Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)   Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech

Not how science should be done.
-- Miriam Shlesinger, a senior lecturer in translation studies at Bar-Ilan University, criticising her dismissal as part of an academic boycott of Israel.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

London, Tuesday, June 18, 2002

British Journals Oust 2 Israeli Scholars From Their Boards


TWO Israeli faculty members have been dismissed from the boards of British journals of translation studies as part of the academic boycott of Israel declared in April by a group of European scholars and intellectuals.

Miriam Shlesinger, a senior lecturer in translation studies at Bar-Ilan University, was dismissed from the editorial board of The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication, and Gideon Toury, a professor in Tel-Aviv University's School of Cultural Studies, was dismissed from the international advisory board of Translation Studies Abstracts. Both journals are published by St. Jerome Publishing and are privately owned by their editor and publisher, Mona Baker of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

According to the two dismissed Israelis, Ms. Baker contacted them by e-mail two weeks ago asking for their resignations, in keeping with the boycott. When they refused, Ms. Baker notified them of their dismissals.

Another editorial board member, Franz Poechhacker, resigned from The Translator's international advisory board to protest Ms. Shlesinger's dismissal. He said that three other members of the advisory panel and one member of the editorial board, Anthony Pym of Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Spain, had also resigned. "The removal of an individual on the basis of her passport is incompatible with the aim of improving relations between cultures," Mr. Pym wrote in an e-mail message. "This is a completely misguided political action on the part of an editor," declared Mr. Poechhacker, an associate professor in the University of Vienna's department of translation and interpreting. He called The Translator one of the top journals in the field of translation studies. Mr. Poechhacker said that Ms. Baker had indicated that she would no longer accept articles from Israeli researchers in the field.

"If that is indeed the case, the journal will become biased and suffer in quality, a much more serious result than the decision to dismiss two individuals. Researchers in the field will not have access to any Israeli scholars," he said.

Ms. Shlesinger, who has served two years on the editorial board of The Translator and was previously a member of its international advisory board, is a former chairman of Amnesty International's Israeli chapter and is a critic of Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But she said that an academic boycott "is not how science should be done."

The dismissals were also decried by Yves Gambier of the Center for Translation and Interpreting of the University of Turku, Finland, and president of the European Society of Translation Studies. Mr. Toury is vice president of the society, and Ms. Shlesinger a member of the organization's board.

"It would be profoundly unjust and contrary to our ethics to cut off individuals who have chosen to work precisely to overcome attitudes of parochialism, self-isolation, chauvinism," Mr. Gambier stated in the organization's most recent newsletter.

St. Jerome Publishing said that Ms. Baker would not comment on the dismissals. The organizers of the academic boycott believe that it will pressure Israel to end what they believe is its unjustified aggression against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Related items on this website:

  US warns Texas businessman against boycott of Israel
  Jewish academics threaten to boycott Oxford over Irving speech
  Boycott threat threat to Oxford Union over Irving
  Daily Express headline, March 24, 1933: "Judea Declares War on Germany" (begin of the Jewish boycott which triggered German retaliation)
  Miami Jews call for boycott of Poland

Daily Express headline, 24 Mar 1933

Daily Express headline, 24 Mar 1933

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2002 F Irving write to David Irving