On January 11, 2010 I posted a statement of Dr. Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum (MEF) in Philadelphia, on my page. He resigned in protest from board of the new Journal for the Study of Antisemitism (JSA). Prior to this JSA had dismissed me because some people obviously „threatened“ JSA with „mafia-like tactics“ because the journal published in its first number my criticism of the Berlin Center for Research on Antisemitism (ZfA), entitled „Antisemitism as a specific Phenomenon“.
Several other scholars and board members from around the world joined the protest, some of them left the board as well and supported me.
I am very grateful for this fantastic support. Thank you!
I hope everybody who supported me in this important struggle will come back on Board as well!
On February 5, 2010, the following statement was made by the editors of JSA:
„Reinstatement Heni on JSA 05 feb 2010
Dr. Heni graciously accepted our apology and has been reinstated as of Feb 1, 2010.
His scholarship and integrity were not at issue.
Those who have left the journal are welcomed to return.
We look forward to a long and academically prosperous relationship with him and all board members.
Steven K Baum PhD
Neal E Rosenberg JD
Shimon Samuels PhD“
Finally, the Jerusalem Post has published an article about the JSA scandal today, March 7, 2010, see some quotes here:
„Germany’s publicly funded Berlin Center for Research on Antisemitism and its director Wolfgang Benz improperly used their influence to dismiss a scholar from the editorial board of the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, according to leading professors in the field.
Dr. Clemens Heni, a Berlin-based scholar who had criticized the center’s neglect of Islamic anti-Semitism and Israel’s security, has since been reinstated (in February) to the Journal’s editorial board.
In an exclusive investigative report, The Jerusalem Post obtained previously unpublished internal e-mails between the editors of the Journal and Israeli, American, German, South African and British anti-Semitism experts who objected to the removal of Heni from the its editorial board. The e-mail exchanges cover the period between December 2009 and last month.
“I wonder as to the role of Dr. Wolfgang Benz (director of the Berlin Center) in influencing the dismissal. It seems that this sorry affair seems to have arisen out of Dr. Benz’s resentment at having his (to my mind) misconceived arguments equating anti-Semitism with ‘Islamophobia’ properly criticized by Dr. Heni,” wrote Dr. Paul Lawrence Rose, director of the Center forResearch on Anti-Semitism at Pennsylvania State University.
Rose also noted that Heni had revealed that Benz praised his Nazi doctoral supervisor and had refused to distance himself from his mentor, Karl Bosl, a rabidly pro-Hitler ideologue.
Baum, however, told the Post that Werner Bergmann, a sociologist at the Berlin Center, conveyed to him that it was a “bad idea” that “a young journal took a critical position” with respect to Heni’s article criticizing the Center and Benz. TheBerlin Center, including Bergmann, declined to respond to Post queries.
After Heni was sacked, mass resignations took place among the “who’s who” of the editorial board because of the suppression of academic freedom, the intellectual dishonesty and the unsavory role of theBerlin Center in exerting pressure to silence its critics.
Dr. Daniel Pipes, an authority on radical Islam and a contributor to the Post and the German daily Die Welt, wrote in his resignation letter, “I consider his [Heni’s] analysis of problems at the Berlin Center for Research on Antisemitism, with a focus on its December 2008 conference, ‘Concept of the Enemy Muslim–Concept of the Enemy Jew,’ important to understand that claims of ‘Islamophobia’ have lead to a downplaying of Muslim anti-Semitism.”
Alvin H. Rosenfeld, a prominent scholar of the Holocaust and the director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at Indiana University, wrote, “What has not occurred is an open discussion with board members about the very fact that such pressures – scandalous in themselves – have been exerted in the first place and have obviously been successful. Their success undermines the very basis of objective scholarship and dooms this journal to almost certain failure.”
Robert Wistrich, the head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University, wrote, “Clemens Heni is a good scholar and a friend and I cannot understand how he could be treated this way. If he is not reinstated then I must regretfully resign from the board.”
Sander L. Gilman, the head of Emory University’s Program for Psychoanalysis and the Health Sciences Humanities Initiative in Atlanta, promptly resigned.
The ballooning number of resignations prompted Baum and the publishers of the Journal to reinstate Heni in February. However, the dismay and outrage of many of the Journal’s editorial board members was captured by Rose, from Penn State University: “Anti-Semitism is a subject which demands frankness and honesty,” he wrote.“