web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



‘Respond Forcefully, Expose The Libel’: Interview w. Prof. Eunice Pollack

Professor Eunice Pollack

Professor Eunice Pollack

Husband and wife. Both Jewish. Both history professors. Both right wing. Both combat anti-Semitism on American college campuses.

Meet Stephen H. Norwood and Eunice G. Pollack.

“It’s very exciting,” Pollack told The Jewish Press. “We go to archives together – he’ll look at one collection while I’ll look at another. It’s great, we’re fighting the good fight.”

In 2007, Norwood and Pollack co-edited the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History. And last year, Norwood published The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses (Cambridge University Press) while Pollack edited Antisemitism on the Campus: Past & Present (Academic Studies Press).

Pollack recently spoke to The Jewish Press about her marriage, her activism, and her new book.

The Jewish Press: It must be pretty interesting being married to someone who works in the same field, writes on the same issues, and takes the same positions as you.

Pollack: It’s wonderful. We’ve even co-authored book reviews together. Each of us reads the book and then we get together, argue about it, and change each other’s point of view.

You teach at the University of North Texas while your husband teaches at Oklahoma University. How does that work?

I didn’t want to teach at the same university as my husband. I wanted to have my own identity. So I called around and found the University of North Texas, and I really love it.

The distance is about a half-hour plane ride. It’s not a big deal. We have houses near both universities, so sometimes we live near one and sometimes we live near the other.

Your most recent book concerns anti-Semitism, but you actually first dealt with this issue head-on as a graduate student at Columbia University, correct?

Yes, I was the architect of the American Historical Association (AHA) resolution on Jews and the slave trade. This was in 1995 after the Nation of Islam had come out with a book, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, which claimed that the Jews dominated the slave trade. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. It was just chutzpah.

Basically they wanted to paper over the tremendous Arab involvement in the slave trade, which began in the 7th century and continued through the 20th century. I mean, Saudi Arabia only legally outlawed slavery in 1962, at which point it still had 100,000 black slaves. But all that is swept under the rug.

In what sense were you the architect of the AHA’s resolution condemning the Nation of Islam’s position?

I was only a graduate student, but no one would stand up and say that claim was libelous, so I picked up the phone and called the AHA. They said I’d hear from them by the end of May because the executive committee of the AHA only met twice a year.

I waited until the end of May but didn’t get a call, so I called up again and said, “Did you vote on the resolution?” They said, “Oh, it didn’t come up, we didn’t get to new business.” So I wrote to John Coatsworth, AHA’s president-elect, and informed him of what had occurred. He got on board, asked me to draw up a statement on Jews and the slave trade, and things progressed from there.

The point is, though, you have to confront anti-Semitism. You have to pick up the phone and you have to pick up the pen.

In the introduction to Antisemitism on the Campus, you write that anti-Zionism is nothing more than “born-again anti-Semitism.”

That’s right. I think anti-Semitism is being defined more and more narrowly so that almost nothing falls under that category.

Isn’t it possible, though, to be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic?

Of course – in theory. But in practice, it’s usually just a mask for anti-Semitism.

Why is anti-Semitism in the form of anti-Zionism tolerated on so many college campuses when racism and other forms of bigotry are not?

Because it’s anti-West. People have this ideology that anything western is terrible. When I teach about Native Americans, [I get the same reaction]: everything the Native Americans did was great, and everything the U.S. did was bad.

So Israel is supposedly white and aligned with the U.S. and therefore is bad, while the Palestinians are supposedly people of color and therefore are good. But people know nothing. When I go to Israel, I always tell people it’s the most heterogeneous society I’ve ever been in. But people are not interested in the facts.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “‘Respond Forcefully, Expose The Libel’: Interview w. Prof. Eunice Pollack”

  1. Keith David Reitman says:

    Thanks for a delightfull and informative article.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Abraham Rabinovich

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

Resnick-102414-Pergament

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

The message is that Zionism, which used to be great, is today very institutionalized and [consists of a] bunch of people who are just squabbling over titles and budgets.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/you-have-to-respond-forcefully-and-expose-the-libel-an-interview-with-professor-eunice-pollack/2012/06/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: