The Devil’s Intersectionality: Contemporary Cloaked Academic Antisemitism
Over a period of years, a pattern has emerged in anti-Zionist faculty publications that seriously compromises not only the scholars’ credibility and professionalism but also that of academic publishing as a whole. Academia has proceeded for a decade by blindly assuming that basic evaluation procedures like peer review, fact-checking, and copy editing have continued to function reliably. My 2019 book Israel Denial: Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, & The Faculty Campaign Against the Jewish State uses highly detailed case studies to demonstrate why this is not the case. I summarize those findings here and explore several of the key issues and consequences further. The ferocity of anti-Zionist conviction in these books and essays unfortunately means that they often cross the line into antisemitism. Using examples from work by Jasbir Puar, Sari Makdisi, and others, I demonstrate how distinguished university presses have become purveyors of antisemitism.
Keywords: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, Peer review, Higher education, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Scholarly publishing, University presses, BDS, Jasbir Puar, Saree Makdisi, Duke University Press, University of Chicago Press, Apartheid
Cary Nelson, Israel Denial: Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and the Faculty Campaign Against the Jewish State (Bloomington: Academic Engagement Network/Indiana University Press, 2019).
Susie Linfield, The Lions’ Den: Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019).
Gershon Shafir, A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017) and Andrew Ross, Stone Men: The Palestinians Who Built Israel (London: Verso, 2019).
Jasbir Puar, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).
Judith Butler, Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).
See Saree Makdisi, “Said, Palestine, and the Humanism of Liberation,” Critical Inquiry 31, no. 2 (Winter 2005): 443-461; Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010); “The Architecture of Erasure,” Critical Inquiry 36, no. 3 (Spring 2010): 519-559; and “Apartheid / Apartheid / [ ],” Critical Inquiry 44, no. 2 (December 2017): 304-330.
Makdisi, Palestine Inside Out, 263.
“Arab / Arab al-Nai’m,” Wikipedia, last modified, April 18, 2019, Arab al-Nai’m, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab/Arab_al-Na%27im.
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