Anti-Zionism book to be distributed in the US

Jonathan Schwartz, of Anti-Racist Blog brought this story in Inside Higher Ed, to my attention.

Book on Hold

    The University of Michigan Press last month halted distribution of Overcoming Zionism, which argues that the creation of Israel was a mistake and urges adoption of the “one state” solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which Israelis and Palestinians would form a new country, without a Jewish character. The book was written by Joel Kovel, distinguished professor of social studies at Bard College. The publisher is Pluto Press, a British outfit that describes itself as having a left-wing focus and that publishes books by and for scholars in the social sciences. The University of Michigan Press is the American distributor for Pluto.

One day later Michigan Resumes Distribution of Anti-Israel Book
. The usual excuses were given.

The Michigan Daily reported

    A blog called Dissident Veteran for Peace posted in August what it claims is an e-mail that University Press Director Philip Pochoda sent on Aug. 24 to Kovel, the book’s author. In the e-mail, Pochoda said he was planning to defend the book’s distribution with a “free speech defense” but was appalled by what he called Kovel’s “reckless, vicious, and unmodulated attack on Zionism and all Zionists.”

    The e-mail went on to say that the book wasn’t something the University wouldn’t want to be associated with.

    “Perhaps such vituperative and aggressive rhetoric works for the barricades,” the e-mail said. “But it cannot be countenanced or underwritten by the university or the university press, even in this peripheral, distributed capacity.”

September 12, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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3 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. Bill

    You are probably right about the funding, however, the fact still remains that anti-semitism generally costs nothing or very little and is generally quite profitable. Now to write a book about the true nature of Islam, that would require true courage or to write a book like Professor Alan Dershowitz did in his book “The Case for Israel” required true courage. Anti-Semitic screeds cost nothing and are generally quite profitable.

  2. I doubt B. Poster that Joel Kovel received funding for his book. He is currently a professor at Bard College and doubtless like many other authors, writes on his own time after he finishes his daytime job.

    The following Wikpedia site provides much information about Joel Kovel as to his thinking and activism. He appears to be venturing into new territory with this book, but where he goes with it should not be surprising given his background.

  3. According to a review I’m reading, Kovel cites the South African model, as I expected he would.

    This is good news as the “new” South Africa is almost as racist as the old and fast becoming that way. It is also the most dangerous country on earth, including Iraq, due to the uncontrolled crime. Last weekend the leader of the Opposition was arrested while taking part in a legal protest. White farmers are being ritually slaughtered in a crime spree that conforms to technical definitions of genocide. The government has sided against the West and with Iran and Zimbabwe. Proclamations by the president indicate that the ruling ANC now sees opposition parties as “the enemy” and believes it has a duty to complete the transformation of South Africa and to take whatever steps necessary. That was just before the arrest of the leader of the opposition.

    All one needs to do is make the sorry state of South Africa known ……

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