Monday, November 10, 2008

MacMillan might be somewhat responsible

There's been some controversy over an entry on Zionism in an encyclopedia, to be published by MacMillan, on racism. There were serious concerns that, in an encyclopedia that was to have no other entries on nationalisms of any sort, or even an entry on generic nationalism, to single out Jewish nationalism was unfair. According to AJC the facts of the entry were in serious error. And it make pronouncements many people consider to be blatantly antisemitic. Additionally, the author, Noel Ignatiev, is without any expertise in the areas of antisemitism or Zionism.

(Found via Wikipedia, there's also this bizarre incident.)

Seth Armus reports to the H-Net Antisemitism listserve:
She acknowledged that this may have been a mistake, explained how it happened, and indicated that they were in the process of providing "multiple entries" on Zionism, including one written by (I believe) Michael Oren (or someone from the Shalem center). In addition more entries on nationalisms and their relation to race will be included. While she was very upset by the controversy, she was not, to my mind, sensitive enough of the distinctions between objective and subjective criteria in scholarship. Still, I was pleased with the degree of seriousness the press was taking. They have stayed in touch with me and have requested my input. It seems they will not remove the original article, but will take a variety of other steps to address concerns. Not good enough, but better than I expected.

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