The Jerusalem Post reports:

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In an exclusive investigative report, The Jerusalem Post obtained previously unpublished internal e-mails between the editors of the Journal and Israeli, American, German, South African and British anti-Semitism experts who objected to the removal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.

Heni wrote an article on “Anti-Semitism as Specific Phenomenon” in the first issue of the Journal last year. It included a scathing indictment of the Berlin Center, asserting that it is placating political Islam by playing down “anti-Semitic rallies in Germany” and dangerously conflating murderous anti-Semitism with Islamophobia.

According to Heni’s central thesis, while anti-Semitism among Muslims in Germany is spiraling out of control, Benz and his colleagues’ decision to merge anti-Semitism with hatred toward Islam is endangering the security of Israel and Jews.

For this he got sacked.

Apparently he also accused the director of the center for Antisemitism of having “…praised his Nazi doctoral supervisor and…refused to distance himself from his mentor, Karl Bosl, a rabidly pro-Hitler ideologue.”

Well, if I had some doubts before, I guess these guys prove the need for a center for the study of antisemitism.

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themiddle

12 Comments

  • I just took a quick glance at Heni’s blog, and it’s upsettingly biased. A researcher should know better than to refer to a turban worn by Muslims (more specifically, actors playing the roles of males in a Saudi immigrant family on a detective series on national TV) as “head-nappies” (“head-diapers” for Americans). I also don’t like how he mixes his opinions with anecdotal evidence and presents the whole concoction as solid facts.
    One thing for sure, a researcher arguing like that does thorough anti-Semitism research a disservice.

    • He has some serious scholars supporting him and the Center did ultimately back down and asked those scholars to return to the journal’s editorial board. I would imagine that he has written some good scholarship.

      • What I’ve read by him to me hardly qualified as scholarly material going by German standards, rather mediocre-at-best opinion pieces. If his entire body of work consists of similarly badly composed pieces, it casts a negative light on those that support him. Please note the lack of solid references if you run a Google search for his name. The reviews of his work I could find were anything but flattering; one suggested his anti-Semitism “research” work was an ideological cover-up for spreading anti-left sentiments, on the same site it is mentioned that Heni’s got ties to the violent variety of right-wing extremism.

        I’d treat that person with caution.

        As for him and Benz and their cred, the line that comes to mind is, “Birds of one feather . . . “

        • Are you talking about blog pieces? Cuz if we judged, say, Muffti, on the basis of his blog pieces, he also wouldn’t earn much credibility.

          Seriously, I can’t tell whether his scholarship is great or mediocre because English is clearly not a language he speaks with a native’s command. However, many of the ideas he expresses in the writings I can find online are well thought out and present concrete problems that related to modern antisemitism.

          http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=122938

          • Those thoughts are hardly uniquely his as the ZfA received criticism for mixing anti-Semitism with Islamophobia even when Heni was still on board. Reviews I found on his dissertation claim it isn’t up to the standards that are common.

            Besides, when Muffti gets into philosophy, he adheres to the standards of his his profession. Heni’s blog posts appear what you’d expect from an ill-informed person debating like-minded people at a pub.

          • That’s way over the top, Froylein. Come on. The guy is at Yale right now. With all due respect, he’s not an idiot and he’s not ill-informed. You may not agree with him, but at least show a modicum of respect.

          • Middle, if you understood German, you’d see what I mean.

            How befitting is it of Yale-staff to refer to traditional Oriental headgear as “head nappies”?

            I can’t say I’m impressed.

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