The UM Press made the right decision to protect academic debate when they resisted Pro-Israel pressure to drop its distribution deal with Pluto Press, a progressive British publisher.
However, pro-Israeli organizations are taking their pressure campaign to the top, to the UM Board of Regents. Three members of the Board of Regentsissued a statement calling on UM Press to cancel its deal with Pluto Press because of the public pressure.
SAFE believes that the University should stand by its values and protect open academic debate, regardless of which states are given critical treatment. If the University backs down to pressure from agenda-driven outsiders, it will be a major loss for the state of academic debate, especially since Pluto Press puts out many books by progressive Palestinian, Israeli, and other voices that do not get heard through the media in this country. Open debate about a critical issue -- Israel's occupation of the Palestinians -- is badly needed.
The following organizations issues letters to the Board of Regents. While their statements focus on the threat of anti-Semitism, they fail to show how Pluto Press furthers it. This is clearly a politically-motivated campaign to silence dissent.
Zionist Organization of America
Stand With Us
B'nai B'rith International (BBI)
Oped in Ann Arbor News