British Publisher Refuses to Sell Book to Israeli University

From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)

HAIM WATZMAN | The Chronicle of Higher Education | 15 November 2002

St. Jerome Publishing, a British company, has refused to sell one of its books to an Israeli university, as part of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. St. Jerome, an academic press specializing in translation studies, is owned by Mona Baker, a faculty member at the University of Manchester. In June, Ms. Baker dismissed two Israeli scholars from the boards of academic journals published by St. Jerome. In the latest development, Mina Teicher, vice president for research at Bar-Ilan University, said that the Israeli university had ordered a copy of an introductory translation-studies book, The Map, by Jenny Williams and Andrew Chestman. In response, the university received a letter from St. Jerome stating that, because of the actions of the Israeli government, the publisher could not supply the book to an Israeli institution. Ms. Teicher said that the university had replied with a letter stating that it would no longer order books from St. Jerome. She said the university had not encountered any similar action from any other publisher. "I hope this phenomenon does not spread," she added. A spokesman for St. Jerome confirmed that the press was not selling books to Israeli institutions, citing the academic boycott declared by some critics of Israel's military actions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The university had ordered the book at the request of Miriam Shlesinger, a Bar-Ilan faculty member who was dismissed by Ms. Baker from the editorial board of The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication. Ms. Shlesinger said that she had obtained the book through other channels. Mr. Chestman, a member of the English department at the University of Helsinki, did not respond directly to an e-mail message asking him whether he agreed with his publisher's boycott policy. "I shall personally give a copy of the book to an Israeli colleague later this month," he wrote in reply. "But I condemn Israeli policy in Palestine."