The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Why is UC Press Taking an Explicit Political/Ideological Position on the Conflict Between Israel and the Palestinians?

One can hardly expect neutral academic review of a proposal or manuscript if the press has an official position on the matter.


This came over the transom from the UC Press blog:

Solidarity and Support for Palestinians in their Fight for Liberation

University of California Press has a well-known and powerful list on the Middle East, including influential titles, series, and journals in Palestinian Studies. We feel it's imperative to speak out in horror at the ongoing violence experienced by Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem, and across historic Palestine.

We want to recognize the powerful expansion of international solidarity with Palestinians in their fight for liberation and stand with them. We support scholarship that confronts all forms of settler colonialism, US racial formations including Islamophobia, and prioritize pedagogies that reflect intersectional, anti-colonial, anti-racist action. As a university press, it is our responsibility to disseminate scholarship that challenges dominant narratives and makes understanding these injustices possible.

We encourage you to support local organizations that empower the Palestinian community; here are a few that operate in the Bay Area and work transnationally: Palestinian Youth Movement, Arab Resource and Organizing Center and Middle Eastern Children's Alliance. 

University presses are subsidized by their universities to be forums for academic inquiry, not to propagandize in favor of preconceived political positions. If the UC Press believes it has an ideological mission as described above, there is no reason for it to be getting a dime from California taxpayers.