[OPE-L] [Fwd: Message below - Urgent assistant]

From: David Laibman (dlaibman@SCIENCEANDSOCIETY.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 15 2007 - 13:47:52 EDT

Dear friends/comrades all,
    The following is self-explanatory.  Please circulate widely.

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From:   Jewel Daniel <jd16@nyu.edu>
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Subject:        Message below - Urgent assistant

Dear Members of the Marxist Theory of Colloquium,

      Our speaker on the last Friday of Nov. (not Oct, when Richard
Wolff is speaking) will be Joel Kovel, who has just published a book
entitled, OVERCOMING ZIONISM, which I consider the best radical book
on this subject. His book has just become the center of a very
important struggle - SEE BELOW - and is badly in need of some help. I
hope you will be able to lend a hand. Thanks.

Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism

   * <http://www.codz.org>Home
   * <http://www.codz.org/codz-contact.html>Contact
   * <http://www.codz.org/about-book.html>About the Book
   * <http://www.codz.org/about-pluto-press.html>About Pluto Press
   * <http://www.codz.org/send-letter.html>Send letter to UMP
   * <http://www.codz.org/send-letter.html>Letter From Howard Zinn

<http://www.codz.org/send-letter.html#>Send a letter to the
University of Michigan Press
A Message from Howard Zinn on behalf of the Committee for an Open
Discussion of Zionism

Dear Friend:
As you may have heard, in late August of this year, The University of
Michigan Press, after receiving a series of complaining and
threatening emails and letters from an ultra-Zionist group called
StandWithUs, an offshoot of Campus Watch, withdrew from distribution
Prof. Joel Kovel's book Overcoming Zionism, published by Pluto Press
in London, United Kingdom. Since then, following numerous protests by
fellow academics and scholars, The U. of M. Press Executive Board has
restored the book to its distribution listings. But, ominously, the
Board has indicated its intention to reconsider its contract with
Pluto Press in mid October.
Overcoming Zionism is a serious, well researched work espousing a
humanistic resolution. It is a valuable addition to the growing
debate, in and out of American academia, that is re-examining long
held assumptions about the sources of conflict in the Middle East. It
should be discussed - supported or refuted - but not suppressed.
But even more serious is the University's threat to cancel its
distribution contract with Pluto Press. Pluto is a valuable and
unique intellectual resource, publishing progressive books of a
consistently high quality. It provides an alternative viewpoint
essential to discussion and debate of important social issues, such
as those concerning Israel/Palestine and the Middle East. The
cancellation of Pluto's contract with the University would be a
serious blow to the principles of pluralism, academic freedom and free speech.
We urge you to add your voice to those of the many professors and
authors that have vigorously protested these actions. We ask that you
send a letter or, better yet, an email to U. of M. Press Executive
Board Chair Peggy McCracken with copies to University of Michigan
President Mary Sue Coleman, Dean Janet A Weiss; and Provost Teresa
Sullivan, demanding that the University of Michigan Press continue
its contract with Pluto Press. Further, we ask that you forward this
request for support and suggested support letter to those on any list
that you may maintain or have access to.
We have prepared a sample email or letter together with emails and
postal addressees of University of Michigan Press committee members
below but also feel free to compose your own. Time is of the essence
so please act quickly.
Thank you for your kind support.
Howard Zinn
For the Committee for an Open Discussion of Zionism

<http://www.codz.org/send-letter.html#>Please send your letters and emails to:
Professor Peggy McCracken
Executive Board Chair
University of Michigan Press
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
President Mary Sue Coleman
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Janet A. Weiss Dean of the Rackham Graduate School and Vice Provost
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Teresa A. Sullivan Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs
3074 Fleming Building
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340

<http://www.codz.org/send-letter.html#>Sample Letter:

Dear Professor McCracken:

It has come to my attention that The University of Michigan Press has
recently withdrawn its distribution of Prof. Joel Kovel's book,
Overcoming Zionism and has indicated its intention to review, and
perhaps cancel, its distribution contract with the publisher of Prof.
Kovel's book, Pluto Press. It is my understanding that these steps
were taken immediately following a barrage of complaints from a group
called StandWithUs Michgan, an offshoot of the notorious Campus Watch
censorship organization. I have heard that distribution of Prof.
Kovel's book has been resumed but that the Pluto Press contract
remains under a cloud.
Pluto is a valuable intellectual resource, publishing critical and
progressive books of consistently high quality. It is a highly
respected alternative academic press. Its discontinuation by the U.of
M. Press would directly inhibit people's access to non-mainstream
material and would impede critical thought, discussion and debate on
important issues, especially those concerning Israel/Palestine and
the Middle East.
Further, the University's suspension of its distribution contract
with Pluto Press under these circumstances would constitute a
flagrant violation of the principles of academic freedom and freedom
of speech. I strongly protest against any such move. My high regard
for the University of Michigan would be seriously diminished if such
a suspension took place and it would affect any future relationship I
might have with the University.


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