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Z Word Strikes Back. Next Time, Check Your Facts

In Antony Lerman's article, Antisemitism Research Just Improved: Yale’s ‘Initiative’ for Studying Antisemitism is Axed, he writes (among other distortions):

But the demise of the Z-word blog is perhaps a sign of the times since the AJC is not an organization that would normally give up on such an enterprise after such a relatively short period. It likes to be seen to be engaged in political work for the long term. (Z-word claims it still exists as part of The Propagandist website, a ‘magazine . . . for political junkies, thinking conservatives and the anti-fascist left’, but it’s just one stream of comment on the site.)

Our response:

Firstly, your comments about Z Word are ridiculous. Why didn't you just send a bloody email to ask me, or anyone associated with Z Word, why it joined The Propagandist? The reason is pretty simple:  I no longer work for AJC and I wanted Z Word to be part of a bigger site with more traffic. Simple as that. But no, you'd rather engage in some frankly silly speculation about AJC giving up on the struggle against anti-Zionism.

Secondly, you clumsily distort what I said about "value-free" research. My point is that much social science research incorporates a value system - in YIISA's case, it is the recognition that antisemitism is a social problem. Examining its causes, its consequences and its influences necessitates analysis of its mutations, including anti-Zionism. Even if you do not accept (as I do) that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, you're not seriously going to argue that anti-Zionism is never antisemitism?

Thirdly, neither Caroline Glick nor I conceded that YIISA's output was academically "not up to scratch." Again, this is your feverish imagination working overtime. I specifically said that YIISA published some excellent papers and ran an exciting seminar series! Might I suggest that one factor behind your display of schadenfreude is your absence from the speaker list?

Next time, Antony, do your research.

Ben Cohen is (still) the Editor of Z Word blog at The Propagandist


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