The publisher is notorious for being devoted evidently to publishing books opposed to Israel’s existence, including those of the discredited and particularly vile Norman Finkelstein. It is a firm that describes itself as one that “embraces progressive change in politics, culture and the way we do business.” So you can immediately get their agenda from their own website.
OR Books describes its thesis in the following paragraph:
“In these pages, a range of activists, journalists, and analysts piece together the events that occurred that May night, unpicking their meanings for Israel’s illegal, three-year-long blockade of Gaza and the decades-long Israel/Palestine conflict more generally. Mixing together first-hand testimony, documentary record, and illustration, with hard-headed analysis and historical overview, Midnight on the Mavi Marmara reveals why the attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla may just turn out to be Israel’s Selma, Alabama: the beginning of the end for an apartheid Palestine.“
Essays are by all the usual suspects, including Philip Weiss, Max Blumenthal, Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, Alice Walker, Stephen Walt and a score of Arab writers. What unites them all is a hatred for Israel and a commitment to its enemies.
No one is asking that Professor Bayoumi’s book be censored. Unlike KC Johnson, whose leftist colleagues wanted him out because of his views, no one is demanding that the professor be disciplined in any way, not to speak of being fired. In the United States, we believe in freedom of speech, which includes the right to publish one’s views and to present them for airing in the marketplace of ideas.
But that freedom does not include forcing the book in a compulsory fashion upon incoming students, without any other point of view being presented to them for comparison. It is a matter of balance and perspective. If they chose, for example, to present it alongside many of Alan Dershowitz’s books defending Israel and answering its critics, that would be another matter. But the Baymoui book is the only one they are being told that they must read. The choice, one faculty member said, “may be more about ‘indoctrination’ than education.”
Chalk it up for a future chapter of David Horowitz’s Indoctrination “U.”
I have an op ed in today’s New York Post on this same issue, in which perhaps I make my point a bit more clearly. You can read it here.