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Prof who aims to research ‘Zionism and propaganda’ is denied sabbatical by NY school

Israel/Palestine
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Harriet Malinowitz

Harriet Malinowitz

Jewish Voice for Peace has put up a petition on behalf of member Harriet Malinowitz, an English professor at Long Island University who is researching Zionist propaganda.

This fast-growing petition tells a sad story about the decline of academic scholarship in the face of Israel criticism-phobia.

In a nutshell: professor Harriet Malinowitz gets support from her department for proposal to take sabbatical and write about Zionism and Propaganda. University administration inexplicably denies proposal. Union gets involved, and University accepts sabbatical if professor takes early retirement and “agrees that the deal ‘not be used or introduced as evidence’ in the future.” Evidence for what?

Said professor, Harriet Malinowitz, refuses the offer, and now asks for your help by signing this petition..

Malinowitz lists her specialties as “Lesbian and Gay Issues in College Writing, Propaganda, Rhetoric of Zionism and Palestine, Writing Theory and Pedagogy, Women’s Studies.”

Here is more of the story, and the petition, as told by Bronwyn Jones (a prof with excellent street cred), who cites the struggles of other writers, including Norman Finkelstein, Nadia Abu El-Haj, Joseph Massad, Jimmy Carter and (posthumously) Rachel Corrie. Jones’s introduction, excerpted:

My colleague, Professor of English Harriet Malinowitz, has been denied a sabbatical at Long Island University-Brooklyn for her research on Zionism and Propaganda—and the university administration, overriding faculty recommendations, refuses to state a reason.

Sabbaticals are rarely denied, and colleagues in her own department with much sparser publication records have been granted sabbaticals (and even tenure), strongly suggesting that her proposal received discriminatory treatment. Their motives appeared even more suspect when, after the union took it on, they offered to give her the sabbatical after all—but only on the condition that she take early retirement immediately afterward and agree that the deal “not be used or introduced as evidence” in the future. She refused this offer.

This appears to be just the latest attack on academic freedom for scholars who challenge conventional wisdom and raise thorny questions about Israel and Palestine. It also seems to be the latest attempt by a struggling, tuition-driven private institution to put intellectual values on the back burner while it tries to build up its donor base.

Prof. Malinowitz’s sabbatical proposal was approved by her department personnel committee and co-chairs, but Dean David Cohen and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Kane violated the union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement by sending a negative recommendation to the Board of Trustees without giving Prof. Malinowitz a chance to respond. And despite repeated requests for clarification, and letters of protest at the lack of transparency and fairness from other faculty, VP Kane still won’t disclose the rationale for his decision.

We need to let LIU President Kimberly Cline and the rest of the LIU administration know that this raises serious questions about LIU’s academic freedom and integrity….

In the past, Harriet has spoken out on these issues as well, possibly adding retribution to the administration’s motives. As long as they reject transparency and refuse to give any reason at all for denying the sabbatical, one can only speculate about what those reasons are; assembling the known facts may best suggest that which otherwise remains shrouded in secrecy.

It’s time LIU, along with many other contemporary institutions, became accountable to genuine educational values rather than just the bottom line—just as it’s time for scholars who write critically of Zionism to stop having their work speciously attacked and suppressed, whatever donors, corporate Board members, and politically motivated “stakeholders” might think. There has been a litany of such cases; assaults on free inquiry and expression about Zionism have embattled writers from political scientist Norman Finkelstein, anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj, and Middle Eastern Studies professor Joseph Massad to President Jimmy Carter and (posthumously) the activist Rachel Corrie.

We ask LIU President Cline to use her power as President to reverse the sabbatical decision and grant Harriet Malinowitz the time to write that every serious scholar who devotes much of her time to teaching needs. Beyond that, we ask President Cline to make LIU fully transparent about the research it does, and doesn’t, support—which is especially crucial when its decisions fly in the face of faculty recommendations. LIU’s mission statement claims that “the Campus serves as a conservator of knowledge, a source and promulgator of new knowledge, and a resource for the community it serves.” If this claim is to be publicly recognized as legitimate, LIU needs to be accountable to the imperatives of academic freedom and open debate about all sorts of issues—whether they are popular, or palatable to the administration, or not. The suppression of controversial scholarship anywhere is a threat to free speech, the generation of knowledge, and open discussion everywhere.

I’d add that it’s pointless to talk about such outrageous cases without addressing the issue of donor pressure, which Jones refers to. Remember that when Steve Walt published The Israel Lobby paper in the London Review of Books, the first thing neocons did was to campaign for Robert Belfer to drop his sponsorship of Walt’s chair at the Kennedy School. Belfer was also on the board of the American Jewish Committee. Belfer refused to bow to the assault. But Walt and Belfer are the exceptions. And this case is another example of how Zionism has dumbed down vaunted Jewish intelligence.

 

This fast-growing petition tells a sad story about the decline of academic scholarship in the face of Israel criticism-phobia.

In a nutshell: professor Harriet Malinowitz gets support from her department for proposal to take sabbatical and write about Zionism and Propaganda. University administration inexplicably denies proposal. Union gets involved, and University accepts sabbatical if professor takes early retirement and “agrees that the deal ‘not be used or introduced as evidence’ in the future.” Evidence for what?

Said professor, Harriet Malinowitz, refuses the offer, and now asks for your help by signing this petition:

– See more at: http://muzzlewatch.com/2013/10/14/long-island-university-puts-kibosh-on-academic-freedom/#sthash.8umNfIXc.dpuf

This fast-growing petition tells a sad story about the decline of academic scholarship in the face of Israel criticism-phobia.

In a nutshell: professor Harriet Malinowitz gets support from her department for proposal to take sabbatical and write about Zionism and Propaganda. University administration inexplicably denies proposal. Union gets involved, and University accepts sabbatical if professor takes early retirement and “agrees that the deal ‘not be used or introduced as evidence’ in the future.” Evidence for what?

Said professor, Harriet Malinowitz, refuses the offer, and now asks for your help by signing this petition:

– See more at: http://muzzlewatch.com/2013/10/14/long-island-university-puts-kibosh-on-academic-freedom/#sthash.8umNfIXc.dpuf

This fast-growing petition tells a sad story about the decline of academic scholarship in the face of Israel criticism-phobia.

In a nutshell: professor Harriet Malinowitz gets support from her department for proposal to take sabbatical and write about Zionism and Propaganda. University administration inexplicably denies proposal. Union gets involved, and University accepts sabbatical if professor takes early retirement and “agrees that the deal ‘not be used or introduced as evidence’ in the future.” Evidence for what?

Said professor, Harriet Malinowitz, refuses the offer, and now asks for your help by signing this petition:

– See more at: http://muzzlewatch.com/2013/10/14/long-island-university-puts-kibosh-on-academic-freedom/#sthash.8umNfIXc.dpuf

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22 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    November 4, 2013, 11:40 am

    They are so insecure. They know the memes are so weak. They turn their fear into thuggery. Like it’s going to save their so-called Jewish state.

  2. Ludwig
    Ludwig
    November 4, 2013, 11:41 am

    If only Abbas was given the same treatment and his masters thesis was rejected.

  3. Mike_Konrad
    Mike_Konrad
    November 4, 2013, 11:41 am

    “Lesbian and Gay Issues in College Writing, Propaganda, Rhetoric of Zionism and Palestine, Writing Theory and Pedagogy, Women’s Studies.”

    Give her an extended sabbatical, willya?

    That last thing you want is her teaching students.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      November 4, 2013, 11:58 am

      Thanks for showing us your cards, Mike

      • just
        just
        November 4, 2013, 4:23 pm

        And those “cards” apparently include misogynist, homophobe as well as Zionist.

        What a horrendous stew.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        November 4, 2013, 7:30 pm

        He’s probably a settler in disguise here.

    • amigo
      amigo
      November 4, 2013, 12:27 pm

      “Give her an extended sabbatical, willya?

      That last thing you want is her teaching students.”mk

      The more this zionist bigot opens his mouth , the more of his ugliness he reveals.

      CC file.,

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      November 4, 2013, 2:32 pm

      The LIU disgrace themselves , not Professor Malinowitz.
      What cowardice!!

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        November 4, 2013, 2:49 pm

        Haram.
        It is such a long fall from supporting civil rights in the US in 1968 to buttressing apartheid today but elite Judaism has pulled it off.

        Please think of us in your will and leave us something to continue our vital work of hounding and intimidating dissident academics.

  4. Cliff
    Cliff
    November 4, 2013, 11:49 am

    Absolutely disgusting. Zionists are so pathetic. They want to ruin our academic pursuit too.

    University administration inexplicably denies proposal. Union gets involved, and University accepts sabbatical if professor takes early retirement and “agrees that the deal ‘not be used or introduced as evidence’ in the future.” Evidence for what?

    Seriously WTF.

  5. tree
    tree
    November 4, 2013, 11:58 am

    Union gets involved, and University accepts sabbatical if professor takes early retirement and “agrees that the deal ‘not be used or introduced as evidence’ in the future.” Evidence for what?

    The University administration is worried about a lawsuit. That is why they want to preclude using the ‘deal’ as ‘evidence’. They know they are on shaky legal grounds. If a public campaign doesn’t work, I’d suggest the Union and Malinowitz pursue the legal avenue.

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      November 4, 2013, 1:08 pm

      If a public campaign doesn’t work, I’d suggest the Union and Malinowitz pursue the legal avenue.

      I’d be surprised if her union hasn’t already discussed preparing for that eventuality with Prof. Malinowitz.

  6. lysias
    lysias
    November 4, 2013, 12:44 pm

    This should be reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Maybe the accrediting body for universities in the Northeast should be contacted.

  7. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    November 4, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Sabbatical on condition of early retirement? Whatever next?

  8. Shuki
    Shuki
    November 4, 2013, 2:03 pm

    LIU is a private university.

    They have the right to approve or disapprove whatever they wish.

    Amazing, isn’t it, the hipocracy of the “BDS” movement and its supporters…

    • talknic
      talknic
      November 4, 2013, 6:46 pm

      @ Shuki “Amazing, isn’t it, the hipocracy of the “BDS” movement and its supporters…”

      Exactly what hypocrisy?

    • just
      just
      November 4, 2013, 7:31 pm

      For whom is it private?

      (PS– learn to spell, please.)

      • Shuki
        Shuki
        November 4, 2013, 10:40 pm

        Sorry, I didn’t pay attention when I took my “Lesbian and Gay Issues in College Writing” class…

      • Kurt
        Kurt
        November 6, 2013, 1:32 pm

        Indeed, why make an exception for that subject?

  9. talknic
    talknic
    November 4, 2013, 7:03 pm

    “The University’s faculty members possess elite credentials; publish groundbreaking findings” And they want her to leave?

    http://www.liu.edu/Brooklyn/About/News/Press-Releases/2013/May/BK-PR-Donation-Nursing //Brooklyn, N.Y. – LIU Brooklyn’s School of Nursing has received a naming gift of $10 million from Helaine Lerner and Joan Rechnitz, daughters of Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn//

    http://www.ajc.org/site/c.7oJILSPwFfJSG/b.8467215/k.4B1C/The_Harriet_and_Robert_Heilbrunn_Institute_for_International_Interreligious_Affairs.htm

    http://www.liu.edu/Brooklyn/About/News/Press-Releases/2013/July/BK_Fubright-winner //The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program, sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Program operates in over 125 countries worldwide.
    //

    http://www.jta.org/1962/06/28/archive/u-s-extends-fulbright-program-in-israel-plans-exchange-of-students

  10. November 4, 2013, 9:31 pm

    Bostonia, BU’s grad magazine, recently ran a warm-and-fuzzy on the executive director of BU’s Hillel House, one Michael Beyo, a rabbi (irony only assumed) offering instruction in Krav Maga, a self-defense system used by the Israel Defense Forces. Beyo, we were told, “once worked in Israel for a counterterrorism special unit under the office of the prime minister.” My letter pointing out that working in special units under the prime minister usually meant slitting young Arabs’ throats wasn’t printed, even though I had received assurances from Bostonia staff that it would.

    Several years ago I complained when Bostonia characterized BU prof Elie Wiesel as “humanity’s voice of conscience.” They failed to print that letter even though at the time Bostonia was promoting controversial topics in its letters section. I complained, they then ran an edited version of an already very brief letter, and that w a rare editor’s comment that attempted to re-establish Wiesel as resident deity.

    Safe to say, I won’t be giving BU my papers. malvernthenovel.com

  11. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    November 5, 2013, 11:27 am

    I would be given sabbatical even if I did not have tenure ifI decided to document , not write without any preconceived partisan foregone anti Islamic conclusion,the relationship between anti Israeli attitude and backwardness among Muslim from Morocco to Phillipines.

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