Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trending? Academic Propaganda Against Israel Masquerading As Legit Scholarship - by Sheri Oz

...There is no other way to see this paper than as academic propaganda meant to fuel the anti-Israel BDS movement. Recognition that the entertainment/news media are propagating “fake news” makes it hard to know what news reports to believe. If the article under examination here is any indication, then it appears that academia is birthing a “fake scholarly writing” trend that will make it hard for students and anyone other than the expert to distinguish between truth and fiction in academic journals.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
24 August '17..

The biggest danger is that once this kind of irresponsible drivel is published, it is common for other academic papers to cite them as academic source materials. Israel bashing in scholastic publications, then, based on distortions of the truth grows more and more legitimate. Can anyone think that an article like this is anything other than academic propaganda for the purposes of the boycott-Israel machine?

* * * * *

I just discovered a new article published in International Relations and Diplomacy, an apparently semi-academic journal that may hope to qualify as an academic one, however it has not yet been rated against other journals.

Established in 2013, it appears to have a degree of legitimacy given that some of those listed as reviewers have positions in well recognized and respected universities. Reviewers are experts who are asked to read and evaluate the appropriateness of manuscripts submitted for potential publication. Reviewers can accept manuscripts as is or request specific changes in order to bring them to an acceptable standard, or can reject them outright. Closest to home is reviewer Prof Eyal Zisser, who serves as Vice Rector of Tel Aviv University and Chair of the Department of Contemporary History of the Middle East.

Prof Zisser likely did not review the paper I am critiquing here because his field of expertise does not include the topic covered in this article. Were he to have been asked to review it, I am sure that, as an Israeli, he would have identified some of the glaring distortions presented even if he agrees with the political stance of the author (and I have no idea about his political views). I hope that he would have insisted on correcting the errors as that is what would be expected of an honest academician. As a matter of fact, I hope he would have rejected the paper entirely, although that may be considered by some to be a bit extreme.

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