- A second academic at the University of Manchester Institute
of Science and Technology (Umist) is being investigated for alleged anti-semitism.
- Umist acted after The Telegraph passed it an e-mail from
Michael Sinnott, a professor of paper science, in which he described Israel
as "the mirror image of Nazism".
- University officials said they were "angered"
by the anti-Israeli tirade, which claimed that there was "a real Zionist
- Two months ago The Telegraph revealed that Prof Mona
Baker, the director of Umist's centre for translation and intercultural
studies, had sacked two scholars for being Israeli. An internal inquiry
into her actions is continuing.
- The latest anti-Israeli comments were made in an e-mail
to Prof Stephen Greenblatt, a Harvard scholar who had highlighted Prof
Baker's decision to dismiss the Israelis from two of her journals.
- Prof Baker said that her decision to sack Dr Miriam Shlesinger
and Prof Gideon Toury on the ground of nationality was part of an academics'
international boycott of Israel.
- The firings provoked an international outcry. Prof Greenblatt,
a world authority on Shakespeare, described them as "repellent",
"dangerous" and "morally bankrupt".
- Prof Sinnott, who is described as head of paper science
research and whose recent work concerns the "binding of linked cellulose
binding domains to transformer papers", was infuriated by Prof Greenblatt's
- He sent Prof Greenblatt an e-mail expressing "my
disgust and anger at your orchestration of a campaign of press vilification
of one of my colleagues, and of this institution".
- He said: "[Israel's] atrocities surpass those of
Milosevic's Yugoslavia. Uniformed Israeli troops murder and mutilate Palestinian
children, destroy homes and orchards, steal land and water and do their
best to root out Palestinian culture and the Palestinians themselves."
- Prof Sinnott went on: "With the recent crop of atrocities
the Zionist state is now fully living down to Zionism's historical and
cultural origins as the mirror image of Nazism.
- "Both ideologies arose in the same city, within
30 years of each other, and are both based on ideas of a superior/chosen
people whose desires override the rights of the rest of us.
- "Zionist atrociousness has been slower to develop,
but victims learn from their victimisers, and, with the atrocities in Jenin,
Israel is about where Germany was around the time of Kristallnacht."
- Prof Sinnott condemned "the power of the American
Jewish lobby" and added that in seven years he spent working at the
University of Illinois at Chicago, "I was always amazed that the Israeli
atrocities for which my tax dollars were paying were never reported in
the American news media which were either controlled by Jews or browbeaten
by them in the way you have just exemplified".
- He concludes: "When the bulk of the American population
finds it has been duped by a real Zionist conspiracy . . . all the traditional
and supposedly long-discredited Jewish conspiracy theories will gain a
new lease of life."
- Last night Prof Greenblatt, the president of the Modern
Language Association of America, said he had received "scores of letters
on this subject, mostly supportive" but was "surprised by the
vehemence and extremism" of Prof Sinnott's e-mail. "It was over
the top and not the sort of letter I would expect from a university professor.
Clearly he has a problem with Jews."
- Prof Greenblatt, who has never met or corresponded with
Prof Sinnott, added: "I would have thought that it was a bit late
in the day to invoke 19th-century Jewish stereotypes and talk of an international
- "I have tried hard not to make this an issue about
Jews or Israel. The question I asked originally was whether an academic
boycott made any sense. Academics should not be fighting because somebody
is Israeli or Iraqi or any nationality or colour or creed."
- A Umist spokesman denied that the university was a hotbed
of anti-Israel extremism. "Umist does not have a view on the Middle
East situation," he said. "The e-mail has left us very angry
and we have launched an investigation."
- After consulting university officials, Prof Sinnott attempted
to distance himself from the views he had expressed. He said: "The
e-mail was a mistake. It was written in the heat of the moment after reading
what I considered to be an unfair article about the sackings in The Telegraph.
I deeply regret sending it and regret any offence it has caused."
- Prof Baker declined to comment pending the results of
the investigation into her actions.
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