know, that freedom-loving bunch of folks who throw the communist witch hunts of the 50's in our face as often as possible ("McCarthyism, McCarthyism, McCarthyism!")? Oh yeah, they're right behind this power-mad Egyptian crank. Freedom of expression... debate of ideas, my ass!
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:17:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: What are the two journals Shlesinger was removed from? Does the article say?
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I don't know, sorry. I followed a link on something else to the times site and upon reading that clicked on their international news section, where I came upon it...
I'm not going to register there to find out...
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What!? Have I misjudged you all along? You always seemed like a NYT type of guy. [;)] Maybe it's the registering part that's too much of an effort. [:D]
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 12:53:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter69: Nah... You're the real thing! Others just think they are. [;)] My pleasure. Stuff like this pisses me off. It's a total abuse, reminiscent of Germany in the 30's. Where is the Left in all this? You know, that freedom-loving bunch of folks who throw the communist witch hunts of the 50's in our face as often as possible ("McCarthyism, McCarthyism, McCarthyism!")? Oh yeah, they're right behind this power-mad Egyptian crank. Freedom of expression... debate of ideas, my ass!
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Yep, read Tammy Bruce's "The New Thought Police," and it's chilling how these so-called liberals operate. They only care about freedom of speech when it's theirs. Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 4:02:02 PM EDT
Yes, it truly sucks that the Boy Scouts can deny homosexuals the right to be Scoutmasters. I suggest we all boycott the Boy Scouts until they give up their right to freedom of association.
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 4:34:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Yes, it truly sucks that the Boy Scouts can deny homosexuals the right to be Scoutmasters. I suggest we all boycott the Boy Scouts until they give up their right to freedom of association.
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It's not that simple. The lady who fired the Israeli guys apparently did so only because they are Israeli and disagree with her regarding the situation between Israel and the Arab world. The boy scouts' reasoning for not allowing homosexuals is, from what I understand, that a persons sexuality impedes their ability to be a role model. n this case there's no such allegations. The lady said that the reason she fired the two Israelis is that [b]she[/b] has taken a standpoint against their beliefs, and if she doesn't like their way of thinking she should fire them. Which she then did. Say that your boss is Yankee fan and you are a Diamondback fan (or substitute for any team of your liking/disliking.) One day your boss fires you just because of the team you root for. Is that good justification for dismissal? What if your boss is a Democrat and you're a Republican, and he fires you for that reason? Or you're pro-choice and he's pro-life? Or because you have an AR-15 back home and he's anti-gun? She's violating these guys' Human Rights, article 19 to be exact: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 7:34:38 PM EDT
Another article that doesn't require registration to read: [url]http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/ap07-10-131222.asp?reg=EUROPE[/url]
Last month, Shlesinger was asked to step down from the editorial board of The Translator, a semiannual journal, by owner and editor Mona Baker. Baker, a professor at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, signed the Internet petition. Baker also asked Tel Aviv University professor Gideon Toury to resign from the advisory board of another journal she owns, Translation Studies Abstracts. When Shlesinger and Toury refused, Baker fired them.
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Academics are brutal! Apparently Baker owns and publishes these two journals. And truth be told, shooter69, I'm not much interested in reading ANY newspapers these days... real life (and AR15.com) are much more interesting. [;D]
Link Posted: 7/12/2002 12:20:34 AM EDT
I read about this episode two or three days ago. I guess this is an example of how certain EU "intellighenzia" is working: rights are only on one side. Many times Amnesty slammed Israel about human rights in the WB. And, I guess, with some reasons. Now that Amnesty is doing the same with PA and defining kamikaze attacks "a war crime and a crime against humanity" PA authorities said that the report is biased. I guess that report were "unbiased" only when they were accusing one part. To me, what this Egytptian-British "professor" si doing it is only a repetition of what Nazists and Fascists did in the past: excluding Jewish people from society. I heard many excuses (conspiration against the govt., a supposed massonery to built occult power parallel to the official one... and many others). Those ones that knows M.E. culture knows very well what happened in Lebanon during 1982 invasion: Christian Lebanese army supported and begged for the invasion, but when Gemayel was set in power said to the Israelis that "of course we cannot sign any treaty of peace with jews... we're arabs." This case (and others..) that are happening in EU, the scholars signing petition against Israel, the cinema people (for instance) in Italy that are making delirant statement in support of the "poor" Pals and justifying suicide attacks, have only one reason: the atavical, cultural antisemitism of EU society. I am DISGUSTED...
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