Thursday, April 14, 2016

The "Jewish Voice for Peace" group seems very upset that McGraw-Hill removed a textbook from circulation after I showed that it included a false piece of anti-Israel propaganda.

April 12, 2016

Dozens of Prominent Academics Urge McGraw-Hill Education to Reverse Decision to Censor Palestinian Loss of Land Maps

Last month, publishing giant McGraw-Hill Education withdrew and destroyed copies of a US college level textbook because of complaints from supporters of Israel over a series of maps showing loss of Palestinian land from 1946, shortly before Israel was established, to 2000.

In response to this shocking and outrageous act of censorship of the Palestinian narrative from US schoolbooks, dozens of respected Palestinian, Israeli, and American academics have signed onto the enclosed open letter calling on McGraw-Hill Education to reverse its decision. Signatories include Rashid Khalidi, Noura Erakat, Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Sarah Schulman, Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappé, and Angela Davis.

Here is the letter they signed. Keep in mind that these people are considered "academics."

Academics Urge McGraw-Hill Education to Reverse Decision to Destroy Textbook

We, the undersigned, urge McGraw-Hill Education to reverse its recent decision to withdraw and destroy the US college level textbook, “Global Politics: Engaging a Complex World”, which was made following complaints about a series of maps showing loss of Palestinian land from 1946 to 2000.

This blatant act of censorship, in response to complaints from those who seek to suppress a free exchange of knowledge and ideas about Israel and Palestine, is shocking and unacceptable.

The maps in question are historically accurate and vividly illustrate Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinian people and appropriation of their land, which is why the Israeli government and its supporters wish to suppress them. If there were in fact any minor errors with the maps they should have been corrected rather than removed altogether. Last year, in a similar act of censorship, the cable news network MSNBC apologized for airing a similar series of maps and retracted them.

It is imperative that students be able to visualize history, including through the use of maps, in order to learn how to analyze and understand it. Further, it is essential that faculty and students have access to educational materials that speak to the dispossession Palestinians have experienced, and continue to experience today. We cannot have a truly comprehensive understanding of Palestine or Israel without this information.

We urge McGraw-Hill Education to reverse its decision and reinstate the maps and textbooks in question.
First these academics say that the maps are historically accurate, but they they admit that the maps may have "minor errors" that "should have been corrected." Which is it?

It is neither. The maps are lies from beginning to end, both individually as well as in the way they are presented as a series. But you wont find any of these "academics" actually answering the proofs that they are propaganda. If they were true academics, who wouldn't lower themselves to answer my proofs, they should answer the objections of Yaacov Lozowick, who really is a historian unlike virtually all of the signatories.

If you need more proof that these "academics" are academic frauds, think about this: I am willing to bet that not one of them has actually seen a copy of this textbook. They are defending this propaganda map without knowing if it even fits in with what the text is saying! They argue that "it is essential that faculty and students have access to educational materials that speak to the dispossession Palestinians have experienced" but without reading the book, how can they know that this is appropriate in this case?

Here are the facts, since I've seen the full context and they haven't. The section of the book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is less than two pages. The text  mentions the separation fence and refers to the series of maps as showing where the fence is - but the maps don't show that.

I don't know whether it is the authors or copy-editors of the book who are to blame, but the reference the book gives for the Map that Lies is an obscure article, written in Arabic, that was published in a now defunct website. It was not published as an academic paper anywhere as far as I can tell.

Furthermore, the map was not created by the author of that paper; it was grabbed from some propaganda site and thrown in by the webmaster just to add an illustration. The paper was about possible security-specific solutions between Israel and a Palestinian state and had nothing to do with supposed land loss.

In short, there is no academic source for this series of maps. It was placed in the textbook even though it had nothing to do with the text, referencing a paper that had no relationship with the map to give it academic cover. There was some effort involved on the part of someone to include this piece of propaganda and to hide its origins from anti-Israel hate groups.

The academics who signed this don't give a damn about truth. They are saying that anti-Israel lies must be inserted in every possible medium and venue. In this sense they are echoing what professor Amy Kaplan said at a BDS conference on how to try to incorporate anti-Israel propaganda in courses that have little to do with the topic.

McGraw Hill did the right thing because the maps are filled with lies, the source for the maps was falsified (or laundered, if you prefer,) , and the graphics had nothing to do with the actual text. The Isrsel-haters know that the maps are a great propaganda tool and they cannot stand the fact that its lies have been exposed so publicly, both in this case and by MSNBC last year.

There are 37 signatories of this absurd letter. Being a signatory of this letter defending the indefensible is a very good indicator that these "academics" are simply frauds who are willing to sacrifice the truth in their hatred for Israel.

So here is the list of these academic frauds, courtesy of JVP.  I include links where I previously showed them to be liars and deceptive (or quoted others who did.) Note also that there is at least one prominent J-Street member, Rebecca Alpert.

  • Nadia Abu-El-Haj, Professor at Barnard College and Columbia University
  • Rebecca Alpert, Professor of Religion, Temple University
  • Sofya Aptekar, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Sa’ed Atshan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College
  • Elsa Auerbach, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Daniel Boyarin, Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley
  • George Bisharat, Emeritus Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco
  • Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Omar Dajani, Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law
  • Angela Davis, Author and activist
  • Estelle Disch, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University
  • Nada Elia, Program Manager, Global Cultures Program, Northwest Language Academy
  • Noura Erakat, Assistant Professor at George Mason University
  • Andrés Fabián Henao Castro, Political Science Department, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Margaret Ferguson, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Davis
  • Katherine Franke, Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Director of the Open University Project, and member of the steering committee of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University
  • Marilyn Frankenstein, Professor of Media and Society, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Randa Jarrar, President of Radius of Arab American Writers
  • Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University
  • Martha London, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English, University of California, Riverside
  • Saree Makdisi, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UCLA
  • Ussama S. Makdisi, Professor of History and Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies, Rice University
  • Bill V. Mullen, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University
  • Nadine Naber, Associate Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • David Palumbo-Liu, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor, and Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University
  • Ilan Pappé, Professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies
  • Rachel Rubin, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, City University of New York, College of Staten Island
  • Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, St. Antony’s College, Oxford
  • C. Heike Schotten, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Jack Shaheen, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute and The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
  • Simona Sharoni, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh
  • Barry Trachtenberg, Director, Judaic Studies Program, University at Albany – SUNY
  • Judith E. Tucker, Professor of History, Georgetown University
This is a very useful list - a list of so-called academics who act in opposition of what academia is supposed to stand for. Anyone who attends any of their schools - or pays tuition for someone who does - should really ask their deans whether they are proud to have educators who explicitly favor hate and lies over the truth.

(h/t Alyssa)

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